Sometimes it is not actual events which are the biggest news, but it is circumstance which does not take place or goes unsaid that should be examined the most. Yesterday the Preliminary GDP in the States met expectations head on with a 1.7% outcome. Some news agencies held this number up as a good result, but the fact is that a 1.7% growth rate in the States is not a good outcome, while it is not recessionary on the surface, it will do little to improve the unemployment problem and thus keep consumer confidence dampened. On Tuesday the CB Consumer Confidence reading was 60.6 which was a huge miss from the estimate of 65.8.
The Jackson Hole Symposium gets underway today, but expectations for this event have been turned down in a big way and investors are being led to believe that Fed Chairman Bernanke will present his take on the economy in a rather cautious manner. What must be pointed out is that as of this morning the ECB still looks like it will provide a vanishing act at the event. This is rather noteworthy because the Jackson Hole get together is typically a large talking point for the most important Central Banks. The huge question is why the ECB is avoiding this event?
Bourses have become rather muddled the past couple of days and seemingly are not intent on taking too much direction until investors find some type of clarity. While Wall Street put in small gains, Europe languished for the most part and Asia is trading negative this morning. China continues to produce less than promising economic data.
Interestingly Crude Oil, WTI in particular, has found a consolidated value it would appear around 95.00-96.00 USD per barrel. Political tensions from the Middle East have provided a basis of support for the commodity. Also last week’s explosion at an oil facility in Venezuela amplified speculation. However, demand remains rather thin and supply is still good. While G-7 countries issued a statement late last week asking for more production to keep prices under control, it appears that the real problem (regarding higher prices at the pump) has more to do with summer holidays in Europe and the States.
The EUR/USD remains at strong values for the Single Currency. The EUR has enjoyed some consolidated trading the past few sessions as large questions hover over both the ECB and Federal Reserve. Gold as of this writing is near 1660.00 USD which is off of its highs, but like the EUR remains in the upper boundaries of a trading range. Taking into consideration that the U.S. has a long holiday weekend coming and this is the last week of summer holidays for many, it is next week upon the return of the Americans and the eventual focus on the economic crisis in Europe and the possibility of some type of stimulus in the States that has all investors sitting on the fence at this juncture.
Germany will bring forth its Unemployment Change numbers today and a large Italian 10-year Bond Auction will take place in which yields will be inspected closely. The U.S. releases it weekly Unemployment Claims today too, but the focus will be Jackson Hole and Chairman Bernanke.