Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • China's Factory Gauge Strengthens as Producer Prices Rebound. China’s official factory gauge firmed in February as producer prices rebounded, giving top officials gathering in Beijing a solid economic backdrop as they seek to rein in financial risk. Manufacturing purchasing managers index climbed to 51.6 in February, compared with a median estimate of 51.2 in a Bloomberg survey of economists and 51.3 in January. 
  • China Said to Order Steel, Aluminum Curbs to Fight Pollution. China has ordered curbs on steel and aluminum output in as many as 28 northern cities during the winter heating season as it steps up its fight against pollution, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The cuts include halving steel capacity in four major cities, including top producer Tangshan in Hebei province, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The other cities are Shijiazhuang and Handan in Hebei, and Anyang in the neighboring province of Henan.
  • Euro-Area Manufacturing Picks Up as Inflation Pressures Build. Euro-area manufacturing accelerated for a sixth month in February amid signs that inflation pressures may be starting to build as factories struggle to keep up with demand. A Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 55.4, IHS Markit said on Wednesday. The reading compares with a flash estimate of 55.5 and is up from 55.2 in January. Companies raised output charges at the fastest pace in more than five years as higher commodity prices and a weaker euro drove up costs, while suppliers took longer to fill orders, the London-based company said.
  • European Stocks Surge on Fed Hike Bets With FTSE 100 at a Record. (video) European stocks jumped the most since the U.S. election, led by banks and miners, as increasing prospects for a Federal Reserve rate increase and robust China factory data boosted optimism about global growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4 percent at the close, as all 19 industry groups gained. The benchmark extended gains in afternoon trading as U.S. equities scaled new peaks. The U.K’s FTSE 100 Index and FTSE 250 Index rose to all-time highs, while Germany’s DAX Index rallied 2 percent to close above 12,000 for the first time since April 2015.
  • Fed Says U.S. Growing Modestly With Subdued Signs of Inflation. The economy grew at a modest to moderate pace across the U.S., further tightening the labor market but without significant acceleration in wages or inflation, a Federal Reserve survey showed. The central bank’s Beige Book economic report, based on information collected by regional Fed banks from early January through Feb. 17, said employment grew moderately while some districts reported “widening labor shortages,” another sign the economy was at or near what economists consider full employment. Wages generally continued to respond only “modestly or moderately” to the tightening jobs market, with a few districts reporting “some pickup in the pace of wage growth.” Overall pricing pressures were little changed from the prior report, the Fed said Wednesday. “Businesses were generally optimistic about the near-term outlook but to a somewhat lesser degree than in the prior report.”
Wall Street Journal:
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