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President Barack Obama runs along the Colonnade of the White House with Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough's children, Jan. 25, 2013. The President announced McDonough will become Chief of Staff, replacing Jack Lew, the nominee for Treasury Secretary. McDonough, is an Irish-American and is from a family of 11 children.
UK manufacturing production continued to
expand at the start of 2013, following a further increase in new orders and
ongoing efforts to clear backlogs of work. The labour market also continued to
stabilise following the job losses seen through much of the middle of last year.
At 50.8 in January, edging lower from December’s 15-month high of 51.2, the
seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) remained above
the neutral 50.0 mark for the second month running.
Manufacturing output expanded at the fastest pace
since September 2011. This mainly reflected a robust increase in consumer
goods production, although output also rose at intermediate goods producers. In
contrast, investment goods output fell for the eighth time in the past nine
Justin Doyle, Investec Bank Ireland, said
It’s payroll Friday and the market is
forecasting a +165k number versus +155k previously. The unemployment rate is
expected to remain broadly steady at 7.8% though;
Recent months have seen an unusual stability
in the payroll numbers, with a relatively narrow range of +130k to +200k
recorded over the past six months. Our feeling is that we will see a similar
outturn to last month’s +155k, but this being January’s release, benchmark
revisions could potentially alter the backrun of data;
Since the Fed began to link monetary policy
to the labour market performance last December, U.S. Payrolls and the
unemployment rate in particular will continue to be of major concern for all
asset classes involved.
IFG Trust and Corporate Group, the international division of IFG Group plc has been renamed First Names Group
and it provides trust, corporate and fund administration services, with more
than 300 employees and offices in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Cyprus, Switzerland,
Ireland, UK, the British Virgin Islands and Japan.
Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, commented: "Stock indices closed down yesterday (January 31st) – the Euro Stoxx 50 was
down 1.1% and the S&P500 0.3%. Investor sentiment remained cautious ahead of
today's important US payrolls report.
Today's report could include substantial revisions, giving a very different
picture of the US labour market through the past year. At face value,
leading indicators paint a buoyant picture for US employment growth in
January, but the rise in initial jobless claims back to 368,000 suggests
that seasonal factors may have pushed down on exceptionally low claims early
in the month."
Robert Eason of Goodbody, commented today: B&Q Ireland placed in
examinership; "Yesterday B&Q Ireland Ltd (9 stores with sales of circa €90m) was
placed in examinership
following insolvency with liabilities of more than €17m to its parent company
Under the proposed restructuring at least two stores (Athlone and Waterford)
The company believes the remaining seven stores could be viable if rents are
cut (current rent of €11.6m is believed to be €5.8m above market levels) and
cutting means are implemented. Should no agreement be reached on rents the
notes that a further two stores are in jeopardy.
Last year Grafton completed a similar process which led to the closure of two
stores and resulted in annualised rental savings of €4-5m. It is encouraging to
further capacity coming out of the market and it is of note that Grafton has a
presence in the towns of the proposed closures. We would not be surprised to see
other competitors make similar announcements which should help Grafton's Irish
businesses to return to profit growth."
Economic View: Household net wealth grows after four year decline;
Dermot O'Leary chief economist of Goodbody comments -- "Irish households have
seen an enormous hit to wealth over recent years due to the collapse in housing
values. This has resulted in a negative equity position for many households and
a resulting desire to pay down debts – the so-called Irish balance sheet
While still a large problem for the Irish economy and financial system, Q3’s
quarterly financial accounts gave some indication that the wealth destruction
phase is coming to an end. In Q3, household net worth increased by €11bn (2.5%),
the first such increase since Q1 2008. This was led by increases in housing
(€4.7bn) and financial assets (€4.4bn). The former came as a result of the first
increase in house prices since Q4 2007. On the liabilities side of the balance
sheet, the long process of deleveraging continued in Q2, with household debt
down by a further €1.7bn (0.9%) to €177bn. Since the peak, household debt has
now fallen by €27bn (13%), but as a percentage of disposable income, debt stands
at a worryingly high level of 204%, down from 218% at the peak in 2008. Our own
analysis suggests that debt levels need to fall to below 150% through a
combination of debt paydown and income growth. There is still clearly a long way
to go to reach this target and will involve a significant proportion of
household savings to go towards debt repayment (in Q3, over half of “savings”
went towards paying down debt.
Private sector deleveraging is a clear constraint on domestic demand (see our
report Stand and Delever for more info). However, if there is a slowing in the
pace of this deleveraging, as seems to be happening given the more positive
announcement on mortgage lending recently, then this can have a positive impact
on domestic demand in any one year. Growing household assets can also help this
In New York Thursday, the
Dow fell 50 points or 0.36% to 13,861.
The S&P 500 slid 0.26% and
the Nasdaq dropped 0.01%.
Bloomberg says the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index returned 5.2% in January in the strongest start to a year since
1997, leading global stocks higher and beating bonds, commodities
Asia Pacific Indexlost
0.3% Friday, even as 470 shares rose and 431 fell, after gaining for three
straight months. The
index rose 3% in January.
The Nikkei 225
rose 0.47%; China's Shanghai composite index advanced 1.41%; South Korea's Kospi
fell 0.21%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.87%; in Mumbai, the Bombay Stock
Exchange's Sensex 30 dipped 0.40%.
In Europe, the
Dow Jones Stoxx Europe 600 is up 0.32% in morning trading Friday.
reports that for the
first year since the futures were created, Brent crude is poised to overtake
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil as the world’s most-traded commodity.
in Brent jumped 14% to average 567,000 contracts in the year to November 20
compared with all of 2011, while WTI fell 17% to 575,000, according to data from
the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London and New York Mercantile Exchange
compiled by Bloomberg. The number of Brent futures changing hands has exceeded
those for WTI every month from April through October,
the longest streak since at least 1995.
Brent, produced in the
North Sea, is gaining favour among traders because of its role as the benchmark
for energy prices from Saudi Arabia to Russia. Prices have climbed 34% in the
past two years, reflecting everything from war in Libya to the embargo on Iran.
WTI, the main grade in the US, has risen 9% as the nation, which prohibits crude
exports, has struggled to clear a glut at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point
for Nymex futures.