Developing-country stocks fell for a second day as commodity prices slid and investors remained worried over China’s slowdown and the prospect of sooner-than-expected tampering of the U.S. stimulus program. The MSCI Emerging Market Index dropped 0.6% with Turkey’s benchmark stock index dropping to a 2-week low. Notably, Thailand’s SET Index dropped 3%, the steepest decline in two weeks, while India’s Sensex index fell 1.4%.
Emerging-market currencies declined as well on Thursday with the Russian ruble and Thai baht losing 0.4% against the dollar, leading downward trend. Indonesia’s rupiah weakened 0.1% to 10,268, after reaching a four-year low of 10,286 earlier. South Koreas’ won fell for the first time in five days.
High Income Economies...The headline reading for the German Ifo business survey increased from 105.9 in June to 106.2 in July. The rise in the Ifo follows yesterday's surprisingly strong Euro Area Flash Composite PMI, and which showed solid increases in manufacturing and services sector in Germany.
The UK’s recovery picked up pace in the second quarter, with GDP expanding by 0.6% (q/q sa). This was double the 0.3% pace in Q1 and reflected broad-based growth across all sectors, including industry, services and construction. Elsewhere, the CBI Industrial Trends Survey rose from -18 to -12, also stronger than expected.
Core business orders in the US, excluding volatile transport orders, picked up momentum in June, rising by 5.4% (3m/3m saar), up from 2.6% in May. On a monthly basis, the increase was much more modest, with core orders up by just 0.03% (m/m sa), compared to a 1% increase the previous month. Separately, first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose to 343,000 last week, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week reflecting auto plant shutdowns and school closings. The less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 345,250, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average of 346,500.
Developing Economies…East Asia and Pacific: China has unveiled measures to boost its sluggish economy. The “mini stimulus”, is both limited in size and oriented towards supply side measures. The three-pronged approach will eliminate taxes on small businesses, reduce costs for exporters and create more financing channels for the construction of railways.
Europe and Central Asia: Turkey's business confidence weakened for the second straight month in July. The unadjusted real sector confidence index, a measure of sentiment in the business sector, decreased to 108.7 from 111.8 in the previous month. Separately, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the capacity utilization rate in Turkish factories remained unchanged at 74.9 percent in July.
Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa’s producer-price inflation for final manufactured goods quickened to 5.9% (y/y) in June, up from 4.9% in May. Prices rose 0.8% in the month.