What's Happening Around The Globe
Japan: Nominal wages in Japan rose 1.8% in July 2022 from a year ago, increasing for the seventh consecutive month but slowing from a downwardly revised 2% gain in June. Wages increased mainly in the following industries: accommodations, eating & drinking services (13%), living-related & personal services & amusement services (5.7%), scientific research, professional & technical services (5.4%), manufacturing (3.4%), and medical, health care & welfare (2.9%). On the other hand, wages decreased in the following industries: compound services (-1.5%), education, learning support (-0.8%), mining, quarrying of stone & gravel (-0.7%) and electricity, gas, heat supply & water (-0.7%). Meanwhile, Japan’s real wages fell 1.3% YoY in July, declining for the fourth straight month as consumer prices outstripped the rise in nominal wages.
US stock futures rose on Tuesday as traders kicked off a holiday-shortened week while looking ahead to speeches from Federal Reserve officials and policy decisions from other major central banks. Dow futures were up 0.7%, S&P 500 futures gained 0.8% and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1%. In regular trading on Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 both fell 1.07%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.31%, with all three benchmarks closing out their third straight week of losses. Moderating US jobs growth failed to allay fears about the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes, as it committed itself to bringing down inflation even if it meant risking some economic pain. Investors are also monitoring energy prices as a deepening energy crisis in Europe following news that Russia would halt gas flows to Germany and an OPEC+ decision to cut production, all adding to inflationary pressures.
Retail sales in the United Kingdom increased by 0.5% on a like-for-like basis in August 2022 from a year ago, slowing from a 1.6% growth in July as consumers reined in spending amid the surging cost of living. The data comes as Britons grapple with four-decade high inflation and the Bank of England expects the economy to enter a recession by the end of 2022. Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, said: “While inflation in retail prices is lower than general inflation at over 10%, this still represents a significant drop in sales volumes. For the first time in recent months, clothing sales were sluggish as summer events ended, and parents held back on back-to-school spending.” Don Williams, retail partner at KPMG, added: "Worryingly, August data revealed a significant fall in clothing sales, the category which has been the most robust performer this year, which could signal the start of shoppers pulling back from non-essential spending.”
Gasoline futures extended losses to below $2.4 per gallon, the lowest since January and in line with other energy markets amid growing concerns that a global economic slowdown will hurt demand. Also, official government figures showed gasoline stocks in the US shrank by 1.172 million barrels last week, almost in line with market expectations, while production rose after two consecutive weeks of declines. Investors now await OPEC nations to meet on September 5th to decide on production policy after the Saudi Energy Minister stated the cartel could cut production should Iran clinch a nuclear deal with the West and restore exports. Meanwhile, recent violent clashes in Libya and Iraq kept markets on edge, but oil output in both OPEC members remains largely unaffected.
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