The price of crude oil rose slightly in overnight trading after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its inventories data. The numbers showed that the US inventories declined by more than 3.5 million barrels. This was a sharper decline than the 1.5M that investors were expecting. It was also slightly lower than the previous week’s almost 10 million barrels.
Earlier today, Japan released its trade numbers for the month of June. The data showed that the exports declined by more than 6.7% in June. This was a bigger decline than the 5.6% that investors were expecting. In May, the exports had declined by more than 7.8%. On the other hand, imports declined by 5.2%, which was lower than the expected decline of 0.4%. In May, the imports had declined by 1.5%. The sharper decline in exports led the trade surplus to expand to more than Y589 million.
In Australia, the country released the employment numbers that were better than expected. The participation rate and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 66% and 5.2% respectively. The unemployment rate shows the people of working age who are not working while the participation rate measures the percentage of working age people who are actively looking for work. The full employment change increased by 21.1k from the May’s 2.4k.
In South Korea, the country’s central bank announced a surprise rate cut as the mini trade war with Japan continued. Once an Asian Tiger, South Korean economy has ben weakening. In fact, the South Korean Won is the worst-performing currency among the main currencies in Asia. It has declined by 5.5% this year. This is as President Moon’s socialist policies appears to be failing. Next year, he has announced that the minimum wage will be raised to $7.29 per hour, which has led to more strikes. This is because he had promised a minimum wage increase to $8 per hour. This has seen many companies like Samsung move to countries like Vietnam.
Later today, investors will receive the retail sales data from the United Kingdom. The data is expected to show that the headline retail sales increased by 2.6%, which will be higher than the previous 2.3%. On a MoM basis, the retail sales are expected to decline by -0.3%. The core retail sales are expected to have increased by 2.7% in June. That will be higher than the previous increase of 2.2%. On a MoM basis, the core retail sales are expected to decline by -0.2%.
In the United States, investors will receive the initial jobless claims. The initial jobless claims are expected to have increased by 216k, which will be higher than the previous 209k. The continuing jobless claims are expected to have declined from 1,723k last month to 1,700k. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index is expected to have increased to 5.0 from the previous 0.3. Later on, investors will listen to Fed’s John Williams.