Overseas Headlines – December 13, 2016

Dollar steadies as pre-Fed nerves dominate
The dollar steadied against the yen and euro on Tuesday after its weakest day in a week, with markets still uneasy that a Federal Reserve meeting ending on Wednesday may provoke more investors to cash in the greenback’s recent gains. Barclays was the latest major bank to cast some doubt on a dollar rally extending into a first quarter set to be dominated by the first policy initiatives from the Trump administration. While investors have bet strongly in the past month on the new president taking steps to bolster growth that will push inflation higher, there are also concerns that he may spark protectionism globally.

U.K. Inflation Accelerates to Highest in More Than Two Years
U.K. inflation accelerated more than economists forecast in November, boosted by prices for clothing and gasoline. The jump to 1.2 percent from 0.9 percent in October means consumer prices are rising at the fastest pace since October 2014. Economists had anticipated an increase to 1.1 percent. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics also added to evidence of the build-up in inflation pressures because of the pound’s decline since Britain voted to leave the European Union and rising oil costs. U.K. import prices surged almost 15 percent in November, the biggest annual increase in five years, and upward pressure from energy may intensify after this month’s output cut by OPEC.


China property sales growth slides to lowest since Nov 2015
Home sales in China slowed sharply in November in the wake of government cooling measures, and new property investment slowed significantly from recent record levels – suggesting a key economic driver could be losing steam. Property sales growth slid in November to 7.9 percent from a year ago, its lowest since November 2015, and well short of October’s 26.4 percent increase. "The cooling in property market is within our expectations. It will continue to cool, and fall to negative growth next year since the base figures were so high. "If the government doesn’t ramp up infrastructure spending, the expected decline in property will certainly drag on growth," said Zhao Yang, Nomura’s chief china economist.