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Daily Insights - January 30, 2015

Yet another central bank surprise

  • In emerging markets, while global central bank actions help, idiosyncratic developments are less encouraging. The conflict in Ukraine and our recent oil price forecast revisions do not bode well for commodity-related assets that have been at the centre of the EM weakness over the past few months. In Asia, however, we see signs of improving growth, with Korea’s industrial output rising strongly in December. The Russian central bank surprised investors and eased policy rates by 2% to 15%. RUB has declined over 3% in response.
  • In Japan, overall household spending continues to drift lower, and inflationary pressures are likely to soften in coming months. IP growth was modestly weaker than expected. We expect core CPI inflation to ease to near 0 % y/y in mid-2015, consequently we expect further BoJ easing at the July MPM meeting.
  • European data were mixed. The ECB’s December data on monetary aggregates and bank balance sheets show another sharp increase in M3 money growth and, for the first time in almost three years, positive bank lending growth (y/y) to the private sector (Full Story). The inflation outlook, however, remains challenging. Euro area HICP inflation in January was in line with our below-consensus forecast of -0.6% y/y. Core inflation was 0.5% y/y in January vs. 0.7% y/y in the prior month.
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