Germany Producer Price Inflation At 7-Month Low

Germany’s producer price inflation eased to a seven-month low in December, figures from Destatis showed on Monday.

Producer prices climbed 2.7 percent year-on-year in December, slower than the 3.3 percent increase seen in November. This was the lowest rate since May, when prices rose 2.5 percent.

Excluding energy, producer prices remained unchanged on month taking the annual growth to 1.6 percent in December.

On a monthly basis, producer prices dropped for the first time in ten months in December.

Prices fell 0.4 percent month-on-month, in contrast to November’s 0.1 percent increase. Economists had expected producer prices to edge up 0.1 percent.

The price indices of all main industrial groups increased in December compared with the previous year. Prices of intermediate goods and durable goods rose 1.9 percent each.

Capital goods prices increased 1.4 percent and those of non-durable consumer goods grew 0.5 percent. Energy prices rose 6.9 percent.

In 2018, producer prices for industrial products rose an annual average 2.6 percent, which was slower than the 2.7 percent increase in 2017.

US-China Trade Hopes Move Asian Markets Higher

Asian stocks rose on Friday as reports of progress in U.S.-China trade talks as well as stronger than expected economic data from the U.S. helped ease global growth worries.

China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 36.37 points or 1.42 percent to 2,596.01 ahead of China’s fourth-quarter GDP data, due on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 335.18 points or 1.25 percent to 27,090.81.

Japanese shares closed higher as the yen weakened on improved risk appetite after reports that the U.S. could lift trade tariffs on China.

The benchmark Nikkei rallied 263.80 points or 1.29 percent to 20,666.07 while the broader Topix index finished higher by 14.39 points or 0.93 percent at 1,557.59.

Exporters surged, with Canon, Nissan Motor, Panasonic and Sony rising between 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent. In the tech sector, Tokyo Electron rallied 3.8 percent and Advantest surged 1.9 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that overall consumer prices in Japan rose an annual 0.3 percent in December. That came in line with expectations.

Australian markets hit over two-month high, with banks and material stocks gaining ground on hopes of easing in U.S.-China trade tensions.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 29.50 points or 0.50 percent to 5,879.60, extending gains for the fourth straight session. The broader All Ordinaries index ended up 31.40 points or 0.53 percent at 5,941.20.

The big four banks rose between 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent. Mining giant Rio Tinto edged up 0.3 percent after it flagged a rise in Pilbara iron ore exports this year. BHP, which will unveil its second-quarter production figures next week, advanced 0.7 percent.

Payment service provider Afterpay Touch Group soared 13 percent after its first-half global underlying sales jumped 240 percent. Language tech company Appen climbed 5 percent.

Seoul stocks closed higher for the fourth consecutive session on optimism for progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 17.22 points or 0.82 percent to 2,124.28 after reports suggested that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports to secure a beneficial long-term trade deal with Beijing.

Automakers led the surge after the government presented its hydrogen economy plan featuring fuel cell electric vehicles. Hyundai Motor rose 1.2 percent and Hyundai Mobis added 1.5 percent.

New Zealand shares ended modestly higher, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closing up 19.90 points or 0.22 percent at 9,097.71, led by financials and industrials.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose amid easing trade tensions after the Wall Street Journal said the U.S. is considering lifting tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to calm markets and give Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained around 0.7 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.8 percent.

German December Inflation Confirmed At 8-month Low

Germany’s consumer price inflation eased for a second straight month in December to its lowest level in eight months, latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office confirmed on Wednesday.

The consumer price index rose 1.7 percent year-on-year following a 2.3 percent increase in November.

The latest inflation figure was the lowest since April, when price growth was 1.6 percent, same as in March.

The agency attributed the sharp slowdown in the headline inflation figure to energy price annual growth that eased to 4.8 percent from 9.3 percent in November. Food prices rose 1 percent. Compared to the previous month, the CPI edged up 0.1 percent in December, same as in November.

The annual average inflation was 1.9 percent in 2018, the agency said. Inflation accelerated from 1.8 percent in 2017 and was the highest since 2012, when it was 2 percent.

The harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, rose 1.7 percent year-on-year following a 2.2 percent increase in November. The HICP inflation was also the lowest since April, when it was 1.4 percent.

Compared to the previous month, the HICP moved up 0.3 percent in December. In 2018, the annual average HICP inflation climbed to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent in 2017. The figure was the highest since 2012, when inflation was 2.1 percent.

The latest data confirmed the flash estimates for both CPI and HICP measures released on December 28.