Mario, Janet, François and Angela
Mario, Janet, Francois and Angela all have a hand in moving markets today. First it was Janet Yellen that seemed to be a bit more dovish than some thought in her speech in Jackson Hole. Perhaps she did not want to steal the thunder from the ECB’s Mario Draghi that seems to be moving Europe close to quantitative easing.
Of course when it comes to magic Mario, does he really have to do anything? His words are mightier than the sword and in the past he has done whatever it takes to save the euro without really doing anything. The euro fell and European markets railed as the possibility of more stimuli will give Europe’s economy a much needed boost. The dollar continues its assault on the upside and stock markets around the globe are in a buy happy mode.
Overnight we saw more signs of German slowing with a weaker than expected IFO number. Germany’s business climate fell to a 13-month low of 109.7.
Of course Angela has other worries like the availability of natural gas if the talks fail between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk the capital and largest city of Belarus. Bloomberg reports that Merkel pressed for resolution of a parallel dispute over Russian natural gas supplies to Europe this winter. Angela says that supplies are ok right now but is showing concern because winter is not that far away.
This comes as Russia/Ukraine tensions are high. Reports that Russia plans to send a second convoy loaded with humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, days after the first.
Now if you want more drama how about the report that France’s President François Hollande had to dissolve his government after senior ministers publicly criticized the Socialist leader's handling of the economy.
But the good news is that gas prices are falling anyway. Terrific Trilby Lundberg reports that the average U.S. price of gasoline has dipped 4¢per gallon in the past two weeks. In California they have fallen 5¢ in the same time period. AP says that according to the Lundberg Survey released Sunday, the average nationwide price for a gallon of regular is now $3.48 — 8¢ below a year ago. The average price for midgrade gasoline is $3.69, and premium is $3.84. Of cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, the lowest price, $3.11, was in Jackson, Mississippi. San Francisco had the highest price at $3.92.