Chinese Home Price Gains Taper

Analisi Giornaliera - 18/12/2017

Housing Price Increases For New Residential Real Estate


Signaling that measures designed to cool lending and housing speculation are having the intended impact, figures released overnight from China revealed that the pace of new home price gains narrowed notably in November, falling to the slowest pace in over a year.

Average Price for New Chinese Homes Grows at Slowest Pace Since 2016

Following remarks from Xi Jinping during China’s 19th Party Congress in October highlighting that “houses are built to be inhabited, not for speculation,” policies implemented to reduce rapid price gains continue to show success.  According to figures unveiled by the National Bureau of Statistics China overnight, the average new home price in a survey of 70 major cities rose by a reduced rate of 5.10% compared to the 5.40% recorded in October and 12.60% reported a year prior.  Most interestingly, prices declined in both Beijing and Shanghai during the latest measuring period, contracting by -0.20% apiece.  Although gains in housing prices have now extended their streak for 26-straight months, the latest figure was the most sluggish pace since March of 2016, indicating that the measures imposed last March are successfully tackling the acceleration in prices.  In the meantime, USDCNH is higher on the session following the data, retaking the 6.6100 level.


Japanese Trade Sidesteps Forecast Anticipating Deficit

In a surprising development, Japanese trade outpaced expectations that the balance would slip into a gap following 5-straight months of positive readings.  The surplus for November arrived at JPY 113.357 billion, smashing estimates of a JPY 55.000 billion deficit.  While below the prior month’s reading of JPY 284.598 billion, the figure managed to stay in positive territory thanks to a pickup in export growth, with outbound shipments reaching 16.20% year over year.  Gains were broad-based, with mineral fuels, raw materials, machinery sales, construction equipment, and manufactured goods standing out as the biggest drivers.  However, contrasting with these gains was import growth which slowed modestly, falling from the prior month’s 18.90% to just 17.20% in November.  Slower imports cast a gloomier shadow on the inflation outlook which remains below the Bank of Japan’s 2.00% target.  After a brief tumble at the open, USDJPY is flat on the session near 112.700.


US Tax Reforms Inches Closer to Passage

News that the House and Senate committees negotiating the tax reform deal were able to cobble together a deal on Friday paves the way for a vote as early this week after hints that enough votes had been secured to pass the measures.  The deal would include the most sweeping corporate tax reform measures in decades and is also expected to help give US corporations a lift relative to their international peers, drawing the ire of major trading partners like Europe and China.  However, there are still risks that lie ahead and the possibility that reform will not be passed due to the ill health of several senators.  Furthermore, the major looming risk is that of a government shutdown later in the week when funding expires on Friday.  The absence of a spending deal continues to weigh on the dollar, pushing gold modestly higher overnight to just above $1256.00 per troy ounce.


Bitcoin Futures Launched by CME Group

After the introduction of futures contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange earlier this month the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group initiated trading in its own product overnight.  The long-awaited inauguration at the world’s biggest futures exchange was highly anticipated, with many market participants believing that the introduction of a regulated platform would bring about bigger flows from fund managers and institutional investors into cryptocurrencies.  However, volume since trading opened has been relatively light despite the highly volatile price action.  The price activity in futures trading has already proven notable, with futures opening above $20,000 before crashing as much as $2000, helping the spread between the spot market and futures prices collapse to a negligible amount.  Bitcoin prices are currently hovering around $18,845 per coin, trending flat on the session following a dip as low as $17,835 overnight.


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