Crude oil and equities retreat in European session as the market awaits US' 2Q10 GDP data. With economic slowdown likely, investors prefer booking in profits. WTI crude oil price weakens to 77.7 from yesterday's close of 78.36. Oil product prices also fall in tandem. Heating oil slides to 2.02 after jumping +2.04% to 2.038 while gasoline drops to 2.08/09 following a +1.65% rise yesterday.
The US government will report the first estimate of its 2Q10 GDP growth today. Consensus forecast it probably slowed to +2.5% q/q annualized, after growing +2.7% in 1Q10 and +5.6% in 4Q09. Weakness should be more significant in consumer spending and trade deficits while business investment will be a bright spot. Further moderation is expected in the second half as indicated by consumer confidence indices.
World stock market declines ahead of the report. In Asia, stocks were generally low with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index losing -0.6%. Economic data released in Japan was disappointing. Unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in July while the market had anticipated a flat reading of 5.2%. Deflationary pressure persists with national CPI contracting -1% m/m June, after a -1.2% decline in the previous month. The leading Tokyo CPI for July contracted -1.3% for the second time, signaling the government's stimulus on growth is yet to be effective. Industrial production surprisingly declined -1.5% m/m in June, compared with market expectations of a +0.25 gain, from +0.1% in May. On annual basis, growth eased to +17% from +20.4%. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunged -1.64% to 9537.3 at close.
European bourses opened a tad lower. Eurozone's data was uninspiring today with the unemployment rate staying at 10%, a 12-year high, for a 4 straight month in June. Meanwhile inflation remained subdued in June. Headline CPI eased to +1.4% y/y in June, from +1.6% a month ago. Core inflation, however, picked up slightly to +0.9% y/y from +0.8% in May.
Gold climbs for a second day and recent selloff spurs buying. For PGMs, platinum surged to a 1-month high at 1568.6 amid worries over production tightening, Aquarius Platinum, the 4th largest platinum producer, said it may close its Blue Ridge mine for as long as 7 months until the safety problem is resolved. The company said output at the mine in fiscal 2011 may be 'substantially lower than guided' because of the closure. Analysts said the reduction in supply may reach 18K oz. Meanwhile, workers at Impala, the 2nd largest platinum producer, have entered wage negotiation with the company. Its 18000 workers threatened to strike earlier in the week as talks about wage adjustment failed.