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  • 2019-05-16 13:30


    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Jonathan Haskel said in a speech in York that the growth of intangible assets could impact both policy transmission and financial stability.

    The following are key points from the speech, which did not address current monetary policy setting:

    --Haskel focussed on his signature research topic: the rapid growth in firms' intangible assets such as software, reputation and knowledge relative to tangible capital, such as hardware and buildings.

    Haskel had previously said that Brexit uncertainty could be a key factor behind recent weakness in UK investment but here he floated the idea that it may also reflect under-recorded investment in intangibles.

    "Intangibles appear to be part of t

  • 2019-05-16 12:15


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve should move cautiously in adjusting policy, given low neutral interest rates and inflation below target, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said Thursday.

    She again called for the central bank to guard against financial imbalances through the active use of countercyclical tools such as the countercyclical capital buffer.

  • 2019-05-16 09:08


    By Courtney Tower

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the March data on Canadian manufacturing sales released Thursday by Statistics Canada:

    - Sales increased 2.1% in March, matching expectations by analysts surveyed by MNI. While sales were up in eight of the 10 provinces, and well reversed the 0.2% decline in February, they were up only in 12 of 21 industries covered, representing 56% of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Real sales were up 1.6% after decreasing by -0.3% in February.

    - Among sectors posting the largest gains was a 4.5% increase for sales of transportation equipment after three consecutive monthly declines. Their main gain was in motor vehicle sales (+6.5%), with higher sales at all Canadian motor vehicle assembly plants.

  • 2019-05-16 08:07


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - A standing repo facility allowing banks to swap safe assets for reserves on demand could be priced at a rate equal to the top of the Federal Reserve's target range, St. Louis Fed economist David Andolfatto said in an interview.

    This pricing would enable such a facility - now under consideration by the FOMC -- to function as a ceiling on short-term money market rates, while remaining low enough to attract usage in the event of a stress scenario, Andolfatto, who has written in favor of the idea, told MNI.

    Overnight repo rates have mostly posted below the Fed's current upper bound of 2.50% in 2019, but occasional spikes have contributed to "optics that the Fed does not have full control over the policy rate," he said.

  • 2019-05-16 06:22


    By Iris Ouyang

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday the country is not aware of any specific U.S. plans to send trade negotiators to Beijing for further talks.

    Here are some highlights from the weekly MOFCOM press briefing:

    --"China isn't aware of any U.S. plan to come to China for negotiations," said MOFCOM spokesperson Gao Feng.

    --Gao stressed China will "have to react" if the U.S. insists on escalating the trade dispute.

  • 2019-05-16 01:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's economy is expected to post a contraction in the January-March period, hit by weak capital investment and private consumption.

    Economists are looking for preliminary Q1 GDP lower by 0.1% fall on quarter, or an annualized -0.2%.

  • 2019-05-15 09:29


    By Courtney Tower

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the April data on Canadian CPI released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

    - Total CPI rose 0.4% on the month when analysts surveyed by MNI had expected an increase of 0.5%. Headline CPI year-over-year was +2.0%, up one notch from +1.9% in March.

    - The Bank of Canada April core, NSA, was flat, the first no-growth level since December of 2018. The year-over-year BOC core was +1.5% versus +2.4% the previous month. The seasonally adjusted BOC core was +0.2% versus March +0.1%. For the Bank of Canada's three preferred measures of core inflation, CPI-trim came in at 2.0% and CPI-median at 1.9%, both below the 2.1% for each recorded in March.

  • 2019-05-15 07:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a further pull back in mortgage activity in the May 10 week, with activity down 0.6% despite a slightly downtick in mortgage rates.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - Both the Refinance Index and Purchase Index fell by 1% in the current week.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell very slightly to 4.40% in the current week from 4.41% in the previous week.

    - The unadjusted purchasing index was up 7% from a year earlier.

    --MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email: kevin.kastner@marketnews.com

    [TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$,MK$$$$,M$$MO$]

  • 2019-05-15 01:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's economy is expected to post a contraction in the January-March period, hit by weak capital investment and private consumption.

    Economists are looking for preliminary Q1 GDP lower by 0.1% fall on quarter, or an annualized -0.2%.

  • 2019-05-14 13:20


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve's patient approach to adjusting monetary policy remains appropriate despite persistently below-target inflation, given the context of a growing economy and tight labor markets, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said Tuesday.

    "This wait-and-see approach is appropriate because we have not seen upward pressures building on inflation, even though we have experienced above trend growth and a further tightening of labor markets," she said in remarks prepared for the Economic Club of Minnesota.

    "With the current outlook for the economy remaining positive, monetary policy settings look appropriate to me," she said.

    The current "benign inflation outlook" gives policymakers an opportunity to test the degree of slack i