Asian markets were generally higher with the Nikkei 225 up +0.03% and the Shanghai Composite up +1.89%. China May HSBC flash manufacturing rose less than expected and at 49.1 is indicating contraction for the 3rd month in a row.
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May Eurozone composite PMI fell to 53.4, weaker than expectations, but the May Markit manufacturing PMI rose to 52.3, stronger than expectations. Despite the ECB’s buying, rates on the German Bund edged higher. The German DAX finished the day modestly higher, up +0.14%.
In the U.S., Initial Claims for Unemployment for the week ended 5/16 rose to 274K. The Markit flash PMI fell to 53.8, but still is above the 50 that indicates improving conditions. April Leading Indicators were a much better than expected +0.7%. The Philly Fed index disappointed as it fell to 6.7 in May. The median price of an existing home rose 8.9% year-over-year and supply dropped, but the rate of sales fell -3.3% in April.
Volume continues to be very light ahead of the holiday weekend. Yields on the 10-Year Note moved back below 2.2%, but the US$ was steady. Gold slipped to $1,204.10, but crude jumped higher by 3% to close at $60.72. After turning early losses into gain, markets traded sideways and finished narrowly mixed again.