Robert H. Reid at the Washington Post reports that the Netherlands became the first NATO country to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan this Sunday.
"Canada has announced that it will withdraw its 2,700 troops in 2011, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has promised to pull out his country's 2,600 troops the year after."EURO ZONE MANUFACTURING PMI WAS 56.7 IN JULY
Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town reports that
"The Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI of 56.7% for July released by Markit yesterday was even better than the earlier flash estimate of 56.5% − a number that surprised on the upside. Despite all the gloom and doom about the prospects for the euro zone, growth of both manufacturing production and new orders accelerated to the fastest growth since April while employment rose at its fastest rate in 26 months."For a table of PMIs and their trends, click on the link.
CHINA'S US DOLLAR HOLDINGS NOT OUR PROBLEM
Yves Smith at naked capitalism pours cold water on the notion that Chinese holdings of large amounts of US dollar reserves is somehow the US's problem.
KUWAIT COMFORTABLE WITH $75 - $85 /B OIL
Bloomberg reports that Kuwait is comfortable with oil prices in between $75 and $85/b.
"'We are satisfied with the range of $75 to $85,' Sheikh Ahmad Al Abdullah Al Sabah said in Moscow on Tuesday. 'We don’t anticipate any cuts but we do encourage other OPEC countries to be more compliant.'"MANUFACTURING PMIs FOR EMERGING ECONOMIES POINT TO GROWTH SLOWING
Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town notes that "the Markit Manufacturing PMIs for emerging economies generally point to growth slowing in the manufacturing industries in the respective countries." For a table of PMIs and their trends, click on the link.
TREASURY SECRETARY SAYS THE RECOVERY IS WITH US
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has an op-ed at the New York Times entitled Welcome to the Recovery. My guess is that its more than a tad premature, but it's worth reading.
CONSUMER SPENDING STAGNATED IN JUNE
Timothy R. Homan at Bloomberg reports that consumer spending stagnated in June, with purchases unchanged after a revised downward increase of 0.1% in May. The savings rate increased to 6.4%.
PENDING HOME SALES FELL BY 2.6% IN JUNE
Peter Boockvar at the Big Picture reports that "[a]fter dropping a whopping 30% m/o/m in May after the expiration of the tax credit, Pending Home Sales unexpectedly fell by 2.6% in June vs a forecasted rise of 4%."
WORLD BANK PAPER CONCLUDES THAT BIOFUELS NOT THE CAUSE OF GRAIN PRICE SPIKE OF 2006-2008; WORST DROUGHT IN 50 YEARS IN RUSSIA DRIVING UP GRAIN PRICES AGAIN
Renewable Energy World.com reports that a new white paper from the World Bank concludes that biofuels were not responsible for the spike in grain prices from 2006 - 2008. Although the report concludes that ethanol was a factor, it points to a number of other factors that caused the price spike, including energy prices, speculation in the futures market, and poor weather conditions in certain areaas. Meanwhile, Maria Kolesnikova at Bloomberg reports that Russia is facing the worst drought in fifty years is threatening the winter grain sowing plans.
"Wheat jumped to a 22-month high in Chicago trading yesterday, extending a 38 percent advance in July that was the biggest since 1973."