New Orders of 66.7 is a 3.3 point rise from July's level, and the highest read for that subindex since April 2004. Production of 64.5 also rises 3.3 points in August.
Employment 58.1 vs. 58.2; Supplier Deliveries 53.9 vs. 54.1; Inventories 52 vs. 48.5; Prices 58 vs. 59.5; Backlogs 52.5 vs. 49.5.
"Business is strong. Labor is becoming a difficult issue," says a respondent in the Furniture & Related Products industry. From a respondent in Primary Metals: "Strongest month in years. Business is solid...Awesome!"
The HSBC Brazil PMI improved to 50.2 in August from 49.1 in July, "consistent with a fractional improvement in business conditions."
HSBC's chief Brazil economist Andre Loes suggests the August gain may have been a rebound following the economic disruption caused by the World Cup. It's the first reading in expansion territory since March.
Hedge funds reduced their longs in gold for the fourth week in five, sending their holdings to the lowest since June, according to CFTC data. Open interest in gold futures is the smallest in five years and assets in gold-related ETPs fell in August by the most since May, according to Bloomberg.
The lack of interest comes as a promising summer for the metal - at $1,250 per ounce on Memorial Day, it rose to $1,350 by July 4 - evaporated, with today's 1.4% decline taking the price to $1,270. The weak post-4th performance came even as geopolitical tensions ratcheted higher in Ukraine and Iraq, among other spots.
At issue as the euro (NYSEARCA:FXE) touches a one-year low and the yen (NYSEARCA:FXY) nears its weakest level of 2014 are expectations for the divergent paths of monetary policy. While the Fed is signaling a rise in interest rates by this point next year, the ECB is set to further ease policy this week and the BOJ isn't tightening any time soon.
Old news? CFTC data on futures positions show bearish bets against the euro have jumped to their highest level in more than two years, and those short the yen approaching peaks seen in 2013. Futures, of course, are a tiny slice of a vast foreign currency trading market.
Last night's 1.4% gain was led by military-related names amid speculation the government is set to boost defense spending after weekend comments from President Xi Jinping.
Over the weekend, China's HSBC PMI fell to a 3-month low of 50.2 in August, about inline with a preliminary read of 50.3. China's official PMI of 51.1 fell from July's 51.7 and came in vs. expectations of 51.2.