Adding another stat to the inflation theme, the Journal of Commerce Index of 18 industrial materials including cotton, steel, copper, aluminum, zinc, crude oil, nickel and rubber among others, rose yesterday to within less than 1 pt of the record high reached in July ’08. The index dates back to ’85 and the commodity pressure prompted this comment from the central bank Gov of the PBOChina, “monetary easing policies in the US and the other major economies are leading to abundant liquidity in international markets, intensifying imported inflationary pressure.” The Shanghai index traded down on fears of more tightening and the IMF told India to raise rates again to fight inflation but most global markets traded higher in response to the strong US jobs data. Euro Zone economic confidence in Dec rose to the best level since Oct ’07 but UK services index fell below 50 for the 1st time since Apr ’09. AAII: Bulls 55.9 v 51.6 Bears 18.3 v 20.1
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