Amid a light economic calendar in the UK, Sterling investors are likely to remain on the sidelines in today’s trading session. Meanwhile, yesterday’s retail sales data, along with disappointing industrial production and construction output data for February, has fuelled concerns that economic growth in the UK has slowed. Next week’s first estimate of GDP numbers will likely confirm investors’ concern.Across the Atlantic, market participants will eye the highly volatile durable goods orders report scheduled later today which will likely influence next week’s GDP estimates for the first quarter. In the Euro zone, the Greek crisis will likely take center stage in today’s Euro group meeting. In macro news, Germany’s Ifo business climate rose more than market expectations for April, while the business expectations reading unexpectedly dropped.
Data just released showed that March retail sales in the UK fell unexpectedly from the previous month. Sales excluding fuel, was also lower than market expectations for the same period. A report on public sector finances showed that the budget deficit for the fiscal year ended March narrowed more than forecast.Across the Atlantic, market participants will keep a tab on the preliminary print of Markit manufacturing PMI and new home sales to gauge the strength of the economy in the second quarter. In the Euro zone, the flash manufacturing and services PMI numbers surprised to the downside, thus fueling concerns about the health of the region’s economy.
The minutes of the latest monetary policy meeting showed that policy setters were unanimous in their decision to hold the borrowing costs at 0.5%. The minutes indicated that the central bank officials were optimistic that inflation would bounce back next year as downward pressure on prices fade. Moving ahead, investors will eye data on retail sales and a report on public finances, tomorrow.In the Euro zone, the preliminary print of consumer confidence will be in focus later today. Across the Atlantic, a report on existing home sales will be in focus today as recent housing sector reports have indicated mixed numbers, and thus fuelled concerns about demand in the US housing market.