ECB’s June Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes Awaited
Today is a busy day for the global economy, with several significant data points up for release. The rush of numbers kick-started from the Eurozone, but unfortunately did not start on a pleasant note as Germany’s industrial production declined in May. Further ahead in the session, market participants await the release of European Central Bank’s (ECB) June monetary policy meeting minutes.
Nevertheless, Britain managed to bring back lost joy after the nation’s industrial and manufacturing production data came in better than expected in May. Next up, UK’s monthly GDP estimate from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) will shed more light on how Britain’s economy was performing as the Brexit vote arrived. In the US, weekly jobless claims and the ADP employment change data is up for release today.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound has reversed its previous two consecutive session of losses and is trading higher against the US Dollar and the shared currency this morning. The just out data showed that UK’s industrial and manufacturing production registered a less than expected decline in May. Later in the day investors look forward to Britain’s GDP estimate by the nation’s leading think-tank, NIESR. It will be interesting to watch the latest estimate in the wake of the Brexit vote. The latest NIESR’s GDP estimate had ticked up to 0.5% for the three months ended May, however this was before Brexit happened. Looking at today’s figure, if British consumers had already anticipated the Brexit vote and pulled their purse strings tight, then this will definitely be evident in the June GDP estimate.
Yesterday, Sterling extended its slide against the major peers after three more British commercial property funds suspended trading activities. Moreover, UK’s Lloyds business barometer crashed to a four-year low level in June.
US Dollar – US Markets
The greenback lost ground against most of its major peers yesterday as investors digested the release of the US Federal Reserve's (Fed) June monetary policy meeting minutes. The Fed meeting was nestled between the disappointing US nonfarm payrolls data for May and just eight days ahead of the highly controversial European Union referendum. Given the volatile backdrop, policymakers decided that it would be appropriate to wait for additional economic data and witness the outcome of the referendum before taking a call on the future direction of interest rate. Notably, the Fed Governor, Daniel Tarullo, suggested that the Fed should hold off from raising interest rates until inflation hits the targeted objective. On the data front, US service sector activity blew past market expectations, and notched a seven-month high level in June, as new orders soared and companies hired more workers. On the other hand, the nation’s trade deficit widened in May.
Moving ahead, market participants await today’s release of US weekly jobless claims and the ADP employment change data for June.
Euro – European Markets
The shared currency is trading lower against its major peers this morning, after data released earlier in the session showed that Germany’s industrial production unexpectedly dropped in May, mainly led by a sharp fall in capital goods output. This has now increased the risk of a hard landing for the German economy in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile in France, trade deficit narrowed in May. Additionally, a separate report by the Bank of France showed that the nation’s current account deficit shrank in May. Next up for release is the ECB’s June monetary policy meeting minutes, due in a few hours, which will reveal how concerned policymakers were regarding the central bank’s inflation target. Also, as the meeting was held prior to the Brexit vote, the minutes will bring to light the ECB officials’ viewpoint on the outcome of the referendum.
Yesterday, the Euro managed to regain strength against the US Dollar after the release of dovish minutes from the Fed’s June meeting. Separately, the ECB President, Mario Draghi’s speech failed to live up to the hype.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Swiss Franc has erased its previous session gains and is trading lower against the greenback this morning. Data released earlier in the session showed that Switzerland’s consumer price index (CPI) advanced in line with market expectations in June. This was brought about by a rise in the prices of fruits, vegetables and petrol. However, there was downward pressure on the prices of clothing and airfares. The Swiss National Bank is likely to remain cautious for fresh downward pressure on prices in the coming months, and might possibly intervene in the Forex market to limit the strength in the Swiss Franc if need be. Separately, Swiss foreign currency reserves inched up in June.
Moving ahead, market participants will look forward to the release of Switzerland’s unemployment rate data for June, due tomorrow and expected to remain steady. Next week, economic data releases in the Alpine nation will remain subdued, with the sole economic release being the Swiss producer and import prices data for June.