It’s a full calendar for the US economy today
The US economic calendar is getting the most attention today with first-tier data in the form of services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) and consumer confidence index. The US Richmond Fed manufacturing and home price indices are also scheduled, plus a speech by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chairman, Stanley Fischer. On the political front, Democrat Hillary Clinton emerged as a clear winner in the first US Presidential debate.
In the UK, the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) distributive trades survey will be released in a few hours, and we can also tell you that the German import price index has registered a decline for August.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound is trading mixed against its major peers this morning. The only British economic release today is the CBI distributive trades survey data, which tracks short-term trends in UK’s wholesale and retail distribution sector. The indicator had surged in August, depicting robust consumer spending in the nation, and is likely to do the same again this month. Investors are waiting for consumer confidence information and a revised reading of the second quarter GDP data, both due later this week.
Last week’s UK market concerns appear to have continued because Sterling ended lower against the US Dollar and the shared currency yesterday. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s remark that the Brexit process could begin early next year has raised concerns that a hurried agreement could leave Britain in an unfavourable trade position. Data wise, the number of people taking out mortgages fell to a 19-month low level in the UK.
US Dollar – US Markets
Yesterday, the greenback weakened against most of its key peers. Data showed that US new home sales declined less than expected in August, after rising in July to the fastest pace since 2007. However, the broader trend remained positive for single-family houses. In other economic news, the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index improved in September, albeit still in negative territory. Separately, the Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan, revealed that he would have been comfortable with an increase in interest rate this month.
The greenback is trading stronger against the Pound and Euro this morning. The US flash Markit services PMI and consumer confidence data will both attract significant attention later today, as will US Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer’s speech.
Euro – European Markets
The shared currency has ended its 5-day winning streak and is trading lower against the greenback this morning. Data released earlier in the session showed that German import prices dropped in August. Eurozone private sector loans grew at a steady pace during the same month. Meanwhile, in Italy, industrial orders dropped further, while industrial sales rebounded in July.
Yesterday, the Euro ended higher against the US Dollar and the Pound, buoyed by a better-than-expected German business confidence report from the Ifo. Separately, the European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi, and the central bank board member, Benoit Coeure, acknowledged the limitations of the ECB's ultra-expansionary policy and stressed that the Eurozone government needs to do some more heavy lifting rather than solely relying on the central bank to boost economic growth. The ECB Governor also urged the European Union to maintain its tough stance on the UK in Brexit negotiations and to respect the integrity of single market.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Japanese Yen has lost ground against the US Dollar this morning. Earlier in the session, the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) July monetary policy meeting minutes revealed that Japan’s economy continues to rebound and inflation is likely to accelerate towards the 2.0% target in fiscal year 2017. However, the inflation outlook is marred by “considerable uncertainties,” which could call for further modification in the central bank’s monetary policy framework. On the data front, Japan’s corporate service price index advanced less than expected in August.
In other economic news, the final reading of Japan’s leading index, which measures future economic activity, dropped as initially estimated for July. Meanwhile the coincident index, which reflects the nation’s current economic activity, slightly rose compared to the previous month (though lower than its preliminary reading). Separately, the BoJ Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, reiterated his earlier stance that the central bank would use all tools necessary to get inflation back to the target rate.