UK House Prices Hit Record High
At home, economic data revealed that Rightmove’s house prices in the UK registered a new national high for September, amid supply shortage and robust demand from wealthy buyers. The agency also revealed that if property prices continue to increase at their current pace, the average UK house price may hit £300,000 by the end of this year.
With little on the global macro front today, traders are expected to mull over the outcome of yesterday’s snap elections in Greece which witnessed a victory of the left-wing Syriza party and the former Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. Later this week, the prime focus will be on manufacturing and services PMI data across the world for further insights into the strength of the global economy.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound is trading in a narrow range against the greenback this morning. Meanwhile, data from Rightmove indicated that the average price of a house in the UK rose for September, marking the largest September rise in 13 years. The property-website also stated that the average price of a house is poised to cross the£300K mark by the end of this year, if property prices continue to rise at their current pace. In the absence of any domestic macroeconomic releases today, market participants look forward to this week’s UK public sector net borrowing and BBA mortgage approvals data for further indication on the health of the British economy.
On Friday, Sterling declined against the US Dollar, as the greenback rebounded from the sharp decline which was triggered by the US Federal Reserve’s dovish tone of the monetary policy statement. Adding to the negative sentiment towards the Pound, the Bank of England Chief Economist, Andy Haldane, reiterated his opposition to an interest rate increase in the near-term and indicated that the UK central bank’s next move may be to lower rates instead of raising them, citing downside risks to inflation.
US Dollar – US Markets
The US Dollar started the week on a lower footing against the majors this morning, as sentiment towards the greenback remained weak following the Fed Chief, Janet Yellen’s decision to take more time before acting on interest rates. Investors are concerned about the economic health of the world’s largest economy, as a rate increase would have signaled the central bank's confidence in the economic growth prospects of the US. Supporting the Fed’s decision was the San Francisco Fed President, John Williams, who over the weekend, urged investors for "a little more patience", as it would be wiser on the central bank’s part to first collect more data and then monitor growth in the economy, before initiating the first rate increase. However, he also opined that it would be appropriate to raise short-term interest rates before the yearend.
In the week ahead, investors would closely follow the release of the final US GDP reading for the second quarter. The figure is largely anticipated to remain unchanged from the previous reading which would also point towards a considerable acceleration from the first quarter economic growth.
Euro – European Markets
The Euro has started the week on a firmer footing against the US Dollar this morning, as the common currency continued to remain supported after the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged at its policy meeting last week. Meanwhile, Euro investors were largely unaffected by news that left-wing Syriza party won the Greece snap elections on Sunday. However, the probability of a ‘Grexit’ looks a remote possibility for the time being, as Greece’s radical former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ victory was good news for the Euro zone and the country’s international creditors as Tsipras’ government had sealed the bailout funding deal against meeting severe austerity measures in July 2015.
Going forward, investors would pay close attention to flash manufacturing and services PMIs from Germany and the Euro zone as well as Germany's Ifo survey results scheduled for release later during the week. Additionally, the ECB Chief, Mario Draghi’s testimony to the lawmakers in the European Parliament on Wednesday would also be keenly followed.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Canadian Dollar extended its previous week’s gains against the US Dollar this morning after data released on Friday revealed that Canada’s consumer price index remained unchanged on an annual basis for August, as declining gasoline prices offset rising cost of food, shelter and clothing. Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada had maintained its key interest rate and indicated that the nation’s inflation was in line with expectations and would stabilise around 2% in the first half of 2017.
Meanwhile, Canada’s national election campaign witnessed the second round of debate last week, wherein three candidates for the Prime Minister’s post discussed about the economy, the oil industry and the Syrian refugee crisis. Investors are closely following the Canadian elections scheduled next month. Going forward today, the Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s speech would be keenly eyed for further hints on the health of the Canadian economy