UK unemployment rate holds steady
Today there are a plethora of economic releases from all across the globe which will keep the investors busy. In the UK, the just released data showed that unemployment rate held steady during the 3 months to July. However, the nation’s jobless claims registered an increase for August.
In the Eurozone, investors await the region’s industrial production data for July, due in some time. Across the Atlantic, market participants look forward to the release of the US weekly mortgage applications and import price index data for August.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound has managed to resurrect itself from yesterday’s darkness and is trading higher against its major peers this morning. The just out data showed that Britain’s overall unemployment rate from May to July stood steady at 4.9%. However, the nation’s average weekly earnings during the period showed a mixed reading, as compared to the 3 months ended June. Also, jobless claims rose more than expected in August.
Yesterday turned out to be an unlucky day for Britain just as the ominous date – 13th. British inflation numbers failed to meet market expectations and Sterling paid the price, dropping lower against both the US Dollar and the shared currency. Consumer price index (CPI), the primary gauge of consumer inflation, and the core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol and tobacco costs, came out disappointing. With nothing else to divert investor attention, the day ended on a sad note for Britain as speculation on further easing by the Bank of England took centre stage again.
US Dollar – US Markets
The greenback is trading mixed against the Pound and the common currency this morning. Moving ahead, market participants would closely monitor the US MBA weekly mortgage applications along with the import and export price index for August, due later in the day, for further direction in the US Dollar. Investors will also focus on the nation’s advance retail sales, industrial production and weekly initial jobless claims data, scheduled to be released tomorrow.
Yesterday, the US Dollar advanced against most of its major peers. Data released in the US revealed that the nation’s budget deficit widened in August compared to the same period last year, due to weak revenue growth and a steady rise in government spending. In other economic news, the nation’s small business optimism index registered an unexpected drop in August - owners became more hesitant, anticipating worse business conditions, and failed to fill open positions.
Euro – European Markets
The shared currency is trading lower against the US Dollar and the Pound this morning. Data released earlier in the session showed that French consumer prices rebounded less than expected in August. Further, consumer prices in Italy grew at a steady pace last month. Next up for release in the Eurozone’s industrial production data, due in some time and expected to have gained momentum in July. Apart from this, speeches by the European Central Bank Governing Council members, Ewald Nowotny and Klaas Knot, are also awaited by investors.
Yesterday, a ZEW survey indicated that German business morale failed to show further improvement and remained unchanged for September, near its lowest level in 4 years. Additionally, the nation’s current conditions index dropped more than expected in September. Meanwhile, in the Eurozone, the economic sentiment index advanced during the same month, but fell short of market expectations.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Kiwi Dollar has reversed its previous session losses and is trading higher against the greenback this morning. There are a couple of economic releases lined up in New Zealand today. This includes the nation’s business PMI for August and second quarter gross domestic product data. Business PMI is an important indicator that tracks overall economic conditions and is expected to register a slight increase. Additionally, the nation’s GDP is likely to advance during the second quarter of this year.
In other economic news, New Zealand’s current account recorded a larger than expected deficit in the second quarter. Further, the nation’s food prices registered their biggest monthly increase in almost 3 years in August, as produce and grocery items got more expensive. This came as a relief to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as it slightly helped ease rate cut pressure. The sudden upward push in prices was due to bad weather conditions in the nation which led to shortage in production.