UK’s Manufacturing Output Rises
Today’s data has shown that manufacturing production in Britain rebounded in line with estimates for February, but industrial output rose less than expected due to a slowdown in the nation’s energy sector. Going forward, traders will keenly eye the NIESR’s forecast on Britain’s GDP for the first quarter. Besides, with less than a month to go for the general elections in the UK, political developments could have a bearing on Sterling in the coming trading sessions.
Across the Atlantic, yesterday a weekly survey revealed that the number of initial jobless claimants rose less than market estimates for the previous week. This print bought some relief to investors, especially after last month’s downbeat payrolls data. Meanwhile, concerns about Greece eased momentarily after the nation repaid the IMF’s loan tranche on schedule.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
Data just out has shown that manufacturing production in the UK rebounded for February, fuelling anticipations that activity in Britain’s production sector remains buoyed due to strong domestic demand. However, a deceleration in Britain’s energy sector weighed on the overall production activity which caused the nation’s industrial output to rise less than expected for February. Later today, the NIESR’s projection on UK’s GDP for the first quarter of 2015 will be eyed with cautious optimism after a Markit survey indicated earlier this week that Britain’s economy expanded at a firmer pace during the quarter.
The BoE in its policy meeting yesterday kept interest rates unchanged and maintained its monetary stimulus at £375 billion. Meanwhile, a report released in the UK revealed that trade deficit in the nation widened more than expected for February as a strong Pound weighed on the Britain’s export growth. Moreover, goods exports took a hit from low demand in the US as well as the Euro zone which resulted in a wider than expected trade deficit on goods. However, a trade surplus on services bought some relief to Sterling investors.
US Dollar – US Markets
The US Dollar regained ground against the major currencies yesterday, following an upbeat jobless claims report for the last week. Data showed that the number of unemployed people who claimed first-time benefits rose less than expected, while the reading for the previous week was revised down close to a multi-year low. The numbers pacified concerns following weaker than expected growth in payrolls reported last week for March.
The US Dollar has nudged slightly lower against the Euro this morning, amid absence of significant macro releases in the nation today. Later today, market participants will eye the reading of export import price indices in the US. Also the US government today will release its monthly statement of receipts and outlays for March. Meanwhile, next week’s retail sales figures will be watched closely in order to ascertain if the latest headwinds from the labour market is dampening the consumption-led growth in the US economy. Furthermore, CPI figures due for release in the latter half of next week are likely to show that headline inflation accelerated for March.
Euro – European Markets
The Euro lost ground against the majors yesterday, while it slipped below the 1.07 mark against the greenback. The EUR/USD pair accentuated its losses, following the release of an upbeat US jobless claims data. In addition, positive news coming from Greece had little impact on the movement of the single currency. The IMF confirmed that Greece met its deadline and transferred €448 million to the fund, calming fears of the nation defaulting on its debt obligations. Meanwhile, a media report revealed that the Euro zone deputy Finance Ministers have set a six-day deadline for Athens to revise its reform proposals in order to pave way for an agreement at a Euro group meeting later this month. On the macro front, data showed that German industrial production rose more than market expectations for February, while trade surplus widened on the back of a rise in exports from the nation.
The Euro continued to slide against its peers in today’s trading session. Data released earlier today revealed that industrial production in France declined, as the nation’s factories continue to struggle.
Other Currencies – Highlights
Data released earlier today revealed that the seasonally adjusted Switzerland’s jobless rate remained unchanged for March and in line with market expectations. On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate fell by 10 basis points from the previous month. Following the release of the data, the Swiss Franc showed little reaction against its major rivals and continued to trade on a weaker footing against the US Dollar.
Yesterday the US Dollar moved to weekly highs against the Swiss Franc, following the release of upbeat initial jobless claims report in the US. Earlier this week, the Swiss Franc had gained against its US currency counterpart, following the release of stronger than expected consumer price inflation data. However, the inflation rate was down annually as lower oil prices and a strong Swiss Franc continued to put pressure on prices in Switzerland. The surge in the Swiss Franc since the scrapping of its currency peg against the euro has made the nation’s exports more expensive and imports cheaper for consumers in Switzerland.