US JOLTS job openings data awaited
Today, the global economic calendar appears relatively light, and the majority of data points are scheduled to release later in the day. Eurozone’s second largest economy, France, reported a second straight month of decline in its industrial production for June, mainly due to labour unrest.
In the UK, the Bank of England (BoE) is set to release its Agent’s summary of business conditions report. Later today, the RICS housing price balance data for July will be out. Across the Atlantic, weekly mortgage applications, monthly budget statement and the JOLTS job openings data are due for release.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound has reversed its previous session losses and is trading higher against the greenback this morning. In a few hours, the BoE will release its Agent’s summary of business conditions report. Additionally, Britain’s RICS housing price balance data for July is scheduled to release overnight. This indicator provides a snapshot of the level of activity in the nation’s housing sector.
Yesterday, Sterling ended lower against the US Dollar, falling for the fifth consecutive week and recording its longest losing streak since May this year. One of the UK’s leading economic think-tanks, NIESR, estimated that the nation’s GDP contracted by 0.2% in July in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Meanwhile, for the three months to July, the economy eked out growth of a mere 0.3%. Moreover, official figures showed that Britain’s manufacturing production came in worse than expected in June. Adding further pressure on the Pound were dovish comments made by the BoE policymaker, Ian McCafferty, after he warned that further rate reductions and quantitative easing may be required.
US Dollar – US Markets
The greenback is trading lower against its major peers this morning as investors continue to digest yesterday’s weak US nonfarm productivity report. Data showed that productivity of American workers unexpectedly stayed in contraction for a third straight quarter, suggesting that corporate profits may continue to shrink and wage growth might remain slow. Further, while overall economic recovery has been slow, hiring has been relatively robust. Also, the slowdown in recent quarters has likely been reinforced by the fact that firms are not boosting capital investment in new equipment, software and facilities that could help strengthen worker efficiency. On the contrary, labour-related production costs in the US rebounded stronger than expected in the second quarter. In other economic news, US wholesale inventories surprisingly jumped in June, led by gains in stocks of nondurable goods.
Going forward, market participants will assess the US Federal government’s monthly budget statement and the JOLTS job openings data, set to release later today.
Euro – European Markets
The shared currency is trading mixed against the US Dollar and the Pound this morning. Data released earlier during the session showed that French industrial output surprisingly declined for a second consecutive month in June, mainly dragged down by the nation’s oil transformation industry as several refineries in the country were shut down due to strike. Apart from this, in the Eurozone's second largest economy, food production and construction activity also remained weak during the period. Looking ahead, the Eurozone’s most crucial data points will be released towards the end of this week. This includes Germany’s consumer price index figure and the Euro area’s industrial production data. Additionally, the second quarter preliminary GDP data for the Eurozone, Germany and Italy is also up for release the same day.
Yesterday, the Euro ended higher against its major peers. On the data front, German trade surplus slightly narrowed in June. On the other hand, the nation’s current account surplus expanded during the period.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Australian Dollar has extended its previous session gains against the greenback, amid a broad-based weakness in the US Dollar. Earlier in the session, there were a couple of economic releases from Australia along with a swansong speech by the outgoing Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor, Glenn Stevens, after a decade at the helm of the central bank. The Governor expressed reservations about the sole reliance on the RBA’s monetary policy to boost growth and issued a stark warning that in order to achieve growth, government spending should also play an important role. He also favoured retaining the central bank’s current inflation target of 2.0-3.0%.
On the data front, Australia’s Westpac consumer confidence index registered a modest increase in August, suggesting that the domestic interest rate cut was warmly welcomed by consumers. Additionally, the nation’s home loan approvals rebounded in June. Separately, the National Australia Bank’s business confidence and business conditions index declined in July.