Investors will look to US for economic data this Good Friday
By Sharyh Murray-Francis April 6th, 2023
The UK’s Construction PMI will be released at 9:30am.
It has been an interesting week on the data front across the board, and a choppy week for the pound against some of its rival currencies. Sterling enters the day with weekly gains of approximately 0.45% and 1.02% against the euro and US dollar respectively.
On Wednesday, the UK saw the latest services PMI data which pointed to the second consecutive month of growth within service sector activity. The index came in at 52.9 in March 2023 which was broadly in line with preliminary estimate of 52.8 but below February’s final reading of 53.5.
The UK’s Construction PMI will be released shortly at 9:30am.
We also heard that average house prices in the UK have climbed for the third month in a row. According to Halifax, average house prices increased by 0.8% in March following a 1.2% rise in February – the increase pushed the average UK property price to £287,880 in March.
Saying this, economists expect the housing market to slow further this year as a result of higher borrowing costs and a falling demand for housing.
Eurozone markets have just seen industrial production figures for Germany rise way above market expectations. According to the Federal Statistical Office, industrial production in Germany surged 2% month-over-month, exceeding market forecasts of a 0.1% increase.
Switzerland’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest reading since last November, hitting 2%. The data showed the number of people out of work declined by 5.8% and the youth unemployment rate also fell to an 8-month low of 1.8%.
Over in China, fresh economic data released today revealed a thriving services sector. The services sector grew at the fastest pace since 2020.
Due to the Good Friday bank holiday tomorrow, there will be no data releases scheduled for the UK and some other countries however, key economic releases will continue as normal for the US.
Tomorrow will be a big data day for dollar-watchers, with the latest unemployment and nonfarms data both scheduled for release at 1:30pm UK time. Many will be watching closely to see whether the data will trigger US dollar volatility.
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GBP: Sterling maintains euro and US dollar gains
The pound enters today stronger than the euro on a daily, weekly, monthly footing. Sterling I’d also in a similar position against the greenback, with weekly and monthly gains of around 1.08% and 3.57% respectively.
Next week is a fairly quiet week on the days front for Sterling.
EUR: Italy construction PMI falls
The S&P global Italy construction PMI has just edged down to 47.40 in March from 48.90 in February. This points to a fourth consecutive month of contractions.
USD: Economists await initial jobless claims
At lunchtime today, markets will see the latest initial jobless claims for the US. In the previous data, the number of Americans who filed for unemployment rose by 7,000 to 198,000. This was above forecasts of 196,000.
Today, that number is expected to rise again
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