EUR: Yesterday saw a large amount of economic information come out of the European Union (EU). The key data release was German Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which came out as expected, as did the majority of other data released. Apart from Italian Consumer Price Index (CPI), which came out better than forecast, but still showed a slight reduction in price levels over the last month. A speech delivered by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi talked about productivity gains in Europe, with little relation to the strength of the single currency. Yesterday the euro (EUR) weakened against both the US dollar (USD) and the pound (GBP), despite midday strength against both currencies – especially the pound. The uptick in volatility was likely due to the announcement by members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that an oil production freeze had been agreed, which led to investors to react and move funds into oil.
Today will be a slow day by comparison, however there will be a raft of Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data released from Italy, Spain and Ireland, as well as the more impactful EU-wide and German figures. Ahead of the Italian Referendum on Sunday, Italy will also see monthly unemployment and GDP data. As we approach Sunday’s vote, investors will likely turn their focus to the result, and it will begin to effect markets more.