A very slow day of trading

Tom Tong25/Apr/2014Currency Updates

GBP

It was a generally slow day across market, with the pound’s limp movement the epitome of this. There was a gradual gain against the dollar to the tune of around 0.3%, and trading was flat against the euro. Sterling is still trading down for the week after Wednesday’s loss.

Yesterday’s CBI distributive trades survey recorded a massive jump to 30 from 17, although a cursory glance back in time shows this to be a relatively volatile figure. A positive survey from the Boston Consulting Group put the UK as the cheapest place for manufacturing in Europe. We recently saw manufacturing confidence in the UK hit a 40 year peak, so the picture is continuing to look rosy for the much maligned British industry.

Data out today includes retails sales and mortgage applications for March.

EUR

Flat trading across the board for the single currency yesterday, apart from a minor blip against the dollar. It has been a quiet week by euro standards.

Germany had mixed results from the IFO business survey, recording upticks in business climate and expectations, but a below par current assessment reading. A French business climate survey showed a small 1% reduction in confidence from last month.

Draghi’s speech yesterday didn’t give much away, although one interesting observation was the possibility of the ECB releasing minutes of its monetary policy meetings. They currently believe that the monthly press conference gives enough information on the inner thoughts of the committee, but a move towards releasing minutes, as is the practice in the UK, US and Japan, would certainly increase transparency.

It is a national holiday today in France and Portugal, and there are no data releases from the rest of the Eurozone.

USD

A gradual decline against the pound was the only noticeable movement from the dollar, as it followed the same trend as other major currencies.

Durable goods orders came in to the upside yesterday, at 2.6% in March against a 2% expectation. Although initial jobless claims were higher than expected, continuing claims fell for another month and are now at 2.68m. Once again, the more general trend is the key.

Barack Obama moves on from Japan to South Korea in his tour of Asia, after apparently failing to stimulate progress on the long running US-Japan trade deal discussions. The trade deal is important as it would be an important building block for the so called ‘pacific rim’ free trade area. Such a currency block would create the world’s biggest FTA, behind only the EU.

We have Markit services PMI for April and Michigan consumer sentiment releases today, both of which are expected to show a positive upward trend.

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Written by Tom Tong

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