Tag Archives: GDP

To Triple Dip, or Not to Triple Dip

Movements in Sterling have been relatively restrained this week, with little economic data having been released attention is being focussed on GDP figures due out in the UK and the US at the end of the week. Market expectations are for a 0.1% increase in UK GDP when the figures are released tomorrow morning, however with potential increments being so fine, the margin for error is miniscule. Whatever the result, the effect on the UK economy is likely to be just as miniscule in the short term, however the opposite couldn’t be more true for the UK coalition government and their religious adherence to “Plan A”.

Should the figures tomorrow show that the UK has slipped into recession for the third time in as many years, the subsequent pressure heaped upon George Osborne could be enough to bring the Chancellor to tears for the second time in as many weeks. Furthermore, weak GDP figures would add emphasis to Christine Lagarde’s comments last week that Mr Osborne should consider rethinking the government’s austerity strategy. The comments last week were a surprising contradiction of the IMF’s long standing support for the UK’s deficit reduction strategy, however perhaps after over two years of trying and little signs of improvement in the economy, even the IMF are now beginning to think that a change of plan may be necessary for the UK government.

With very little economic data due out today, attention has turned to Germany this morning where business environment surveys have been released. The German IFO Business Climate and IFO Current Assessment figures showed falls in April to 104.4 and 107.2 respectively. The euro weakened following the immediate release of this data as the figures were substantially below market expectations. GBP/EUR rose to a daily high of 1.1763 before falling back to 1.1739, whilst EUR/USD recovered to 1.2994 after having dropped off to 1.2954 immediately after the IFO data release. Little activity is expected in the markets this afternoon until US Durable Goods figures are released which could stoke some movement, however volatility is likely to be restricted as market participants await the key GDP data from the UK tomorrow and the US on Friday.

Please find a summary of this week’s economic calendar below:

25.04.13
09:30 UK GDP
13:30 US Initial Jobless Claims
23:45 New Zealand Trade Balance

26.04.13
00:30 Japanese Consumer Price Index
04:00 Japanese Interest Rate Decision
13:30 US GDP
13:30 US Personal Consumption Expenditures Prices
14:55 US Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

Who are EU, Who are EU

Sterling has recovered some of its losses against the Euro this morning following weak GDP data released across Europe. After initially trading flat, GBP/EUR began its ascent following the release of German GDP DATA at 7:00 GMT which confirmed the German economy had contracted by -0.6%. The pair spiked to 1.1590 immediately following the release, before continuing its climb to a daily high of 1.1646. This now puts the pair within sight of a potential target level of 1.1722, a price range where there is substantial resistance.

EU GDP figures were not any prettier either this morning, as the Eurozone recorded a GDP contraction of -0.6% also. This data also helped add further impetus to the Pounds advance against the common currency. The European GDP data hurt the Euro right across the board this morning, with EUR/USD having dropped over a cent in the space of three hours, falling to a daily low of 1.3318.
Attention is now likely to turn to the US session this afternoon where we will see the release of US jobless claims figures. Whilst EUR/USD has been trading consistently downwards this morning, contrastingly we have seen sporadic movements in cable as the pair has been pulled following the economic data from Europe. That said, sentiment towards the pair still remains bearish with 1.5268 remaining a key target level, which should it be tested, could signal a significant downtrend.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, UK Retail Sales figures are due out at 9:30 GMT and are expected to improve from the previous month, potentially aiding the Pound in recouping some of its recent losses. However, make no mistake that the focus tomorrow will well and truly be placed on the G20 meeting, which is set to be a rather contentious affair. The threat of global foreign exchange war is likely to be top of the agenda, with Japans monetary policies likely to feature heavily also. Due to this, Japan may have actually welcomed the data today that showed it remained stuck in recession last quarter, adding to Japanese officials arsenals further ahead of the G20 showdown tomorrow.

Mark Webster

BoE and ECB

The Euro has retreated today after the European Central Bank kept rates unchanged at 0.75% and slashed its growth forecasts for 2013. Projected Eurozone growth is now expected to range between -0.9% and +0.3% suggesting that it is more than likely that the Eurozone economy will contract next year.

In the UK, the Bank of England as expected kept interest rates at 0.50% and the Bank’s Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase Programme was also maintained at £375bn.

As a result the Pound is up against the Euro by nearly 1 cent and currently trades at 1.2395 (0.8068) and the Euro is down 1 cent against the US Dollar at 1.2980. The Pound trades relatively flat against the US Dollar currently at 1.6090 on the interbank market.

Matthew Porter 15:15 06/12/12

Increased Optimism

The Dollar has weakened against the majority of its counterparts this morning following increased optimism regarding the Eurozone after a debt agreement concerning Greece was reached in Europe last week. Whilst some market analysts argue that the current deal is insufficient, this agreement has at the very least sent a message to global markets that Europe will not let Greece fail, and it will remain in the Eurozone. This has led to rising indices across Europe, most notably the Athens Composite, which is up 9% over the last two months. Additionally, this morning Angela Merkel has, for the first time ever, indicated that Germany may accept a write off of Greek debt. This could be a very significant step in creating the first truly viable path for Greece to escape the black hole that it is currently in, however the key word here is; ‘may’.

Furthermore, China has posted positive manufacturing figures this morning. The Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI hit 50.5 this month, increasing ever so slightly from 50.4 last month. This has consequently, along with the European factors above, increased risk appetite among investors and has resulted in market participants selling off their ‘safe haven’ Dollar holdings in search of riskier assets.

This afternoon we have manufacturing data and PMI figures coming out of the US, should they be positive we could see the Dollar strengthen slightly, however the main focus for Dollar movement this month will be the ever approaching the fiscal cliff. Should little progress be made on this issue and the January 1st deadline look increasingly doubtful, we could see the Dollar strengthen substantially.

Sterling is up today against both the Euro and the Dollar following positive UK manufacturing data. The UK Markit Manufacturing PMI hit 49.1 this morning, not only increasing from last month but also beating market expectations of 48.0. Following the release of the figures at 09:28 this morning, Sterling has risen to a daily high of 1.2325 against the Euro and GBP/USD has broken through a downward trend hitting an interbank high of 1.6086 before falling back a little. The current rate is hovering around 1.6067, should the rate push above this we could see 1.6124 targeted. Should the dollar not break through this level, the rate may well fall back towards 1.60.

Please find a summary of this week’s economic calendar below:

03.12.12
Eurogroup Meeting
01:45 Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI
08:53 German Markit Manufacturing PMI
09:28 UK Markit Manufacturing PMI
13:58 US Markit Manufacturing PMI
15:00 US Construction Spending
15:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI

04.12.12
European Finance Ministers Meeting
03:30 Australian RBA Interest Rate Decision
09:30 UK PMI Construction
10:00 EU Producer Price Index
14:00 Bank of Canada Interest Rate Dec ision

05.12.12
08:53 German Markit Services PMI
08:58 EU Markit Services PMI
09:28UK Markit Services PMI
10:00 EU Retail Sales
13:15 US ADP Employment Change
15:00 US Factory Orders
15:00 US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI

06.11.12
09:30 UK Total Trade Balance
10:00 EU GDP
11:00 German Factory Orders
12:00 UK BOE Interest Rate Decision
12:45 EU ECB Interest Rate Decision

07.12.12
00:01 RICS Housing Price Balance
09:30 UK Industrial Production
09:30 UK Manufacturing Production
11:00 German Industrial Production
13:30 US Average Hourly Earnings
13:30 US Nonfarm Payrolls
13:30 US Unemployment Rate

Mark Webster

UK Economy Emerges from Recession

Christmas came early this morning for the UK as GDP figures confirmed, somewhat emphatically, that the UK has officially come out of recession. David Cameron declared yesterday during a lively Prime Minister Questions, at the end of a passionate statement regarding the strengthening UK economy to opposition leader Ed Milliband, that ‘the good news will keep coming’. Despite this statement, even the Prime Minister himself must have been pleasantly surprised this morning when the data was officially released, confirming a UK GDP Q3 increase of 1%, beating market expectations of 0.6%. This positive sentiment was conveyed in the markets as GBP/EUR jumped 35 pips in the ten minutes following the release. A large part of this increase is likely to be due to the effect the Olympics had on the economy as Olympic Games ticket sales helped revive growth. These results, whilst positive, should be considered with cautious optimism. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King commented yesterday that whilst the UK economy continues to recover, it is proceeding to do so at a ‘slow and uncertain’ pace. All of this means that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will have a lot to think about when they meet on the 8th November to decide the UK’s monetary policy.

The economic data this morning from the UK contrasts drastically to the consistently negative information that was released yesterday morning in Europe. Between eight and nine AM yesterday nearly ten pieces of individual European economic data was released with each one being negative and failing to meet market expectations. This quite clearly hit the Euro as we saw nearly one cent fall off both EUR/GBP and EUR/USD following the data release. European leaders offered little help for the Euro either, as has come to be expected, following European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s meeting with German lawmakers. Truth be told little was expected to come from this meeting which was more of a wooing campaign for Mr Draghi who is keen to gain the support of the German public to ensure the countries commitment to the ECB’s bond buying program which is hoped will help sure up the Eurozone.

Mark Webster
25/10/12

Currency Update

Yesterday Wednesday 15th saw Greece’s troubles resurface. With Greece facing a deepening recession, the Greek Prime Minister is set to meet with his French, German and Luxemburg counterparts next week to persuade Eurozone leaders to extend the period of austerity from two to four years, essentially planning to reduce the Greek budget deficit by 1.5% of GDP annually compared to the previous agreement of 2.5%. Due to the slower pace of deficit reduction it is believed an additional £20bn of funding would be required to support Greece.

In the UK, yesterday’s jobs figures continued to defy the recession with unemployment down to 8% and the claimant count dropping by 5,900 in July. Minutes released by the Bank of England also confirmed that the Monetary Policy Committee was unanimous in its decision to leave the bank rate unchanged at 0.5% and to maintain its Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase Programme at its current level of £375bn. Unlike in previous meetings, the bank did not hint towards a bias of further rate cuts giving Sterling a further boost. It is expected that the Bank will gauge the impact of the new Funding for Lending Scheme and the completion of its current £50bn extension of QE in November before it makes a decision on more monetary easing. Today, UK retail sales also beat market expectations growing by 2.8% year on year.

The better than expected news from the UK, coupled with the Eurozone’s on-going troubles has pushed GBPEUR higher towards 1.28, currently trading at 1.2793 (EURGBP 0.7817).

Elsewhere the Pound trades between 1.56-1.57 against the US Dollar and the Euro trades at 1.23-1.24 against the US Dollar on the interbank market.

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16/08/12 10:30

Contraction in UK GDP

The Pound has fallen back below 1.28 against the Euro and back below 1.55 against the US Dollar following this morning’s preliminary UK GDP data release. The data showed that the UK economy contracted much more than many economists expected.

In the second quarter UK economic output plummeted, contracting -0.7% quarter on quarter and contracting -0.8% year on year compared to a median forecast of -0.2% QoQ and -0.3% YoY. Whilst factors including the poor weather and the Jubilee bank holidays may have exaggerated the fall in GDP, underlying economic growth is expected to be close to flat or declining over 2012 despite a predicted improvement in the third quarter.

With UK inflation falling back towards the target of 2% (currently at 2.4%) and the economy in contraction, the likelihood of further Quantitative Easing and an even greater prolonged period of low Bank of England interest rates (currently 0.5%)has increased.

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11:00 25/07/12

UK GDP

The Pound has fallen this morning following the release of the latest UK GDP figures that indicate that the UK slipped back into recession in the first quarter of 2012. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 0.2% quarter on quarter and was unchanged year on year. The contraction in UK GDP came as a surprise to many analysts who had been expecting a small amount of growth in the region of 0.1% QoQ. Today’s GDP figures are a preliminary estimate based on about 40% of the data that will be used by the ONS to reach the final GDP figure and many will be hoping that the reading could be revised higher at a later date.

GBPUSD 1.6095
GBPEUR 1.2175
EURGBP 0.8214
EURUSD 1.3220

The following rates are shown for indicative purposes only. Please note the rate you are able to achieve will depend on the amount of currency being purchased. Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for a live quote.

25/04/12 09:55

UK GDP & BoE

The Pound has recovered back above 1.20 against the Euro and continues to trade around 1.55 against the US Dollar on the interbank market.

Despite UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data showing that the UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the final quarter of 2011, the initial market reaction suggests that many expected the data could have been worse.

The recent UK economic data, coupled with the European debt crisis and anaemic global growth points to the UK struggling to avoid entering into another technical recession i.e. two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

Whilst many analysts are hopeful of a mild or shallow recession in the UK, the fragile outlook increases the likelihood of a further expansion of the Bank of England’s Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase Programme (QE). Moreover, minutes released today from the Bank of England’s last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held on January 12th indicated that a number of MPC members believed it was a likely a further expansion of asset purchases (QE) would be required, possibly as soon as the next MPC meeting due on the 9th February.

Aggressive QE from the Bank of England would pose a threat to the Pounds value and is one of the factors preventing the Pound forging higher against the troubled Euro. The Pound may be able to hold against a troubled Euro but could struggle against the US Dollar.

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Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report & Eurozone Bond Yields

Today’s Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report has suggested that UK inflation has peaked and is likely to fall sharply from its current rate of 5% (down from 5.25% in the previous month September) to 1.3% over two years. The Bank has also cut its UK economic growth forecasts to 1% for 2011 & 2012 but indicated growth should climb towards 3.1% in two years.

Both the outlook to economic growth and inflation are seen as unusually uncertain and much will depend on developments in the Eurozone, the Eurozone debt crisis posing the single biggest risk to the UK economy.

Current forecasts suggest that UK interest rates are likely to remain low for a prolonged period of time with the first interest rate hike from the Bank of England not expected until at least 2013 whilst the prospect of further Quantitative Easing remains a strong possibility.

The debt crisis continues in Europe with Italian 10 year debt trading back above the unsustainable level of 7% and the yield of Spanish government bonds back above 6%. Besides the usual suspects, debt market yields of France, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium have also risen sharply, hitting Euro era highs. Moreover, the spread between French and German 10 year debt has also hit a fresh high.

Clearly the debt crisis poses a significant threat to the value of the Euro, the Euro has been surprisingly resilient so far but over the medium term I would expect the Euro to fall against the US Dollar and Sterling.

On the interbank market the Pound is currently trading between 1.57-1.58 against the US Dollar and between 1.16-1.17 against the Euro.

Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for a live quote.