17 Apr 2019
Yesterday’s labour data was largely as expected with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.9% and average earnings coming in at +3.5% as expected. As such, the pound barely registered a flutter and we remain in extended article 50 limbo. The pound took a turn for the worse in mid-afternoon trade on a newspaper report that there is no agreement between the Conservative and Labour Parties on a customs union with the EU.
The German ZEW survey was mixed with expectations improving for the sixth month in a row while the current situation deteriorated for a seventh consecutive month. The disconnect between current conditions and the outlook appears to be an optimistic viewpoint but either way, the euro was unaffected. What did get the single currency moving was a report that several ECB members had reservations about the prospect of a rebound in growth this year. The euro has been pushed higher in overnight trade by stronger than expected data from China which has boosted risk sentiment.
In the absence of any major catalyst, the dollar was slightly firmer in a quiet European morning session. Industrial production was weak but had little direct effect on the greenback. It ended the day firmer against both the euro and sterling but was less prominent versus commodity currencies.
Data and events
UK inflation figures are released this morning with both headline and core CPI expected to come in slightly firmer than last month at 2% and 1.9% respectively. In the Eurozone, the final reading on CPI is expected to confirm inflation remains soft, a factor that will be contributing to dovish ECB rhetoric. Tonight’s Fed Beige Book will give us the latest insight into economic conditions in the 12 regional reporting districts.
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