Sunday 21 January 2018

Ulster Bank Markets Daily Top Three

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Darren Thornberry

Eurozone activity in August was highest for seven months

Europe had a busy data day yesterday with flash PMI’s and consumer confidence figures being released for August. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, says Eurozone activity in August was at its highest for seven months with the composite coming in at 53.3 versus a forecast of 53.1. The services sector also rose, with manufacturing down slightly. The Euro didn’t benefit on the back of the news though, suggesting to some analysts that it’s getting expensive at present levels against the Pound and US Dollar, possibly needing outlandish data to push it higher. Weak consumer confidence figures in the afternoon (-8.5 in August from -7.9 in July) contributed to the lethargic performance of the euro on the day.

New home sales in the U.S. hit a new 8 year high

The Commerce Department confirmed yesterday that sales of newly constructed homes rose 12.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. That was 31.3% higher than a year ago, and easily beat forecasts of 581,000. New home sales figures are notoriously volatile though and didn’t give the dollar any real push at the time. Flash manufacturing PMI’s for August came in weaker than expected, just before the new home sales release, at 52.1 from 52.7 expected and 52.9 previously.

Economic data scarce today before busy end of week schedule

A quiet day ahead in terms of economic data releases but we do have U.K. mortgage approval figures at 09.30 with U.S. existing home sales figures for July, coming out at 15.00. The major currencies could be range bound through the day as a result of the light data before a packed calendar on Thursday and Friday which includes, UK retail sales, US Durable goods orders and of course Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole. 

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