The Pound strengthened yesterday morning after the UK’s dominant service sector hit a four-month high, following similar strong data from the manufacturing and construction sector this week.
Markit’s Service Sector PMI jumped to 55.8 in April, supported by the fastest upturn in new work so far in 2017. To further compound the good news job creation also hit a four-month high, as companies struggled to handle the increased demand.
The news wasn’t all positive for the UK as new car registrations tumbled by almost 20% in April as new tax changes hit the sector.
Barack Obama has made a last-minute intervention in the French presidential election in support of Emmanuel Macron, saying “the success of France matters to the entire world”. Macron, a centrist, faces Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National in a runoff vote on Sunday. Polls put him 20 points ahead.
The former US president said he had chosen to declare his support, in a video tweeted by Macron on Thursday afternoon, because of the importance of the election.
“I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about,” he said. Obama said he supported Macron because he appealed to “people’s hopes and not their fears” and ended his message with the words “Vive la France.”
Before leaving the White House, Obama said he would intervene in public life again when “our core values may be at stake.
The US had another strong jobs figure as filings for unemployment benefits dropped more than forecast last week, a Labour Department report showed.
Jobless claims decreased by 19,000 to a three-week low of 238,000 and analysts believe the recent trends indicate employers are placing a premium on workers with experience and skills.
13:30 – USD - Average Hourly Earnings m/m expected to increase to 0.3%
13:30 – USD - Non-Farm Employment Change expected to increase to 194k
13:30 – USD - Unemployment Rate expected to increase to 4.6%
18:30 – USD - Fed Chair Yellen Speaks