Daily Market Report - 04/02/2015

Growth across British construction companies rebounded unexpectedly in January after a slow end to 2014, boosted by improving order books and rising confidence, a business survey showed on Tuesday. The  construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 59.1 from December's 17-month low of 57.6, topping all forecasts and far above the 50 mark that signifies growth. While official data last week showed construction output shrank at the end of last year at the fastest pace since 2012, Tuesday's PMI pointed to better months ahead.

Growth strengthened across housing, commercial and civil engineering as new orders piled in at the fastest rate in three months. Optimism about the next year increased for the first time in three months, albeit from only a little from December's 16-month low. Construction, which accounts for just over 6 percent of Britain's economy, was hit hard by Britain's recession following the global financial crisis, and the sector's output is still around 8 percent below its level in early 2008.

The number of unemployed registered in Spain has increased in January 2015 to 77,980 people and places the total at 4,525,691 people. Although January is a month that has always increased unemployment, this month is the smallest increase since 2007.  In the last seven years, the registered unemployment in January had grown by an average of 144,000 people. In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment decreased by 42,723 people, the best figure in January historical series. With the exception of July 2014, the number of unemployed in seasonally adjusted terms has been declining every month since May. 

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a fifth straight month in December, but a smaller than previously reported drop in business spending plans supported views of a rebound in the months ahead. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new orders for manufactured goods declined 3.4 percent as demand fell across a broad sector of industries. 

Manufacturing is slowing, constrained by weakening global demand and falling crude oil prices, which have caused some companies in the energy sector to either delay or cut back on capital expenditure projects.  Business spending on equipment in the fourth quarter was the weakest since mid-2009. The soft trend in business investment likely persisted early into the first quarter, with a report on Monday showing a manufacturing sector gauge falling in January.

Factory activity has also been hampered by an ongoing labour dispute at the nation's West Coast ports, which has caused shipment delays. However,  there is cautious optimism that firming domestic demand will limit the slowdown in manufacturing. In December, factory orders excluding the volatile transportation category fell 2.3 percent, the biggest drop since March 2013, after declining 1.3 percent in November. 

Key Announcements:
GBP - 09:30 : UK Services PMI (Jan) expected to be higher to 56.3 from 55.8  
USD - 13:30 : US  ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI   expected to rise to 56.6 from 56.2

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