The pound strengthened for a fourth successive day against the euro as data showed manufacturing growth in the UK unexpectedly accelerated last month. However it is not all good news as UK firms reported a drop in new export orders, for the second straight month. Many UK firms reported a drop in demand from the Eurozone; some also cited slower growth in other key markets, such as the US and China.
Lots of manufacturing data from the Eurozone was released yesterday. France’s factory sector has shrunk again, its manufacturing PMI coming in at 48.5 in October. This shows a sharper contraction than in September when the PMI was 48.8, but did come in better than was forecast. Also bad news from Italy as its factory sector has suffered a decline in activity, adding to fears that that country is sliding back into recession.
It’s better news in Germany, where factories reported a rise in activity last month, and an increase in job creation, despite a small drop in new orders. The German manufacturing PMI rose to 51.4 for October, up from September’s 49.9 (which showed a very slight contraction).
The overall Eurozone manufacturing PMI moved up slightly to 50.6 in October, up from September’s 14-month low of 50.3. That does show a small increase in activity, but not enough to pull Europe out of its malaise.
Greece’s government debt was also under pressure again yesterday, pushing the yield on its 10-year bonds up to 8.2%, from 8.1% on Friday night. This is due to uncertainty over Greece’s bailout plans and its political situation continues to hit confidence.
In October, the manufacturing sector slowed to its lowest rate of growth since July, according to Markit, hit by a decline in exports as demand in the Eurozone continues to fall and emerging markets slow down. Markit’s US manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 55.9 from 57.5 in September, a further decline from the preliminary reading of 56.2 on October 23.
Meanwhile the Institute of Supply Management has estimated that US manufacturing rose more strongly than expected. Its index of national factory activity rose to 59 in October from 56.6 in September, and better than the 56.2 expected by a Reuters poll of economists. This was due to a rebound in new orders. That brought the index back to the level seen in September, which had been the highest since March 2011.
09:30- GBP: UK PMI Construction expected to fall to 63.5 from
13:30- USD: US Trade Balance (Sept) expected to fall to -$40B from -40.1
15:00- USD: US Factory Orders (Sept) (MoM) expected to come in at -0.5%
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