Yesterday in the Autumn Forecast Statement we saw the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, raise the UK’s economic growth forecast for 2013 to 1.4% from the 0.6% predicted in March’s Budget.
Also the Bank of England held the interest rate at 0.5% as well as leaving its monthly asset purchasing program at £375bn.
Both events were hardly surprising and in the absence of anything that would indicate a rate hike occurring sooner, we saw investors book profits on the pounds recent run and as a result the currency was sold against 16 of its major peers.
With the underlying theme dictating the pounds movements being the likelihood of a rate hike, markets will now focus on next weeks BoE minutes to have a sense of when this may occur.
The euro continued its strength that we have seen all week, after Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank refrained from introducing further monetary stimulus.
In recent weeks, we have seen the euro weaken following murmurs of negative interest rates being introduced by the ECB. However, despite commenting that they expect inflation to remain low for a prolonged period and thus also the interest rate remaining at 0.25%; euro buyer’s came back into the market as the ECB gave no indication that negative interest rate will be introduced.
The ECB also decided to keep the benchmark interest rate at 0.25%.
With the underlying theme behind US dollar movements, being the likelihood of how soon tapering of quantitative easing (QE) may occur, data released yesterday saw investors increase bets that this may occur sooner than the March forecast.
Firstly, yesterday’s data revealed that the US economy grew at its fastest pace since the first quarter of 2010 to 3.6% up from 2.6% - eradicating previous thoughts that the 17 day Government shutdown in October would have a detrimental impact on these figures.
Key to the tapering of the QE is an improvement in US job market. Adding to the impressive ADP figures on Wednesday, yesterday we saw the number of people filing for jobless claims fall unexpectedly by 23,000 indicating an improvement in employment.
The US dollar strengthened against most of its peers on the back of these two encouraging bits of data.
The US job market and the likelihood of tapering QE in the US will be in the spotlight today with the release of the infamous non-farm payroll figures and the rate of unemployment.
Expectations are for 180,000 new jobs being added in November, slightly less than the 204,000 jobs added in October However, given the recent ADP figures surpassing expectations we could well see impressive figures also today, causing US dollar buyers to flood into the market to support the US dollar.
Another reason for potential further US dollar strength could be caused by the unemployment rate falling to 7.2% from 7.3%.
11.00am – EUR – German Factory Orders (Oct): Expected to fall by 0.6%.
13.30pm – USD – Nonfarm Payrolls (Nov): Expected to show 180,000 new jobs were added.
13.30pm – USD – Unemployment Rate (Nov): Expected to fall to 7.2%.
13.30pm – USD – Personal Income (Oct): Expected to show a 0.3% rise.
13.30pm – USD – Personal Spending (Oct): Expected to increase to 0.4%.
13.30pm – CAD – Unemployment Rate (Nov): Expected to remain at 6.9%.
14.55pm – USD – Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index (Dec): Expected to rise to 76.