- Sterling suffered a further bout of weakness Friday morning, following Thursday’s sharp depreciation. The catalyst for the falling Pound Friday was a weaker than expected UK Services PMI print, at 54.5 it was the lowest reading since October 2016 and fell short of the expected 55.8. The survey did also show that business expectations were at their strongest level since May 2016.
- Despite falling to a day’s low of 1.2454 and 1.1568 against the US Dollar and Euro respectively, sterling eventually closed European trading a shade above 1.2500 and 1.1600.
- There was a raft of US data released Friday afternoon. Headlining was Non-Farm Employment Change and thatproved a blow-out number with 227,000 more people in employment in January, smashing the expected 170,000.The other key releases included:
- Average Hourly Earnings m/m 0.1% (0.3% Exp)
- Unemployment Rate 4.8% (4.7% Exp)
- ISM-Non Manufacturing PMI 56.5 (57.0 Exp)
- The blow-out Non-Farm print wasn’t enough to bolster the US Dollar as the other disappointing data weighed more heavily on the Dollar Friday afternoon. This was also compounded by US Fed member Evans who stated that slow rate hikes would be required to allow the real economy an adequate buffer against potential downside shocks.
- The Russian Central Bank kept benchmark interest rates on hold at 10.00% as expected.
- Australian Retail Sales m/m -0.1% (0.3% Exp)
- Chinese Caixin Services PMI 53.1 (53.6 Exp)
- German Factory Orders m/m 5.2% (0.6% Exp)
- Latest French Presidential opinion poll has Marine Le Pen (National Front) maintaining her lead, with conservative challenger Fillon being eliminated in the first round.
- Absolutely nothing of note due for release today so a potentially quiet Monday ahead. That said with President Trump dishing out his executive orders and provocative tweets left, right and centre there is always the prospect of some unexpected movement.