The Weekly Wrap – Progress on Brexit and Trade Delivered in the Week

Brexit news and progress on the U.S – China trade talks drove demand for riskier assets in the week, pinning back demand for the Dollar and the Yen.
Bob Mason
Financial stock market numbers and forex trading graph, business and stock market data, financial investment concept on bull and bear shapes symbols background.

The Stats

It was a quieter week on the economic calendar in the week ending 11th October.

A total of 44 stats were monitored throughout the week, following 74 stats from the week prior.

Of the 44 stats, 17 came in ahead forecasts, with 22 economic indicators coming up short of forecast. 5 stats were in line with forecasts in the week.

Looking at the numbers, 19 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 25, 20 stats reflected a deterioration from previous.

While the economic data was skewed to the negative, the Dollar struggled in the week, as demand for the dollar eased off the back of positive updates from trade talks and Brexit.

The U.S Dollar Index (“DXY”) fell by 0.55% to end the week at $98.301.

Out of the U.S

It was a relatively quiet week on the economic data front. Wholesale inflation figures on Tuesday and September inflation figures on Thursday provided direction early in the week.

wholesale and consumer prices were on the softer side in September, pinning back the greenback.

On Friday, positive Michigan’s consumer expectations and sentiment figures failed to support the Greenback.

Off less influence in the week, were JOLTs job openings, initial jobless claims and import and export price index figures.

Outside of the stats, the FOMC meeting minutes revealed some debate on when to end the current rate path. Rising concerns over the economic outlook suggested that more cuts could be on the way.

The reality was, however, that just 7 of 17 FOMC members foresaw a further rate cut before the year-end.

Downside for the Dollar ultimately came from an easing in geopolitical risk, with most of the damage coming at the end of the week.

In the equity markets, a Friday rebound pulled the majors into the green for the week. The Dow and S&P500 ended the week up by 0.91% and 0.62% respectively, with the NASDAQ up 0.93%.

Out of the UK

It was a busy week on the economic calendar.

Key stats included GDP, industrial and manufacturing production and trade data on Thursday.

While production was on the slide, quarter-on-quarter GDP numbers continued to show the UK economy dodging a recession. The numbers were ultimately Pound positive.

Of less influence in the week were housing sector figures, labor productivity, and retail sales numbers.

While the stats were supportive of the Pound, the upside ultimately came from Brexit news.

Progress towards a possible trade deal, ahead of next week’s EU Summit, drove demand for the Pound.

The Pound ended the week up by 2.73% to $1.2668.

For the FTSE100, a stronger Pound failed to pressure the 100, with the index rising by 1.28%.

Out of the Eurozone

It was particularly quiet week on the economic data front.

Germany’s factory orders and trade data provided little support in the week, with factory orders falling again and the trade deficit narrowing.

On the positive, however, was an unexpected rise in industrial production.

At the end of the week, finalized September inflation figures out of Germany and Spain had a muted impact on the EUR.

On the monetary policy front, the ECB monetary policy meeting minutes also left the EUR unscathed.

The upside in the week ultimately came from positive updates on Brexit and progress on the U.S – China trade talks.

For the week, the EUR rose by 0.58% to $1.1042.

For the European major indexes, the DAX30 rallied by 4.15%, with the EuroStoxx600 and CAC40 up by 3.23% and 3.00% respectively.

Elsewhere

It was another positive week for the Aussie and Kiwi Dollars.

The Aussie Dollar rose by 0.34% to $0.6794, while the Kiwi Dollar gained 0.27% to $0.6337.

For the Aussie Dollar

It was a quiet week for the Aussie Dollar.

Economic data was limited to September’s business confidence and October consumer sentiment figures.

Both business and consumer confidence figures disappointed in the week, pinning back the Aussie Dollar.

Of less influence were home loan figures that continued to reflect improved housing sector conditions.

In spite of the negative bias on the stats, a Friday rally in the Aussie Dollar delivered the gains for the week. Positive updates on trade talks delivered the upside on the day.

For the Kiwi Dollar

The stats were, once more, skewed to the negative in the week.

September’s Business PMI held steady at 48.4, coming up short of a forecast of 49.0. Electronic card retail sales also came up short of forecasts, whilst up by 0.4% in September.

While the stats were skewed to the negative on Friday, a 0.27% gain on the day gave the Kiwi Dollar the upside for the week.

For the Loonie

Through the 1st half of the week, housing sector figures impressed, proving some support.

Employment figures on Friday were the key driver, however, with the unemployment rate falling from 5.7% to 5.5%. A 53k rise in employment, following an 81.1k increase in August, delivered on the day.

Positive updates from trade talks also delivered provided support late in the week, with WTI and Brent gaining 3.58% and 3.54% respectively.

The Loonie ended the week up by 0.83% to C$1.3203 against the Greenback.

For the Japanese Yen

It was a relatively quiet week on the data front. Stats were limited to August household spending figures that came in worse than forecasts.

While the stats were Yen negative, the downside from the Yen came from an easing in geopolitical risk.

Safe-haven demand waned as progress on Brexit negotiations and trade talks spurred demand for riskier assets.

For the week, the Japanese Yen fell by 1.26% to ¥108.29.

Out of China

It was a quiet week on the economic data front.

September’s service sector PMI, which reported slower sector growth, tested risk sentiment on Monday.

A lack of stats through the remainder of the week left updates from the U.S – China trade talks to influence risk sentiment.

The Yuan rose by 0.83% to CNY7.0892 against the Greenback.

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