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US economic data underwhelming

Published: Thursday 05 April 2018

  • Sterling slips on service sector results
  • US Dollar slips on raft of disappointing data
  • President for sale?

US economic data underwhelming
The barrage of US data released yesterday underwhelmed the markets. Factory orders were below forecast, durable goods orders likewise, the service sector Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was similarly below estimates and the list went on... The US Dollar weakened a little through the day. This afternoon brings US trade data, which is rarely interesting. America runs a massive trade deficit with the rest of the world. However, as new trade tariffs (US, Chinese and elsewhere) start to be implemented, this data will become much more relevant and this is one to watch.

Sterling slips on service sector results
Sterling took a small hit yesterday when the Construction Sector Purchasing Managers’ Index was well below the market forecasts. At an index reading of 47, this was in the contraction territory and the lowest reading since August 2016. The more economically significant Service Sector Index was released this morning and that too reflected a slowdown, falling to 51.7 from 54.5, and below forecasts of 53.9. Like the construction sector, this is mostly owing to adverse weather conditions, but, despite showing the worst performance since July 2016, the index remains in positive territory at least. The UK service sector has still seen increases in new business, although jobs growth has fallen for the lowest in three months. Cost pressures also continue to rise. Markets are hoping that the extreme weather will make this a one-off. Sterling slipped a little further as the news began to sink in.

Euro weathers disappointing German data
This morning started with a very poor German factory orders report. At 0.3% monthly growth, this was a fifth of the market expectation and the worst since last March. The Euro hasn’t reacted strongly to the data, but is a tad weaker this morning. Germany is just one state within the Eurozone, after all. We will get the Eurozone service sector PMI this morning, but we suspect it will not change things substantially.

Canadian data forecasts gloomy
This afternoon brings Canada’s trade balance. So much is riding on the NAFTA agreement, which is at a crucial stage and poor trade data weakens Canada’s negotiating position somewhat. Sadly, this data is forecast to be poorer than the previous month.

Trump in his natural state, yours for $30,000
And finally, if you are a committed Trump-ophile, if you think that Donald Trump is the best thing since orange bread, well you could be the proud owner of a life size statue of the US president if you bid on the item that will be auctioned at the Mana Contemporary Arts Centre in New Jersey on 2nd May. One warning… and it is a big warning… the statue depicts the president naked. The estimate is $30,000. I have just one question, WHY WOULD YOU?
Seen online (ironically)
I’ve given up social media for the New Year and am trying to make friends outside Facebook while 
applying the same principles.
Every day, I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I’ve eaten, how I feel, what I did the night before, and what I will do tomorrow. Then I show them pictures of my family, my dog, and me gardening.
I also listen to their conversations and tell them I love them.
And it works. I already have three people following me; two 
police officers and a psychiatric nurse.

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