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April 2017

Sterling slips in data vacuum

Published: Tuesday 18 April 2017

  • Sterling slips in data vacuum
  • USD strengthens as US and North Korean tensions increase
  • Australian Dollar stronger as Aussie employment jumps
By David Johnson
The US Dollar strengthened a little over the last few days. Tensions around the US’s warning to China over North Korean sabre rattling has dragged funds into safe US treasuries. US President Trump shook the markets on Wednesday when he suggested the US Dollar was too strong. In spite of this strength in the latter part of the week, the Dollar ended the week weaker than it started. This week brings the US Federal Reserve Beige book, manufacturing data in various forms and a slew of Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI).
The GBP-USD rate is stuck in a narrow band for now but the US Federal Reserve, Kim Jong Un and other factors could change that. 
The Sterling–Euro exchange rate is similarly range-bound but the Euro struggled to gain any traction last week as tension mounted over the French elections. Polls suggest Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron are neck and neck for the Presidency with Jean-Luc Mélenchon coming up on the rails. To add to the tension, Le Pen has promised to shut France’s borders to get to grips with frenzied immigration. Aside from this, Eurozone inflation data is due on Wednesday, and we’ll get German and EU manufacturing PMIs on Friday. That should be enough to keep the Euro busy but perhaps not enough to break it out of its current ranges.
Higher UK inflation boosted the Pound last week but it gave up some of those gains before Thursday’s Bank Holiday close. The UK data diary in this foreshortened week is pretty quiet but Friday’s UK retail sales numbers will liven things before the weekend.
The Aussie Dollar was boosted last week by very positive employment data. A gain of 60,900 jobs in March trounced the forecast of roughly 20,000. That was helped by positive Chinese trade data – China is Australia’s number one export market. The Aussie Dollar could tread water for most of the week, as the minutes from the last RBA meeting is the only notable news to be expected.
And The Metro is reporting about two intact Easter eggs going on display which are from the 1920s. I am mightily impressed; my children’s eggs never made it past Easter Monday….and that’s if we remembered to hide some. 

Short Jokes

Two cows are in a field and one says, “Mooooooooooo”
The other one says, “That was what I was going to say.”
Two cows are in a field and one says, “It’s hot isn’t it.”
The other one says, “Blimey, a talking cow.”
Two cows are in a field and one says, "Aren't you worried about this Mad Cow disease going around?"
The other cow says, "It doesn’t bother me. I’m a hovercraft!''
I met a bloke yesterday who kept shouting about architectural elements of castles. I think he had Turrets Syndrome
What do you call a Russian tyrant with asthma? Vlad the inhaler.
Tomorrow is International Jamaican Hairstyle Day......I'm dreading it.
I have a new hobby. I like to play chess with the old men in the park although sometimes it's hard to find 32 of them.

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