- Big change in Zimbabwe
- Euro up on Gross Domestic Product data
- Pound boosted slightly by UK wage data
By David Johnson
All change in Zimbabwe
So, it seems the day of reckoning has arrived for Robert Mugabe, as the army seizes control in Zimbabwe and former vice-president Mnangagwa returns to try to stabilise the country. The army claims to be targeting the criminals around the former president. It would be wonderful if Zimbabwe could recapture some of its former glory and the economy could recover. The Sterling – Zimbabwean Dollar rate is only a Dollar higher this morning, but there is a long day ahead.
Euro strengthens on disappointing UK data
Yesterday’s big mover was the Euro, which strengthened after Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data confirmed 0.6% growth in the three months to September; and that equates to 2.5% on the year. No doubt the Euro would have strengthened further if it were not for the 0.6% contraction in industrial production in the month to September. Other than French inflation numbers, there is no European data to speak of today. Hence, the Euro may well give up some of its gains.
Pound boosted slightly by UK wage data
UK average earnings growth data was released this morning. That, as you know, has been lagging behind inflation and therefore reducing disposable incomes. The Pound has strengthened a little on the figures, as, although the employment figure has dropped by 14,000 since last quarter – the first fall seen for just over a year and the biggest drop for almost two and a half years – wage growth has picked up somewhat, to 2% - and this has been well received by markets.
US consumer data expected but unlikely to help USD
This afternoon brings US retail and consumer inflation data. Inflation is expected to have slipped to around 2.0%, whilst the forecasts for retail sales are rather pants. No growth is most likely, but minimal growth of 0.1% is possible. Neither outcome would benefit the USD at a time when the Federal Reserve is seeking validation for its interest rate hiking plans.
£25 million? Bargain!
And it isn’t often that a price tag of £25 million could be considered a bargain but, in the case of The Art of Grisogono; a 163.41 carat diamond, mounted on an emerald and diamond encrusted necklace, was expected to sell for £37 million or more. It is, after all, the largest diamond ever to be sold at auction.