The political establishment has been shunned in favour of a far-right woman and a party that only came into existence a year ago, with a leader who married his school teacher. Emmanuel Macron was ahead by a couple of percentage points from Marine Le Pen as the pair swung through into the second round. Those who know more than I do about French politics seem to believe Macron will take the Presidency but those in the know also told us that Trump would fail and ‘Remain’ would win the Brexit vote. We shall see. For now though, the Euro has gained a cent or so against most other currencies but was less successful against the emboldened Sterling.
For its part, the Pound had a very positive week last week. The calling of a UK election, which should favour the incumbent has boosted the Pound. Both ICM and Yougov polls suggest a solid majority for the Conservatives. UK data has done its part to assist the Sterling strength. This week brings an expected rise in UK economic growth data and perhaps more clarity on the Budget when Philip Hammond testifies to the Treasury Select Committee, potentially offering more insight into the strength of the UK economy.
The US Dollar, on the other hand, had a poor week. Weak retail sales and softer inflation, plus hints that tax reform plans could be delayed, all weighed on the USD. This week will bring further news on those tax reforms and perhaps developments on the replacement for Obamacare. All will influence the USD, as will an expected slip in US GDP data and a forecast dip in US Consumer Confidence. If the forecasters have got their sums right, there may be further weakness in the USD this week.
As well as the UK and US GDP data, we’ll also get Canadian economic growth figures and the forecasts are mixed. The Canadian Dollar, which has slipped with its US counterpart, has some volatile trading due this week as those numbers emerge.
This week will include New Zealand’s trade balance. Last month’s data was wildly at odds with forecasts and quite negative. There is a belief that this month’s figures will be an improvement and may even offer up a trade surplus. The Kiwi Dollar will be heavily influenced by that news.
And ‘those things will kill you’ was a standard expression for anyone who didn’t smoke as they attempted to stop their friends from doing so. Now e-cigarettes are under the spotlight. One ‘vaper’ felt his e-cigarette getting hot in his pocket and when he removed it and threw it across the room, it exploded, punching a hole in his wall. And researchers at Johns Hopkins University believe the new devices are as damaging to health as tobacco. Apparently those things’ll kill you in new ways.
- Apparently I snore so loudly that it wakes my passengers.
- My son had his driving test the other day. He got 4 out of 5. The other chap managed to leap clear.
- Isn’t it strange how you can feel reassured by seeing policemen walking the street, but paranoid when they are behind you in a car.
He died doing the two things he loved most; checking Facebook while driving.