The euro came off vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4000 figure and was capped around the $1.4150 level. Three main factors contributed to the sell-off in the common currency. First, EMU-16 May M3 money supply growth registered a twelve-year low with growth in loans to the private sector slowing to +1.8% from +2.4% in April. Overall credit growth decelerated to +4.0% from +4.4% in April. These data suggest that the fiscal and monetary stimuli being created in the eurozone are not reaching companies and consumers with banks apparently hording a lot of the liquidity. Second, EMU-16 consumer prices were off year-over-year in June, the first negative reading since at least January 1997. Eurozone CPI was off 0.1% y/y but this decline was less than expected and was anticipated by the European Central Bank on account of base year effects. Furthermore, the ECB is forecasting consumer price inflation costs will begin to rise again by the end of the year. Nonetheless, today€™s data suggest the ECB will not necessarily be in any hurry to lift borrowing costs further. Third, Germany€™s labour market continued to weaken this month with the number of jobless now around 3.410 million and the unemployment rate at 8.3%. Some economists believe the number of unemployed workers may eclipse the politically-sensitive 4.0 million barrier by the end of 2009. In U.S. news, many economic data were released. First, June consumer confidence printed at 49.3, down from a revised 54.8 in June and worse than expected. Second, the June Chicago Purchasing Managers€™ index improved to 39.9 from 34.9 in May with improvements in the production, inventories, employment, and prices paid sub-indices. Third, the S&P/ CaseShiller home price incex fell to 139.18 in April from a revised 139.97 in March with composite home prices off 18.12% y/y from a revised -18.72% y/y in March. The big news in the U.S. this week will be the June non-farm payrolls data that will be released on Thursday. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3435 level.
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