Forex: Past events shook market; rush to see force of Upcoming events

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week, bringing the average over the last month to the lowest level since 2008 as the economic recovery prompted companies to retain staff. Initial jobless applications fell by 6,000 to 439,000 in the week ending March 27th. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance was almost unchanged while the number of people receiving extended benefits rose.

Employers are slowing job cuts, a sign of confidence, as the U.S. emerges from the worst recession since the 1930s. Sustained employment gains are needed to boost consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy. Economists had predicted a drop in weekly claims to 440,000, from a previously estimated 442,000 for the week ended March 20th.

Yesterday a report from ADP Employer Services showed that companies had unexpectedly cut payrolls in March. The 23,000 decline in payrolls was the smallest in two years and followed a revised drop of 24,000 claims the previous month.

In other news the US manufacturing sector has expanded in March at its fastest rate in six years. The Institute of Supply Managements PMI rose to 59.6 points in March, up from 56.5 in February. The PMI is calculated from data on new orders, production, employment, and purchasing. An index reading above 50 indicates that activity is rising. Anything under 50 shows contraction. March was the eight month in succession that US manufacturers have increased output.

The ISM's latest monthly figure for the US exceeded the market expectation of 57 and comes as the wider economy is continuing to recover. The institute said growth was strongest among clothing manufacturers. Other recent economic data showed that consumer spending rose in February but at its slowest rate since September of last year.

In the forex online market yesterday the US Dollar gained 0.72% against the Pound closing trading at GBP 1.5288. Against the Euro the US Dollar climbed 0.58% to close at EUR 1.3585.

Across the water in Europe, retail sales in Germany, the Euro Zones largest economy, fell for the second month in February as bad weather and concern that unemployment might rise kept consumers at home. German consumer confidence slipped to an eight month low in March and the coldest weather in 14 years kept people at home. At the same time rising energy prices pushed inflation to 1.3% in March. But German unemployment fell unexpectedly in March as the economy recovered from recession.

European PMI data showed yesterday that manufacturing across the Euro Zone expanded at a faster pace than initially estimated in March as the recovery in the global economy prompted companies to increase output. According to figures released by the London based Market Economics yesterday the European PMI rose to 56.6 from 54.2 in February. That is above the initial estimate of 56.3 and the fastest rate of growth since November 2008.

European manufacturers are bolstering the recovery from near stagnation in the fourth quarter of 2009 as the Euro's 5.7% drop against the US Dollar this year makes European exports more competitive abroad.

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