Main Economic New and Events that impacted the Market Trend
Reserve Bank of Australia leaves Interest Rate unchanged
The Reserve Bank of Australia released the meeting minutes early last week.
The minutes covered the January RBA meeting where the central bank left monetary policy unchanged.
According to the minutes, the central bank was seen shifting its bias to cash rate position as it changed the outlook to the economy being more evenly balanced than previously expected.
The central bank minutes showed that there were significant uncertainties in the market but noted that these were a source of stability.
Officials noted the scenarios where interest rates could be hiked or cut back.
The board did not see any strong case for interest rates to move higher.
UK employment reaching a record high
The latest monthly labor market data showed that the UK’s employment reached a record high in December while wages were seen growing at the fastest pace in a decade.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that employment in the UK rose 167,000 in the three months to December.
The data beat the median estimates which was forecast at 152,000. The employment rate was at 75.8%.
The jobless rate was seen unchanged at 4.0% in the three months to December. Which was the lowest since December 1974.
The unadjusted average weekly earnings excluding bonuses rose 3.4% on a year over year basis while including bonuses it grew 3.4%.
Eurozone current account surplus declined
Latest data from the Eurozone showed that current account surplus had weakened in December.
The current account surplus declined to EUR 16 billion from EUR 23 billion in November. This was revised from EUR 20 billion.
The visible trade surplus weakened to 16 billion euro from the month before.
For 2018, the current account surplus fell to 343 billion which was about 3.0% of the GDP.
In a separate report, data showed that investor confidence in Germany improved to the highest level in five months.
The ZEW economic sentiment for Germany rose to -13.4 points from -15.0 points in January.
US hike interest rates depend on inflation
The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States released the monetary policy meeting minutes from the Fed meeting that was held in January.
The minutes showed that the Fed officials discussed about halting its asset unwinding program until the end of the year while hoping to keep interest rates unchanged.
Officials however said that the decision to hike interest rates would depend on inflation.
Australia unemployment rate stays steady
The latest jobs report from Australia showed that the unemployment rate was steady at 5.0% for the second consecutive month.
This was in line with forecasts. The average number of jobs added to the economy in January was seen at 31.9k which beat estimates of an increase of 15.2k.
However, revisions to December’s data showed that the number of jobs added at 16.9k compared to 21.6k that was initially reported.
Weekly Forex Market Performance/Statistics
How the foreign exchange market has moved until last week?
Here is the statistic that shows trends of the Forex market.
- GBP – The British pound was seen emerging as the top performing currency last week. The currency gained 1.19% on the week. This marked a reversal from the previous week, where the sterling lost 0,28%. The gains came mostly on the markets anticipating a Brexit deal. Partly, the strong labor market was also responsible for the gains.
- AUD and NZD – The NZD and the AUD currencies were seen easing back after posting strong gains from the week before. The Australian dollar lost 0.12% on the week while the Kiwi was down 0.14%. Both the currencies were seen staying bullish during the previous weeks and last week’s decline marks a modest pullback to the gains.
- CAD and NOK – The CAD and the NOK posted gains last week. The Canadian dollar was up 0.83% on the week while the Norwegian krone was up 0.34%. Both the oil tracking currencies were seen building up the bullish momentum was slipping in the previous weeks.
- EUR – The euro currency was seen closing the week with modest gains. The common currency gained 0,39% on the week after it lost 0.22% from the week before. However, the euro’s gains remain muted.
- JPY – The safe have Swiss franc was seen gaining 0.39% on the week after losing 0.54% from the week before. The Japanese yen was the weakest, losing 0.22% on the week. This marks a second consecutive weekly decline for the yen.