The GBP was the biggest losing currency last week as it fell over 2% on the week.
The declines came due to the ongoing political turmoil in the UK. PM May is expected to resign from her post in the coming months, adding to the volatility.
5 Main Market Events from last week
Here are 5 economic events and news from last week that had significant impact on financial markets.
Know the recent events and follow the trend.
1. UK official unemployment rate fell
The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the monthly labor market report last week.
Data showed that the UK’s official unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in April comparing to 3.9% in the months before.
Economists polled forecast no change to the unemployment rate.
The dip in the unemployment rate marks a fresh low since 1974.
Average earnings excluding bonuses rose at a pace of 3.3% annually in the three months ending March.
Excluding bonuses, average earnings rose 3.2%.
The UK’s unemployment report continued to show that there was heighten economic activity during the first three months of the year.
2. Europe Industrial production figures declined
Industrial production figures from the Eurozone showed a decline for the second consecutive month.
Data from the Eurostat office showed that industrial production fell 0.3% in March.
This followed a 0.1% decline in February.
The data was in line with the median expectations.
The decline in March was driven by a 1% drop in non-durable consumer goods and a 0.3% drop in energy production.
On a year over year basis, Eurozone’s industrial production eased to 0.6% after it was flat in February.
Economists polled expected the annual industrial production to rise 0.8%.
3. German economic sentiment index fell
The German ZEW economic sentiment index weakened unexpectedly in May.
Data from the ZEW economic institute showed that the economic sentiment index fell to -2.1 in May after rising to 3.1 in April.
Economists forecast that the ZEW economic sentiment index could rise to 5.0 for the period.
The current conditions index rose to 8.2, from 5.5 previously.
According to the ZEW research, data showed that the financial markets in Germany continue to expect economic growth to remain muted.
4. US Retail Sales figure declines
Retail sales in the United States posted a decline in the month of April driven by weaker auto sales.
Official data showed that retail sales fell 0.2% in April after rising 1.7% in March.
Motor parts fell 1.1% after rising 3.2% in the month before.
Excluding the drop in the auto sales, core retail sales grew 0.1% in April following a 1.3% increase in March.
5. Australia’s unemployment rate rose
Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.2% in April unexpectedly.
The data comes as the economy added over 28k jobs in April and a revised 27k jobs in March.
The unemployment rate for March was also revised higher to show an increase to 5.1%.
The data could potentially brighten the prospects of a rate cut from the RBA.
Upcoming Important Market Events
Here are 4 main market events of the week that may have significant impact on financial markets.
1. New Zealand quarterly retail sales
New Zealand will be releasing its quarterly retail sales report this week.
Retail sales is expected to slow during the first three months of the year, potentially justifying the RBNZ’s surprise rate cut few weeks ago.
Retail sales is forecast to rise just 0.6% on the quarter.
This marks a slower pace of increase comparing to the 1.7% gain from the fourth quarter of 2018
2. UK monthly inflation report
The UK’s Office for National Statistics will be releasing the monthly inflation report this week.
Forecasts point to a modest pickup in inflation readings for the month of April.
This comes amid the seasonal Easter effect which often see’s a rise in airfare and other transportation costs.
The Bank of England has remained on the sidelines.
But the recent decline in the UK’s unemployment rate alongside the possibility that the U.K inflation is anchored close to the BoE’s 2.0% inflation target rate could provide some basis for a rate hike talk.
3. Fed Meting Minutes
The Federal Reserve will be releasing its meeting minutes on Wednesday.
The meeting minutes cover the Fed’s monetary policy meeting from May.
No changes were made to the monetary policy statement.
The Fed however was seen coming across as less dovish than expected, which briefly led to a spike in the markets.
The minutes will show the concerns policymakers have, such as the impact of tame inflation.
However, overall the Fed’s statement from the meeting in May showed that officials were in no rush to hike interest rates.
4. European Parliamentary elections
The European Parliamentary elections will be held on Thursday and Friday this week.
Although the event is unlikely to be have a big impact on the currency market, the rise of the right wing and populist party’s representation in the parliament in Brussels could further widen the cracks in the economic bloc.
Flash services and manufacturing PMI reports from Markit will be coming out over the week and the data will shed light into how businesses fared during the second month of the second quarter.