It has been a rainy summer week in London absolutely chucking it with rain this morning in London, bringing with it a fitting end to a thoroughly dull week.
There was precious little to move, let alone excite currency markets this week. UK GDP fell by 0.4% in April and manufacturing output by 3.9% as car producers brought forward summer shutdowns. UK Employment grew 32,000 in April, while the Unemployment rate held at 3.8%. Regular pay growth picked up to 3.4%year on year - the previously it was at 3.3%. Eurozone Industrial Production for April fell by 0.5%. Across the Atlantic, US May CPI inflation was 1.8%year on year, which was a fall compared to the previous reading of 2.0% in April. US shoppers helped Retail Sales rise to 0.5% in May. The same figure for the April data release was revised to 0.3% from a previous -0.2%. Figures out this morning showed a slight dip in Chinese Industrial Production growth in May with a headline reading of 5% against an expectation of 5.5%; with a previous reading of 5.4%.
Geopolitics have moved back into the spotlight, with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Iran was involved in Thursday’s attack on an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. Oil prices shot up, but have backed-off from their current short-term range highs. Gold (often viewed as a safe-haven in times of uncertainty) has extended recent gains and is close to its 3-year range highs. While US equities remain in a holding pattern near their recovery highs, just under all-time highs - as in the case of the S&P 500.
Finally, in the UK, Boris Johnson's odds of becoming UK Prime Minister have increased as he topped the first leadership poll. The number of hopefuls has now reduced to seven as three have dropped out due to a lack of support. The votes will continue to be held once every week until there are two contenders left.
See you next week!
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