Good news for the US economy as yesterdays Retails Sales increase for the first time in 3 months. Claims benefits dropped and consumer confidence has improved. The US dollar strengthened 100 points against both sterling and euro exchange rate.
Today’s domestic calendar will be dominated by the delayed release of the trade figures for January. Construction data due this morning will show if the economy has picked up since December’s rise.
A big week next week for the UK as we have employment figures and the MPC minutes on Wednesday followed by the 2014 budget.
A sharp rise in the euro exchange rate this week has increased the pressure on the European Central Bank president, who faces the challenge of pulling the eurozone out of potentially dangerous phase of extremely low inflation. The more the currency strengthens, the greater the downward pressure on prices.
The euro’s relentless rise is one of the market surprises of 2014. The consensus view at the start of the year was that the US economic recovery would leave the eurozone trailing, putting upward pressure on the dollar.