Weekly Market Review - March 25-29
This week that ends on March 29 has focused on the Brexit talks again. Friday should have been the day when the UK officially exits the EU. However, the Parliament can’t decide the best way to do it.
The US dollar has been the best performer of the week, adding over 0.7% against the euro and more than 0.7% against the British pound.
In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin rose on Friday to the highest level in a month, to $4,093 at the moment of writing.
US Trade Deficit Fell More Than Expected
The US trade deficit declined in January more than anticipated. Economists assume that the drop came as China bought higher volumes of soybeans, which resulted in a boost in US exports. On Wednesday, the US Commerce Department stated that the trade deficit fell 14.6% to $51.1 billion, the largest drop since March of last year. The import bill was slowed by softer domestic demand and lower oil prices. Analysts expected the trade gap to decrease to $57.0 billion in January.
French GDP Shows Steady Growth
The economic growth in France could maintain a consistent growth pace in the Q4 of 2018 despite the continuing anti-government protests that affected confidence. The INSEE statistics agency revealed that the French GDP growth was 0.3% in the fourth quarter when it demonstrated the same pace. Thus, the annual GDP growth in 2018 was 1.6%, which is higher than previously anticipated by economists. The economic performance was driven by strong exports, with Airbus in the spotlight.
US Auto Sales And UK Car Production Decline
Auto sales in the US are expected to decline by 2.1% this month compared to the same period of 2018, partly because of bad weather, ambiguous economic data and lower tax refunds, consultants LMC Automotive and J.D. Power concluded. In the UK, car production fell 15.3% in February in annual terms, as demand in Europe and Asia are declining. This is the ninth month in a row when UK auto production falls.
Canadian Trade Deficit Narrows on Low Crude Prices
The trade deficit of Canada slightly fell in January to C$4.25 billion as oil prices affect the value of exports, according to data published on Wednesday by Statistics Canada. Economists predicted a drop to C$3.50 billion. Canadian exports increased by 2.9%, the first time since July 2018, as the price of oil shipments surged by 36.5% thanks to higher prices. However, crude export prices are way below their July highs.
Japan’s Jobless Rate Declines to 2.3%
The unemployment rate in Japan fell last month, according to government data published on Friday. Also, the availability of jobs continues to maintain at a high level, demonstrating a healthy labor market that can face the challenges of slow wage growth and inflation. The unemployment rate decreased to 2.3% in February while economists expected the figure to stop at 2.5%. The jobs-to-applicants ratio didn’t move from January’s 1.63, in line with expectations.
Dubai’s Economic Growth The Slowest Since 2009
Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saw its economy growing by 1.94% in 2018, down from a 2.8% growth recorded in the previous year. Thus, the growth pace is the slowest since 2009, when the emirate was hit by the debt crisis. Dubai is trying to redirect to a diversified economy that revolves around tourism and international business and finance services. The city’s economy was damaged by the poor performance of the real estate sector and a stronger US dollar.
Upcoming News to Watch
The next week will be dominated by the Brexit negotiations, which might reach a turning point on Friday after the UK Parliament’s vote.
China will publish the Caixin manufacturing PMI on Monday. The next day, Caixin will release the services PMI. On Friday, the Chinese and Hong Markets will be closed due to the Ching Ming Festival.
Germany and the UK will release their manufacturing PMI on Monday. During the same day, Eurostat will reveal eurozone’s consumer price index (CPI).
The end of the week might get volatile after the US publishes its nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.
Anatol has been writing for our news site for a year and is the newest member of our team. While he’s new to us, he’s certainly not new to trading with over 10 years’ experience being a professional financial journalist and working in the markets. Learn more.