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The Weekly Wrap – Economic Data, Monetary Policy, and Evergrande Delivered a Choppy Week

The Stats

It was a quieter week on the economic calendar, in the week ending 24th September.

A total of 39 stats were monitored, which was down from 61 stats in the week prior.

Of the 39 stats, 15 came in ahead forecasts, with 23 economic indicators coming up short of forecasts. There was just 1 stat that was in line with forecasts in the week.

Looking at the numbers, 10 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 29 stats, 29 reflected a deterioration from previous.

For the Greenback, monetary policy divergence delivered support in the week. In the week ending 24th September, the Dollar Spot Index rose by 0.09% to 93.281. In the previous week, the Dollar had risen by 0.66% to 93.195.

Out of the U.S

A quiet start to the week left the markets on hold ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC policy decision and projections.

Stats were limited to housing sector numbers that had a muted impact on the Dollar and beyond.

On Wednesday, the FED left policy unchanged as anticipated. The markets had expected a firm timeline on tapering, which didn’t materialize, however. While there were no fixed timelines, the projections revealed a divided camp on the interest rate front, with some pointing to rate hikes from 2022.

It was good enough to deliver Dollar support as central banks elsewhere shifted back due to the Delta variant.

On Thursday, economic data pegged back the Greenback, with the stats skewed to the negative.

In the week ending 17th September, initial jobless claims climbed from 335k to 351k.

Prelim private sector PMIs pointed to softer growth, albeit marginally.

In September, the Manufacturing PMI fell from 61.1 to 60.5, with the Services PMI declining from 55.1 to 54.4.

FED Chair Powell wrapped things up at the end of the week, with the FED Chair looking to soften market expectation of rate hikes near-term.

Out of the UK

It was a busy week.

On the economic data front, CBI Industrial Trend Orders rose from 18 to 22 in September.

The numbers had a muted impact on the Pound, however, with the BoE policy decision in focus.

Private sector PMIs came in softer in September, according to prelim figures, which pegged the Pound back.

The Manufacturing PMI fell from 60.3 to 56.3, with the Services PMI declining from 55.0 to 54.6.

In spite of weak numbers, the BoE was in action later in the day, delivering strong Pound support.

While leaving policy unchanged, the MPC noted that there was a stronger case for a rise in interest rates.

In the week, the Pound fell by 0.45% to end the week at $1.3679. In the week prior, the Pound had fallen by 0.71% to $1.3741.

The FTSE100 ended the week up by 1.26%, reversing a 0.93% loss from the previous week.

Out of the Eurozone

Private sector PMIs and German business sentiment were in focus, with the stats skewed to the negative.

In September, the French Manufacturing PMI fell from 57.5 to 55.2, with the Services PMI down from 56.3 to 56.0.

Germany’s Manufacturing PMI declined from 62.6 to 58.5, with the Services PMI falling from 60.8 to 56.0.

As a result, the Eurozone’s Manufacturing PMI fell from 61.4 to 58.7, and the Services PMI down from 59.0 to 56.3.

Germany’s IFO Business Climate Index fell from 99.6 to 98.8, with the Current Assessment sub-index down from 101.4 to 100.4. The Business Expectations sub-index declined from 97.5 to 97.3.

For the week, the EUR slipped by 0.04% to $1.1720. In the week prior, the EUR had fallen by 0.75% to $1.1725.

The CAC40 rallied by 1.04%, with the DAX30 and the EuroStoxx600 ending the week with up by 0.27% and 0.31% respectively.

For the Loonie

Retail sales were in focus in the 2nd half of the week.

In July, core retail sales fell by 1.0%, with retail sales down 0.6%. Core retail sales had risen by 4.7% in June, with retail sales having increased by 4.2%.

While the stats were Loonie negative, rising oil prices delivered support.

In the week ending 24th September, the Loonie rose by 0.88% to C$1.2752. In the week prior, the Loonie had fallen by 0.57% to C$1.2764.

Elsewhere

It was yet another bearish week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.

The Aussie Dollar fell by 0.45% to $0.7262, with the Kiwi Dollar ending the week down by 0.36% to $0.7015.

For the Aussie Dollar

There were no material stats to provide direction, leaving the RBA meeting minutes in focus.

Renewed lockdown measures supported the RBA’s view that there would be no rate hike until 2024.

The minutes did note, however, that the Delta variant impact was likely to be temporary, however.

For the Kiwi Dollar

Consumer sentiment and trade data were in focus, with the stats Kiwi Dollar negative.

In the 3rd quarter, the Westpac Consumer Sentiment Index fell from 107.1 to 102.7. While down, the decline was modest when compared with the impact of the first lockdown on sentiment.

A surge in imports led to a record trade deficit in August.

Month-on-month, the trade deficit widened from NZ$397m to NZ$2,144m. Compared with August 2020, the deficit widened from NZ$1,100m to $2,940m.

For the Japanese Yen

In August, core consumer prices were unchanged, year-on-year, after having fallen by 0.2% in July.

Service sector activity saw a softer contraction in September, which was also good news. The Services PMI rose from 43.5 to 47.4. Manufacturing sector activity did see slower growth, however, with the PMI falling from 52.7 to 51.2.

On the monetary policy front, the BoJ went largely unnoticed, with the September hold on monetary policy.

The Japanese Yen fell by 0.73% to ¥110.73 against the U.S Dollar. In the week prior, the Yen had risen by 0.01% to ¥109.93.

Out of China

There were no major stats in a shortened week.

On the policy front, the PBoC left loan prime rates unchanged, which was in line with expectations.

In the week ending 24th September, the Chinese Yuan was unchanged at CNY6.4662. In the week prior, the Yuan had ended the week down by 0.34% to CNY6.4661.

The CSI300 and the Hang Seng ended the week down by 0.13% and by 2.92% respectively.