OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam talks to Core Finance about the recent bearish break in GBPJPY and whether it signals more pain ahead. He also previews the UK jobs data and Bank of England inflation report hearing and what they could mean for interest rates this year. USD/JPY – Japanese Yen Edges Lower as Japanese Manufacturing PMI Dips BoE Hearing and Fed Minutes in Focus DAX Under Pressure, Investors Eye Fed MinutesRead More →

U.S. home sales unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in January, weighed down by a persistent shortage of houses that is pushing up prices and keeping first-time buyers out of the market. The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday that existing home sales dropped 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million units last month. December’s sales pace was revised down to 5.56 million units from the previously reported 5.57 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales rising 0.8 percent to a rate of 5.60 million units in January. Sales fell in all four regions lastRead More →

The dollar rose to its highest level in a week on Wednesday and world stocks fell for the third day as investors braced for minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting to see if they would herald more rises in interest rates and global bond yields. Wall Street looked set for a weaker session, with equity futures down around 0.2 percent and the VIX volatility gauge up for the third day in a row. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, rose 0.2 percent. The index has bounced almost 1 percent so far this week, after slumping 1.5 percent theRead More →

The UK has seen the strongest two quarters of productivity growth since the recession of 2008, according to the latest data. Output per hour rose 0.8% in the three months to December, the Office for National Statistics said. It follows growth of 0.9% in the previous period. There was also a better than expected rise in wages. Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.5% year-on-year. However, unemployment edged higher, but still remains low at 4.4%. The growth in productivity – as measured by the amount of work produced per working hour – will provide encouragement to policy makers who have wrestled with the challenge of lowRead More →

Eurozone business activity continued to rise at a steep pace in February, albeit with the rate of expansion cooling from the near 12-year high recorded in January. Price pressures and employment growth also remained elevated, though likewise saw rates of increase ease slightly. Business optimism about the coming year meanwhile ticked higher. The headline IHS Markit Eurozone PMI fell from 58.8 in January to 57.5 in February, according to the estimate, which is based on approximately 85% of usual final replies. The slower growth of business activity reflected an easing in the rate of increase of new orders which, while elevated, slipped to a five-monthRead More →

Theresa May has been warned Britain cannot become simply a “ruler-taker” after Brexit, in a letter signed by 62 Tory MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg this week. The letter urged Theresa May to stick to the Brexit ideals outlined in her rousing Lancaster House speech one year ago. The Tory MPs offered their “continued and strong” support for Mrs May’s leadership before strongly suggesting six ways in which the PM could strengthen the country’s position. The letter was written by former Remainer John Penrose and signed by another 61 MPs, including hardline Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg, former cabinet member Priti Patel and former party leader Iain DuncanRead More →

Latin American currencies weakened on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar strengthened worldwide after hitting a three-year low last week. Currencies from Brazil , Mexico and Colombia weakened between 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent. The Chilean peso was barely changed as profit-taking partially offset the global upswing in the U.S. currency. Concerns that the United States could pursue a weaker dollar policy and by mounting worries about the U.S. budget deficit have driven the dollar sharply lower this year. Some investors turned to bargain hunting on Tuesday, however, ahead of a series of U.S. debt auctions. Stock markets in the region were mostly up, with Brazil’sRead More →

Gold prices were clobbered on Tuesday, with the commodity booking its sharpest daily decline in more than a year, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar and stabilizing equities. April gold GCJ8, -1.78% fell $25.10, or 1.9%, to $1,331.20 an ounce, marking the sharpest drop for actively traded futures since Dec. 14, 2016, when gold sank by $33.90, or 2.9% according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, March silver SIH8, -1.75% dropped 27.4 cents, or 1.6%, to $16.438 an ounce. Precious metals lost ground as the dollar sprung higher following last week’s sharp decline, which has mostly extended a protracted downtrend for the commodity-pegged currency. The ICERead More →

Oil prices were mixed Tuesday, with the U.S. benchmark gaining ground on its global counterpart thanks to Canadian pipeline problems. West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery CLJ8, +0.10%  rose 53 cents, or 0.9%, to $62.08 a barrel. Brent crude LCOJ8, -0.84% the global benchmark, lost 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $65.59 a barrel. The move left the gap between Brent and WTI prices the narrowest in six months. The narrowing of the spread between the two benchmarks turns in large part on what’s occurring in Cushing, Okla., the Nymex delivery hub for WTI futures. Data from the Energy Information Administration released on Feb. 14Read More →

A new British party inspired by French President Emmanuel Macron’s movement launched a campaign on Monday to thwart Brexit by convincing MPs to block any EU withdrawal deal Prime Minister Theresa May can strike.Sandra Khadhouri, together with fellow Renew party members James Clarke and James Torrance, speaks at the launch of the new political party in London, Britain, February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Peter NichollsWith just over 13 months left until Britain is due to leave the EU, opponents of Brexit are exploring ways to stop what they call Britain’s biggest mistake since World War Two.The Renew party, founded last year after Macron’s En Marche! movement propelledRead More →