SHANGHAI, Sep 21 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The US dollar weakened Thursday, partly due to a buoyant British pound that was trading higher on the back of better-than-expected economic data. The pound has risen against the US dollar to hit a two-month high at 1.3288 thanks to a combination of broad-based gains in the pound and a broad-based sell-off in the dollar.
The UK Cabinet Office minister David Lidington has told Irish radio that Britain is 85% there in terms of agreeing a Brexit deal with the EU, with an agreement possible in October or November.
Base metals rose across the board except for lead. LME zinc led the gains and closed 1.63% higher.
The US initial jobless claims, a tracker of sorts for layoffs in the US, fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 201,000 for the week ended September 15. That is the lowest level since November 1969.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labour market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, declined by 2,250 to 205,750 last week, the lowest level since December 1969.
The labour market is viewed as being near or at full employment. Though there were reports of some companies either planning job cuts or laying off workers given trade tensions between the US and its major trade partners, they have been partially offset by increased hiring in the steel industry.
The US existing home sales came in at an annual rate of 5.34 million in August, unexpectedly unchanged from July, according to a report from National Association of Realtors (NAR). Economists had expected the figure to rise by 0.3% following the 0.7% drop in the previous month.
"Strong gains in the northeast and a moderate uptick in the midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market."
The report said existing home sales in the northeast jumped by 7.6% to a rate of 710,000, while sales in the west climbed by 2.4% to a rate of 1.28 million. On the other hand, existing home sales in the west plunged by 5.9% to a rate of 1.12 million and sales in the south edged down by 0.4% to a rate of 2.23 million.
Market participants should monitor today the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the US and eurozone this month. Traders should also be paying attention to next week's Federal Reserve meeting at which the US central bank is expected to raise benchmark interest rates and shed light on the path for future rate hikes.