German data drags markets lower

The FTSE’s optimism from Monday has been dented today by a combination of global macro issues and troubling German economic data.

A German flag
Source: Bloomberg

FTSE hit by German data

Once again German economic data has dominated thinking around Europe, and the FTSE has not been immune from feeling the effects of the shocking German ZEW economic sentiment figures. Considering expectations had already been dramatically lowered from the previous month, it makes the 8.6 level just half of what the markets had anticipated very dark indeed.

Fledgling companies recently gaining quotes on the markets have in general failed to impress, so it is particularly pleasing to see Just Eat post underlying profits for its first half up 591% year-on-year. The drop in annuity sales in the UK that hit Prudential has been more than outweighed by the improving markets in both Asia and the US, even with the strength of the pound taking some of the shine off it.

It is worth remembering that with 15 companies going ex-dividend tomorrow, the FTSE will have almost 22 points taken out of it before it trades.

European data affects US markets

The start of air strikes carried out by the US last weekend confirmed the White House was not willing to sit back and let Northern Iraq fall into deeper troubles. As ever, the markets were buoyed by this decisiveness, but only time will tell if this was the best course of action.

Unfortunately European worries have dragged the optimism out of the US as poor economic data is sure to outweigh any lingering good will.  

Oil conitinues to slide

Oil prices continued to slide after OPEC members increased their supply to the open market. The biggest contributor has been Saudi Arabia, as in total an extra 300,000 barrels a day have been added.

Once again events surrounding the Ukraine have given gold a reason to rise, after doubts over the reasoning behind Russia’s aid convoy to Ukraine continues to draw cynical analysis. 

ZEW data provides little surprise

Considering the poor German data we have seen of late today's awful ZEW economic sentiment figures can hardly have shocked many, as it looks like EUR/USD traders had by and large factored it in.

GBP/USD looks to be capped too with the looming UK inflation report out in less than 24 hours, coupled with the increasingly important UK average earnings figures.

By default more than design the net winner so far this week has been the US dollar, as European weakness continues to improve the attraction of the greenback. 

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