Market expectations of job cuts at Lloyds have increased in the run-up to this weekend’s latest bank stress test and the release of next week’s quarterly figures.
US corporate results dented by economic data
Caterpillar has unwittingly supported the notion that the US recovery is still on track with its better-than-expected figures and improving outlook. Of the major US companies to have reported so far, over 70% have beaten market expectations and US traders will be hoping for more of the same as they wait for both Amazon.com and Microsoft to post after today's close.
Slightly denting the good corporate picture being created in the US have been today's US economic data releases. Rising unemployment claims along with weaker-than-expected flash manufacturing figures have only slightly taken the shine off rises in all three of the major US equity indices.
Crude find support
Reports have suggested that Saudi Arabia has already begun to reduce its output to the market and that has gone some way to helping crude oil finally find some support around the $85/barrel level. As we are less than two weeks away from the latest OPEC meeting, rumours and counter rumours are likely to appear over the coming days. By contrast, natural gas prices continue to collapse and have seen prices move into heavily oversold territory.
EUR/USD and GBP/USD struggle for gains
Improvements in both today’s manufacturing and services PMI figures for the eurozone have merely stemmed the negative sentiment that has been building against the euro. EUR/USD once again looks to be heading back down below the $1.26 level as looming moving averages continue to cap any moves higher.
Momentum has once again been lost in GBP/USD, as the prospect of trading above $1.62 looks to have reawakened sterling’s issues with vertigo.