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Weekly roundup: EUR inches higher as Eurozone inflation data firms

currency-newsWeekly roundup: EUR inches higher as Eurozone inflation data firms
The latest Eurozone data gave markets reasons to be cheerful last week, although many investors were focusing on the long-term challenges 2018 is likely to bring.

Eurozone data last week may have printed strongly, but sentiment towards the common currency sometimes struggled to remain positive as investors focused on the many issues facing the currency bloc in the coming year.

The euro’s weakened on the 27th after a survey of Greeks revealed that under 20% actually believe the country will be able to smoothly exit its 3rd international bailout programme as the government claims.

Rather than a clean split, over 66% of Greeks believe that the nation’s finances will continue to be monitored internationally in some form once the bailout programme is officially concluded in August.

Meanwhile, investors were disappointed on the 28th with the latest Economic Bulletin from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Although the ECB continues to remain upbeat about the outlook for the Eurozone economy, revising its growth projections higher, its expectations for inflation remain muted.

This signals that, regardless of the strength of economic data to come, the chances of monetary tightening from the Governing Council remain slim until price growth picks up considerably.

Friday’s German consumer price index figures for December were therefore warmly received after beating forecasts.

Month on month consumer price growth doubled from 0.3% to 0.6%, marginally beating expectations of a rise to 0.5%.

Meanwhile, year-on-year price growth figures fell only 10 basis points to 1.7%, instead of dropping to 1.5% as economists had anticipated.

There is some key data on the calendar this week to start 2018 off on volatile form for the euro.

Tomorrow sees the release of the German unemployment change and unemployment claims rate figures for December; the euro could receive a boost if the unemployment rate does indeed fall from 5.6% to 5.5% as forecast.

After another slew of finalised PMIs - this time services and composite - on Thursday, Friday sees the release of German retail sales figures, the German construction and retail PMIs, Eurozone retail PMIs and the Eurozone consumer price index figures for December.
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