Last week, global financial markets were rather pessimistic as many riskier assets depreciated. Economic data indicated further slowdown and stagnation in the industrial sector, and no positive news of the international trade war or Brexit appeared on the political scene. As a result, market participants were more careful about taking risks and the U.S. dollar appreciated and reached the highs of May 2017.
In the world's largest economy, the data was mixed. Preliminary manufacturing PMI index surprised investors, as remained in positive territory and marginally increased to 51.0 points, as well as stood from prevailing stagflation tendencies in the manufacturing sector around developed countries. Another important variable was the country's consumer confidence index, which dropped to 125.1 points from 134.2 last month. This indicates that the population is becoming a little more cautious and conservative about future spending, but the change is still small and U.S. consumers remain the strongest part of the economy. Preliminary U.S. pending home sales data was also released, confirming a gradual uptrend, with sales rising 2.5% per annum, which was the fastest rate since early 2016.
In the premiere currency pair, the EUR/USD, sentiment was markedly pessimistic, reaching a low of 1.090 in Friday's trading session, the lowest since May 2017. Data in Europe worsened further, as the preliminary manufacturing PMI index fell from 43.5 to 41.4 in Germany and from 47.0 to 45.6 in Europe. Meanwhile, the Ifo business index in Germany showed stabilization of deceleration with a slight change of 94.6 points. The EUR/USD has ended the week dropping -0.7%.
Most important Asian pair fell to 107.0-point level at the beginning of the week, but later recovered to 108.0 points. Economic data included manufacturing PMI index, which dropped from 49.3 points to 48.9 points, reflecting stagnation in the economic segment and a negative trend from China. USD/JPY has ended the trading week appreciating 0.3%.
The British pound depreciated, reflecting a political deadlock in the country. No progress has been made on Brexit, but the country's prime minister Boris Johnson has maintained his firm stance on withdrawal without an agreement, and the Parliament has called for an extension of the negotiation deadline. Overall, investors believe that an extension of the negotiation deadline, which now ends on October 31, will be requested. However, it is important that the extension must be approved by all members of the European Union. No important economic data were published in Britain. GBP/USD has ended the week dropping -1.5%.
This week will begin with the manufacturing PMI index from China, which will show the sentiment and expectations of the country's businesses. German retail and labour market data will be published later. On Tuesday, South Korea's export figures and Japan's Tankan Business Index will be released. Also, manufacturing PMI index data for other major economies will be published along with European preliminary inflation. No significant announcements are planned for Wednesday and European retail data will be closely watched on Thursday. U.S. non-farm payrolls are expected on Friday.
According to Admiral Markets market sentiment data, EUR/USD long positions are held by 76% of investors (increased +8 percentage points, compared to last week's data). In the main Asian pair USD/JPY 38% of investors hold long positions (dropped -6 percentage points). In GBP/USD pair 63% of participants expect growth (increased +11 percentage points). This kind of market data is interpreted as a controversial indicator, therefore appreciation is likely in USD/JPY pair and depreciation in EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs. Analysis of positioning data should always be accompanied by fundamental projections and technical analysis.
Sources: bloomberg.com, reuters.com, Admiral Markets MT4 Supreme Edition, investing.com
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