Bank of Canada decision today


Of Tuesday's three sets of US economic data one was bullish, one was mediocre and one was quite disappointing. To tell the bad new first, the Dallas Federal Reserve's manufacturing business index fell more than seven points to -5.3. The bank headlined its report: "Texas Manufacturing Expansion Continues but Pace Slows". With house prices the story was only a little more upbeat, with the Case-Shiller index rising 2.7% in the year to March. The survey sum-up was that "price gains continue to weaken". Consumer confidence provided the good news, with the Conference Board's index rising five points to 134.1 in May.  

There was no great reaction by the USD to any of those numbers. Until London got going this morning there was little to separate the dollar from most of the other premier-division currencies.  


A sprinkling of mainly low-grade national data from Euroland this morning had little bearing on the EUR. In France inflation slowed to 1.0% in May and household spending recovered by 0.8% in April. France also confirmed quarterly growth of 0.3% in Q1. Unemployment ticked up from 4.9% to 5.0% in Germany while business and consumer confidence both improved in Italy. The EUR is 0.3% lower against the USD.  

In the wake of last week's EU elections the 27 states - but mainly Germany and France - are in disagreement as to who should get the top jobs. By the end of the year five key positions will have to be filled and the newly-balkanized European parliament has lost its cohesive clout. The squabbling so far centres on a replacement for Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission.


The Loonie moved approximately - though not closely - in line with oil prices. WTI crude is down by 1.2% on the day, the CAD by 0.3%. There were no Canadian economic data.

There are none today either, but the Bank of Canada will release its interest rate statement this morning. Analysts expect the bank to hold its benchmark target for the overnight rate at 1.75%. The soft tone of the CAD suggests that some investors think the BoC might allude to the possibility of a cut.


Overnight the British Retail Consortium released its shop price index, which showed prices rising by 0.8% in the year to April. Despite that low reading the report noted that "Shop Price growth in May was the second highest inflation rate seen in the last six years". Sterling is 0.2% lower on the day against the USD.

Other than the addition of two more names to the list of candidates for leadership of the Conservative party there has been no discernable progress on the Westminster political scene. Tory MPs have until the week of 10 June to put their names in the frame and the current list of 11 is sure to grow between now and then. At some point next month those still in the race will take part in a TV debate.


After several changes of direction the yen is unchanged against the USD. Its ups and downs related mostly to the ebb and flow of nervousness about the possible effects of trade wars on the global economy.  

Although there were no economic statistics from Japan the central bank governor made another appearance, this time at a symposium in Tokyo. The gist of his speech was that central banks - including the Bank of Japan - are finding it difficult to shake off sluggish price growth "in spite of significant improvements in economic activity".  

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