The Caixin survey of the Chinese services sector came in at 53.9, beating traders' expectations for a reading of 51.8 and above the previous report of 51.9.
Earlier in the week, the rate of expansion in the Chinese manufacturing sector ticked up according to the Caixin survey. Beijing is making a concerted effort to move the economy away from heavy industry towards a services based one.
US stocks finished on a high note last night as the S&P 500 closed above 2700 for the first time, while the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ 100 racked up respectable gains too. The bullish momentum is still doing the rounds as investors expect President Trump’s tax reforms to have a positive impact on the US economy.
The US Federal Reserve also feels the new tax system will also drive economic activity. The minutes from last month's Fed meeting pointed out that the US central bank foresees higher economic growth on the back of the tax cuts, though central bankers are divided over how much of an economic boost it will bring about. The Fed hiked interest rates three times last year, and some traders feel that will be repeated this year, while others feel there could even be a fourth hike. The Fed's outlook could undergo a substantial change as a result of a change-up of members.
Brent Crude and WTI are in demand as tensions in Iran are fuelling buying pressure. The anti-government protests won&rsquo t have a direct effect on oil exports, but in situations like this dealers tend to assume the worst. The county is the third largest member of OPEC, and the images of protestors on the street are spooking traders.
The UK construction sector saw a slower growth rate in December, the reading fell to 52.2 from 53.1 in November. The industry is still expanding, but at a slower pace, and that has been broadly the case since June.
This morning we can expecting the latest services PMI data from Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the UK. The recent manufacturing figures from the eurozone have been impressive, and traders will to see if the services figures can keep up.
EUR/USD – has been edging higher since early-November and if it holds above the 1.2000 mark, it could target 1.2092. Support could be found at the 1.1900 area or at 1.1818 – the 100-day moving average.
GBP/USD – has been pushing higher since March and is above the trend line support which comes into play in the 1.3340 region. Rallies could encounter resistance at 1.3600 or 1.3659. A move below 1.3340 may send the market to 1.3200.
EUR/GBP – has been edging higher since early December, and it has managed to move above the 50-day moving average at 0.8855. If it can hold above 0.8855, it could target the 100-day moving average ay 0.8927. A break below 0.8855 could see it retest 0.8800.
USD/JPY – has dipped below the 50-day moving average at 112.94, and if it remains below that metric it could target the 112.00 region, a break below 112.00 could find support in the 111.00 region. Rallies may encounter resistance at 113.75.
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