Last night's indifferent but slightly negative close in the US is still likely to lead to a firmer open in Europe this morning,
as markets gear up for a big data day ahead of the last Federal Reserve meeting of 2013 and Ben Bernanke's final press conference as Fed Chairman.
Asia markets have had a positive session
though that seems to be more to do with hopes that Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will put some flesh on the bones of his latest round of Abenomics reforms in a speech he is due to deliver later this week.
While most of this week has been geared towards what the Fed might do today, there is still the small matter of some important German and UK data to digest first.
Yesterday's drop in UK inflation to 2.1% in November
and the lowest levels since 2009 is welcome news to hard pressed consumers, but the fall only narrows the gap to average incomes and doesn't close it.
There is also the added fact that last month's figure doesn't include the recent above inflation utility bill rises
implemented by the energy companies, which will show in the December numbers.
The release of the latest average earnings numbers for the three months to October
are expected to show a rise of 0.9%, still well below the long term average.
As the UK economy continues to improve the hope is that recent growth will feed through into wage increases in 2014, but for now there doesn't appear to be much evidence of that.
The important number today is the latest ILO unemployment data for October
which is expected to stay at 7.6%. Given the recent falls in the monthly data it wouldn't be a surprise to see a fall to 7.5% on this number which is likely.
At the same time we have the release of the latest minutes from the most recent Bank of England meeting
and given recent comments from external MPC member Martin Weale it will be interesting to note whether his scepticism about the effectiveness of forward guidance is mentioned in the minutes and more importantly whether or not this scepticism is shared by others on the MPC.
certainly seem to be pricing in some of rate rise in the next couple of years so a good unemployment number could well see further falls in UK gilt prices and push yields back to the 3% levels seen in September.
Before that we have the latest German IFO numbers for December.
Having seen ZEW investor expectations soar in December to 62 and its highest levels since April 2006, it will be interesting to see if German business shares the rather frothy expectations that investors appear to have about the German economy as we head in to 2014.
- despite an inability to push beyond the highs this year at 1.3830, dips continue to be fairly well sought after with support at 1.3720 with stronger support also near the 1.3620 level.
The October highs at 1.3830 remain a key resistance, while behind that we have long term trend line resistance from the all-time highs at 1.6040 which comes in at 1.3930. Only a break below the 1.3480 level would then argue for a move to the lows last month at 1.3300.
- since last week's and the highs this year at 1.6467 the pound has steadily drifted lower and briefly dipped below the 1.6240/50 level, finding bids around 1.6220 before recovering. A move below 1.6220 could well see 1.6110. This remains the key level for a continued push higher towards the 1.6520 level. We also have trend line resistance at 1.6320 from the highs this month.
- we continue to push higher towards the 0.8470/90 area and trend line resistance from the 0.8770 highs.
For the move towards 0.8170 to play out we need to see a move back below the 0.8370 area, which acted as initial resistance after the recent low at 0.8250.
- a fresh 5 year high at 103.92 last week didn't provoke the push up towards the 105.70 level anticipated. This remains the key level being the 61.8% retracement of the down move from the 2007 highs at 124.30 to the 75.30 lows.
Having broken below trend line support at 102.75 from the 97.60 November lows there is a risk of a deeper correction towards 101 60 and the lows this month, followed by 100.60.
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