Weekly Market Review - April 22-26
The current week saw reduced volatility with most of the markets being dormant after Easter, which is the most important Christian holiday. Japanese Yen has been the best performer, as it has gained 0.30% against the US dollar and 1.13% against the euro. EUR/USD fell 0.84% for the week, to 1.1153.
In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin demonstrated some gains in the first part of the week, but suddenly fell over 3% on Friday, and ended the week below Monday level, currently at $5,256.
Here are the most important economic indicators published this week:
British Retailers Report First Sales Growth in 5 Months
The UK retail sales this month have demonstrated an increase for the first time in five months, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) announced on Thursday. The reading suggests that consumers are ready to spend more despite the fact that the Brexit process is taking longer than initially planned. The CBI said that the indicator rose to +13, also driven by the Easter holiday. Analysts expected the figure at zero, after the worst result in 17 months recorded last month at -18.
Singapore GDP Will Slow Down in 2019
Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth will slow this year, according to the country’s central bank, which notes a weakening in key trading partners and a decline in the electronics market. The city-state will see its economic growth slowing below the midpoint of a forecast range of 1.5% and 3.5%, after expanding by 3.2% last year. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which acts as the central bank and main financial regulator, said that trade tensions are among the main negative factors.
South Korean Economy Surprisingly Contracts
South Korea’s GDP surprised economists with a decline in the first quarter of this year, demonstrating the worst results since the financial crisis in 2008. The bearish trend is driven by reduced investment from companies and weaker exports amid US-China trade tensions. The economic growth in the Q1 slowed by 0.3% compared to the previous quarter, the worst contractions in over a decade. None of the analysts anticipated this result, with average forecasts pointing to a 0.3% increase.
Japan’s Jobless Rate up to 2.5%
The unemployment rate in Japan rose in March to 2.5%, according to a Friday report by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. On average, economists expected the reading at 2.4%. Nonetheless, the availability of jobs remained steady at a high level. In a separate report, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that factory output fell in March by 0.9% compared to February, while analysts anticipated no change.
Consumer Confidence in The Eurozone Declines
Eurozone’s consumer confidence index unexpectedly declined by 0.7 points this month compared to March, the European Commission said on Tuesday. Thus, the consumer morale slid to -7.9 from -7.2 in March, while economists expected an increase to -7.0. In the EU, consumer sentiment dipped by 0.6 points to -7.7. Despite everything, the Commission noted that both indicators remain above their long-term averages of -11.3 for the eurozone and -10.4 for the EU.
US Existing Homes Sales Fell Below Expectations
Home sales in the US declined more than expected last month, suggesting continued weakness in the real estate market even amid lower mortgage rates and slowing house price growth. On Monday, the National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales fell 4.9% to an annual rate of 5.21 million units in March, with the February surge being revised down. Economists anticipated the indicator to decline by 3.8% to a rate of 5.30 million.
Upcoming News to Watch
This week on Sunday, Spain will organise its General Election. The polls suggest that no party will be able to form a majority in the parliament, with potential coalitions expected to take long periods of negotiations.
On Tuesday, markets in Japan will be closed due to Show Day, a national holiday that honours the birthday of Emperor Shōwa. During the same day, France, Spain, and Canada will report on their GDP, while Germany will publish unemployment and inflation data.
On Wednesday, May 1, the markets in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, and other countries will be closed due to the Labour Day. However, investors should be active as the US Fed will present its interest rate decision.
The week will end with the long-awaited US Nonfarm Payrolls report, which will likely impact the price of the US dollar.
Anatol has been writing for our news site for a year and is the newest member of our team. While he’s new to us, he’s certainly not new to trading with over 10 years’ experience being a professional financial journalist and working in the markets.