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German unemployment declined a further 23,000 for December after a 34,000 fall the previous month and compared with expectations of a 15,000 decline. Retail sales increased 0.6% for November with a 2.9% annual decline and slightly stronger than expected, but there was little impact from the data releases.

ECB council member Villeroy stated that inflation is close to peaking in France and the Euro-zone and the Euro overall lost ground into the New York open with a retreat to near 1.1270 against the dollar as yield spreads undermined the single currency.

The US ISM manufacturing index declined to 58.7 for December from 61.1 the previous month and below consensus forecasts of 60.0. There were also modest slowdowns in the growth rate of new orders and production. Employment increased at a slightly faster rate on the month while order backlogs increased. There was a slight easing of supply-side difficulties on the month while there was a significant easing of pricing pressures with the prices component at the lowest level for 13 months.

The JOLTS job-opening data recorded a decline to 10.56mn for November from 11.09mn the previous month and below market expectations, although the higher quits rate continued to indicate a tight labour market which will tend to maintain upward pressure on wages. The latest New York survey suggested that pressures in global supply chains may have peaked with markets and the Federal Reserve watching developments closely.

There was choppy dollar trading after the New York open with the Euro peaking around 1.1320 before dipping back below 1.1300 to end little changed. Narrow ranges prevailed on Wednesday with the Euro close to 1.1300 as the immediate market focus turned towards the US jobs data.




The dollar strengthened further ahead of Tuesday’s New York open with wider US support and a further boost from higher yields. The dollar posted fresh 5-year highs around 116.35 against the yen. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari stated on Tuesday that he expects two rate increases in 2022, although he also noted that there was remarkable economic and policy uncertainty. This is a notable shift from Kashkari who maintained a dovish stance during last year.

Markets continued to expect a more aggressive Fed stance in the short term and a potential rate increase before mid-2022 which underpinned the US currency.

US yield remained higher with the 10-year rate at a fresh 5-week peak, but the dollar was unable to secure further gains with consolidation above 116.00 while the yen remained on the defensive despite a retreat in US technology sector.

There was a more cautious tone surrounding Asian equity markets with fresh reservations over the Evergrande situation with a key meeting of bondholders next week.

US yields edged lower on Wednesday with the dollar drifting lower to 116.00 while the Euro traded close to 131.0.




UK mortgage approvals edged lower to 67,000 for November from 67,100 the previous month while net consumer borrowing increased to £3.7bn from £1.1bn as consumer credit held firm on the month. There was the limited impact from the data given that the spread of Omicron will dominate near-term trends in the economy and had no impact on November’s data. The final PMI manufacturing index was revised slightly higher to 57.9 from the flash reading of 57.6.

Sterling was able to resist selling pressure and gradually gained traction during the day with sentiment underpinned by a fresh move above 1.3500 against the dollar.

Prime Minister Johnson continued to resist any further coronavirus restrictions in England which provided an element of UK currency support, especially in relative terms, although there were reservations over the very high case numbers. A dip in demand for defensive assets also supported the UK currency and there was a peak just above 1.3550 while the Euro posted losses to fresh 22-month lows below 0.8350. Sterling was unable to secure further gains on Wednesday with a slightly more cautious risk tone curbing the potential for further short covering as it traded around 1.3530 against the US dollar.




Swiss consumer prices declined 0.1% for December with the year-on-year rate unchanged at 1.5% and marginally below consensus forecasts of 1.6%. There were expectations that low inflation rates would underpin the franc over the longer term, especially if it deters National Bank opposition to franc gains.

The franc was resilient during the day despite higher US yields and a lack of demand for the Japanese currency. The Euro retreated back below 1.0350 against the franc while the dollar posted a net loss to around 0.9165. The franc stabilised on Wednesday with the dollar around 0.9155.

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