European services sector set to remain weak
By Michael Hewson (Senior Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK)
On Monday the final August PMI data from the manufacturing sector in Europe pointed to a deepening contraction in not only Italy and Spain, but in France and Germany as well, increasing concerns that the crisis in Europe is starting to get away from policymakers.
Today?s final August PMI data from the services sector, while expected to be largely better than Mondays manufacturing data, is not expected to offer much encouragement in terms of this part of the economy either.
In some ways the data is secondary to tomorrow?s long awaited ECB meeting, however the numbers are still important in so much as they point to all sections of the European economy slipping inevitably into a prolonged downturn.
In Spain the services sector is expected to show a reading of 43.4, Italy 43.3, Germany 48.3 and France stagnation at 50.2. The aggregated European reading is also expected to show contraction at 47.5.
European retail sales for July are also expected to point the same way, declining 0.2% month on month.
Even if Europe continues to languish in uncertainty there was some good news from the UK yesterday when services PMI for August was published early, coming in at its highest levels since March this year rising to 53.7. It certainly helped offset the disappointing construction data earlier in the day.
While it may be tempting to put this sharp rise down to some form of Olympic effect, it is nonetheless welcome news, and could well point to an improvement in GDP in Q3. Whether it’s sustainable or not is another matter.
Speculation about the strength of the US economy continues to dominate investors thought processes after yesterday?s disappointing ISM manufacturing for August saw the index contract for the third straight month, prompting further speculation about the likelihood of further QE from next week?s Fed meeting.
While this is disappointing it by no means guarantees the Fed will act next week, given we still have this week?s two important jobs reports. The sharp rise in the prices paid component from 39.5 to 54 will also give the Fed pause for thought, given that a large part of the price gain was caused by rising oil prices, which are just below 3 month highs.
If the Fed does ease further, it seems reasonable that oil prices will rise as a result, thus placing further pressure on hard pressed consumers, when you most want them to spend, and at a time when governments are considering emergency SPR releases. Running the risk of boosting oil prices at the same time as considering a release of emergency oil stocks strikes me as bad policy.
Today?s New York ISM is expected to slip back slightly from July?s 55.2 reading.
EURUSD ? the air continues to be thin anywhere near last week?s high at 1.2635, with another failed attempt yesterday, prompting a pull back.
Even so we still remain in the short term uptrend with support coming in at the 1.2430 level which comes in from the 1.2045 lows, which suggests that even a fall back to here would not remove the risks for a move towards the June highs at 1.2750, on a break above last week?s high at 1.2635.
The key level on a monthly close remains the 200 month MA at 1.2060.
GBPUSD ? cable continues to struggle at the 1.5910 level and remains the main obstacle to a move towards 1.6060.
The 61.8% retracement of the 1.6305/1.5270 down move, if broken could see the pound move back as far as 1.6060. .
While unable to break through this level the cable remains at risk of sliding back towards last week?s lows at 1.5765. The long term trend line support lies at 1.5555 from the 1.5240 lows.
EURGBP ? the continued failure to move above 0.7960 as well as the bearish engulfing candle on the daily charts from last Wednesday keeps the pressure on the downside for a move towards the 0.7880 support area.
A break below the 0.7880 level has the potential to retarget the 0.7820 area, while on the upside a move above 0.7965 targets a move to 0.8000.
USDJPY ? we continue to hold above the 78.10 trend line support from the all time lows at 75.35.
While below 78.80 the risk of a move back to the range and August lows at 77.80 remains.
Above the 78.80 resistance there is also resistance at the 200 day MA at 79.27 which needs to be overcome to target a return towards the highs last month.
Equity market calls
FTSE100 is expected to open 2 points lower at 5,670
DAX is expected to open unchanged at 6,933
CAC40 is expected to open 10 points higher at 3,409
FTSEMib is expected to open 29 points higher at 15,251