Consumer Confidence Bolsters Economic Confidence
The confidence levels amongst US consumers have risen to a five month high in the US today. Markets are becoming increasingly confident that that the recovery is nicely underway and will continue into 2011. The Institue for Supply Management-Chicago has also said that its business confidence gauge advanced to its highest level since April.The holiday season is clearly helping things get underway yet equity markets are still suffering on fears that the the debt crisis will spread through Europe.
Housing remains the weak link in the US the case-shiller index of home values climbed just 0.6% the smallest gain since January. Unemployment is still at record levels near 10% and mounting foreclosures and overall declining home values still threaten to undermine the confidence that we are seeing in the markets at present. This has great influence on the global economic recovery and market confidence. If the US recovery continues to gain momentum we would expect confidence to pick up in other western economies. The US is a very useful leading indicator and helps dictate confidence in other key areas of the global economy.
The underlying forces driving the currency markets at present are biased towards a further strengthening of the US Dollar. This can be largely attributed to ongoing risk aversion as markets continue to panic about the debt crisis and war in Korea. We would expect the market to continue lower on cable and EUR/USD with expectations that the USD will strengthen against most ot the world’s most actively traded currencies.
Tomorrow sees a busy day on the economic calender with more house price data, manufacturing and CIPS PMI in the UK. The US has ADP Employment and ISM manufacturing. Markets will most likely be dominated by ongoing risk aversion and news from Ireland.
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