US Jobs, UK Production in Focus

UK production and US jobs data are in focus today.

Previous Day's Market Highlights

Brexit concerns, particularly over the Irish border and agreeing a transition period deal, continued to broadly weigh on the pound. The euro ended the day down after initially gaining on the ECB’s policy statement, which in removing its easing bias—a sentence that indicated that the ECB was ready to increase asset purchases if needed—was likely less dovish than some investors had expected.
 
As a result, the euro moved 0.4% higher against the dollar and 0.3% higher against the pound, but it then reversed those gains, likely as President Draghi remained cautious on inflation and referenced trade war concerns. The euro failed to reclaim 1.2450 against the dollar and moved lower towards 1.23, while sterling-euro regained 1.12 after the rate met support around 1.1164.
 
Last night, Trump launched the tariffs on steel and aluminium that have prompted concerns of a trade war in recent days as the EU and China threaten retaliation; some countries may be exempt. The White House also announced that Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Currency Pairing 08:00 Today Vs 08:00 Yesterday Four-Week High Four-Week Low % Change
GBP/EUR 1.1220 1.1399 1.1150 2.18%
GBP/USD 1.3821 1.4150 1.3711 3.10%
EUR/USD 1.2318 1.2556 1.2154 3.20%
GBP/AUD 1.7719 1.7962 1.7574 2.16%
GBP/NZD 1.8992 1.9384 1.8934 2.32%
GBP/CAD 1.7813 1.8051 1.7371 3.77%

Today's Market Highlights

This morning sees the main UK data of the week (09:30 GMT). Mixed production figures could see trading in either direction this morning, but gains in the yearly figures could see at least a modest move higher. Ultimately, the pound remains sensitive to Brexit headlines and sentiment, so this will remain the key driver, particularly as we near the EU Summit later in the month.
 
This afternoon is all about jobs data. Market attention will primarily be on the closely watched jobs report from the US. A strong Nonfarm Payrolls figure—the US is projected to have added 200K jobs to the economy in February—could strengthen the dollar in a knee-jerk reaction but may be at least partially off-set by softer wage growth figures. The Unemployment Rate is forecast to fall further from 4.1% to 4.0%, the lowest level since 2000, but on the flip side, a lower participation rate is also expected.
 
In Canada, Net Employment Change is forecast to pick up modestly after the previous month’s decline, while the Unemployment Rate is forecast to hold steady at 5.9%. Signs of an improving labour market could strengthen the loonie.

Today's Economic Calendar

Time Currency Release Consensus Previous
09:30 GBP Manufacturing Production YoY (Jan) 2.8% 1.4%
09:30 GBP Industrial Production YoY (Jan) 1.8% 0.0%
09:30 GBP Total Trade Balance (Jan) £-4.896B
13:00 GBP NISER GDP Estimate 3M (Feb) 0.3% 0.5%
13:30 USD NonFarm Payrolls (Feb) 200K 200K
13:30 USD Unemployment Rate (Feb) 4.0% 4.1%
13:30 USD Average Hourly Earnings MoM (Feb) 0.2% 0.3%
13:30 USD Average Hourly Earnings YoY (Feb) 2.8% 2.9%
13:30 CAD Net Change in Employment (Feb) 20K -88K
13:30 CAD Unemployment Rate (Feb) 5.9% 5.9%
17:40 USD Fed's Rosengren Speaks
17:45 USD Fed's Evans Speaks

Caxton