Saturday June 22, 2024

EU elections hit euro

By News Desk
June 11, 2024
A woman holds Euro banknotes in this illustration taken May 30, 2022. — Reuters
A woman holds Euro banknotes in this illustration taken May 30, 2022. — Reuters

The euro fell in early trading as political uncertainty in Europe increased following parliamentary elections at the weekend. The dollar was steady, reports Bloomberg.

The currency fell as much as 0.3 per cent to its weakest in about a month, under-performing its major peers. US equity futures were little changed in early trading. While Asian stock futures fell Friday as traders slashed bets on Federal Reserve easing, most major markets are closed Monday for a holiday.

The dollar was steady against major peers in early trading after jumping to the highest in over a month following a solid jobs report the spurred a rethink on Fed interest-rate cuts.

Treasury futures edged lower in early Asia trading after a selloff Friday in the cash market sent yields up over 10 basis points, with swaps no longer pricing in a Fed reduction before December. Nonfarm payrolls advanced 272,000 -- beating estimates -- and wages accelerated, while the unemployment rate increased to 4.0 per cent. The S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq 100 both ended off session lows, with the data helping calm concern about an economic slowdown that could hurt earnings.

While Europe’s far-right parties made only moderate gains across the bloc on Sunday, and their performance was more or less in line with the polls, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz both suffered humiliating reverses.

Looking ahead, policy meetings by the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan will take center stage later in the week. Data highlights include Japan’s revised growth figures on Monday and later UK wage numbers, China inflation and US consumer and producer price figures.The latest jobs figures highlight a labor market that continues to defy expectations and blunt the impact on the economy from high interest rates and prices. That strength risks keeping inflationary pressures stubborn, which will likely reinforce the Fed’s cautious stance.

“We still expect the Fed to cut rates in September, but another set of prints like today’s would likely also take that off the table,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, said Friday. “The positive news, however, is that with a labor market this strong, the US economy is nowhere near recession territory.”

Economists at Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, among the few who were still predicting a Fed cut in July, changed their calls after the jobs report. Citi’s Andrew Hollenhorst now sees cuts in September, November and December. JPMorgan’s Michael Feroli predicts a Fed reduction in November.

The June Fed meeting will be one of the most-pivotal this year as Chair Jerome Powell may provide the clearest hint yet to the rate-cut timetable, according to Anna Wong at Bloomberg Economics.

With the Fed widely expected to stay on hold, the focus of the meeting will be the new Summary of Economic Projections. Back in March, Fed officials maintained their outlook for three rate cuts in 2024.—News Desk