Emerging market equities fell further, oil retreated, and the MSCI All-Country World Index lost its week’s gains today, sliding 0.5% this morning and showing a dim outlook on growth.
Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy, had a ream of figures released this week. It saw its strongest growth in two years, but the same can’t be said for the Euro region, whose economy in general grew slightly less than estimated. While it is still seeing positive momentum, the growth of 0.5% compared to the estimated 0.6% disappointed policy makers. Germany saw 0.7% and Italy 0.3% in growth, but the Greek economic outlook was weaker, contracting 0.4%. Weak demand from emerging countries and decreasing tailwind from the depreciation of the euro are seen as contributing factors.
For the US, it’s an expected trend that movements in the dollar are closely tied to central bank action. After two regional Federal Reserve presidents argued for higher interest rates, the rising speculation about a rate hike carried the dollar higher, sending the Japanese yen lower and contributing to a 1.5% slump for that Asian currency this week.
Meanwhile, the Australian central bank is expected to cut interest rates to 1.25% by the end of the year, down further from the all-time low of 1.75% set early this month. The European Central Bank is also gathering attention; ECB President Draghi’s plans to buy investment-grade securities starting June is intended to stimulate weak Eurozone growth.
EURUSD: Better than forecast German growth not enough to boost the euro.
GBPUSD: Pound continues its downward trend.
AUDUSD: Aussie dollar at a two-month low on expectations of further rate cuts.
USDCAD: Loonie experiencing a drop with the fall in oil prices.