UK FACTORY DATA HEADLINES FINAL SESSION OF THE WEEK
A steady stream of economic data will flow through the financial markets on Friday, with reports on UK factory output and Canadian employment set to draw the most headlines.
Action begins at 07:45 GMT with a report on French industrial output. A similar report will be produced in Italy later in the morning.
The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics will also release a spate of economic indicators on Friday, including industrial production, manufacturing production and the total trade balance. Industrial output is forecast to fall 0.9% in December, while manufacturing is expected to grow 0.3% month-on-month.
Analysts are projecting a total trade deficit of £2.4 billion for December, down from £2.8 billion the month before.
North American trading kicks off with a report on Canadian employment at 13:30 GMT. The Canadian economy is forecast to have added 10,000 jobs in December, following a net gain of 78,600 the month before. The unemployment rate is expected to rise slightly to 5.8% from 5.7% even as workforce participation wanes.
In the United States, the Commerce Department will report on December wholesale inventories at 15:00 GMT. The data series is used in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP).
Earlier in the day, the Chinese government produced weaker than expected inflation data for the month of January, raising some concerns about the health of the world’s second largest economy.
Beijing’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.6% in January, which was slightly lower than the 0.7% reading forecast by economists. In annual terms, CPI inflation slipped to 1.5% from a previous reading of 1.8%.
The producer price index (PPI) slipped to an annualized rate of 4.3% in January, compared with 4.9% the month before.
The euro continued to backtrack against the dollar on Thursday, as prices fell below 1.2300 for the first time in more than two weeks. The EUR/USD exchange rate was last seen trading at 1.2258, where it was little changed compared to the previous close. Support levels are located at 1.2210. On the flipside, resistance is likely found at 1.2295.
The British pound spiked on Thursday on hawkish commentary from the Bank of England (BOE) before quickly surrendering gains. Cable touched a session high of 1.4059 before falling back down to 1.3900. It was last seen trading at 1.3938. The GBP/USD faces immediate support at the psychological 1.3800 level. On the opposite side of the spectrum, immediate support is located at the daily high.
The US dollar extended gains against its northern rival on Thursday, with the USD/CAD climbing to fresh six-week highs. The pair was last seen trading just below 1.2600, with momentum on the side of the bulls.