Euro Strengthens On Better Than Expected PMI
The euro pushed towards $1.27 after impressive economic data from the eurozone boosted investor confidence in the region. The common currency traded at $1.2678 at 7:00 GMT on Friday morning after strong manufacturing data beat analysts' expectations.
PMI readings across the bloc rose, with Germany leading the way. The better than expected figures gave many reason to believe the European Central Bank would remain conservative at its next policy meeting given the region's show of strength. With inflation still a concern, many believed that ECB President Mario Draghi and his colleagues would elect to intervene using a rate cut or even an unconventional policy change.
Reutersreported that Markit's Flash Eurozone Composite PMI score rose to 53.2 in January from 52.1 in December, well above the 50 point score that indicates growth. Germany posted its largest growth since mid-2011 and even struggling nations like Ireland and Spain posted better than expected figures.
France was the only dark spot in the data; the bloc's second largest economy had its third consecutive contraction in January. Despite posting a figure below 50, some are optimistic about France's future as the decline in both services and factory PMI scores was less drastic than originally expected. With such widespread strength, many are hoping that the bloc's growing recovery will soon spread to France.
If the bloc's PMI readings remain steady, the eurozone's economy could post 0.3 to 0.4 percent growth in the first quarter. Analysts are expecting to see 0.2 percent growth, however January's new order data indicated that the region may have more impressive PMI scores in February.
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