European markets are trading higher this morning picking up positive momentum from Asian markets. The German GFK consumer confidence data released this morning has also added to a positive sentiment and confirmed that consumers are feeling more confident about the economy. We also had the reading from France and the French manufacturing and services PMI data has done what it does the best- disappoint investors to their core. The reading for manufacturing came in at 48.4 while the forecast was for 49.4 and the services data came in at 50.8. The Spanish unemployment numbers were not very encoring either and printed 23.8% while the forecast was 23.5%. So overall, the bag of economic data released this morning has been very fragile.
Greece stays very much the focal point in the Eurozone and there is still very little hope amid traders if any fruitful deal will be achieved. The Greek finance minister will meet with country’s creditor in Riga tomorrow and the friction among the two parties are anchored towards their peak. The fact is that any improvement in German data, which is the major influencing party among creditors, is going to make matters more difficult for Greece and room for negotiation becomes even hotter.
Back in the UK, the economy goes from strength to strength and the evidence is backed up in the economic data. The Bank of England’s minutes confirmed yesterday, the committee members are poised to continue to focus on raising the rates and perhaps this argument will become more popular post election. We also have the UK retail sales m/m number due this morning and the forecast is for 0.4%. Uncertainty around the elections could have occupied consumers in other activities and therefore a soft number is expected.