The US dollar strengthened against the major currencies against the background of falling global stock markets, weak economic data in China and rising tensions in the Middle East.
Weaker-than-expected data on the manufacturing sector in China, as well as the fall in the yuan decline in stock indices provoked China by 7% and activated mechanism stop trading. The Chinese currency fell to its lowest in nearly five years, the level against the US dollar, and there are no signs that the Chinese authorities intend to do anything to strengthen the national currency, as was the case in recent months.
The continued weakening of the Chinese economy, especially the slowdown in the manufacturing sector, undermines prospects for global demand for commodities. This increases the pressure on emerging economies whose budgets depend on selling commodities.
The decline of the yuan puts trade partners of China in a disadvantageous position, and increases expectations of what other countries will have to implement the weakening of their currencies.
The US Federal Reserve this year, may take place three to five interest rate hikes if economic data remain strong. On Monday in the CNBC interview the president of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco's John Williams.
In the event that the US economy will maintain growth in the range of 2% -2.25%, and inflation will accelerate slightly this year, "I think that the rise in interest rates from 3 to 5 times is justified, at least so it seems at at the moment, "Williams said.
"The data suggest that it makes sense to gradually raise interest rates", - he added.
According Uilms, the US economy is "in very good condition," and he believes that the impetus to the growth observed in 2015, may continue in 2016. Consumer spending and companies are moving "good path", while net exports provided a "significant negative impact", he said.
Williams, however, has warned that the economy will continue to need support from the Fed.
The Japanese yen has strengthened by more than 150 points against the dollar, dropping below Y119.00, as tensions in the Middle East and weak economic data from China have increased demand for yen as a safe haven. As it became known, the index of business activity in the manufacturing sector of China Caixin in December was 48.2 points, 49.0 points lower than expected and the previous value of 48.6. January 1 China published official data on business activity in December. In the manufacturing sector, the index was at the level of 49.7, which is slightly below the forecast of 49.8 and above the previous value of 49.6. The index of non-manufacturing sector was 54.4 against 53.6 in November. Many experts expect that the growth of the Chinese economy in the next 5 years is unlikely to exceed 6.5%.
Also today, it was published data on business activity in Japan. They showed that the index of business activity in the manufacturing sector of the Nikkei in Japan in December was 52.6 points, reaching a 20-month high, slightly above the previous value of 52.5.
The euro earlier rose significantly against the dollar, reaching a maximum of 30 of December. Investors pay attention to data on business activity in Germany and the euro zone. The Markit Economics said that the growth of business activity in the manufacturing sector in Germany accelerated slightly in December, surpassing in this assessment experts. According to data seasonally adjusted final manufacturing PMI rose to 53.2 points in December, compared to 52.9 points in November. The latter value was the highest in four months. Experts predicted an increase to 53.0 points. Also, Markit Economics said that the growth rate of new orders accelerated to a four-month high, helped by increased domestic and foreign demand. In response to the increase in new orders, the company increased production volumes in December.
Another report showed that manufacturing PMI for the euro zone rose to 53.2 in December from 52.8 in November. The latter value was the highest since April 2014. It is also the first time that all eight surveyed countries, including Greece, recorded growth in activity. Manufacturers again reported a decline in selling prices, and that means inflation is unlikely to quickly reach the target level.
Pound previously significantly rose against the dollar, briefly rising above the level of $ 1.4800. Today it became known that manufacturing activity in the UK deteriorated moderately in December, which was mainly caused by the slowdown in new orders to a five-month low. According to the data, purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector fell in December to 51.9 points against 52.5 points in November. The latter value was the lowest in three months. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 52.8 points. "UK manufacturing sector finished 2015 on a disappointing note. The pace of growth slowed from recent highs, which was recorded in October, and again went to the neutral mark of 50 points," - said Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit. Despite the improvement in the second and third quarters, the latest data suggest that industrial production for 2015 as a whole may be below the level of 2014 "
Another report showed that UK consumer lending increased in November at the fastest pace in almost a decade, and the country's banks have approved a greater number of mortgage loans than expected. The Bank of England said that net lending to consumers rose in November by 8.3 percent per annum, specifying the maximum rate since February 2006. Experts say such a change could cause concern in the Central Bank on the relevance of lending standards. In monetary terms, lending rose to 1.476 billion. Pounds, compared with the previous month, exceeding the forecasts of economists polled by Reuters.