Fundamental Comment

Economic Week: Trade War, Services Sector Data

Trade War, Services Sector Data

Perhaps the most notable economic reports this week are the service sector data released in a number of major economies, while attention will remain focused on the latest developments of the US-China trade war.

In the midst of the current fears of global economic slowdown, investors will focus on the services sector data, which is the largest sector in many major economies, especially after the manufacturing sector data showed a significant decline in the beginning of the third quarter.

Trade developments may shape dollar movements

The dollar's movement may be heavily affected by any trade-related developments, especially after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on the remaining Chinese goods imported by the United States.

In terms of economic data, the PMI Composite of manufacturing and services for July may show a slight improvement as it could settle at 51.6 compared to the 51.5 reading in June.

The US Producer Price Index (PPI) may rise 0.2 percent in July, while soar to 1.8 percent year-on-year from a previous of 1.7 percent.

Last but not least, it should be noted that any comments from Fed members about the future interest rate could have a significant impact on the movements of the dollar.

Euro to get clues from PMI data

The euro is likely to be affected by the general trend in the financial markets due to the absence of important economic data from the eurozone this week.

However, investors will concentrate on the euro zone's final PMI manufacturing and service index, which could confirm an ease in the growth pace in July to 51.5 from 52.2 in June.

It should also be noted that the minutes of the ECB's monetary policy meeting will receive some attention, as it mainly gives an in-depth look at the economic conditions that influenced the Governing Council decision to hold interest rates at the last meeting.

Pound may receive a shock from UK GDP  

The pound sterling remained a victim of the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit, where it fell last week to the lowest level since January 2017.

Following the decline in the manufacturing and construction sectors, investors will focus this week on the services sector index, which may fall to 49.9 in July from 50.2 in June.

Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to fall by 0.1 percent in the second quarter after registering 0.5 percent growth in the first quarter.

The UK will also release other economic indicators including industrial production, trade balance and the monthly GDP for June.

Gold targets new record highs

Gold managed to gain ground last week, drawing on concerns regarding the U.S.-China trade dispute and a Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut.

This week, the yellow metal will largely depend on the latest developments related to the trade war, as gold will attempt to consolidate at $1,400 an ounce as support to continue its march towards breaking new records.

Crude oil saw the biggest drop in years last week after US President Donald Trump threatened of imposing more tariffs on all Chinese imports.

US government data released last week showed that the average oil refineries in the United States reached 17.2 million barrels per day over the past four weeks, down 1.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Following an 8.5 million-barrel drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 26, the EIA report due this week may signal a 6.2 million-barrel fall in crude stockpiles. Further drop in crude inventories should give some support to oil prices.

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