THE TAKEAWAY: German factory orders strong -> Markets begin to digest French, Greek election results -> Euro Gains traction
German factory orders were stronger than expected in March, removing some of the bite from a weak weekly open for the single currency. Factory orders rose 2.2% on the month, more than the 0.5% markets had expected. The yearly number was -1.3% versus the expected -2.8%, the German stats bureau said today. Both the monthly and yearly figures saw upwards revisions.
Germany has struggled to maintain industrial growth as declining global demand continues to erode manufacturing numbers. Even so, Europe’s largest economy remains its strongest, although yesterday’s election results from France and Greece threaten to test Berlin’s mettle in demanding tough reforms across the Eurozone. Both nations elected anti-austerity parties in a repudiation of the German-led drive to reduce sovereign debt in the Euro-area.
Today’s factory orders boosted the Euro as the single currency sought to pare weekend losses against the US Dollar.