DailyFX European Market Wrap: UK Data Disappoints, Pound Drops
Germany factory orders plunge; UK house price growth drops and the new boss of Vauxhall and Opel tries to calm job loss concerns. There is however, a little optimism feeding through from the states despite expectations of a new interest rate hike in the U.S. as early as this month but German industrial orders dropped by 7.4 percent in January, the biggest fall since 2009.
The annual rate of growth in UK house prices has slowed to its lowest in three and a half years. According to Halifax prices increased by 5.1% in the year to February, the lowest since July 2013. Halifax put this down to a sustained period of house price growth in excess of pay rises that has made it increasingly difficult for many to purchase a home.
The head of PSA which will soon own Opel and Vauxhall has insisted that the new combined company would have an opportunity to set new internal benchmarks for performance. Carlos Tavares will now have the responsibility of 4000 Vauxhall workers who now fear for their jobs. He said that in the event of a "hard" Brexit, it may be more - not less - important to have manufacturing in the UK. PSA, the owner of Peugeot and Citroen, agreed to buy GM's European operations for £1.9bn on Monday.
In the currency markets, the pound continues to weaken against the dollar, while remaining within its recent range. The euro is also a tad lower against the US currency, which is little changed against the Japanese yen. Meanwhile, the gold price has slipped as the dollar rises in anticipation of a US interest rate increase this moth but Brent crude oil is modestly firmer.
--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.