DailyFX European Market Wrap: European Markets Spooked by Trump/Comey Headlines
European markets are lower this Wednesday as news surrounding the Trump’s alleged sharing of sensitive material with Russia and the FBI chief sacking is all contributing to the lack risk appetite, boosting the yen and gold and sending bourses lower.
The UK unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 42 years. The overall jobless rate fell to 4.6% in the January-March quarter, down from 4.7% a month ago but real wages are shrinking. The pound was little changed on the release but crept marginally higher against a weak US dollar. GBP/USD currently trades at 1.29676. A break above the May7 high of 1.29908 would see cable trading back at levels last seen in late-September 2016.
Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings increased by 2.1%. This follows Tuesday’s report which showed inflation hit 2.7% in April, its highest since September 2013.
Elsewhere strikes are currently ongoing in Greece affecting hospitals, transport services and government offices across the country. The strike is over new austerity measures ahead of a vote by MPs later today on reforms that will cut pensions and end tax breaks.
And Lloyds Banking Group is no longer partly state owned. The British government has sold its remaining shares, eight years after pumping in £20bn to save it. And the bank said that the government will see a return of £21.2bn on its investment. Taxpayers owned 43% of Lloyds during the financial crisis. The shares reacted positively, adding 3% and hitting an 11-month high.
--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.