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Labour market tightens

Today's news headlines:

'UK wage growth jumps unexpectedly adding to inflation danger'. 
The Office for National Statistics revealed on Tuesday that average earnings in the UK, excluding bonuses, increased by 6.6% in the three months leading to February this year, surpassing expectations of a slowdown to 6.2%. The wage growth data may be too much for Andrew Bailey and the Bank of England to ignore at its meeting next month as the central bank battles inflation levels over five times the two percent target. A Bloomberg News survey revealed that most economists believe UK interest rates have peaked at 4.25%, whereas investors are still pricing in another half a per cent of hikes by the Autumn. (Bloomberg)

'China's consumers spur economy to keep recovery on track'. 
China's ramp-up in activity since scrapping its Zero-Covid policy last December is finally starting to show in the economic data. Chinese GDP grew by 4.5% for the first quarter of 2023, the fastest pace in a year, surpassing modest estimates of four per cent. Retail sales are also 10.6% higher than a year ago as a pickup in factory output and a surge in consumer spending steer the world's second-largest economy back on track. (Bloomberg)


Today

Chinese stocks traded flat overnight as optimism over the nation's economic growth was dampened by fears of Federal Reserve tightening in May – Fed Fund futures markets are pricing in a 90% chance of a quarter-point hike. On the other hand, Japanese stocks rose 0.6 per cent on Monday as Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda reinforced the message that Japan will remain tight on monetary policy and stick to its ultra-low interest rate. 


Events

Chinese GDP q/y (Q1): 4.5% vs 2.9% previously
Chinese Retail Sales y/y (Mar): 10.6% vs 3.5% previously
UK Claimant Count Change (Mar): 28.2K vs -11.2K previously
UK Average Earnings Index (Inc. bonuses) (Feb): 5.9% vs 5.7% previously
German ZEW Economic Sentiment: 10:00AM
Canadian CPI m/m (Mar): 1:30PM
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem Speaks: 4:00PM


Interbank rates*:

GBP/USD: 1.2415
GBP/EUR: 1.1335
EUR/USD: 1.0950
USD/CAD: 1.3375

Please contact your Dealer about any upcoming FX requirements you may have, or call +44 (0)20 3465 8200. 

*Indicative interbank rates taken on the day of writing. Please speak to your Dealer to find out the current rates available for you.