Turmoil in Venezuela distracts markets

Yesterday’s markets

3rd August 2017

  • GBP - Construction PMI: 51.9
  • USD - ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: 178K
  • USD - Crude Oil Inventories: -1.5M

It was not the madness in the White House that dominated headlines for once, but events in Venezuela that have kept economists’ busy. According to Smartmatic, the company that provided the voting technology, the turnout number for Sunday’s controversial vote have been “manipulated”. Turmoil has continued in Venezuela where increasing US sanctions on the country and its leadership by President Trump have pushed the nations finances to the brink. There was also an arrest of opposition leaders who criticised Sunday’s vote over the weekend, by the order of President Nicolas Maduro.  The continued turbulence in the South American country is putting into question its democracy.

The second UK PMI figure was released yesterday, in the form of Construction PMI. The reading posted results of 51.9, slightly worse than the expected 54.3. The lower reading was due to a reduction in housing expansions and the number of houses being built.  Across the pond, the ADP Non-Farm Employment Change figure failed to meet the economists’ consensus at 178K. The figure indicates its lowest level of 2017 with the least amount of jobs being created. The worse than expected number may give an indication to a poor NFP this Friday.

Today’s markets

2nd August 2017

  • GBP - Services PMI
  • GBP - Official Bank Rate
  • USD - Unemployment Claims

Today is arguably the biggest day of the week for the Pound. Firstly, we have the third and final PMI figure; Services PMI, followed by the BOE Official Bank Rate decision. The rate is not expected to change, but the votes will be watched closely to see if any of the other MPC members will join the hawks.

After this release, BOE Governor, Mark Carney will be hosting a press conference. In the afternoon, the US will be releasing the Unemployment Claims and the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI.