The Euro declined in today’s early morning trading sessions as Italy looked on course for a hung parliament. The populist parties gained votes over the traditional political parties, seeing the anti-establishment Five Star Movement predicted to have gained the most votes. However, it appears as if the right-wing coalition formed of the Forza Italia and the League parties, will hold the most seats in the lower house of parliament. With no alliance or single party reaching over the 40% of the votes to allow them to form a government outright, a coalition will need to be formed or another election held.
UK Services PMI beat expectations, posting a bullish 54.5 for February. The report showed strong job creation across the service sector, with payroll numbers being the highest since September. Cost pressures dropped to their lowest for a year-and-a-half. Service providers showed confidence in the business outlook over the next year.
Across the pond, the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI was released. The figure beat expectations, posting 59.5 for February, only 0.4 points below the January reading. Educational services and transportation & warehousing reported the highest growth. The business activity index was also released and posted 62.8%, up 3% percentage points from the previous reading. The respondents showed their consumers’ confidence had increased and that they felt business was improving.
Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Andy Haldane will be speaking at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce. In the US, two FOMC members are scheduled to speak. The first will be William Dudley, who will be speaking about the economic impact of the 2017 hurricanes. The second will be Lael Brainard, who will be delivering a speech titled ‘Economic and Monetary Policy Outlook’ at the New York University’s Money Marketeers event.