EUR/USD has started the week with gains. In the Monday session, the pair is trading at 1.1418, up 0.34% on the day. There are no major releases out of the eurozone or the United States. Germany’s trade surplus fell to EUR 17.3 billion, edging above the estimate of EUR 17.2 billion. The Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence posted a decline of 0.3, well short of the estimate of 8.4 points. The sole event in the U.S. is JOLTS Job Openings. The indicator is expected to improve to 7.22 million, after the previous release of 7.01 million. On Tuesday, German ZEW Economic Sentiment is expected to weaken to 25.0 points. In the U.S, the Producer Prices Index is forecast to drop to 0.0%.
The U.S. ended the week with dismal employment numbers, although the euro couldn’t take advantage and was unchanged on Friday. Nonfarm employment change was weaker than expected, plunging from 250 thousand to 155 thousand. This was well off the forecast of 198 thousand. Wage growth remained stuck at 0.2%, missing the estimate of 0.3%. There was better news from the unemployment rate, which remained at a sizzling 3.7%. The data points to slowing growth in the U.S, which could lead to a change in monetary policy. The Federal Reserve minutes from the November meeting indicated that policymakers discussed changing their stance of gradual increases rate increases. The markets are currently looking at one rate hike next year – just a few months ago, there was talk of a rate hike in each quarter of 2019.
Global stock markets had a dismal week, as nervous investors continue to fret over the U.S-China trade war. Although President Trump agreed to suspend further tariffs against China for 90 days. However, there are concerns that the two sides will not be able to close the gaps in their positions in just a few weeks. The markets soured on Thursday, after a senior Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver for allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran. Wanzhou faces extradition to the U.S., and China’s indignant response to the arrest could torpedo upcoming trade talks between the two countries.