The Euro regained ground against the Pound on Thursday after a number of data releases from the Eurozone buoyed sentiment in the region and increased demand for the single currency.
The Eurozone’s private sector got off to a positive start in 2014 and was revealed to be in far better condition than was expected as PMI reports showed stronger growth across the region in the services and manufacturing sectors.
Earlier in the session a report showed that manufacturing in France increased by a bigger than expected margin this month, boosting optimism that the regions second largest economy is not as weak as previously feared.
Germany also showed improvement with its composite PMI report showing that its private sector expanded at its fastest pace in over two years as factory’s received a large number of orders.
“The German economy entered 2014 with a welcome further acceleration of growth. It was manufacturing-led; the service sector was a little bit weaker but still expanding at a reasonable pace,” said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.
The wider region also posted positive data. According to Markit’s Flash Eurozone PMI activity climbed to 53.2 in January, up from the 52.1 recorded in December. The figure was the highest recorded since 2011. Any figure above 50 indicates expansions whilst one below indicates contraction.
Despite the positive reports data out of Spain dampened the mood. Unemployment in the country remained at 26% in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Madrid based national statistics bureau said that a total of 5.9 million people were unemployed in Spain.
The unemployment rate in the Netherlands also limited the Euro’s gains as it increased by a bigger than expected margin. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.5% in December from 8.2% in November. Economists had forecast a marginal increase to 8.3%.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
[table width=”100%” colwidth=”50|50|50|50|50″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Currency, ,Currency,Rate ,
Euro,,US Dollar,1.3635 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.8212 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5494 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.5199 ,