The Euro found support early on Tuesday after data out of Germany showed that the Eurozone’s largest economy expanded as expected in the fourth quarter of 2013. As the session wore on however, the single currency softened.
Data out of France also added some support to the Euro after a report showed that business confidence came in just above forecasts.
Retail sales data out of Italy and unemployment data out of Finland however highlighted the problems still to be tackled in the region.
Retail sales in Italy fell in December, reversing a year-long trend of stabilisation. Italians opted to reign in their spending despite the Christmas holidays. Sales fell by 2.6% compared to the previous year. The only part of the retail sector seeing a rise in sales was discount stores. High taxes and unemployment took their toll on Italian consumers. The data spooked investors who had been hoping to see an improvement in sales figures.
Finland saw its unemployment rate climb strongly last month as it rose to its highest level in eight months. The jobless rate rose to 8.5% from the previous figure of 7.9%. Unemployment among the youth rose strongly in January. The jobless rate for the 15-24 age group jumped to 21.2% from 16.6% in December. In the same month last year, the figure was 21.2%. The report did little to inspire confidence that a Eurozone recovery is picking up momentum and highlighted the ongoing issue of record high unemployment in the region.
The Pound meanwhile advanced after data showed that the number of new mortgages approved in the UK rose to the highest level in more than six years, bolstering confidence that the UK economic recovery is gaining in strength.
Sterling is likely to push higher in Wednesday’s session if data shows that the UK economy expanded by 0.8% in the final quarter of last year. That’s a better rate than today’s 0.4% expansion seen in Germany.
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,1.3747 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.8242 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5256 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.5223 ,