European equity markets are expected to open a little higher on Monday following quite a mixed session in Asia overnight.
It’s been a relatively quiet start to the week with nothing really driving markets at the moment. Friday’s jobs report sparked plenty of volatility in the markets but once things settled down again, not much had changed. Overall the report was quite good and indicated an ongoing steady improvement in the U.S. labour market but despite some initial dollar strength, investors were just not sold on it.
Clearly the more dovish tone from the last Federal Reserve meeting combined with Chair Janet Yellen’s comments last week is of more importance to investors, especially at a time when they’re absolutely convinced that monetary tightening is going to occur at a snail’s pace, at best. Perhaps the minutes from last month’s meeting on Wednesday will shed further light on when we can expected the tightening cycle to continue.
A stronger yen is once again putting the Nikkei under pressure overnight, after data released over the weekend showed inflation expectations in Japan have fallen again. The yen is not trading far from an important technical support against the dollar, around 1.11, a break of which could trigger another sell-off in the pair.
Oil has been in decline once again overnight as traders continue to respond to reports on Friday that Saudi Arabia may not been willing to take part in the price freeze without the inclusion of all other major producers, both OPEC and non-OPEC. Brent and WTI are now trading at their lowest levels in a month and look set to build on these losses, particularly if Brent can break through technical support around $38.
We’ve got a few pieces of data being released throughout the morning, including the construction PMI from the U.K., which is expected to rise slightly to 54.3, although the broader trend continues to indicate an ongoing slowdown. Eurozone unemployment is expected to be unchanged at 10.3% as it continues its very gradual decline but remains at very high levels. This afternoon we’ll also get the latest factory orders data from the U.S., which is expected to show a 1.6% decline in February.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.