The dollar is posting modest gains against its major competitors at the start of the new trading week. Eurozone manufacturing data was slightly ahead of expectations Monday, although there was weakness in Spain and Greece. Meanwhile, U.S. factory orders came in better than expected. Investors are also looking forward to the release of the U.S. employment report for April at the end of the trading week.
Reflecting a notable rebound in orders for transportation equipment, the Commerce Department released a report Monday morning showing a sharp increase in new orders for U.S. manufactured goods in the month of March.
The Commerce Department said factory orders surged up by 2.1 percent in March following a revised 0.1 percent decrease in February. Economists had expected orders to increase by about 2.0 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick that had been reported for the previous month.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans is reluctant to raise interest rates after data confirmed the economy hit a rough patch for the second winter in a row.
“Economic activity appears to be on a solid, sustainable growth path, which, on its own, would support a rate hike soon,” Evans said in remarks prepared for a speech Monday in Columbus, Indiana.
“However, the weak first-quarter data do give me pause, and I would like to see confirmation that they are indeed a transitory aberration,” he added. “I likely will not feel confident enough to begin to raise rates until early next year.”
European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said that he was certain that Greece’s exit from the euro area will be avoided.
In an interview to the Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad, which was published on the ECB website on Monday, Constancio said, “Like everyone else, I am concerned. But I am also absolutely convinced that the worst-case scenario will be avoided.”
“At the same time, everyone acknowledges that the degree of stress and vulnerability in the euro area has totally changed. There are no signs of contagion.”
Even if a Grexit materializes, the ECB is sufficiently protected from huge losses as the risk of emergency lending to Greek banks is shared with the national central bank, the Portuguese banker said.
The dollar rose to a 2-session high of $1.1122 against the Euro early Monday, but has since eased back to around $1.1150.
Eurozone investor confidence weakened slightly in May, survey data from the think tank Sentix revealed Monday. The investor confidence index fell to 19.6 from 20 in April, which was the highest score since August 2007. It was forecast to drop to 19.3.
The Eurozone manufacturing sector expanded slightly more than initially estimated in April, final data from Markit showed Monday. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 52 in April from 52.2 in March. It was above the flash score of 51.9.
The Spanish manufacturing sector maintained its growth as improving client demand led to sharp expansion in output and new orders, survey data from Markit Economics showed Monday. The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 54.2 in April, slightly down from 54.3 in the prior month. It was forecast to rise to 54.5. But the reading signaled a further solid strengthening of business conditions, Markit said.
Greece’s manufacturing sector contracted for the eighth consecutive month in April, as output and new orders fell at faster rates, survey figures from Markit Economics showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, fell to 46.5 in April from 48.9 in March. The latest reading was the lowest since June 2013.
The buck also climbed to a 1-week high of $1.5089 against the pound sterling this morning, but has since slipped back to around $1.5115.
Markets in the U.K. are closed today for a bank holiday.
The greenback is little changed against the Japanese Yen at the start of the new trading week, trading in a narrow range between Y120.270 and Y120.000. The dollar is currently trading around Y120.105.
Markets in Japan are also closed for a holiday today.