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BOV Market Watch - Week Ending 05 Ocotober 2018
05 Oct 2018

US private sector jobs growth accelerates more than expected in September. US private sector employment soared in September, as employers added 230,000 jobs after adding an upwardly revised 168,000 jobs in August, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc. This is the highest hiring rate since February and is a much bigger than expected increase in private sector jobs than expected. Economists had predicted that employment would increase by about 185,000 jobs. The report reflects strong job growth in both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors and cements hopes for another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December. US bond yields soared on the news.

Eurozone retail sales fell unexpectedly in August. Eurozone retail sales unexpectedly fell for the second consecutive month in August, implying that economic growth in the currency bloc has yet to bounce back significantly from a slowdown in the first half of the year. Sales decreased by 0.2 percent month-on-month, following a drop of 0.6 percent in July. Economists had forecasted a 0.2 percent increase for August. In 2017, strong exports underpinned Eurozone economic growth to a decade-high pace, but weakening overseas sales have been behind this year’s loss of momentum.

UK services sector activity slows in September. The UK services sector Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published by IHS Markit, declined to 53.9 in September from 54.3 in August. However, it remained above the 50 level, meaning that the sector is still expanding. The report signals that higher levels of business activity were attributed to a solid growth in new work and competitive pricing strategies. But it also notes that Brexit concerns and heightened economic uncertainty are exerting significant constraints on growth. The report shows that cost burdens rose sharply in September, driven by higher wage bills and rising fuel prices. On the other hand, prices charged by service providers increased at the slowest rate in just over one year.

Data on China's manufacturing growth shows further slowdown in September. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported slowing growth pointing to weaker exports as the China official manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.8, down 0.5 from the previous month to the second lowest reading in 12 months. The gauge of large Chinese enterprises came in at 52.1 percent, unchanged from last month, whilst medium-sized enterprise PMI was 48.7, 1.7 lower than the previous month and now in contraction. Economic consultancy group Capital Economics said “In theory, 50 is the line that separates expansion from contraction.  But in practice, the latest reading points toward a slowdown in annualized growth on the China Activity Proxy, our in-house alternative to GDP, to around five percent.”

India's services sector expands at slower pace in September. The country's services sector expanded at a slower pace in September as higher fuel costs and stronger US dollar made imported goods more expensive, says a survey. The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index touched 50.9 in September, lower than the 51.5 print in August. This was also the lowest reading in the past four months. Paul Smith, Economics Director at IHS Markit and author of the report, said that growth of India's services economy spluttered during September amid reports of faltering demand in the services sector.

Turkish inflation surged to nearly 25 percent in September from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday, hitting its highest level in 15 years against the US dollar and sharpening the debate on whether the central bank will be able to deliver another hefty rate hike. The size of the increase - prices jumped by 6.3 percent from a month earlier - far outpaced forecasts and underscored the deep impact of a currency crisis on the economy and consumers.

Important  Information
This documents is issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. (the Bank) for information purposes and personal use only. This document is not and should not be construed as an offer or recommendation to sell or solicitation of an offer or recommendation to purchase or subscribe for any investment. This information may not necessarily be appropriate and suitable to your particular investments requirements and risk profile. It is therefore recommended that if you require investment advice or wish to discuss the suitability of any investment decision, including if the financial instrument being considered in this research note carries a higher risk than your risk profile, you should immediately seek financial, legal or tax advice from your professional advisers as appropriate. Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute the current judgment of the author as of the date of this report. The Bank has obtained the information contained in this document from sources it believes to be reliable but it has not independently verified the information contained herein and therefore its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The Bank makes no guarantees, representations or warranties and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. The Bank has no obligation to update, modify or amend this report or to otherwise notify a reader thereof in the event that any matter stated therein, or any opinion, projection, forecast or estimate set for the herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Income from an investment may fluctuate and the price or value of the financial instrument described in this report, either directly or indirectly, may rise or fall. Furthermore, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is licensed to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).