It's still December

US jobs, tick
Mary and Henry, yes. Janet and Mark, no. The monetary chemistry between the Federal Reserve chairperson and the Bank of England governor was demonstrated last week to be conspicuously lacking. US interest rates are going up. UK rates aren't, not for a while, anyway.

On Wednesday Janet Yellen told Congress that next month's Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be a "live" one. It could result in an increase to the Federal Funds Rate. On Thursday Mark Carney dashed expectations (hopes?) of any imminent UK rate increase, suggesting one might not come until 2017. On Friday the US Bureau of Labor reported a monthly increase of 271k in nonfarm payrolls and added a further 12k to the number in revisions. 

The punchy employment data reinforced expectations that a Fed rate hike is imminent. They also reinforced demand for the US dollar, which was Friday's top performer by a comfortable margin. It strengthened by a cent and a third against sterling and by a cent and a quarter against the euro. 

UK production, question mark
Investors struggled with Friday's figures for UK industrial and manufacturing production. Manufacturing was higher on the month but down on the year while the reverse was true of industrial production as a whole.

Nobody knew quite what to make of the numbers so they did nothing. Nor did investors react to a narrower-than-expected UK trade deficit but that was more understandable: Britain's trade figures seldom inspire a sterling move. The US employment data were far more influential, sending the pound higher on most fronts.

Sterling was just about unchanged against the Swiss franc, the Canadian dollar and the Northern Scandinavian crowns. It picked up a quarter of a euro cent and went up by a little more than that against the Japanese yen. On average the pound was higher on the day by 0.1% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies but down by four times that much on the week.

Economic outlook
The OECD economic outlook is not exactly the most eagerly-awaited set of forecasts but on today's sparsely-populated agenda there is not much else to compete with it for investors' attention. Trade figures from China and Germany are already out.

Chinese imports fell for a 12th month, down by -18.8% in October compared with the same month last year. The -6.9% annual fall in exports marked the fourth successive decline. Germany's trade surplus in September was the lowest in seven months but there was consolation in the fact that imports and exports both rebounded after sharp falls in August.

The other figures today cover Euroland investor confidence, Greek industrial production and Canadian housing starts. Eric Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will be speaking this evening. The ecostat pace will pick up tonight with Japan's balance of trade, Australian business confidence and mortgage lending and Chinese inflation and money supply. At midnight the British Retail Consortium reports on October's retail sales.