Another upward revision?
Greek agreement "close", allegedly
By far the most astonishing revelation of the last 24 hours was that FIFA has an ethics committee. The least surprising developments were surely the claim by prime minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece is close to a bailout agreement and the financial markets' eagerness to believe it.
Greece's creditors were not so sure but that did not prevent European equity prices and the euro itself popping higher in the middle of Wednesday afternoon. From its early-afternoon two-month high against the euro sterling had dropped a cent by the time London closed for business. The euro was not quite the top performer of the day but it only missed out by a dozen ticks to the Swiss franc and, for no very good reason, the South African rand.
The pound was fractionally lower on the day, on average, against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. It lost a cent to the franc, three quarters of a cent to the euro and half a cent to the US dollar. The antipodeans headed in opposite directions with the NZ dollar strengthening by a third of a cent while the Australian dollar dropped a cent to take the wooden spoon.
Investment drop hits Aussie
The source of the Australian dollar's problems was this morning's figure for private capital expenditure in the country which showed it falling by -4.4% in the first quarter of the year. It was the second successive quarterly decline in capital investment and investors were unimpressed.
The Aussie lost two cents on the news, sending it from a leading position to tail-end-Charlie. The greatest cause for concern was the estimate that capital expenditure in 2015-16 will be 24.6% less than in 2014-15.
In Ottawa the Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 0.75%, as expected. In its statement the bank offered no hint as to the future direction of interest rates, saying "the current degree of monetary policy stimulus remains appropriate". The Loonie's exchange rate became volatile around the time of the announcement but in the end was just about unchanged on the day.
Growth and confidence
Revised data this morning will probably confirm that Spain's economy expanded by considerably more than Britain's in the first quarter. Business and consumer confidence in the euro zone is expected to have been roughly unchanged between April and May.
Analysts expect the Spanish economy to have grown by 0.9% in the first quarter of 2015, three times as much as the first estimate of UK growth. However they also expect the British figure to be revised higher, not least because that is what has often happened in recent quarters. They have pencilled in a mark-up from 0.3% to 0.4%
Shortly after the UK GDP data the EC will print its five measures of consumer and business confidence. North American data after lunch cover Canadian raw material and industrial product prices and US pending home sales and weekly jobless claims.