Gross domestic product

Sneaky peek for euro bulls?
The media profess astonishment that the Athens government had a "secret" plan for a parallel currency if Greece were to leave the euro. Surely the real surprise would be if there had been no contingency plan. Or if it had been made public. Anyway, the revelation didn't hurt the euro.

The single European currency was not the leader over the last 24 hours though it did well during the London session on Monday. All three of the IFO measures of German business confidence surprised investors by coming in ahead of forecast and better than the previous month. However, while the figures were positive for the euro, it had already strengthened by a cent in the hour prior to their publication. 

A suspicious person might wonder if the IFO data had somehow been leaked, especially as the euro's upward move peaked immediately the official announcement was made. Even so, the euro managed to take a net half-cent off sterling and it added three quarters of a US cent. For a change, the Swiss franc was the laggard, losing half a cent to the pound. Well, everybody loves the euro now…

Kiwi flies
Since the NZ dollar rebounded from long-term lows two weeks ago it has prospered, strengthening by about 2.5% against sterling and the US dollar. It was yesterday's top performer, adding three quarters of a US cent and going up by two cents against the pound.

The entirety of the Kiwi's gains came overnight. There are any number of guesses out there as to what sparked the rally. No ecostats were released and no central bankers were sharing their thoughts. It looks, then, as though some short sellers of the NZ dollar were bottling out, prompting others to do the same.

There was no reaction yesterday afternoon to stronger-than-expected US durable goods orders. The lack of movement suggests investors are holding back from the US dollar until they have seen the Federal Reserve policy statement which comes out on Wednesday evening. 

UK second quarter growth
Today's sprinkling of data starts with Swedish retail sales and finishes up with US consumer confidence. Of greatest interest to sterling will be the gross domestic product figures at half past nine.

In the 18 months to the end of March the UK economy expanded by an average of 0.7% per quarter. The 0.4% growth reported for Q1 2015 was a disappointment and analysts expect a revival to 0.7% quarterly growth in Q2. There are also figures this morning for Italian business and consumer confidence and South African unemployment. After lunch Canada reports on raw material and industrial product prices. In the States S&P releases its metropolitan house price index, the Conference Board finalises its barometer of consumer confidence and a couple more provisional purchasing managers' indices come out.

In the last week and a half, fairly or unfairly, investors have lost their enthusiasm for the pound. It needs a good GDP number today.