The European single currency traded firmer from the start of the week as the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index delivered a positive survey result highlighting the Eurozone’s resilience despite the slowdown in China and further emerging market declines. 

The December Manufacturing PMI index result was 53.2 up from November’s 52.8, with the Italian’s delivering their best performance for 57 months. On a quarterly basis the average reading for the 4th quarter was the highest since quarter one back in 2014. Further encouragement can be taken from seeing the Greek PMI move back into growth territory during December, meaning all nations surveyed are not only climbing but now report expansion, the first time since April 2014.  

The Eurozone Services PMI’s held firm in December delivering an index result of 54.2, helping the composite EU PMI figure covering all sectors to a four and a half year high of 54.3. 

Other positive news saw the EU unemployment rate dip again to 10.5% in November down from 10.6% recorded in October. The weaker retails sales result for November at a negative 0.3% on the previous month was shrugged off by the markets as typically December should show the majority of uplift as Christmas shopping takes hold.