Greenback Loses Strength Fears that the US recovery is losing steam were reinforced this week, as new data on the overall health of the labor market, as well as the manufacturing and housing sectors disappointed economists. Euro started the week above the 1.23 levels reaching a low of 1.2149 and closing the week higher at 1.2560 as bad numbers pushed the US Dollar lower. The Sterling Pound followed the Euro, as it started the week at 1.50 levels dropping to a low of 1.4871 to close the week higher at 1.5199. The Swiss Franc started the week at 1.0839 and strengthened throughout the week to close at 1.0622. Finally, the Japanese Yen hit a high of 86.94 and closed at 87.74.Consumer Confidence FellConfidence among US consumers sank in June more than forecast as Americans became distressed over the outlook for jobs and incomes. The Conference Board’s confidence index slumped to 52.9 this month, from a revised 62.7 in May. The data showed that the sentiment fell most in regions affected by the oil spill.Unemployment ReportUS companies added a modest 13,000 jobs in June, as private-sector job growth stalled amid a shaky economic recovery. June hiring slowed dramatically from the previous month, when private companies added 57,000 workers, according to ADP Employer Services, signaling that private companies held back ahead of summer. The gain was much smaller than the 60,000 additional jobs that economists had expected. Initial jobless claims increased by 13,000 to 472,000 in the week ended June 26. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance rose, while those getting emergency benefits dropped after Congress failed to act on extending the legislation.Finally, the US economy lost 125,000 jobs in June, more than expected, as thousands of temporary census jobs ended indicating the economic recovery is failing to gain footing. However, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 9.5% from 9.7%, the lowest since July 2009.Manufacturing SectorThe Institute for Supply Management’s overall manufacturing index fell from 59.7 in May to 56.2 in June, a much larger drop than predicted by economists, who were looking for a reading of 59.Although any reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, this is now the second consecutive monthly drop, indicating a slow down in the pace of expansion.Housing SectorThe number of contracts to purchase previously owned houses plunged in May by more than twice as much as forecast after a homebuyer tax credit expired. The index of pending home resales dropped 30% from the prior month. The drop was the biggest in records dating to 2001. The decline shows that the industry at the center of the financial crisis remains vulnerable in the absence of government support. Stabilization in housing will depend on gains in incomes and employment that may stem foreclosures and give Americans the confidence to start buying again.Home prices in 20 US cities rose in April from a year earlier as sales got a boost from a tax credit aimed at reviving the industry that triggered the worst recession since the 1930s. Finally, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values climbed 3.8% from April 2009, the biggest year-over-year gain since September 2006. EuropeUnemployment ReportIn Germany, the number of people out of work fell in June by 21,000 to 3.23 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, following May’s decline of 41,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged, at 7.7%. Without seasonal adjustment, however, the jobless rate declined to 7.5%.European unemployment held at the highest in almost 12 years in May as the debt crisis made companies reluctant to add workers. The jobless rate in the 16-nation euro area remained at 10%. That is the highest since August 1998. The April figure was revised down from a previously reported 10.1%.Economic IndicatorsRetail sales in Germany rose in May as the economic recovery gathered pace and unemployment fell. Sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, increased 0.4% from April. Producer-price inflation accelerated to 3.1% in May from 2.8% in April.
United KingdomManufacturing SectorManufacturing grew strongly in June, according to the index of purchasing managers but export growth dropped, in a sign that the European debt crisis was hitting demand in the biggest market for UK goods abroad.The purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing recorded a level of 57.5 in June, close to the 15-year high seen in April and May.Housing SectorHouse prices rose again in June but only by 0.1%, according to the Nationwide building society. The rise follows a 0.5% increase in May, with the average property in the UK now costing more than £170,000. Prices have risen by 3% since the start of the year, the Nationwide's house price index showed.JapanRetail SalesJapan’s retail sales rose at the slowest pace since January, a sign that government incentives to purchase cars and household appliances are fading. Sales advanced 2.8% in May from a year earlier.Jobless Rate RisesJapan unemployment rate unexpectedly increased, in signs that the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy may slow. The jobless rate reached 5.2% in May, the third straight monthly increase and the highest level since December 2009.Manufacturing SectorAn improvement in Japan’s manufacturing confidence may be threatened by mounting evidence that the global economic recovery is slowing. The Tankan index of sentiment climbed 15 points in June to 1. The positive number exceeded forecasts.
KuwaitDinar at 0.28960The USDKWD opened at 0.28960 on Sunday morning.