Dollar steadies after fourth straight weekly fall
The dollar steadied on Monday after poor wages data pushed back any speculation of a near-term rise in Federal Reserve interest rates and sealed the currency’s fourth straight weekly fall, its worst start to a year in more than three decades. In a quiet start to the week, the Aussie dollar was the biggest mover among the G10 group of major currencies, down almost half a percent after a weaker batch of retail sales numbers. The euro was also a third of a percent weaker, retreating to $1.0746 compared with last week’s seven-week highs above $1.08. Equity markets, and the overall strength of U.S. economic data, continue to back the bullish dollar calls that dominated at the end of last year. But lack of detail on expected pro-dollar tax and spending initiatives combined with concern over the Trump White House’s attitude to the dollar and global trade and security has kept the currency retreating.
German Factory Orders Surge Most Since 2014 on Investment
German factory orders rose the most in two and a half years in December amid a surge in investment-goods demand, suggesting that the strong run of Europe’s largest economy at the end of the year is set to continue. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, gained 5.2 percent from November, when they fell a revised 3.6 percent, data from the Economy Ministry in Berlin showed on Monday. That’s the highest since July 2014. The typically volatile reading compares with a median estimate for a 0.7 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey. Orders were up 8.1 percent from a year earlier. Economic expansion accelerated in the final quarter of 2016, and a jump in orders in the three months bodes well for manufacturing at the start of this year. Companies from Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, to Airbus Group SE, which assembles most of its single-aisle planes in Hamburg, won contracts in December.
China to add more than 50 million new urban jobs in 2016-2020
China is striving to create more than 50 million new jobs in urban areas over the five years to 2020, the cabinet said in an employment promotion plan on Monday. It will also aim to hold the urban registered unemployment rate below 5 percent in the same period, according to the document published on the central government’s website. "Opportunities and challenges in promoting employment coexist," the cabinet said. The government has said 13 million new urban jobs were created in 2016, beating its target of 10 million. The official unemployment rate has been hovering just over 4 percent in recent years, even as China’s economic growth slowed to 6.7 percent in 2016, its slowest in 26 years. Under the banner of "supply-side" reform, Chinese leaders are trying to cut excess factory capacity in the steel and coal industries, but have tried to avoid an abrupt slowdown in the economy, for fear of mass job losses.