FTSE rallies in spite of weak UK data

In keeping with the positive non-farm payroll figures released on Friday, the US markets are upbeat about their economic recovery.FTSE rallies in spite of weak UK dataSales at US retailers rose for a fourth consecutive month, analysts predict, due to a stronger job market and better household finances.

Though economic sentiment is up, there is speculation regarding the robustness of growth in the longer term.

Retail sales figures are expected later today which will give us a clearer picture as the estimates are for a reading of 0.5 percent reading higher than the previous figure of 0.1%.

However, the positive data has helped the Greenback retain its intermittent strength against most major currencies, even though sluggish growth is ignored by investors rallying the S&P 500 Index by 10.6 percent so far this year.

The main currency to come under fire amidst all of this is the Great British Pound.

Looked at as an anti-growth currency, a major selloff early in the week saw us reach levels of 1.4850 against the dollar and 1.1365 against the euro.

This was due to February’s edition of UK Industrial and Manufacturing production data. Industrial production data which came out at -2.9% rather than estimates of -1.1% have increased the prospects of a triple dip recession, as the beleaguered economy of the UK tries to climb into growth.

The manufacturing figure was out at -3.0% against a predicted -1.0%. The equity markets however, have ignored the weak data and the FTSE rallied to a fresh 5 year high at close, yesterday.

Markets are sceptical that any further falls, could aggravate inflation and also erode consumer spending.

From Europe, stock futures are little changed, trading at the highest level in 4 and a half years in a subdued early morning trading session as investors look forward to industrial production data out later today.

The region also has an Italian 2 year bond auction and a German auction.

In other news, unemployment in the Eurozone was driven up by the crisis that plagues the bloc, as the OECD announced that joblessness across the countries had risen to an average of 8 percent.

The currency however, has clawed its way back above the 1.30 mark against the Dollar to 1.3060 ahead of the data releases.

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