Macro-News round-up:

France: The French economy will break a six-month period of stagnation and increase by 0.1% to 0.2% in the first quarter, the country’s central bank predicted on Thursday, as it issued its monthly business survey.

The Bank of France expects full-year growth of close to 0.9% this year, Villeroy said, adding: “Amid a general slowdown, the situations differ from sector to sector. Overall, services resist more than manufacturing”.

Germany: In January 2024, German consumer price inflation was verified to be 2.9% year on year, the lowest rate since June 2021, caused by a strong reduction in goods inflation. “The inflation rate weakened at the beginning of the year. The price situation for energy products is visibly easing and food price increases are continuing to slow. But it is still above overall inflation,” said Ruth Brand, President of the Federal Statistical Office.

ECB: The ECB has identified salaries as the single most significant indicator in evaluating whether it may begin decreasing interest rates and call time in the fight against rising inflation.

According to ECB senior economist Philip Lane, the new tracker estimates wage pressures and gauges sentiment by analysing data from individual pay agreements in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, and Greece.

Its new wage tracker, disclosed for the first time in a document published on Friday, indicated that compensation growth was expected to peak at roughly 5% early this year.
However, it remained unclear if and how soon wage increases would fall down to the 3% level that the ECB considers acceptable with its 2% inflation target.

China: Regarding Asia, despite the New Year holiday, we have had data published from China on new loans, which have come out higher than expected.  A positive sign at a time when new financial impulses are expected for the world’s largest economy.

Market sentiment: Equity markets are quite mixed. On the one hand, the SP500 is trading above 5000 points, setting a new record high. In the case of Europe, the Dax40 is trying to conquer 17,000 points, an important resistance barrier. Paradoxically, the selective for Spain Ibex35, diverges from the European market and struggles to maintain above the average of 200 periods, trading around 9900 points, well below the 10300 points achieved in December.

Finally, in the case of Asia, the situation is also mixed. Shanghai’s SSE is maintaining the upward trend that it achieved with the good news about the possible rescue and stimulus plan of the Chinese government, however, Hong Kong’s HSI index formed a bearish gap in the last session, diverging from the previous index.

Otherwise, we have a dollar that remains strong above 104 on DXY. This makes the EURUSD pair, not quite confirming a bullish direction, still holding in the 1.0770 area. Crude oil has risen relatively in recent days and is close to 76 dollars a barrel Brent. Gold remains calm around $2025 per ounce, possibly due to the rise of the dollar in recent weeks. Finally, bitcoin, as we announced in the chart reports, its bullish pattern is already launched towards the $48000 area.