• John Lewis weekly department store sales up encouraging 5.3%
  • French July consumer confidence -39 from -37 in June, weaker than median forecast of -37
  • French July PMI manufacturing 47.9, up from 45.9 in June, better than median forecast 46.5. Services 45.5, down from 47.2 in June, some way worse than mein forecast of 47.7. Composite down to 47.2 from 47.8 in June. Disappointing
  • German July PMI manufacturing 45.2, up from 40.9 in June, better than median forecast of 42.1. 10 month high. Services 48.4, up from 45.2 in June, better than median forecast of 46.0. 10 month high. Composite 48.9, up from 44.0 in June. 11 month high
  • Euro zone July PMI services 45.6, up from 44.7 in June, better than median forecast of 45.2. Manufacturing 46.0, up from 42.6 in June, some way better than median forecast of 43.5. Composite 46.8, up from 44.6 in June, and a lot better than median forecast of 45.3
  • German ifo July business climate index 87.3, better than median forecast of 86.5. Current conditions 84.3, better than median forecast 82.9. Expectations 90.4, better than median forecast of 90.1
  • UK Q-2 GDP -0.8% q/q, -5.6% y/y. The y/y fall is biggest since series began back in 1955. Worse than median forecasts of -0.3%, -5.2% respectively. Sterling hit
  • UK Treasury Minister Byrne: Cautious but confident UK growth will return towards the end of 2009. Feels Q-2 GDP data shows the scale of the global downturn, but also that the pace of decline is easing compared to the winter

Good morning for the euro. EUR/USD presently at 1.4230 from an early 1.4160, EUR/GBP up at .8650 from early .8585 and EUR/JPY up at 135.0 from around 134.15.

There was much talk of Asian sovereigns lying in wait to buy EUR/USD down at 1.4110/20. However one of their number broke ranks and came in buying higher up. Exact levels not forthcoming, but looks likely to have been in the 1.4160/70 region. That lifted the pairing, which then got further support from a string of better than expected euro zone data releases (german/euro zone pmi, german ifo – see above)

We’ve been to a session high 1.4248 , with touted sell orders at 1.4250 so far providing a durable upside barrier.

Sources noted good EUR/JPY buying interest out of Asia in early European trade.

Cable got off to a good start, moving over 1.6500 in early trade. Release of decent weekly John Lewis sales data will have helped a little, the decent euro zone data certainly did. The pairing topped out at 1.6542 just shy of technical resistance at 1.6550.

There was evident caution ahead of the release of UK Q-2 GDP data and cable had slipped back to 1.6505 just before the numbers came out.

The caution proved to have been well founded, the release of much weaker than expected growth data (see above) putting sterling on the skids. An Asian sovereign was a notable seller of cable on the way down, and we reached a session low 1.6434.

Generally healthy risk appetite has subsequently lent the pairing some much-needed support, and we’re back up at 1.6460 at writing.

USD/JPY at 94.80 is all but unchanged, the pairing sidelined.

AUD/USD is trading firmer against the backdrop of decent risk appetite, presently at .8180 from an early .8145. Sources however note sell orders up at .8200. Mutterings of RBA sell interest like we heard yesterday.