Economic Update – Euro Fundamentals Rise Further, Oil Tipped to Move Higher

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New economic data was released today showing continued growth in France, Germany and the Euro Zone. This further adds to the narrative of key fundamentals within the global economy continuing to rise, just as central bankers begin to raise expectations of increased interest rates and a tightening of monetary policy.

Here’s a rundown of the headlines:

Bloomberg: French Economy Grows Fastest Since 2011 as Services Strengthen

  • A pickup in services in February propelled French private-sector growth to the fastest pace in almost six years.
  • A composite Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 56.2 from 54.1 in January, IHS Markit said on Tuesday. That’s the eighth consecutive reading above the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction and above an economist estimate for 53.8. A gauge for services rose to the highest level since mid-2011, while a measure for manufacturing was unchanged.

Daily Mail: Growth in Germany’s private sector picks up to highest in nearly three years – PMI

  • Growth in Germany’s private sector picked up in February to reach its highest level in nearly three years, driven by humming factories, a survey showed on Tuesday, pointing to a strong first quarter in Europe’s biggest economy.
  • Markit’s flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), rose to 56.1 from 54.8 in January. The index tracks activity in manufacturing and services, which account for more than two-thirds of the German economy.
  • The reading, comfortably above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction, marked a 34-month high and came in much better than the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 54.7.

CNBC: Euro zone growth surges to near six-year high despite upcoming French elections

  • Growth in euro zone business activity surged in February to its highest level in almost six years, according to the latest survey of the services and manufacturing sectors by IHS Markit.
  • The overall flash composite index of services and manufacturing activity in the euro zone spiked to 56.0 in February, up from 54.4 in January, Markit said on Tuesday. This was its highest reading since April 2011. The index surpassed expectations for a reading of 54.3, according to analysts polled by Reuters. The 50-point threshold separates expansion from contraction.

Market Watch: Why the ‘next leg in the oil bull market’ is coming soon

  • $60-a-barrel in sight as April contract starts trading, analysts says
  • Speaking at the S&P Platts London Oil & Energy Forum on Monday, PIRA Energy’s Gary Ross said the bull market for oil is about to return, potentially sending prices as high as $60 a barrel in the coming weeks.
  • “We think the markets have consolidated enough and that the next, smaller leg in the bull market is about to occur,” said Ross. “We are actually quite [upbeat] on prices, particularly when the April contract becomes the front-runner later this week.” (The “front-runner” is the nearest tradable contract.)
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