The Euro continued to suffer in Asian trading this morning after suffering heavy slides on worse than expected unemployment and manufacturing data in the Eurozone. The 17 nations in the Eurozone saw the jobless rate increase to 10.9%, the highest level since the euro formed in 1999. A total of 17.4 million are now unemployed with over 3 million of those are under the age of 25. Both surprising and worrying markets was the news that unemployment in the Eurozone’s leading economy increased to 6.8%, having been expected to remain at February’s 6.7% after 6 months of falls. This brings the number of unemployed Germans to now 2.87 million. Spain said that the number of jobseekers rose for the eighth month in a row in March to hit 5.6 million, a record rate of 24.4%. Spain, which has commanded much investor focus of late, has the highest unemployment rate in the EU with further increases in the jobless rate expected this year as the economy is officially back in recession . This raised further fears of relying on bail out money which saw the Euro plummet over the last 3 trading sessions. The closure of Japanese markets due to holiday tempered the slide a little in Asian markets, but the Euro continued to be down against most major currencies – down 0.10% against the USD, trading at 1.3146.
Also hurting the Euro was the data released in Markit’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The survey of eurozone manufacturing showed that the sector fell further into decline last month as new orders dropped for the eleventh consecutive month dropping to 45.9 in April, down from 47.7 in March making this the lowest reading since June 2009.
Later today investor focus will remain in Europe, as the European Central Bank announces interest rates and will hold a press conference after, whilst in the U.S., weekly initial jobless claims will be looked at ahead of Friday’s key monthly jobs report.
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