December 15, 2021
EUR/USD: The European currency is weakening against the U.S. dollar. Investors’ attention is focused on October foreign trade data from Germany. Exports of German goods rose 4.1% at once after a 0.7% decline a month earlier. However, imports of foreign goods to Germany also accelerated its growth from 0.4% to 5.0%. Experts worry that the figures may worsen in the future due to the development of the coronavirus pandemic. As recent studies show, the new variant is in most cases easily transmitted and leads to the isolation of citizens and disruption of economic processes. According to the latest IFO survey, the business climate for solo self-employed persons and microenterprises in Germany has worsened considerably in November as they have borne the brunt of the new pandemic. The index score was minus 6.2 points, and the indicator for business expectations fell to minus 18.8 points.
USD/JPY: The Japanese yen is weakening against the U.S. dollar. Overall, the yen is supported by the relatively benign pandemic situation in the country after a long period of quarantine measures. In contrast to many other developed economies, the disease rates in Japan continue to decline, encouraging investors. Also, today the country’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has approved a draft tax plan. It gives tax preferences to businesses that increase wages and will deprive those companies that do not do so. Earlier, Prime Minister Kishida had already urged Japanese businesses to raise wages by 3% to push up inflation, still far from the 2% target.
Brent: Oil quotes are correcting downwards. Prices came under pressure after the release of the latest EIA report on U.S. oil reserves. Stocks of “black gold” in the country decreased by 0.240 million barrels, significantly lower than the expected 1.705 million decline. At the same time, stocks of gasoline increased by 3.9 million barrels, and distillates – by 2.7 million. Restrictions imposed in a number of countries to contain the spread of the Omicron variant can put pressure on demand.