The United States employment levels improved in February and the jobless rate dropped to a 6-1/2 year low of 5.5 percent, giving more room for the Federal Reserve to consider hiking interest rates in June, according to an economic report.
The US Dollar traded near its highest point in almost twelve years against the major currencies amid positive economic indicators emerging from the US especially with the very upbeat number coming out of the labor market, said a weekly report issued by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) on Sunday.
The data has generated further optimism over the strength of the country's recovery, while raising expectation of an early rate hike this year, it added.
In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced last week that it would start the quantitative easing programme tomorrow (Monday), it said, adding the ECB also left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.05 percent.
It stated the ECB now expects consumer inflation to be flat in 2016; a downward revision from December's forecast of 0.7 percent, adding the central bank revised its GDP growth projection to 1.5 percent in 2015 up from 1.0 percent estimated in December.
"The US Manufacturing PMI expanded in February for the 26th consecutive month. The data registered 52.9 percent, lower by 0.6 percent from the January's reading of 53.5 percent (A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding)," it said.
Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector on the other hand grew in February for the sixty-first consecutive month, it said.
The Eurozone Consumer Prices Index fell by less than expected in February while unemployment eased in January for the third month in a row, offering signs that the risks of economic stagnation and deflation in the Euro area could be diminishing, it mentioned. The unemployment level fell for the third month in a row to 11.2 percent in January from 11.3 percent in December while the inflation rate fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in February after a 0.6 percent annual drop in the previous month, it said.
The UK construction companies indicated a further acceleration in output growth during February. The UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose a full point to 60.1, defying expectations for a slight fall to 59.0 and reaching its highest level since October.
The UK service sector continued to expand at a strong pace during February, helped by another sharp rise in volumes of incoming new business, it said, adding the UK interest rates remained unchanged at their record low of 0.5 percent for six years.