UK retail sales recovered to the near pre-pandemic levels; the index records the volume of all goods sold by retailers monthly. The National Statistical Office (ONS) reported today the UK retail sales for the month of June climbed 13.9%, bigger than economists' forecasts of an 8% rise. Growth in sales, excluding auto fuel, improved to 13.5% in June from 10.6% a month ago.
The tech giant Microsoft released fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the market close. The company Q4 financial results exceeded expectations boosted by its outperformance in its commercial cloud business.
EUR/USD climbed to a fresh year high of 1.1545 on Tuesday. The currency gained after the EU leaders reached a deal on a coronavirus recovery package worth €750 billion and the pair also supported by the weaker dollar. The dollar index dropped to its lowest since early March on Wednesday during the Asian session.
The healthcare sector companies delivered strong second-quarter earnings last week. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) posted second-quarter results on Thursday that surpassed the consensus forecast on Wall Street. Abbott shares have increased 11% since the beginning of the year while JNJ shares have declined 2.4% this year so far.
This week several countries released their latest inflation numbers. The first CPI numbers published by the U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday, the consumer price index rose 0.6% last month, the biggest gain since August 2012, after easing 0.1% in May. On Wednesday, the National Statistics (ONS) said the UK inflation rate unexpectedly climbed to 0.6% in June from a 4-year low of 0.5% in May. Meanwhile, New Zealand Annual inflation rate declined to 1.5% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020 from 2.5% in the previous three months. On Friday, the Eurozone CPI report for June, the consumer prices rose +0.3% on a yearly basis, up from a four-year low of 0.1% in the previous month.