European Equities: German Consumer Confidence and the ECB in Focus


Thursday, 25th March

GfK German Consumer Climate (Apr)

ECB Economic Bulletin

ECB President Lagarde Speaks

Friday, 26th March

Spanish GDP (QoQ) (Q4)

German Ifo Business Climate Index (Mar)

The Majors

It was a mixed day for the European majors on Wednesday. The DAX30 fell by 0.35%, while the CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 rose by 0.03% and by 0.02% respectively.

Impressive manufacturing PMI figures and better than expected service PMI figures from the Eurozone failed to deliver support.

With both France and Germany reintroducing lockdown measures, concerns over the economic outlook overshadowed a pickup in private sector activity in March.

The Stats

It was a particularly busy day on the economic calendar on Wednesday. Private sector PMIs for France, Germany, and the Eurozone and Eurozone consumer confidence figures were in focus.


According to the prelim survey, the French Manufacturing PMI rose from 56.1 to a 39-month high 58.8 in March. Economists had forecast a rise to 56.5.

The services PMI increased from 45.6 to a 3-month high 47.8, which was better than a forecasted decline to 45.5.


Manufacturing sector continued to impress in March, with the PMI rising from 60.7 to a record high 66.6. Economists had forecast an increased to 60.8.

The services sector returned to expansion, with the PMI rising from 45.7 to a 7-month high 50.8. Economists had forecast an increased to 46.2.

The Eurozone

The Services PMI increased from 45.7 to a 7-month high 48.8 in March, according to prelim figures versus a forecasted 46.0.

In March, the Manufacturing PMI rose from 57.9 to a record high 62.4 versus a forecasted 57.7.

According to the prelim survey,

  • The composite PMI increased from 48.8 to 52.5, coming in ahead of a forecasted 49.1.

  • As a result of a marked pick up in manufacturing sector activity, Composite PMI hit an 8-month high in March.

  • While manufacturing sector output increased by a survey record, however, service sector activity continued to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Manufacturers saw headcounts rise at a rate not seen since Aug-2018. Across the services sector, however, the rate of job creation was far more modest, though the largest since the start of the pandemic.

  • For the private sector as a whole, new business returned to growth over the Eurozone.

  • Export orders rose sharply, largely attributed to an unprecedented increase in manufacturing.

Consumer Confidence

According to the EU Commission, the flash consumer confidence indicator for the Euro area rose by 4 points to -10.8 for March. The increase took the indicator above its long-term average of -11.1.

From the U.S

It was a relatively busy day. Key stats included core durable goods orders and prelim private sector PMI numbers for March.

The stats were mixed, with core durable goods and durable goods orders disappointing.

In February, durable goods orders fell by 1.1%, with core durable goods orders declining by 0.9%. Economists had forecast increases of 0.8% and 0.6% respectively after upward revisions to January numbers.

Private sector activity saw a marginal pickup in March, however, according to prelim figures.

The Manufacturing PMI increased from 58.6 to 59.0, with the Services PMI rising from 59.8 to 60.0.

Economists had forecast increases to 59.3 and to 60.0 respectively.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a bearish day for the auto sector on Wednesday. Volkswagen slid by 3.01%, with Continental and Daimler falling by 1.77% and 1.86% respectively. BMW saw a more modest 1.37% loss on the day.

It was a bullish day for the banks, however. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rose by 1.41% and by 1.59% respectively.

From the CAC, it was a bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole rose by 1.51% and by 1.22% respectively, with Soc Gen gaining 0.39%.

It was relatively flat day for the French auto sector. Stellantis NV and Renault ended the day with modest gains of 0.03% and 0.08% respectively.

Air France-KLM rallied by 2.95%, with Airbus SE gaining 0.80% on the day.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the green for the VIX on Wednesday, marking a 4th gain from 14 sessions.

Following on from a 7.52% rise on Tuesday, the VIX rose by 4.43% to end the day at 21.20.

The NASDAQ slid by 2.01%, with the Dow and the S&P500 declining by 0.01% and by 0.55% respectively.

The Day Ahead

It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the European economic calendar. German consumer confidence figures for April are due out going into the European open.

Later this morning, the focus will then shift to the ECB. The ECB Economic Bulletin is due out ahead of a scheduled ECB President Lagarde speech.

Low vaccination rates across member states and a fresh spike of new COVID-19 cases will remain a concern. Any negative chatter will further test support for the majors.

From the U.S, weekly jobless claims figures for the week ending 19th March will also be in focus.

Other stats include finalized 4th quarter GDP numbers from the U.S. These are unlikely to have a material impact on the markets following FED’s optimistic economic outlook.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 53 points, while the DAX was down by 37 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire