Markets were volatile across the financial asset board last week. Starting out with the U.S. economy, inflation data was the center of investor attention, with the consumer price index edging 0.10% higher in July after remaining unchanged in the prior month. That lifted the yearly increase in the CPI to 1.70% from 1.60% in June. Economists surveyed by Reuters had projected the CPI to climb 0.20% in July and rise 1.80% year-over-year. The benign increase in consumer prices is likely to make the Federal Reserve more cautious about hiking interest rates again this year, pressurizing the U.S. dollar against the euro.
Across the Atlantic, industrial production unexpectedly grew in the U.K., with output increasing by 0.50% on the month in June, topping the consensus expectation of -0.20%. Moving eastwards, falling imports helped push German trade balance to 22.30 billion euros in July from 22.00 billion euros in June. It was expected to rise to 23.00 billion euros. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand stuck firmly to its neutral stance and left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 1.75%. To cap off the week, U.S. crude futures mounted a late rally after data from Baker Hughes showed the number of active U.S. oil rigs rising to 768 last week.