The US dollar was able to benefit from the run in risk aversion yesterday, advancing against most of its higher-yielding rivals except for the yen. Data from Japan has been better than expected, as initial jobless claims landed at 267K versus the projected 271K figure. Also, Fed Chairperson Yellen sounded more upbeat than usual and assured that there is no bubble about to burst in the US economy. FOMC members George and Dudley are set to give testimonies today.
The euro suffered another fresh wave of selling pressure when the ECB minutes revealed that policymakers actually considered a larger stimulus injection in their March statement. In addition, Governor Draghi reiterated that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to boost inflation and growth. Only medium-tier reports such as the French industrial production and German trade balance are due from the euro zone today.
The pound was also in a very weak spot when risk aversion came into play. Data from the UK was actually stronger than expected, as the Halifax HPI posted a 2.6% jump in prices. However, Brexit fears weighed on the pound when traders reduced their riskier holdings. UK manufacturing production data is due today and a 0.2% decline is eyed.
The franc gave up some ground to the dollar but was able to rake in gains against its other forex peers on risk-off moves. Swiss foreign currency reserves didn’t reveal any signs of intervention from the central bank, although traders still seem wary that the SNB might make an announcement anytime soon. The Swiss CPI and jobless rate are due today.
The yen staged a very strong rally despite remarks from government officials saying that they’re monitoring exchange rate levels closely. Earlier today, Japan’s current account balance came in stronger than expected at a surplus of 1.73 trillion JPY. No other reports are due from Japan today but more jawboning from officials could inspire volatility.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls gave up ground when risk aversion returned to the markets. Data from Canada was better than expected as building permits showed a 15.5% jump. The jobs numbers are due today and a 10.4K increase in hiring is eyed.