The US dollar raked in some gains on risk-off flows but returned some of these when markets calmed down. Data indicated that wage pressures could remain subdued as unit labor costs posted a weaker than expected 0.6% uptick versus the projected 1.1% climb while non-farm productivity picked up. Initial jobless claims and PPI are due today, along with a speech by FOMC member Dudley.
The euro had a mixed run as it acted as a safe-haven in Europe but weakened to the likes of the yen and dollar. Italy reported a stronger than expected industrial production figure of 1.1% versus the projected 0.2% uptick. French industrial production and Italian trade balance are due next.
The pound also had a mixed run but was mostly weaker to the euro and the franc. There were no reports out of the UK economy yesterday while today has the manufacturing production and goods trade balance due. These are considered leading indicators of growth and might have a strong impact on pound direction, especially if reports come in weaker than expected.
The franc carried on with its strong risk-off rally but paused later on in the day as traders grew wary of SNB intervention again. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday and none are due today so market sentiment related to the North Korean situation could push franc pairs around.
The yen was also a big winner thanks to risk-off flows from North Korea’s missile threats but it also paused from its rally on profit-taking towards the end of the US session. Japanese core machinery orders posted a weaker than expected 1.9% slide versus the estimated 3.6% rebound while PPI came in stronger than expected at 2.9%.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were the weakest of the bunch as risk-taking was dampened by threats of a strike from North Korea. Crude oil ticked slightly higher when the EIA report printed a larger than expected draw of 6.5 million barrels but the Loonie failed to draw much support. The RBNZ kept interest rates on hold at 1.75% as expected while signaling the need for a lower NZD.