The dollar was able to draw a bit of support from risk-off flows even as equities plummeted. The VIX posted one of its strongest single-day jumps while indices erased most of their gains for the year in what several analysts called a long-overdue pullback. US data was stronger than expected as the ISM non-manufacturing PMI climbed from 55.9 to 59.9. Only the trade balance and IBD/TIPP economic optimism index are due next.
The euro managed to gain a bit of support from Draghi’s optimistic remarks but still caved to the dollar and yen. Draghi acknowledged that economic growth has been broad-based in the region and that they are more confident about inflation. Still, he cautioned that it’s too early to call victory just yet. German factory orders and euro zone retail PMI are lined up next.
The pound struggled to stay afloat as it was bogged down by downbeat services PMI. The reading slumped from 54.2 to 53.0 versus the 54.1 consensus to show a weaker pace of industry expansion just like in the manufacturing and construction sectors. There are no major reports from the UK today so traders could react to Brexit-related headlines or price in Super Thursday expectations.
The franc was also among the top contenders as it raked in most of the safe-haven flows. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy then and there are none due today, which means that sentiment could keep pushing franc pairs around.
The yen was the strongest performer thanks to the sharp tumble among higher-yielding assets on a pickup in market fear. There were no reports out of Japan then and none are due today, so sentiment could still be the primary driver of yen pairs.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were greatest hit by the slump in risk appetite as traders dumped riskier holdings. Gold managed to chalk up some gains while crude oil slipped. Earlier today, Australia reported weaker retail sales and trade balance data. New Zealand will release its quarterly jobs report next and might print a meager 0.2% uptick in hiring.