The US dollar tried to get back on its feet but ended mostly lower against its peers as equity indices closed in the red. The US labor market conditions index rose from an upgraded 0.6 reading to 1.3 to reflect sustained improvements, supporting the idea of three rate hikes this year. FOMC Harker also reiterated this view, citing that further growth and employment gains could make March a contender for a tightening announcement. JOLTS job openings and consumer credit data are lined up today.
The euro tanked against most of its peers, particularly the comdolls and the yen, as Draghi once again downplayed the pickup in inflation. He even mentioned that they could vote to increase the size and duration of the QE program if necessary. German industrial production and French trade balance numbers are on today’s docket and weak results could reinforce Draghi’s easing bias. German factory orders and euro zone Sentix investor confidence data were actually better than expected.
The pound was also mostly weaker against its peers as traders are still pricing in last week’s PMI misses. Earlier today, the BRC retail sales monitor showed a 0.6% drop after the previous 1.0% gain. Halifax HPI is due next and a smaller 0.2% uptick is set to follow the previous 1.7% gain.
The franc was in a weak spot against most of its peers but managed to rake gains against the euro. Traders seem to be worried about the tax referendum in Switzerland since this could mean losing companies, jobs, and government revenue. Swiss SECO consumer climate data is due today and a climb from -13 to -11 is expected.
The Japanese yen was the big winner for the day as it took advantage of risk aversion in the financial markets. Japanese average cash earnings were subpar with a 0.1% uptick versus the projected 0.4% increase. Leading indicators data is due today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were on stronger footing compared to their European counterparts as New Zealand reported stronger inflation expectations at 1.9% versus the previous 1.7% figure while the RBA kept rates unchanged at 1.50% as expected. Canadian trade balance, building permits, and Ivey PMI are lined up next, ahead of New Zealand’s GDT auction. A pickup in dairy prices could allow the Kiwi to sustain its climb.