The Greenback was mostly a counter currency in recent trading sessions, as US traders were off on a President’s Day holiday. Only the Empire State manufacturing index is up for release today and a rise from -19.4 to -10.5 is expected.
The euro suffered a sharp drop when ECB head Draghi reiterated the possibility of additional ECB easing in March. He said that policymakers would study the impact of falling commodity prices on domestic inflation and the risks from the global financial turmoil. ZEW economic sentiment figures are up for release from Germany and the rest of euro zone today.
The pound was also sold off sharply after BOE member McCafferty admitted that negative rates could be a policy option for the central bank. Recall that McCafferty had previously been voting for rate hikes so his dovish tone represents a significant shift. UK CPI numbers are due today, with the headline figure expected to rise from 0.2% to 0.3% and the core figure expected to dip from 1.4% to 1.3%.
The franc gave up some of its recent wins on talks of additional ECB easing, as traders are generally wary of SNB intervention in case that happens. There were no reports out of Switzerland yesterday and none are due today.
The yen was still in a weak spot as risk appetite resumed in the markets. Data from Japan was also mostly weaker than expected, with the GDP showing a 0.4% contraction for Q4 and the industrial production figure downgraded to show a sharper 1.4% decline. Tertiary industry activity fell 0.6% instead of posting the estimated 0.1% uptick.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie continued to advance on stronger hopes of an OPEC deal to cut production, as Russia is set to meet with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Qatar today. New Zealand’s retail sales report came in closely in line with expectations, as headline consumer spending rose 1.2% while core consumer spending climbed 1.4%. In Australia, the RBA minutes failed to push AUD pairs lower, as the accommodative stance is already priced in. Canada’s manufacturing sales and New Zealand’s dairy auction are lined up next.