The US dollar was mostly stuck in consolidation against its peers as downbeat medium-tier data cast doubts on a March rate hike. The Markit flash manufacturing PMI fell from 55.0 to 54.3 versus the 54.7 consensus while the services PMI slid from 55.6 to 53.9 instead of improving to the projected 55.8 figure. FOMC member Harker confirmed his view that three rate hikes are possible this year and that one may be underway in March, but he also cautioned that data misses could discourage him to vote for tightening. US existing home sales and the FOMC minutes are lined up today.
The euro failed to benefit from mostly stronger than expected flash manufacturing and services PMIs from Germany and France, as the shared currency was dragged lower by headlines. Political troubles are still looming over France and Italy while Greece is encountering roadblocks to securing its next tranche of bailout funds. German IFO business climate data is due next, along with final CPI readings.
The pound was able to put up a good fight against its peers as the discussions on the Brexit plans in the House of Lords seem to have gone by smoothly so far. Officials will continue to debate these plans and might announce their decision next week so pound traders remain on edge. On the data front, the public sector net borrowing report showed a larger 9.8 billion GBP deficit. The UK second estimate GDP is due today and no revisions to the 0.6% growth figure are eyed.
The franc remained under selling pressure, thanks to the uncertainties in the euro zone. Swiss trade balance was stronger than expected at a surplus of 4.73 billion CHF versus the projected 3.03 billion CHF figure. Credit Suisse economic expectations data are up for release today.
The yen had a mixed performance as it functioned mostly as a counter currency and reacted to country-specific events. Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI printed a stronger than expected read while its all industries activity index indicated a slightly larger 0.3% fall. There are no reports due from Japan today so market sentiment could stay in play.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were mostly stronger against their peers, even after New Zealand reported a 3.9% fall in dairy prices during the latest GDT auction. Australian construction work done sank 0.2% instead of rising by 0.5% in Q4 while the wage price index came in line with expectations of a 0.5% gain. Canadian retail sales figures are due next, with the headline figure projected to post a 0.1% uptick and the core figure expected to show a 0.8% gain.