The US dollar gave up some ground to its higher-yielding peers as risk appetite improved yesterday. Data from the US came in mostly stronger than expected, with the headline durable goods orders showing a 4.9% rebound from the previous 3.0% decline and the core durable goods orders figure showing a 1.8% increase versus the estimated 0.2% uptick. Initial jobless claims landed at 272K as expected. US preliminary GDP is due today and a downgrade from 0.7% to 0.4% is eyed. Personal income and spending, along with the core PCE price index, are also lined up.
The euro tried to hold steady against the dollar and managed to advance against the yen while losing ground to commodity currencies. The final headline CPI for the euro zone was downgraded from 0.4% to 0.3% while the core CPI was unchanged at 1.0%. Preliminary CPI readings from France and Germany are due today, along with French consumer spending data.
The pound was still the biggest loser of the pack, as downbeat UK business investment data weighed on the currency. Even though the GDP reading was unchanged at 0.5%, the preliminary business investment report showed a 2.1% slide versus the projected 0.6% gain. There are no reports due from the UK today but BOE Governor Carney has a testimony scheduled.
The franc managed to hold on to its gains, thanks to European traders seeking other safe-haven alternatives in the region. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy and SNB head Jordan’s recent remarks suggesting a lower likelihood of more negative deposit rates is keeping the currency supported.
The yen returned some of its latest wins when risk sentiment improved and Japanese CPI readings were released. Tokyo showed a 0.1% drop in core price levels while the national level printed a flat reading. No other reports are due from Japan today, which suggests that sentiment could keep pushing yen pairs around.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls ignored the slump in Chinese equities in the earlier part of the day, focusing on the rebound in oil later on. Reports that OPEC and non-OPEC nations have another meeting in March kept hopes up that a deal to cap production will be made. New Zealand’s trade balance showed a surplus of 8 million NZD versus expectations of a 250 million NZD deficit.