The US dollar was dragged lower by downbeat PPI data, as both headline and core readings posted 0.1% declines instead of the estimated 0.2% gains. This could mean a weaker CPI for the same month, which would reinforce lower inflation expectations and rate hike odds. Headline CPI could show a 0.1% uptick while the core reading could be up by 0.2%. Retail sales data is also due today and stronger spending figures are eyed.
The euro got a strong boost from the ECB minutes as policymakers dropped more tightening hints. In particular, the minutes suggested a change in forward guidance shared by members of the committee and a shift in their inflation outlook on expectations that price pressures would eventually take hold. Italian retail sales and euro zone industrial production also beat expectations. French final CPI and Italian industrial production numbers are due next.
The pound had a mixed round as it advanced to the dollar but slid to the euro and consolidated against most of its peers. There were no major reports out of the UK economy yesterday while today has none on tap as well.
The franc trailed the euro after the release of the ECB minutes as the odds of tightening in the region meant less need for the SNB to keep the franc weak. Also, a higher EUR/CHF exchange rate would likely be positive for trade and inflation in Switzerland. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday and none are due today.
The yen gave up ground on risk-taking but managed to outpace the dollar. Japan’s leading indicators ticked up from 106.5% to 108.6% but the current account surplus fell short of estimates. The Economy Watchers Sentiment index is due next and an uptick from 55.1 to 55.2 is expected.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Kiwi was one of the bigger winners of the day as risk-taking kicked in. The Aussie lagged behind as weaker gold prices came into play while the Loonie failed to follow the oil price rallies on NAFTA concerns. China’s trade balance turned out stronger than expected, lifting the Aussie and Kiwi on stronger demand expectations.