The dollar suffered yet another selloff after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin remarked in the Davos summit that a weaker dollar is good for trade. US data such as services PMI and existing home sales also turned out mostly weaker than expected, keeping traders doubtful about the Fed’s tightening plans this year. New home sales, initial jobless claims, and the goods trade balance are up for release today.
The euro continued to rake in gains despite fears of jawboning from ECB head Draghi during the policy statement later today. A handful of the PMI readings from Germany and France still posted upside surprises, keeping traders positive about the improvements in the region lasting for much longer. No actual rate changes are expected today but strong remarks against currency appreciation could mean losses for the shared currency.
The pound was the strongest currency for the day thanks mostly to Brexit developments and positive jobs figures. The claimant count was weaker than expected at 8.6K versus 2.3K, though, while the previous reading was revised to show a larger increase in joblessness. The average earnings index held steady at 2.5% as expected while the unemployment rate was also unchanged at 4.3%.
The franc also caught a bid in recent sessions as it took over the safe-haven flows from the yen and dollar. There were no major reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday while today has an empty schedule as well, leaving market sentiment to stay in play.
The Japanese yen had a mixed round as it gave up ground to the pound but managed to outpace its other rivals, particularly the dollar. Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI improved from 54.0 to 54.4 versus the consensus at 54.3. Japanese CPI readings are up for release in tomorrow’s Asian session and this could impact BOJ tapering expectations.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls took advantage of dollar weakness but were slightly weaker to the yen and especially against the European currencies. New Zealand’s quarterly CPI came in weaker than expected with a meager 0.1% uptick versus the estimated 0.4% gain or the earlier 0.5% increase. Canadian retail sales data are lined up next and the headline figure could show a 0.7% gain while the core reading might be up by another 0.8%.