The US dollar rallied and reversed on profit-taking towards the end of the month and ahead of the State of the Union address and FOMC statement. No actual policy changes are expected but traders will be keeping their eyes and ears peeled for clues on the pace of tightening this year. The ADP non-farm employment change figure is also due and analysts expect to see a 186K gain in hiring.
The euro had a mixed run as data also came in mixed. French flash GDP up by 0.6% versus the estimated 0.5% expansion. German preliminary CPI turned out below expectations with a 0.7% drop, though, lower than the estimated 0.5% dip. The region’s flash GDP came in line with estimates of a 0.6% growth figure. German retail sales and preliminary CPI readings are due today and stronger than expected results could revive ECB hike forecasts.
The pound was able to regain ground on BOE Governor Carney’s optimistic remarks. In his speech, he said that inflation could stay above target longer as the pass-through effects of a weaker pound are just being seen. He also cited that wages are up, the labor market is tight, and that productivity and investment could still pick up. There are no major reports from the UK today.
The franc continued to rake in gains against its peers on risk-off flows and hesitation to buy the dollar. The Swiss trade balance came in stronger than expected with a 2.63 billion CHF surplus versus the estimated 2.54 billion CHF figure. However, the KOF economic barometer disappointed with a fall from 111.4 to 106.9. The UBS consumption indicator and Credit Suisse economic expectations index are lined up today.
The yen also managed to chalk up some wins on risk-off flows and dollar weakness. Japan’s preliminary industrial production report turned out stronger than expected with a 2.7% gain versus the estimated 1.5% increase and the earlier 0.5% uptick. Japanese consumer confidence index and housing starts are lined up next.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie managed to stand its ground despite another down day for oil prices due to the API buildup of 3.2 million barrels. In Australia, the headline CPI was slightly weaker than expected at 0.6% versus 0.7% while the trimmed mean CPI came in at 0.4% versus 0.5%. Canadian monthly GDP and underlying inflation data are due today.