The US dollar gave back some of its recent gains as Yellen downplayed the strong jobs figures while acknowledging that weak inflation remains a topic of discussion. She did mention that balance sheet unwinding could begin later this year. US PPI and initial jobless claims are due next, along with another speech by Fed head Yellen.
The euro gave up ground against most of its counterparts even after the region’s industrial production report printed a stronger than expected 1.3% gain. German WPI fell flat instead of posting the projected 0.2% rebound. German and French final CPI readings are due next.
The pound enjoyed a strong rally after the UK jobs figures came in mostly stronger than expected. Claimant count rose by only 6K versus the projected 10.3K increase in joblessness while the unemployment rate improved from 4.6% to 4.5%. The average earnings index dipped from 2.1% to 1.8% as expected, upping the pressure on the BOE to act to curb overall inflation so that consumer spending can keep up. Only the BOE credit conditions survey is due next.
The franc resumed its slide against most of its counterparts even though there were no reports out of the Swiss economy. The Swiss PPI is due today and a flat reading is eyed, which would still be an improvement over the previous 0.3% decline. A stronger than expected read could revive gains for the currency while a disappointing figure could renew talks of intervention.
The yen had a mixed run as it reacted mostly to country-specific events. Data from Japan was slightly better than expected at a 0.1% dip versus the projected 0.5% drop and there are no reports due today. Risk sentiment and global bond prices could continue to push yen pairs around.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie enjoyed a strong boost from the hawkish BOC hike as the central bank increased rates by 0.25% while signaling scope for further hikes. Policymakers judged the slowdown in inflation as a result of temporary factors and upgraded their growth forecasts for the year. China’s trade balance came in stronger than expected at a surplus of 294 billion CNY, which is positive for the Aussie and Kiwi, as well as overall risk sentiment. EIA crude oil inventories also posted a larger than expected draw of 7.6 million barrels in stockpiles.