The US dollar was unable to benefit from stronger than expected JOLTS job openings data as traders are feeling uneasy ahead of Comey’s testimony on Thursday. This could have repercussions on the pace of fiscal reforms or if any are set to be implemented at all. Only the US consumer credit report is lined up today.
The euro was under a bit of selling pressure against the yen and comdolls but it managed to advance versus the dollar and pound. Euro zone retail PMI fell from 52.7 to 52.0 but the Sentix investor confidence index improved from 27.4 to 28.4, outpacing the consensus at 27.6. German factory orders and Italian retail sales are due today.
The pound struggled to stay afloat as traders are keeping extra close tabs on opinion polls leading up to the actual elections later this week. The UK BRC retail sales monitor also printed a 0.4% dip after showing a strong 5.6% surge last time. UK Halifax HPI is due next and a 0.2% fall is eyed.
The franc had a mixed run as it reacted mostly to currency-specific events. There were no reports out of Switzerland yesterday while today has the SNB foreign currency reserves on tap. A significant increase over the earlier 696 billion CHF level could be evidence of intervention, especially since Chairman Jordan has jawboned heavily in the past couple of weeks.
The yen was the strongest performer as it benefitted from risk-off moves and anti-dollar sentiment. News that China will be buying US bonds drove prices higher and yields lower, which then lifted demand for the yen. Average cash earnings also turned out stronger than expected with a 0.5% gain versus the projected 0.3% uptick. Leading indicators is due today and a fall from 105.5% to 104.4% is expected.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Kiwi was the leader of the gang as it got a healthy boost from a 3.2% gain in ANZ commodity prices and another increase from the GDT auction. Dairy prices are up 0.6%, slower than the earlier gain but still enough to bring prices up by their third month in a row. The RBA kept rates on hold as expected and brushed off the Q1 slowdown. Australian GDP and US crude oil inventories data are due next.