The dollar continued to advance against its peers as risk aversion came into play. Initial jobless claims came in stronger than expected and traders continue to expect strong jobs momentum, which could confirm a Fed rate hike in March. US ISM non-manufacturing PMI is lined up and no change to the earlier 56.5 figure is eyed. Traders are also likely to pay close attention to FOMC head Yellen’s testimony, along with speeches from other voting members Fischer, Evans, and Powell.
The euro continued to recover against most of its peers, particularly the comdolls as political risks seemed to subside. Still, it’s worth noting that reports showed Greece asking for financial assistance from the World Bank, which means that its debt troubles are far from over and that a default remains possible. The headline CPI flash estimate came in at 2.0% versus 1.9% while the core reading came in line with consensus at 0.9%. German retail sales and final services PMI readings are due.
The pound was still in a weak spot but it managed to advance against the commodity currencies as Prime Minister Theresa May seems less inclined to give in to any Brexit delays. UK construction PMI ticked up from 52.2 to 52.5 instead of holding steady. Services PMI is due today and a fall from 54.5 to 54.2 is eyed, likely resulting to some pound losses if the actual reading disappoints.
The franc had a mixed performance as it functioned mostly as a counter-currency. A bit of weakness can be observed as this Swiss currency has also been tracking the performance of gold, and the precious metal chalked up losses in recent sessions. Swiss retail sales showed a smaller than expected 1.4% fall versus the projected 2.0% slump. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today.
The yen continued to stay strong against its peers, taking advantage of risk-off moves in the market. Recent reports turned out mixed, with household spending down 1.2% versus the projected 0.3% dip and the Tokyo core CPI posting a 0.3% drop in price levels instead of the estimated 0.2% uptick. The national core CPI printed a 0.1% increase instead of staying flat while Japanese consumer confidence slid from 43.2 to 43.1 instead of improving to 43.7.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were the big losers for the day as risk aversion came into play. Canada’s December GDP came in line with expectations of a 0.3% expansion but the oil-related currency dipped as natural gas storage in the US showed a buildup in stockpiles. In New Zealand, ANZ commodity prices recovered by 2.0%. Australia’s trade surplus came in short of estimates for January due to a 3% drop in exports.