The US dollar failed to establish a clear direction in recent trading sessions as Congress decided to delay the vote on the healthcare bill. They need 216 votes to gain a simple majority and get Obamacare repealed, but the Freedom Caucus is saying that they cannot make a decision based on the current form of the bill. Data turned out mixed, as initial jobless claims posted a slightly higher 258K increase while new home sales jumped from an upgraded 558K reading to 592K versus the projected 566K figure. Durable goods orders data are due but traders might pay closer attention to the goings-on in Congress.
The euro was able to benefit from risk-off flows, especially since election jitters appear to be fading. Euro zone consumer confidence improved from -6 to -5 but the GfK German consumer climate index fell from 10.0 to 9.8 instead of improving to the projected 10.1 reading. Flash PMI readings from Germany and France are lined up today, and more improvements could remind traders of the ECB’s less dovish stance.
The pound was also able to stay afloat, thanks to stronger than expected UK retail sales data. Consumer spending advanced 1.4% versus the projected 0.4% gain but the earlier reading was downgraded to show 0.5% drop. There are no major reports due from the UK today so Brexit headlines could be the main driver for the pound.
The franc had a mixed performance as it reacted to mostly currency-specific data in the absence of top-tier data from Switzerland. It gained ground to the comdolls but was weaker against the Japanese yen as risk aversion was present. There are no reports due from Swizterland today.
The yen chalked up another strong trading day as it took advantage of the anti-dollar and risk-off market sentiment. Japanese flash manufacturing PMI fell from 53.3 to 52.6 versus the projected rise to 53.5 but the yen is banking on its safe-haven status so far. There are no other reports due from Japan today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls shed a lot of ground to their peers as risk aversion extended its stay in the markets. Canadian CPI reports are up for release today, with the headline figure expected to fall from 0.9% to 0.2% and the core CPI slated to fall from 0.5% to 0.1%.