The US dollar staged a strong rally against its peers late on Friday after FOMC policymakers confirmed the possibility of a March Fed rate hike. Yellen admitted that waiting too long to tighten could also be harmful for the economy and that they are simply waiting to see if inflation and employment come in line with their expectations before hiking. US factory orders data is due today and FOMC member Kashkari will deliver a speech.
The euro also advanced against its peers on Friday despite mixed data. German retail sales and the region’s overall consumer spending figure both missed expectations but final services PMI reports were slightly better than expected. Polls continue to show Macron leading against Le Pen, easing fears of a Frexit and further instability. Euro zone Sentix investor confidence and retail PMI are lined up today.
The pound was still mostly weaker on Friday after the services PMI printed a weaker than expected reading. The index fell from 54.5 to 53.3, lower than the expected 54.2 reading and indicative of a slower pace of expansion. BOE MPC member Hogg has a testimony due today but pound price action could be more sensitive to Brexit-related updates.
The franc chalked up some gains against its counterparts towards the end of the week as risk aversion was still in play, particularly in the European region. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy then and none are due today so market sentiment could keep pushing franc pairs around.
The yen had a mixed performance as the lack of top-tier data left it sensitive to currency-specific events. Earlier in the day, Japanese consumer confidence fell from 43.2 to 43.1 instead of improving to 43.7. There are no reports due from Japan today so yen pairs could keep reacting to market sentiment.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were the worst performers at the end of the week as the prospect of Fed tightening could dampen global demand and trade activity. Earlier today, Australia reported a 0.4% uptick in retail sales as expected and a 0.3% drop in its MI inflation gauge. The RBA statement is coming up in the next Asian session and a repeat of their earlier rhetoric could allow the currency to recover.