The dollar was slightly weaker for the day after the Empire State manufacturing index slid from 5.2 to -1.0 instead of improving to 7.2. Underlying data showed declines in new orders and shipments, casting some doubt on June rate hike forecasts. Building permits and housing starts, along with industrial production and capacity utilization, are lined up from the US today and another batch of weak results could undermine dollar strength.
The euro resumed its climb against most of its counterparts as more signs of political stability have been emerging in the region. There were no reports out of the euro zone yesterday so traders are looking to the odds of Merkel winning the German elections. For today, German ZEW economic sentiment and euro zone flash GDP data are due with another 0.5% growth figure expected.
The pound was slightly weaker for the day as Prime Minister May’s Facebook Live event provided little assurance for bulls. Instead, traders are now exercising some caution ahead of the top-tier data releases such as the CPI, jobs figures, and retail sales. Inflation reports are expected to show more upside, with headline CPI likely to advance from 2.3% to 2.6% and the core reading expected to climb from 1.8% to 2.2%.
The franc was able to benefit from risk-off flows in recent trading sessions as traders remained reluctant to buy the dollar and yen. However, Swiss PPI turned out weaker than expected with a 0.2% drop versus the projected flat reading and the earlier 0.1% uptick. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today so market sentiment and currency-specific flows could be the main drivers.
The yen was on slightly weaker footing as traders are keeping close tabs on the North Korea situation. Japanese PPI was stronger than expected at 2.1% versus 1.8% and today has the tertiary industry activity index due. An uptick of 0.1% is expected, slower than the earlier 0.2% increase.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie got a bit of a boost on talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Energy ministers from both nations agreed to support an extended output deal until March 2018 in order to keep prices afloat. However, weaker risk appetite remains in play after China printed weak industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset investment reports. New Zealand’s GDT auction and quarterly producer prices data are due next.