The US dollar held steady for the most part of the day as traders waited to find out how Trump’s meeting with Yellen went. Reports still indicated that the President is leaning towards appointing Powell, who is considered a dovish option. Data came in better than expected as initial jobless claims fell from 244K to 222K while the Philly Fed index improved from 23.8 to 27.9 versus the estimated drop to 21.9. US existing home sales is due next.
The euro was able to hold its ground and chalk up a few gains despite the lack of top-tier data from the euro zone. Today has the German PPI and current account balance on tap and upbeat data could allow the shared currency to pocket more gains, although political uncertainty in Spain and Austria could pose upside roadblocks.
The pound took another hit on downbeat retail sales data as consumer spending tanked 0.8% instead of dipping by 0.1%. Brexit updates were also front and center as EU leaders upped the pressure on May’s government to speed up negotiations. Only the public sector net borrowing report is due from the UK today, so Brexit updates, particularly those coming from the EU summit in Brussels, could continue to drive pound price action.
The franc was able to benefit from weakness in other European currencies as it emerged as the safe-haven in the region. Swiss trade balance also beat expectations at 2.92 billion CHF versus the estimated 2.47 billion CHF figure. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today so market sentiment could be key.
The yen was also one of the big winners for the day as traders steered clear from the dollar but saw reason to pile on safe-haven holdings. Japan’s all industries activity index was slightly weaker than expected at a 0.1% uptick versus the estimated 0.2% gain. There are no reports due from Japan today but persistent risk-off moves could continue to keep the yen afloat.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Kiwi tanked when NZF announced its support for the Labour party instead of National, as the former is seen to be leaning strongly towards protectionist policies. In effect these could limit trade and migration, two of the main drivers of growth in the country for the past few years. Data from China came in mostly in line with estimates while Australia’s jobs figures surpassed consensus. Canada has its CPI and retail sales numbers due next and strong readings could reinforce BOC hike expectations.