The US dollar regained ground against most of its peers in recent trading sessions when Fed head Yellen didn’t exactly show any shift in her monetary policy bias. Other FOMC members reiterated that a liftoff is still possible this year but that it depends on how economic data turns out. Data from the US was mixed, as building permits fell short of expectations at 1.10M while housing starts came in better than expected at 1.21M. For today, data on crude oil inventories and a speech by FOMC member Powell are lined up.
The euro retreated against its peers when medium-tier data from the euro zone came in worse than expected. German PPI showed a 0.4% drop in price levels while the region’s current account balance showed a much smaller surplus of 17.7 billion EUR. There are no reports lined up from the region today, leaving traders to price in expectations ahead of the ECB decision tomorrow.
The pound was stuck in consolidation against most of its peers, as traders are waiting for more clues from the UK economy. BOE Governor Carney had a testimony yesterday but barely shared any thoughts on his policy bias. He has another speech lined up today and more hints of what the central bank might do next could push the pound out of consolidation.
The franc had one of its more volatile days in yesterday’s trading session, as the Swiss currency popped lower against the dollar. Swiss trade balance came in better than expected at a larger surplus of 3.05 billion CHF but the currency gave up ground when data from the euro zone came in weak. This could increase the odds of ECB easing, which might then lead the SNB to intervene in the forex market to keep the franc weak.
The yen gave up ground against most of its currency counterparts, as traders seemed to favor the US dollar once more. Earlier today, Japan reported a weaker than expected trade balance, as the deficit was mostly unchanged at 0.36T JPY instead of shrinking to the projected 0.07T JPY shortfall. The country’s all industries activity index is due today and might be in for a downside surprise since the tertiary industry activity index fell short.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were off to a good start, thanks to the RBA’s relatively upbeat meeting minutes. However, the Kiwi was forced to retreat when the dairy auction revealed a 3.1% drop in prices, putting an end to the impressive streak of gains in the previous weeks. In Canada, wholesale sales data came in weaker than expected with a 0.1% decline versus the projected 0.2% uptick, setting the stage for a potential retail sales disappointment later this week. For today, the BOC is set to make its monetary policy decision and no actual changes are expected.