The US dollar gained more momentum on its recent rally, closing out another day in the green. PPI readings actually came in slightly weaker than expected at a 0.2% gain for the headline reading and a 0.1% uptick for the core figure, but this still kept bulls hopeful for an upbeat CPI result later this week. Apart from that, sustained focus on tax reform and small steps in the right direction in the absence of North Korean provocations have also allowed the US currency to edge higher. Headline CPI could show a 0.3% gain while the core reading could show a 0.2% uptick today.
The euro was also able to hold on to some of its gains thanks to mostly upbeat medium-tier data from the region. German final CPI was unchanged at 0.1% as expected but the WPI printed a higher 0.3% rebound versus the projected 0.1% uptick and the earlier 0.1% dip. The euro zone quarterly employment change report printed a 0.4% gain versus the projected 0.3% increase. Euro zone industrial production was up 0.1% as expected and the only report due today is the French final CPI reading.
The pound struggled to establish a clear direction as it was bogged down by some misses in the UK jobs report. Although the claimant count fell by 2.8K instead of increasing by 0.8K, the earlier figure was revised to show a larger 2.9K drop while the average earnings index didn’t budge from 2.1% instead of advancing to the estimated 2.3% figure. Still, the unemployment rate improved from 4.4% to 4.3%. The BOE decision is due today and a hawkish tilt is expected after seeing the upbeat CPI figures earlier in the week.
The franc resumed its slide to its peers as risk appetite extended its stay in the financial markets. Swiss PPI was actually better than expected at 0.3% versus the projected 0.2% uptick, but traders seem to be wary of additional SNB jawboning in their upcoming monetary policy announcement.
The yen continued to give up ground on improving market sentiment and dollar strength. Data from Japan was better than expected as the BSI manufacturing index jumped from -2.9 to +9.4, outpacing the consensus at +4.8. Only the revised industrial production report is due from Japan today and no changes from the initial -0.8% reading is eyed.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie had another positive day as the oil-related currency managed to shrug off the buildup in stockpiles as reported by the EIA and API. OPEC reported weaker compliance in its output deal for the month of August but saw production fall by 79K barrels per day in the same month. Australia’s jobs report is due next and a 17.5K increase in hiring is eyed, lower than the earlier 27.9K figure. Chinese data could also push comdolls around as industrial production and retail sales are expecting gains.