There is no trade call for the London session. Start your week with my prepared currency update below.
USD: CPI for March slightly missed estimates with Core dropping to 2.2% y/y from a prior of 2.3% and for the month, missing estimates at 0.1% versus 0.2% expected. Headline inflation also dropped from prior and missed estimates at 0.9% y/y. Employment figures for March were solid with 215,000 jobs added, a rise of 0.3% in Average Hourly Earnings, and an increase in Participation Rate to 63.0%. Yellen’s speech on March 29 was dovish; she stressed caution in raising rates in the context of global risks and lower inflation expectations, this followed a dovish FOMC Statement the week prior.
EUR: A bearish currency fundamentally, however currently trading neutral following upside from Draghi’s comments at the March meeting. CPI for March came in as expected for the headline at -0.1% y/y, but beat estimates for the core figure at 1.0% vs expectations of 0.9% and prior of 0.8%. On March 10, the ECB cut all three key interest rates and an increased QE by €20bn per month.
GBP: Fundamentally a slightly bullish currency, however Brexit concerns continued to provide negative sentiment. Average Weekly Earnings for February increased by 1.8%, below expectations of 2.3%, Claimant Count Change also missed expectations, increasing by 6,700 vs an expected decrease of 11,300. For the month of March, Core CPI m/m printed at 0.6%, double the expected 0.3%, and core y/y printed at 1.5% above expectations of 1.3%. Headline CPI also beat market expectations at 0.4% m/m and 0.5% y/y.
AUD: Employment data for March beat estimates at 26.1K vs expected 18.0K for the Employment Change, whilst the Unemployment rate fell to 5.7% vs expectations of 5.9%. The RBA statement released April 5 did not add much new information to the AUD story; the currency remains neutral as the RBA remains on hold and are prepared to ease further if necessary.
NZD: Fundamentally a weak currency given the RBNZ’s easing bias, however currently seeing upside for the same reasons as the AUD. CPI for Q1 slightly beat estimates at 0.2% q/q versus expectations of 0.1%. Year-over-year CPI matched estimates at 0.4%, well below the RBNZ’s target mid-point of 2%. Excluding petrol prices, CPI rose 0.7% y/y.
CAD: A neutral to weakly-bullish currency, with sentiment in lock-step with WTI. Core CPI for the month of March rose 0.7% versus an expectation of 0.3%. This puts year-over-year core inflation at 2.1%. Retail Sales Excluding Automobiles rose 0.2% for February, well above the expected half-percent decline. Solid data from Canada during April has erased any expectation of easing this year, for now.
JPY: Fundamentally a weak currency with chances of further easing. Tokyo CPI Ex-Food & Energy for March was at 0.6% y/y, above expectations of 0.5%. The monthly rise was 0.5%. Nationwide CPI Ex-Food & Energy for February rose 0.8% y/y, above expectations of 0.6%. The BoJ measure remained steady at 1.1% y/y. Daily movements in yen are largely a function of risk sentiment.
CHF: Fundamentally a weak currency, highly correlated with moves in EUR. The franc is fundamentally a weak currency given the SNB’s negative interest rates, however it can suddenly rally on safe-haven flows. The SNB regularly recite that the franc is overvalued and they are prepared to intervene to weaken the currency. The franc’s direction is difficult to predict due to regular intervention by the SNB.