Today’s Economic events
- Japan SPPI y/y 0.20% vs. 0.30%
- Australia construction work done q/q -3.60% vs. -2.10%
- Australia wage price index q/q 0.50% vs. 0.60%
- Switzerland UBS consumption indicator 1.66 vs. 1.61 previously
- UK BBA mortgage approvals 47.5k vs. 45.2k
- US Flash services PMI
- New home sales
- Crude oil inventories
- MPC member Cunliffe speech
Chart of the day – GBPJPY
The risk aversion mood continued to gain momentum in early trading today as the economic calendar was relatively light. The Asian trading session saw the Nikkei225 closing lower with -0.85% losses while the Shanghai Composite was higher with 0.90% gains. The Yen continued to gain in today’s trading with USDJPY down -0.33% for the day, trading near session lows of 111.73. Earlier the Yen weakened after comments from BoJ Governor Kuroda who said that QQE remains an option despite speculation that the negative interest rates would be the main monetary policy tool for the BoJ from here on. The rally failed as USDJPY fell back after testing session highs of 112.23.
The commodity risk currencies continued to weaken steadily with AUDUSD down -0.43% for the day. The Aussie slipped to session lows of 0.7154 before managing to recover. Data from Australia included the quarterly construction work, which declined -3.60% while the average wage price index for the quarter rose less than expected at 0.50%. The NZDUSD was also weaker today, falling -0.47%. The Kiwi fell to a two-day low at 0.6586 before recovering off the lows.
The European trading session remained fairly quiet. The Euro, however, remained weak to the Dollar. EURUSD was down -0.21% at the time of writing after the single currency fell to the lows of 1.0959. At the time of writing, EURUSD is seen recovering off the lows, trading below the 1.10 handle.
The British Pound is down another -0.63%. GBPUSD fell to a fresh 7-year low at 1.388 with the British Pound currently attempting to recover some of the declines. The Pound remains heavily weak across the board, with the largest declines coming from the GBPJPY and the EURGBP.
European equity markets were trading in the red as the German DAX slipped -2.38% while the London FTSE100 was down -1.45% for the day.
The NY trading session is expected to see the flash services PMI data and new home sales. So far, the housing market in the US has shown signs of resilience despite tighter monetary policy conditions. Expectations for today’s new home sales are dovish with -4.40% declines for the month anticipated. US futures markets are expected to open weaker today with the Dow Futures down -0.92% while the S&P500 futures are -0.87% lower.
On the commodity front, Gold prices notched another strong rally today, gaining 1.41% for the day as Gold is back trading near the previous highs, testing $1243. Oil prices were, however, weak as April futures are showing a decline of -1.69% for the day, trading at $30.81 a barrel. Oil prices fell as Saudi Arabia’s Oil minister ruled out any production cuts. US Crude Oil inventories report is expected to be released later today.