Today’s Economic events
- German import prices m/m -0.60% vs. -0.30%
- Gfk consumer climate 9.4 vs. 9.5
- ECB TLTRO 7.3bn vs. 24.3bn
- UK Retail sales core m/m -0.20% vs. -1.0%; retail sales m/m -0.40% vs. -0.70%
- UK Retail sales core y/y 4.10% vs. 3.50%; retail sales y/y 3.80% vs. 3.90%
- US Durable goods orders -2.80% vs. -2.80%; core durable goods -1.0% vs. -0.20%
- US weekly jobless claims 265k vs. 268k
- US Flash services PMI
Asian equity markets closed in the red today with the Nikkei225 down -0.64% and the Shanghai Composite down -1.62% as the US Dollar continued to maintain its bullish momentum. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, in his speech yesterday said that there was a change for interest rates to be hiked in April. He joins a majority of other Fed members who have in the recent weeks echoed similar hawkish views on US interest rates, which has kept the dollar well support after the Greenback fell strongly on a dovish FOMC meeting.
There were no major economic releases from Asia this morning. USDJPY continued to edge higher and posted an intraday high to 113 before giving up the gains. The Dollar is currently up 0.03% as USDJPY is close to trading back near the day’s open, currently at 112.42 at the time of writing. The commodity risk currencies are also looking to trim their losses. AUDUSD is down -0.26% for the day after prices initially fell to session lows above 0.75. AUDUSD is currently trading at 0.751. NZDUSD is flat for the day after prices fell to lows below 0.668 before stabilizing. Yesterday, New Zealand’s trade balance data showed an increase of 339 million beating forecasts of 75 million. However, most of the gains came from re-exports of Oil drilling platforms. The Kiwi did not react much to the news.
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In Europe, German import prices for the month fell -0.60%, missing forecasts of -0.30% declines. This comes after import prices fell -1.50% a month ago. Germany’s consumer climate was also soft at 9.4 against estimates of 9.5. EURUSD continued its gradual downtrend as the single currency is down -0.12% at the time of writing. Prices briefly fell to 1.115 before attempting to push higher.
In the UK, retail sales data was weak but better than expected, rising -0.40% on the headline. Forecasts were for a decline of -0.70% in February. The British Pound managed to recover after falling to day’s low at 1.406. GBPUSD is currently up 0.12%, trading at 1.413 at the time of writing.
The NY trading session opened with the US durable goods orders declining as expected. Headline data showed a decrease of -2.80% as expected while core durable goods fell -1.0%, more than the forecasted -0.20% declines. US weekly jobless claims were better, rising 265k against forecasts of 268k. The US Dollar was weaker on the data but awaits the flash services PMI data due later in the afternoon.
On the commodity front, Gold prices are up 0.20% but not before falling to lows near $1212. Gold is currently trading at $1222 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil futures continued their sharp declines after yesterday’s US oil inventories showed another week of strong build up. WTI Crude Oil futures for May are down -2.57% today, trading at $38.7 to a barrel.