China trade posts a surplus in March

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Today’s Economic events

  • BoJ Harada speech
  • Australia Westpac consumer confidence m/m -4.0% vs. -2.20% previously
  • China exports y/y 11.50% vs. 10.0%; imports y/y -7.60% vs. -10.0%
  • China trade balance 29.86 billion vs. 33.40 billion
  • France CPI m/m 0.70% vs. 0.70%; CPI y/y -0.10% vs. -0.20%
  • Eurozone industrial production m/m -0.80% vs. -0.30%; y/y 0.80% vs. 1.40%
  • US retail sales control core m/m 0.10% vs. 0.20%
  • US retail sales m/m 0.20% vs. 0.0%
  • US retail sales core m/m -0.30% vs. 0.30%
  • US PPI core m/m -0.10% vs. 0.0%; PPI core y/y 1.0% vs. 1.20%
  • US PPI m/m -0.10% vs. 0.20%; PPI y/y -0.10% vs. 0.20%

Coming Up

  • BoC rate statement
  • US Crude Oil inventories
  • New Zealand PMI business

Encouraging data from China’s export and import numbers for the month of March saw the markets taking on risk. China posted a trade surplus of $29.86 billion, although below consensus estimates of $33 billion China’s exports grew 11.50% in March for the first time since October 2014. Imports were also better, falling 7.60%, down from February’s print of -13.80%. Following modest CPI print earlier this week, the markets will be looking to China’s first quarter GDP data later in the week. For now, the positive data was cheered by the markets as USDJPY continued to edge higher following a base forming near the lows of 107.7 levels. USDJPY touched a 3-day high intraday at 109.4 before easing back lower and is currently up 0.70% for the day.

The AUD and the NZD opened the day on a bullish note. Economic data from Australia saw the Westpac consumer confidence falling 4.0% in April, more than March’s -2.20% decline with the index dipping to 95.1 from 99.1 previously. However, it was China’s data that helped AUDUSD to push higher briefly touching session highs above 0.771 briefly before falling back lower. AUDUSD is currently down 0.46% at the time of writing. The NZDUSD saw similar price action, posting an intraday high early on above 0.694 before pulling back strongly to trade 0.22% lower for the day. Asian equity markets closed positive with the Nikkei225 up 2.84% and the Shanghai Composite gaining 1.44% for the day.

[Tweet “French CPI rising 0.70% matching forecasts for February while falling 0.10% on a yearly basis”]

In Europe economic data saw French CPI rising 0.70% matching forecasts for the month of February while falling 0.10% on a yearly basis. Eurozone industrial production however disappointing posting declines of 0.80% against expectations of 0.30% declines and down from 2.10% in January. On a yearly basis, industrial production in the region grew 0.80%, down from 2.80% previously. EURUSD remained weak and is down 0.73% at the time of writing, touching a 9-day low at $1.130.

The British Pound was more sustained but GBPUSD is down 0.32% for the day following yesterday’s strong rally coming on the back of improve consumer inflation data. European equities are stronger today with the DAX up 2.29% while the London FTSE gained 1.52% at the time of writing.

The NY session opened with US retail sales numbers missing expectations across the board. Retail sales core grew 0.10% in March, same as an upwardly revised print for February, while the headline retail sales fell 0.30% against a flat print from February. Producer price index for the month fell 0.10% against expectations of a 0.20% increase.

On the commodity front, Gold prices opened the day weaker but are looking to recoup some of the losses following weaker economic data from the US. Gold is currently down 0.81% for the day, trading at $1245 an ounce. WTI Crude oil prices are flat ahead of the US inventory report, currently trading at $41.5 a barrel. US equity markets are pointing to a higher open with the Dow Jones futures up 0.49% and the S&P500 futures gaining 0.51% ahead of the opening bell.

Later in the evening, the Bank of Canada will be meeting for its monthly monetary policy meeting where interest rates are expected to stay unchanged at 0.50% and will be followed by the US crude oil inventories report.

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