The Australian dollar emerged as the top performing currency last week. The AUD made strong gains led by better than expected unemployment data which saw the Australian unemployment rate fall to 5.70%, the lowest jobless rate since September of 2013. Besides the AUD being bolstered by the domestic data, China’s economic data this week was also in line with estimates which helped support the AUD. By Friday’s close, AUDUSD was trading near a 9-month high. The Kiwi also followed suite, but the gains came mostly from an improved risk sentiment due to China’s data.
Last week saw the safe haven currencies giving back their gains with the yen and the Swiss franc ending up as the weaker currencies, falling 0.64% and 1.48% respectively. The declines come after weeks of strong risk aversion sentiment which especially impacted the Japanese yen which remains as the top performing currency on a year to date basis.
Fundamentals for the Week 18/04 – 22/04
|18-Apr||13:30||CAD||Foreign Securities Purchases||7.52B||13.51B|
|USD||FOMC Member Dudley Speaks|
|19-Apr||02:30||AUD||Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes|
|10:00||EUR||German ZEW Economic Sentiment||8.2||4.3|
|EUR||ZEW Economic Sentiment||13.9||10.6|
|14:30||AUD||RBA Gov Stevens Speaks|
|16:00||CAD||BOC Gov Poloz Speaks|
|20-Apr||09:30||GBP||Average Earnings Index 3m/y||2.10%||2.10%|
|GBP||Claimant Count Change||-11.9K||-18.0K|
|13:30||CAD||Wholesale Sales m/m||0.00%|
|15:00||USD||Existing Home Sales||5.29M||5.08M|
|15:30||USD||Crude Oil Inventories||6.6M|
|21-Apr||09:30||GBP||Retail Sales m/m||-0.20%||-0.40%|
|GBP||Public Sector Net Borrowing||5.6B||6.5B|
|12:45||EUR||Minimum Bid Rate||0.00%||0.00%|
|13:30||EUR||ECB Press Conference|
|USD||Philly Fed Manufacturing Index||12.4|
|22-Apr||08:00||EUR||French Flash Manufacturing PMI||49.8||49.6|
|EUR||French Flash Services PMI||50||49.9|
|08:30||EUR||German Flash Manufacturing PMI||50.9||50.7|
|EUR||German Flash Services PMI||55||55.1|
|09:00||EUR||Flash Manufacturing PMI||51.7||51.6|
|EUR||Flash Services PMI||53.2||53.1|
|13:30||CAD||Core CPI m/m||0.40%||0.50%|
|CAD||Core Retail Sales m/m||-0.70%||1.20%|
|CAD||Retail Sales m/m||-0.70%||2.10%|
Currencies/Events to Watch this Week
AUD: Economic data from Australia this week is fairly limited to the RBA’s meeting minutes from earlier this month. The Reserve Bank of Australia had left interest rates unchanged but made a mention of the AUD’s exchange rate appreciation. With the Australian economy holding up fairly well, the RBA’s minutes are unlikely to see any big reaction in the currency markets.
EUR: It is a busy week for the Eurozone with flash PMI numbers due later in the week. However, the big event for the euro will be the ECB’s meeting on Thursday. No change to monetary policy or QE is expected at this meeting, but the euro stays vulnerable to any dovish rhetoric from ECB officials during the press conference.
GBP: From the UK, the monthly jobs report is expected to stay lackluster. Average earnings is expected to rise at the same pace as in February at 2.10% while the unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 5.10%. Following the unemployment data, retail sales numbers from the UK is expected to show another weak month with forecasts of a 0.20% declines. However, there is scope for an upside surprise given that inflation managed to tick higher during the period.
JPY: It is a slow week for the Japanese yen with economic data limited to flash manufacturing PMI. However, risk sentiment will likely be the main driving force for the yen next week as investors watch if USDJPY will continue to push higher or resume its strong downtrend. While BoJ officials have taken turns to jawbone the yen, it has yielded little results. The BoJ will be meeting in the last week of April for its monetary policy meeting, so nothing substantial is expected until then.
CAD: While the Canadian dollar starts off with limited data in the first part of the week, Friday’s data dump will see retail sales and CPI figures coming out. Retail sales are expected to disappoint falling 0.70% on both the core and headline while inflation is expected to come out mixed with the core CPI estimated to have increased 0.40%, less than February’s 0.50% while headline CPI is expected to rise 0.40%, up from February’s 0.20%.
USD: For the US dollar, data is limited this week to housing starts which are expected to stay soft at 1.17 million following the previous print of 1.18 million. Building permits, on the other hand, is expected to rise 1.20 million, up from 1.18 million previously. Fed member William Dudley will be speaking on Monday while for the remainder of the week, the Philly Fed manufacturing index and weekly jobless claims will be due for release.