The US$ is mixed on Thursday as traders take a cautious stance while watching the Trump/Kim summit in Vietnam and also monitoring with some alarm the escalation of tensions in India/Pakistan. The big winner of the Wednesday session was Cable, which once again extended its rally on optimism that the risk of a “No-Deal” Brexit is fading, while, on other side of the coin, the Aud$, the Kiwi and the Jpy are under some downside pressure. EurUsd had been stuck within a tight range, little moved by Bundesbank President, Weidmann, who said that German economic growth will “fall well short of the potential rate of 1.5% in 2019”.
In other markets, the metals took a hit, with Gold/Silver down by 0.7%/1.0%, while WTI went the other way, +2.5% after the latest weekly US data showed a large and unexpected slump in domestic crude inventories, down by
8.65 million barrels in the week to Feb. 22 compared to forecasts for a build of 2.84 million. US stock markets are once again fairly flat, while US yields edged higher (US10Y @ 2.69%).
Thursday will be another busy session beginning in Asia with the Japan Retail Trade, Industrial Production, and Housing Starts figures for January. This will be closely followed by the NZ ANZ Activity Outlook/Business Confidence, the Australian Private Sector Credit and Housing Starts for January and the Q4 US Personal Consumption/Expenditure (exp +0.3%), while the main Asian focus will be on the China Mfg/Non-Mfg PMIs (exp 49.5/54.5). Europe will see Preliminary February inflation data from Germany (CPI, exp 0.5%mm, 1.5%yy; HICP, exp 0.6%mm, 1.7%yy), France, Spain, and Italy, while the US will look to the Preliminary Q4 GDP (exp 1.7%qq, 2.3%yy), US Personal Consumption (exp 1.6%)/Expenditure (exp 1.5%) and the weekly Jobless Claims. The Kansas Fed Mfg Activity and Chicago Purchasing Managers Index are also due, while Jerome Powell will conclude his testimony to Congress, and the Fed’s Bostic will also be speaking.
Economic data highlights will include:
Thur: Japan Retail Trade, Australian Private Sector Credit, Personal Consumption/Expenditure Index – Q4, New Home Sales, China NBS Mfg/Non-Mfg PMIs, German CPI/HICP, US Preliminary Q4 GDP, Personal Consumption/Expenditure Index, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, Kansas Fed Mfg Activity, Weekly Jobless Claims, Fed Speakers Powell/Bostic
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