The US$ was firmer at the end of Thursday trade, underpinned by a drop in the number of people applying for unemployment lifting sentiment and offsetting a downward revision to the Q4 GDP, which slowed to an annualized rate of 2.2% in the last three months of the year, less than the 2.6% originally reported. The initial jobless claims dropped -5k to 211k in the week ending March 23, below expectation of 220k, to a 2-month low. Also helping the dollar today was a weaker Sterling, which fell by around 1%, pulling up just ahead of 1.3000 support, ahead of yet another Brexit vote due later today.
The US stock indices also edged a little higher, assisted by optimism over progress in US/China trade talks, but the day’s advance was limited by concerns about an economic slowdown after the Q4 GDP result.
WTI ended the day flat although it was a volatile session, briefly sent lower after Donald Trump hit his Twitter account in calling for lower oil prices, reigniting his battle with OPEC. The losses were later recovered and WTI ended at around 59.35. The big mover of the session were the precious metals, which fell by around 1.75% due to not liking the strength in the dollar.
US yields were slightly higher after the US data, with the US10Y attempting to regain 2.4% and underpinning the dollar, as as traders took heart from the suggestion of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks.
Looking ahead, Friday will begin with the NZ Building Permits, Australian Private Sector Credit (exp 0.3%mm – Feb) and a fair bit of data out of Japan, including the Tokyo CPI, Japan Unemployment, Industrial Production, Retail Trade, Construction Orders and Housing Starts. Europe will look to the German Retail Sales (exp -0.9%mm – Feb, 2.8%yy), Import/Export Index, German Unemployment (exp -10K, 4.9%), UK Q4 GDP (exp 0.2%qq, 1.3%yy), while the US will be busy with the US Personal Consumption/Expenditure Index (exp 0.2%mm – Feb), Personal Spending (exp 0.3%mm), Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (exp 61), Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (exp 97.8) , New Home Sales (exp 1.3%mm – Feb ) and a speech from the Fed’s Quarles. Have a good weekend.
Economic data highlights will include:
Fri: Brexit due date, Brexit vote – again, NZ Building Permits, Tokyo CPI, Japan Unemployment, Industrial Production, Retail Trade, Construction Orders, Housing Starts, Australian Private Sector Credit, German Retail Sales, Import/Export Index, German Unemployment, UK Q4 GDP, Total Business Investment, US Personal Consumption/Expenditure Index, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, New Home Sa Speech; Fed’s Quarles .
Market moves, in brief:
FX: DXY 97.22 (+0.27%)
Bonds: US10Y; 2.38% (0.43%), German 10Y; -0.07% (+9.46%), UK 10Y; 1.00% (-1.63%), Australian 10Y; 1.74% (-2.61%), NZ 10Y; 1.75% (-0.57 %), China 10Y; 3.09% (-0.11%)
Stock Indices: DJI; +0.33%, S+P; +0.32%, NASDAQ; +0.18%, EUStoxx50; +0.03%, FTSE100; +0.56%, Shanghai Composite; -0.92%,
Metals: Gold 1292 oz (-1.39%), Silver 15.01 oz (1.83%), Copper 2.88 lb (+0.65%), Iron Ore 83.48 per tonne (-0.18%),
Oil: WTI 59.37 pb (-0.92%)
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