The commodity currencies took a break from their strong rallies in yesterday’s trading sessions, but the Canadian dollar still emerged as the strongest of the bunch despite downbeat data from Canada. Wholesale sales fell 2.2%, worse than the projected 0.4% drop, while US crude oil inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels.
USDCAD broke below the 1.2700 major psychological level and is down to 1.2655, CADJPY found support at the 85.50 minor psychological mark and is up to 86.88, EURCAD is down to 1.4274, GBPCAD is down to 1.8130, and AUDCAD is down to .9869.
European currencies on edge ahead of ECB
The euro, pound, and franc were all notably weaker in previous trading sessions as traders are lightening up on their holdings prior to the European Central Bank statement today. No actual monetary policy changes are expected for now since the central bank just recently expanded their stimulus program, but traders will be on the lookout for any confirmation that policymakers are ready to lower rates further if needed.
EURUSD is testing support at the 1.1300 major psychological level, EURJPY is holding its ground around 124.00, EURGBP is breaking below the .7900 major psychological level, GBPUSD found resistance near the 1.4400 handle and is down to 1.4342, GBPJPY is consolidating around 157.50, and USDCHF popped up to the .9700 levels.
Data from the UK came in weaker than expected, as the economy lost 6.7K jobs in March instead of gaining the estimated 11.9K. In addition, the previous month’s claimant count was revised to show a smaller decline in joblessness of 9.3K. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1% as expected but the average earnings index slipped from 2.1% to 1.8% to indicate weaker wage growth. UK retail sales data is due today and a 0.1% decline is eyed.
Upbeat NZ data lifts NZD, AUD
Earlier today, New Zealand reported a 4.1% rebound in visitor arrivals, recovering from the 1.2% drop in February. In addition, the ANZ consumer confidence index rose 1.7% after the previous 1.4% slump. ANZ also reported a 2.9% increase in monthly job ads, outpacing the previous 1.2% gain and suggesting a pickup in labor conditions.
NZDUSD popped up from a low of .6956 to the .6975 area, NZDJPY is up at 76.60, AUDUSD is retesting support at the .7800 handle, AUDNZD is back above the 1.1200 area, and AUDCAD bounced up to .9875.
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