The US dollar gave up ground in yesterday’s trading sessions when the labor market index fell from 1.4 to 1.1, leading some traders to pare expectations on a Fed rate hike this September. Testimonies from Fed officials have also been mixed, which suggests that policymakers aren’t quite sure if they should vote for tightening soon. Preliminary labor costs and non-farm productivity numbers are up for release today and improvements should allow the dollar to regain ground while weak figures could push it lower.
The euro regained traction on hopes that a Greek deal will be passed soon. Data from the euro zone was weaker than expected, with the Sentix investor confidence reading falling from 18.5 to 18.4 instead of improving to 20.2. The German ZEW economic sentiment reading is lined up today and analysts are expecting to see a climb from 29.7 to 31.7. The euro zone’s ZEW figure is slated to improve from 42.7 to 43.9 as well, but disappointing results could force the euro to return its recent wins.
The pound was still in a weak spot against most of its forex rivals, except for the US dollar. There have been no reports out of the UK yesterday while today had the BRC retail sales monitor on tap. The report indicated a 1.2% year-over-year gain, down from the previous 1.8% increase.
The franc erased some of its losses in yesterday’s sessions, as some traders booked profits off their short positions. The SNB is seen to have intervened in the markets again, as the foreign currency reserves data showed a large increase last week. There were no reports released from Switzerland yesterday and none are due today.
The yen got sold off when data from Japan came in mostly weaker than expected yesterday. The current account surplus shrank from 1.64 trillion JPY to 1.30 trillion JPY, lower than the projected 1.41 trillion JPY surplus. Consumer confidence was also weaker than expected as the index fell from 41.7 to 40.3 but the Economy Watchers sentiment index improved from 51.0 to 51.6, short of the projected 53.1 figure. Preliminary machine tool orders data is due from Japan today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls resumed their selloff in recent trading sessions, as trade data from China reflected weaker imports and exports. This suggests a slowdown in Chinese demand, as well as a downturn in global trade. Earlier today, Australia showed a drop in NAB business confidence from 8 to 4, reflecting weaker optimism. Oil prices saw a sharp rebound yesterday but the downtrend remains intact, suggesting weaker Loonie performance.
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