The US dollar was able to take advantage of the run in risk aversion, thanks to the ECB’s dovish monetary policy statement. Data from the US was also better than expected, as the ISM non-manufacturing PMI dipped from 60.3 to 59.0, better than the projected drop to 58.3. For today, the NFP could prove to be a huge catalyst, as analysts are expecting to see only 215K in hiring gains. Leading employment indicators are mostly suggesting a downside surprise, which might force the dollar to retreat. The jobless rate is expected to fall from 5.3% to 5.2% while average hourly earnings could pick up by 0.2%.
The euro suffered a sharp selloff when the ECB announced that it is open to further easing. It even downgraded growth and inflation forecasts, underscoring its willingness to act if commodity prices continue to fall. There are no major reports out of the euro zone today, leaving traders to adjust their positions to take the ECB’s dovish stance into account.
The pound also suffered a decline yesterday when the UK services PMI turned out to be a disappointment. The index fell from 57.4 to 55.6, reflecting a downturn in industry activity. This followed the bleak construction and manufacturing PMI readings from earlier on in the week, increasing the odds of hearing a dovish outlook from the BOE as well. There are no reports due from the UK today.
The franc took its cue from the euro and lost ground to its rivals, as traders predicted that the SNB might ramp up its intervention efforts if the ECB eases monetary policy. There have been no reports out of Switzerland yesterday while today has the CPI on tap. This could show a 0.2% decline in price levels for August, following the previous 0.6% slide.
The yen was able to rally when risk aversion kicked in after the ECB statement. There have been no major reports out of Japan, putting the yen in a weak spot earlier in the day due to the absence of Chinese traders. However, the low-yielding currency enjoyed safe-haven flows when the ECB shared a downbeat economic view. There are no reports due from Japan today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were in a good mood earlier in the day, as the absence of Chinese traders kept risk-off moves in check. However, data from Australia came in mixed, as the retail sales report showed a 0.1% drop while the trade balance indicated a smaller deficit. Crude oil inventories showed 4.7 million barrels in stockpiles but this did little to push oil prices lower, as revisions to US data showed that they were producing fewer barrels than initially reported. Canada is set to print its jobs numbers today and might show a 4.8K decrease in hiring.
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