The US dollar once again returned its recent gains as traders booked FX trading profits off their dollar longs prior to today’s NFP release. Data from the US was mixed, as the trade balance came in short of expectations while initial jobless claims posted better than expected results. Preliminary non-farm productivity and unit labor costs also came in better than expected. The NFP reading is slated to show a 236K gain in hiring, weaker compared to the previous 252K increase, while the jobless rate could hold steady at 5.6%.
The euro took the opportunity to regain ground against the dollar and the yen in recent FX trading, as data from Germany came in strong. Factory orders surged by 4.2% instead of showing a mere 1.4% rebound, indicating that business conditions are looking strong. German industrial production and French trade balance are up for release today, although EURUSD might stay in range ahead of the NFP.
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The pound also recovered against most of its FX trading counterparts when the BOE decided to keep monetary policy unchanged. Traders were relieved to find out that the central bank didn’t adopt a more dovish tone like other central banks such as the RBA or BOC, but many are still waiting for the minutes of the meeting to be released later on. UK trade balance is up for release today and a wider deficit is eyed.
The franc gained a bit of ground recently when the Swiss SECO consumer climate reading indicated an improvement from -11 to -6 instead of falling to -13. For today, Swiss foreign currency reserves and retail sales data are due. Consumer spending could see a 0.4% annualized gain while a large increase foreign currency reserves could reflect central bank intervention in the forex market, which might drive the franc lower in FX trading.
The yen lagged behind its counterparts in recent FX trading when risk appetite picked up once more. There have been no major reports released from Japan then and none are due today, suggesting that yen pairs could be driven by market sentiment and could take their cue from USDJPY price action.
The commodity currencies were able to take advantage of the pickup in risk sentiment, although data came in mixed. Australia reported a lower than expected uptick in retail sales of 0.2% versus the projected 0.3% gain while Canada showed a stronger than expected trade balance. For today, Canadian jobs data is due and a 4.7K increase in hiring is expected. Canadian building permits are also up for release.
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