Daily FX Trading Update: USD Slows Slide Ahead of NFP – Mar 4, 2016

Daily FX Trading Update: USD Slows Slide Ahead of NFP - Mar 4, 2016
The US dollar gave up more ground against its peers when data came in weaker than expected. Initial jobless claims stood at 278K versus the expected 271K figure while both non-farm productivity and unit labor costs saw downgrades. The ISM non-manufacturing PMI dipped from 53.5 to 53.4, higher than the projected 53.2 reading, but the employment component landed in contraction. The NFP report is due today and a 195K increase in hiring is eyed.
The euro took advantage of dollar weakness and was able to score some wins against some of its higher-yielding peers. Data from the euro zone was mostly in line with expectations, with the retail sales report even printing a stronger than expected 0.4% uptick. Only the retail PMI reading is due from the euro zone today.
The pound refused to back down even with downbeat services PMI data, as traders are probably easing up on their Brexit fears. The report showed a drop from 55.6 to 52.7, worse than the estimated fall to 55.1 to show a slowdown in industry growth. There are no reports due from the UK today.
The franc advanced to the dollar in recent trading sessions, even though there were no major reports out of Switzerland. There are still no reports lined up for today so the franc could take its cue from market sentiment or euro price action.
The Japanese yen was still in a weak spot but its drop was slightly slower compared to previous days. Data from Japan came in better than expected today, as average cash earnings rose 0.4% versus the projected 0.2% uptick. Risk sentiment could push yen pairs around for the rest of the day ahead of the NFP release.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls carried on with their rallies, led mostly by the Aussie on the heels of upbeat trade balance data. The report showed a smaller deficit, thanks to a 1% gain in exports. For today, however, the retail sales release churned out a weaker than expected gain of 0.3% versus the estimated 0.4% rise. Canada’s Ivey PMI is due later today and a drop from 66.0 to 58.2 is eyed.

To contact the reporter of the story: Samuel Rae at samuel@forexminute.com

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Samuel Rae is an active retail trader across a variety of assets, including currencies, stocks and commodities and the author of Diary of a Currency Trader (Harriman House). His personal strategy focuses primarily on classical technical charting patterns with a fundamentally supportive bias, combined with a strict, risk management-driven approach to entries and exits. He is an Economics graduate from Manchester University, UK.