The US dollar returned some of its recent wins to the commodity currencies but regained ground to the euro and the Japanese yen. Data from the US economy was actually stronger than expected, as the labor market conditions index ticked higher, but Fed official Lockhart’s remarks downplayed the odds of a March Fed rate hike. According to him, the committee would need more inflation data and strong evidence that the 2% target would be achieved. FOMC member Fischer is set to give his testimony today.
The euro gave up some ground to the dollar and some of its comdoll counterparts when profit-taking took place. The euro zone Sentix investor confidence index came in below expectations as it slipped from 15.7 to 9.6, lower than the estimated drop to 11.5. There are no reports due from the euro zone today.
The pound struggled to hold its ground against its forex peers as there were no major reports out of the UK. Traders appear to be playing it safe ahead of the BOE statement and MPC minutes lined up later this week, as more dovish remarks are expected.
The franc was weaker in yesterday’s trading sessions, as the Swiss retail sales report turned out to be a huge disappointment. Consumer spending was down 2.1% year-over-year instead of showing the projected 0.3% uptick while the previous reading was revised to show a sharper 1.1% decline. There are no reports due from Switzerland today.
The yen retreated against some of its forex peers as Japanese traders were out on a holiday. Data from Japan came in weaker than expected, with the trade surplus narrowing from 1.49T JPY to 1.42T JPY. Consumer confidence and the Economy Watchers sentiment index are lined up today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Aussie and Kiwi managed to bounce back yesterday after the Chinese authorities intervened in the markets to keep the yuan afloat. However, the Canadian dollar was unable to join the rally since oil prices fell to the $31/barrel levels yesterday. ANZ reported that job advertisements fell 0.1% in Australia and that commodity prices were down by 1.8% in New Zealand, adding potential downside in the coming days.