Euro volatile ahead of ECB meeting this week
What’s been happening?
UK: The key data out of the UK this week comes in the form of GDP this Friday. Last time out we saw a 0.4% positive UK GDP reading, but markets now expect a slight decline. If this happens we can expect to see sterling under pressure once again. Mark Carney, head of the BoE, has done nothing to help the pound’s performance of late, stating that weaker UK data has relieved pressure off the BoE to raise rates sooner. If this is true, Friday’s GDP figure could prove to be more significant than normal. A rate hike in May has now reduced to a 40% chance.
EU: This week’s ECB meeting could be a rather ‘damp’ affair, with not much market moving comments. No change in interest rates is to be expected from the eurozone, the focus will be on the ECB’s press conference which will follow. France’s President Macron will meet with President Trump today to persuade him to rethink his ‘America First’ stance. Global trade has come under increasing pressure lately, as trade tensions escalate Macron will be looking to ease trade concerns between the eurozone and the US.
US: It was not so much about the dollar strength, but rather the sterling weakness yesterday. The dollar breathed a sigh of relief from recent pound pressure, as question marks were raised over the likelihood of a rate rise in the UK next month. There has not been too much movement from EUR/USD over recent days and until the European Central Bank gives direction on its QE program, the pair could be very much range bound.
What’s coming up?
UK: The key data this week will be coming in on Friday, when GDP figures will be revealed. Data has been soft lately and a weaker figure could mount pressure on the pound and further reduce chances of an interest rate hike in May. Mark Carney will also speak in London and his comments, as recently seen, have the potential to move markets.
EU: The ECB’s rate decision is expected on Thursday, which will be followed by Mario Draghi’s press conference. Today will see the release of both Germany and France’s PMI data with an expectation of a lower printing.
US: Key data out this week for the US comes in the form of Trade Balance figures and Durable Goods on Thursday, with QoQ GDP released Friday.
A series of positive announcements by the Fed Reserve Members saw the greenback gain ground against the Aussie dollar. The general theme was linked to the continual raising of interest rates over 2018. AUD drifted lower towards 4-month lows, falling 0.8% as a result. Tomorrow early on CPI figures will be released from the RBA. A figure short of the 0.5% quarterly expectation could see AUD weaken even more. Canadian retail sales figures produced a rather flat figure as opposed to the expected 0.4% printing. CPI data was also a little softer, coming 0.1% down on market expectation of 0.4%. The Loonie was sold on the back of this and lost ground against the US dollar.