A Busy Global Economic Calendar Day
Yesterday’s downbeat GDP data from the UK had a limited influence on Sterling as it continued to nudge higher against its peers. Data released earlier today revealed that nationwide house prices in the UK rose to its highest level since June 2014, despite lower mortgage rates and subdued pace of activity in the nation’s housing market.
Across the Atlantic, investors are cautious ahead of the initial reading of GDP data for the first quarter. Market participants will eye the FOMC’s policy statement today to gauge the US Fed’s view of the economy. In the Euro zone, a set of economic releases, including Germany’s consumer price inflation report for April, will attract market attention.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
The Pound is trading higher against the major currencies this morning after data released earlier in the day revealed that residential property prices in the UK surprised on the upside for April. Prices increased for a second consecutive month, despite the central bank’s efforts to curb the rise by introducing mortgage lending restrictions a year ago. Moving ahead, market participants will keep a tab on the GfK consumer confidence data for April to gauge the level of optimism among the survey respondents about Britain’s economic activity. Going forward, Markit manufacturing PMI and mortgage approvals data, scheduled later this week, will attract market attention.
The Pound shrugged off the worse than expected first quarter GDP reading yesterday, with the GBP/USD currency pair moving quickly rebounded to multi week highs against the US Dollar, following some initial weakness. The initial estimate of GDP data indicated that growth in the nation’s economy slowed to its weakest pace in two years, as the economy was held back by weak output in the construction, industrial and services sector for the first three months of 2015.
US Dollar – US Markets
The US Dollar is trading on a weaker footing against the major currencies this morning, ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting today. While it is widely expected that the monetary policy will remain unchanged, attention will be on the Fed’s assessment of economic growth in its post-meeting policy statement. Market participants will initially focus on the preliminary reading of the first quarter US GDP which will come ahead of the Fed meeting statement. Expectations are that the annualised pace of growth in the first three months slowed to 1%, from 2.2%. In addition, the Fed’s preferred gauge for inflation, the core personal consumption expenditure for the first quarter and pending home sales data for March are also slated for release, later today.
The US Dollar nudged lower against the major currencies yesterday after consumer confidence data showed that optimism weakened unexpectedly, with the index dropping to a four month low for April. Another report indicated that home prices in 20 regions across the US rose at a faster than expected pace for February.
Euro – European Markets
The Euro is trading higher against the US Dollar this morning, with investors looking forward to a string of economic releases from the European region today. The final print of consumer confidence and industrial confidence data from the Euro zone is scheduled for release shortly. Data is expected to show that industrial confidence improved for April, helped by lower oil prices and declining unemployment rate in the Euro zone. Moving ahead, investors will keep a tab on Germany’s consumer price inflation report for April, due later today. The initial estimate of annual German inflation is expected to show that the headline inflation accelerated in April. The preliminary print on German inflation will give a hint about consumer price movement in the Euro zone ahead of the scheduled release tomorrow.
The Euro traded higher against the Pound yesterday, amid hopes that Greece will make some progress with its lenders following a reshuffling of Greece’s negotiating team. Meanwhile, Greece Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, indicated that a public referendum could be held if demands of creditors are unacceptable to the Greek government.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The New Zealand Dollar is trading in a tight range against the US Dollar, ahead of the RBNZ’s interest rate decision. Trading in the currency pair will also be influenced by the release of the initial estimate of first quarter GDP in the US and the US Fed’s post meeting policy statement. Meanwhile, market participants will eye the RBNZ’s statement for any dovish tone, as hinted by comments of its Deputy Governor last week. In his speech, Assistant Governor John McDermott had indicated that the central bank would consider easing if domestic inflation pressures fall any further than desired.
In economic news, ANZ’s business confidence index for New Zealand for April slipped lower than the previous month. Another data showed that trade surplus widened for March, substantially higher than market expectation. Additionally, apart from the RBNZ’s statement, investors will also keep a tab on the building permits data.