Moderate risk-aversion prevailed across the Asian markets, as a sense of caution ahead of the key Eurozone/ US macro data that could set the tone for the markets in the coming days. Meanwhile, traders refrained from placing any big directional bets heading into the Easter weekend holidays and hence, left most majors wavering in tight ranges while the US dollar consolidates its recovery across the board, holding steady near the 97 mark.
Amongst the Asia-pac currencies, the USD/JPY pair extended its range play around the 112 handle, little affected by any Japanese headlines or risk-off action in the Asian equities and negative Treasury yields. The Aussie, on the other hand, enjoyed good two-way businesses for the second day in a row and retested the 0.72 handle following the release of mixed Australian jobs and NAB business surveys. The Chinese proxy, the AUD, was unperturbed by the report that PBOC is unlikely to cut the RRR in the near-term. Meanwhile, the Kiwi traded on the defensive above the 0.67 level amid the recent decline in oil prices on surging US output. Therefore, the Loonie also remained on the offers near mid-1.33s.
Both the European currencies, the Euro and the pound traded almost unchanged on the day, awaiting fresh directives from the economic releases ahead while the gold price-weakness also capped the upside in the shared currency. Gold prices on Comex traded weaker and looked to test the 1270 level.
Main Topics in Asia
KCNA: N.Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees test of new tactical guided weapon – Reuters
Fed’s Logan: Eventual treasury purchases likely to be larger than before financial crisis – RTRS
WTI: Pullback towards $63.00 persists amid lack of fresh catalysts
Nikkei Flash Japan Manufacturing PMI – Full Report
Japan finmin Aso to travel to U.S. on April 25 to meet US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin – RTRS Source
Aussie jobs data is in: In-line Unemployment Rate
Australian NAB Quarterly Business Survey, March Quarter 2019
Fitch confirms Australia at AAA, outlook ‘Stable’
China SAFE spokesman: Confident China will be able to achieve 2019 economic growth target
USD/IDR: Indonesian Rupiah rises to 7-week highs, President Widodo gets second term as expected
Japan: October sales tax hike may be delayed – Kyodo News
Japan PM Abe to meet with US Pres. Trump at White House on April 26th
Key Focus Ahead
A hectic EUR calendar awaits this Thursday, with all eyes focused on the Euro area flash manufacturing and services PMI reports, trickling in from 0715 GMT that will decide the fate of the EUR bulls. Amongst the Euro area economies, the German and the entire bloc’s PMI reports will be closely eyed for fresh signs on the Eurozone’s economic health. The manufacturing PMIs from both economies are likely to show a minor improvement this month. Ahead of these reports, the Swiss trade figures will be published at 0600 GMT.
At 0830 GMT, the key UK retail sales report will be released, which is likely to show that the UK consumer spending rose by 4.6% y/y last month vs. 4.0% booked in Feb.
The NA docket is also a heavy-showing, with the US retail sales, weekly jobless claims, Philly Fed manufacturing index slated for release at 1230 GMT alongside the releases of the Canadian retail sales and ADP jobs, which will keep the NA traders busy from the onset.
Later on, at 1345 GMT, the US manufacturing and services PMIs will be published by Markit, followed by the US business inventories data at 1400 GMT. Meanwhile, the speech by the FOMC member Bostic will wrap up a data-heavy Good Friday week.
EUR/USD: Repeated failure to close above 1.13 is cause of concern for bulls, focus on Eurozone PMIs
A weaker-than-expected PMIs, therefore, could put EUR/USD on the path to re-test of 1.12. The newfound resistance range of 1.1310-1.1325 will likely be scaled in a convincing manner if the PMI’s jump above 50.00, signaling a rebound in the factory activity.
GBP/USD: Buyers await UK retail sales to validate 1.3035/30 support
Looking forward, March month retail sales from the UK will become the key driver for the GBP/USD pair as the same contributes the majority into the British GDP. The quote clings to a nine-week-old upward sloping trend-line while waiting for the UK data for fresh triggers.
UK retail sales preview: A tie-breaker for UK data, but the bias is bearish for GBP/USD
The UK publishes its Retail Sales report for March on Thursday, April 18th, at 8:30 GMT. Back in February, headline sales advanced by 0.4% MoM. Excluding fuel, consumption rose by a more modest 0.2%.
US Retail Sales Preview: Let the spending begin
Overall retail sales are predicted to rise 0.9% in March following February’s 0.2% decline. Sales excluding automobiles are expected to climb 0.7% after falling 0.4% the prior month.