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With much of the world on holiday for Easter, trading started proper on Tuesday with the latest interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia. With most of the markets expecting a 25bp cut, the Aussie surged as the RBA left rates on hold at 2.25%.

AUD/USD, which had been trading just under .76, broke through this and breached .77 on the back of the surprise non-move. The gains were short-lived however, as the markets digested the content of the statement which stated “further depreciation seems likely” and “a lower exchange rate is likely to be needed to achieve balanced growth in the economy.” AUD/USD quickly retreated back to .7625 as London came online.

By Jake Trask at UKForex, an international money transfer service

UK data kicked off with a stronger than expected CPIS/Markit UK services PMI reading printing at 58.9. The figure was up from February’s 56.7 and stronger than the expected 57.1. The survey predicted 2015 Q1 GDP growth of 0.7%; an uptick from 2014 Q4’s 0.6%. The report also stated: “The combination of fuller employment and falling prices should support economic growth by providing an important catalyst to higher consumer spending, on which the upturn appears to have become increasingly dependent in recent months.”

There was a word of warning however for those who are hoping for a 2015 interest rate rise from the UK, as the report stated “while the data support the view that the next move interest rates will be upward, the lack of inflationary pressures suggests the first hike remains some way off, and probably not this year unless we see some significant upturn in wage growth.” It is likely this comment was the reason why GBP/USD fell immediately afterwards dropping from 1.4895 to 1.4835.

Tuesday also saw better than expected Spanish and Italian service PMIs with the Spanish reading of 57.3, the second best number since the financial crash. Wednesday started with an under-par German factory orders release which printed -0.9% when 1.5% was forecast. Later in the morning, cable was pushed lower by a weaker than expected UK trade data.   This data showed that Britain’s trade deficit widened to a seven month high in February to £10.34 billion against expectations for – £8.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the dollar continued to strengthen on the release of the FOMC minutes, which left a June rate hike still a definite possibility. The minutes stated that several members thought a June rise as the best option to contain a possible surge in inflation once the drop in oil prices started to be taken out of the equation. A steady sell-off in EUR/USD also weighed on cable whilst UK election jitters continue to simmer away in the background. Thursday saw the UK hold interest rates, as expected, at 0.5% again whilst yet more solid US jobs data (ignore the last NFP blip) with unemployment claims printing a better than expected 281k. The dollar has pushed towards a five year high against the pound this morning with cable briefly dropping below 1.46 on the back of weak UK industrial production data.   The release showed that the total output in the sector had risen a measly 0.1% compared to a year earlier.

Next week sees a plethora of top-tier releases, with UK CPI and average earnings data released. From the States we have retail sales, PPI, building permits, unemployment claims, Philly Fed and CPI data. From the eurozone we have the ECB rate decision and press conference, and from China we have GDP and industrial production figures. It certainly promises to be a busy week!

In this  week’s podcast, we  discuss:  USDown or greenback comeback? And also touch other topics:

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