The US dollar failed to benefit from the strong rallies in equities, even as the Dow 30 index surged past the 20K mark. Risk appetite appears to be returning and shoring up demand for higher-yielding currencies. Only the crude oil inventories report was printed from the US economy yesterday while today has initial jobless claims, goods trade balance, flash services PMI, and new home sales due.
The euro continued to advance against most of its peers even though data from the region came in weaker than expected. The German Ifo business climate index printed a surprise drop from 111.0 to 109.8 versus the projected rise to 111.3. As it turns out, German manufacturers are less optimistic about current and future business conditions in the country, possibly due to Brexit concerns. Spanish unemployment rate, German GfK consumer climate index, and Italian retail sales are lined up today.
The pound was one of the strongest performers of the bunch as it continued to rally on the heels of the UK High Court ruling. Also, UK CBI industrial order expectations rose from 0 to 5, higher than the projected reading at 2. The UK preliminary GDP reading is due today and 0.5% growth is expected for the fourth quarter of 2016. Stronger than expected data could assure traders that the UK is staying resilient even with Brexit risks.
The franc continued to tread carefully against the euro and dollar but it gave up more ground to the pound. The UBS consumption indicator showed an improvement from an upgraded 1.45 reading to 1.50 while Credit Suisse's economic expectations index also rose from 12.9 to 18.5. Switzerland's trade balance is due today and a narrower surplus is eyed.
The yen settled into consolidation against most of its rivals as traders are starting to feel stronger risk appetite. There have been no major reports out of the Japanese economy yesterday and none are due today so it could be all about market sentiment from here.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Loonie continued its advance on reports that the Keystone XL pipeline might commence construction soon, shoring up demand for Canada's energy resources. However, gains were limited as the US crude oil inventories report showed a larger buildup in stockpiles. In New Zealand, the Q4 CPI beat expectations with a 0.4% uptick versus the projected 0.3% increase. Australia's banks are closed for the holiday today.
By Kate Curtis from Trader's Way