Forex Major Currencies Outlook (Feb 02, 2018)
The dollar was in a weak spot once more and failed to draw a boost from upbeat economic data. The ISM manufacturing PMI fell from 59.7 to 59.1 to reflect a slower pace of industry growth, but the reading was better than the 58.7 consensus. However, the jobs component posted a sharp decline, leading to downbeat expectations for the NFP. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 181K in hiring, slightly stronger than the earlier 148K gain.
The euro was one of the top performers of the day even though medium-tier data was mixed. Rising bond yields and a stronger performance among European equities were likely propping the shared currency higher. There were also a few hawkish remarks from ECB officials calling the end of their QE program within the year. Spanish unemployment change, euro zone PPI, and Spanish preliminary CPI are due today.
UK manufacturing PMI came in weaker than expected as it slid from 56.2 to 55.3 versus the 56.5 forecast. Components revealed that the main cause for the drop was weaker output, even as prices and export levels rose. The construction PMI is due today and a dip from 52.2 to 52.0 is eyed, indicating a slower pace of industry expansion as well.
The franc was also one of the strongest gainers for the day as it took advantage of dollar and yen weakness. Apart from that, the Swiss SECO consumer climate improved from -2 to +5, outpacing the consensus at +2. Retail sales, however, came in weaker than expected with a 0.6% gain versus the estimated 1.5% increase.
The yen also weakened to most of its peers despite strong data from Japan. The BOJ didn't make any changes to its latest round of JGB purchases, underscoring their commitment to ultra-easy monetary policy. There are no other reports due from Japan so yen pairs could take their cues from bond price action.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls took advantage of dollar and yen weakness but were no match to the strength of European currencies. Data from Australia was mixed as building approvals tanked 20% while import prices posted a 2.0% quarterly gain. Earlier today, PPI also beat expectations at 0.6% versus the 0.4% consensus. There are no other reports due from the comdoll economies.
By Kate Curtis from Trader's Way