DATA DUMP CONTINUES ON THURSDAY
Economic data will continue to make the rounds on Thursday, with most of the action centred on North American markets. A policy meeting at the Swiss National Bank (SNB) will also get media attention, although no changes are expected.
The European session begins at 07:45 GMT with a report on French inflation. France’s consumer price index (CPI) is forecast to weaken to 1.3% annually in February, compared with 1.4% the previous month. Compared to the previous month, no change in CPI is expected.
The Swiss government will also report on producer inflation at 08:15 GMT, leading to the SNB policy statement fifteen minutes later. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark interest rate in negative territory at -0.75%.
The final European release on the day will come from Greece at 10:00 GMT when the national statistics agency reports on unemployment.
Shifting gears to North America, the New York Federal Reserve Bank will issue its monthly report on manufacturing at 12:30 GMT. The Empire State manufacturing index is projected to rise to 15.0 in March from 13.1 the previous month.
In a separate report, the Philadelphia Fed will also report on regional manufacturing conditions. However, the Philadelphia reading is expected to show a decline of 2.8 points to 23.0 in March.
At the same time, the Department of Labor will release the weekly data set on jobless claims. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits is projected to fall by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 226,000 in the week ended 10 March.
Later in the session, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will release the March housing market index, which is seen as an important barometer of homebuilder confidence.
North of the border, the ADP payrolls institute will report on private sector job creation for Canada. Last Friday, Canada reported a net gain of 15,400 jobs for February.
Europe’s common currency pushed higher on Wednesday but failed to cross the 1.2400 US threshold. The EUR/USD exchange rate was last seen trading at 1.2381, where it was up 0.1% from the previous close. Immediate resistance is likely found at 1.2412, followed by 1.2447.
The US dollar was back on the offensive Wednesday, as investors continued to react to dovish statements from BOC Governor Stephen Poloz. The USD/CAD is currently trading in the mid-1.2900 region, with investors awaiting from catalysts in the form of economic data.
After weeks of steady progress, the USD/CHF has declined over the past two sessions amid heightened geopolitical and trade risks involving the United States. The pair now trades at 0.9444, with immediate support located at 0.9300. The pair will remain under pressure insofar as it trades below the 0.9535 resistance.