ECONOMIC CALENDAR PICKS UP ON THURSDAY
A steady stream of economic data from Europe and North America will headline the financial market newswire on Thursday.
Action picks up at 06:00 GMT when Germany releases its latest report on factory orders. The monthly reading is expected to show growth of 1.5% following a decline of nearly 4% the previous month.
The Swiss government will release its final estimate of March consumer inflation at 07:15 GMT. The consumer price index (CPI) likely rose 0.7% annually.
A steady stream of PMI data will make their way through the markets later in the morning, including the final Markit PMI Composite report for the Eurozone. The headline reading is expected to come in at 55.3, signifying steady growth for the euro area economy.
The European Commission’s statistical agency will report on producer inflation and retail sales at 09:00 GMT in two separate reports. The producer price index (PPI) likely rose 1.5% annually in February. Retail sales, which are a proxy for consumer spending, likely jumped 0.5% month-on-month.
Shifting gears to North America, the US government will report on the February trade balance at 12:30 GMT. Washington’s deficit likely ticked up to $56.8 billion from $56.6 billion the month before.
The Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report will also make headlines at 12:30 GMT. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits likely rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 last week.
North of the border, the Canadian government will report on international trade at the same time as the US reports. Canada’s trade deficit with the rest of the world likely rose to $2 billion in February from $1.91 billion the previous month.
On the monetary policy front, FOMC members Raphael Bostic is scheduled to deliver a speech at 17:00 GMT.
The Australian dollar steadied on Thursday after government data showed a broad decline in the nation’s trade surplus. Australia’s surplus weakened to $825 million in February from $1.06 billion the month before. AUD/USD traded within a 30-pip range Thursday, eventually settling down 0.1% at 0.7706.
The USD/CAD extended its downward journey on Wednesday, as prices fell below 1.2800. The currency pair was last seen trading at 1.2765, where it was down about 0.1% from the previous close. The pair faces immediate resistance at the psychological 1.2800 handle. On the flipside, support is located at 1.2730.
Wednesday was another volatile session for the cable, as prices fell more than 50 pips to a low of 1.4023. Prices quickly recovered, with GBP/USD now trading at 1.4076. The pair faces stronger selling pressure at around 1.4100 but appears to have established a strong base of support near 1.4000. Latest price movements suggest that optimism surrounding the Brexit deal has largely faded.
Europe’s common currency failed to recover ground north of 1.2300, leaving it exposed to further downside risk. The EUR/USD exchange rate was last seen trading at 1.2282, where it was little changed. Immediate resistance is located above 1.2300. On the downside, support is found around 1.2250.