POLICYMAKERS IN THE HEADLINES ON THURSDAY
A parade of central bank speeches will make headlines Thursday, giving investors the latest clues on the evolution of monetary policy. Economic data will also influence investor sentiment, with headline reports from the United States set to generate the most attention.
Action begins at 08:00 GMT with the release of Italian trade data. Rome’s trade surplus is forecast to rise to €3.7 billion in March from €3.1 billion the month before.
One hour later, the European Union’s statistical agency will report on Eurozone construction output for the month of March. The headline reading is forecast to show a 0.1% decline from February.
On the monetary policy front, European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President, Vitor Constancio, will deliver a speech at 10:30 GMT and 12:00 GMT.
Shifting gears to North America, the US Department of Labor will report on initial jobless claims at 12:30 GMT. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits is projected to rise by 4,000 to 215,000 for the week ended 12 May.
Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release its latest manufacturing survey. The May print is projected to show a slight cooldown to 21.0 from 23.2 in April.
North of the border, private payrolls data for Canada are also scheduled for release at 12:30 GMT. Later in the session, the Bank of Canada (BOC) will deliver its quarterly review, which provides a snapshot of important developments impacting the domestic economy.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members Neel Kashkari and Richard Kaplan are scheduled to deliver remarks Thursday afternoon. The Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane is also expected to speak publicly, rounding out an active session for central bankers.
Europe’s common currency bounced off its most recent swing low on Wednesday, with prices climbing back above 1.1800. At press time, EUR/USD was trading at 1.1813, where it was little changed from the previous close. The pair is likely to meet resistance at 1.1850. A breach above this level would likely expose the 1.1900 handle as the next target for the bulls.
The Australian dollar traded higher on Thursday in the wake of better than expected employment data. Australian employers added 22,600 workers to payrolls in April, as workforce participation increased and unemployment ticked slightly higher. AUD/USD advanced 0.2% to 0.7529. The pair faces fierce resistance at 0.7565, which corresponds with the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the most recent decline.
The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart on Wednesday, with the USD/CAD returning to familiar territory. The pair peaked near 1.3000 earlier this month and made another attempt at that level on Tuesday. Prices have since fallen back to the 1.2770 region with investors turning to economic data for direction.