Strong Data to Kickstart the Second Half
The latest economic data from Japan, Europe, and the US suggests that economic activity may be picking up across the globe, lending support to currencies and sending USDJPY very close to the 100 level.
Better economic data from Japan and Europe helped to fuel a rally in risk FX on the first trading day of the week, taking USDJPY through the 99.50 barrier while helping the euro (EUR), Australian dollar (AUD), and British pound (GBP) recoup some of the losses suffered last Friday.
In Japan, the Tankan report reading came in at 4 (versus 3 expected), which indicates sentiment amongst manufacturers improved markedly from the -8 reading the period prior. The large all-Industry capex rose by 5.5%, while the manufacturing outlook increased to 10 from expectations of 7.
Overall, the Tankan data was better than forecast and reaffirmed the view that “Abenomics” is starting to take hold in Japan as corporate confidence increases.
USDJPY rose steadily through Asian and early-European trading, taking out the 99.50 level and coming within striking distance of the key 100.00 mark.
See related: A USD/JPY Move That Has Promise
Resoundingly Positive UK and Eurozone Data
Meanwhile, in Europe, the data also proved to be constructive, with the final EU PMI manufacturing reading rising slightly to 48.8 from 48.7 expected. However, the most encouraging signs came from the periphery, where Spanish manufacturing PMI rose towards the key 50 boom/bust level for the first time in nearly two years and Italian PMI improved to 49.1 from 47.3 the month prior.
The news out of Europe was the first tangible proof of improving economic activity in the periphery economies and indicates that the region may be finally starting to turn towards growth as the summer progresses. The EURUSD climbed back towards the 1.3050 level on the news as the pair continues to find support at the key 1.3000 figure for the time being.
In the UK, the data also provided a lift to GBP longs as UK PMI manufacturing rose to 52.5 from 51.3 expected. This was the second consecutive month of expansionary readings in the UK economy, which dovetails well with other economic data from the region and suggests that activity is picking up across the board. GBPUSD rose above 1.5200 after seeing selling pressure ahead of the release, and the pair may now try to climb through 1.5250 as the day progresses.
Monday’s Focus: US ISM Manufacturing Data
In North America, the focus is squarely on the ISM manufacturing data. Many were looking for a rebound back through the 50 level, and the data did not disappoint, printing at 50.9. This was welcome news after last month's disappointing 49.0 reading, and provides the market with a fresh measure of confidence that US recovery remains on track.
With USDJPY firmly bid before the release, the positive surprise is likely to push the pair through the 100.00 figure as the day progresses.
See also: 3 US Dollar Factors at the Forefront
By Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.