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US Dollar May Edge Higher on Pre-Positioning for FOMC Minutes

US Dollar May Edge Higher on Pre-Positioning for FOMC Minutes

2016-04-05 06:03:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Talking Points:

The Japanese Yen outperformed in overnight trade, rising against a backdrop of weakness across Asian stock exchanges. The Australian Dollar traded modestly higher after the RBA kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 2 percent and signaled it is in no hurry to ease again, as we expected. The near-term pop probably reflects the underlying dovish lean in 12-month policy bets that still price in at least one 25bps rate cut by early 2017. The RBA’s decision to remain in wait-and-see mode effectively makes such a move more distant. The New Zealand Dollar fell after NZIER reported a sharp drop in business confidence in the first quarter and projected an RBNZ rate cut by June.

Looking ahead, amuted economic calendar may see investors take the day to pre-position for Wednesday’s publication of minutes from the March FOMC meeting. Investors’ 2016 rate hike outlook has shifted in the dovishdirection over the past two weeks. The release represents event risk with potential to counter this dynamic. As such, traders may opt to scale back on thematically vulnerable exposure. This may bode well for the US Dollar but hurt risk appetite, sending sentiment-linked commodity bloc currencies lower alongside stock prices.

Comments from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans – a dove that has nevertheless backed the latest forecast calling for two rate hikes in 2016 – take top billing on the speaking schedule. Rhetoric suggesting that external headwinds recently cited by officials are being watched but have yet to actually undermine progress toward policy objectives would hint at a coordinated strategy to pave the way for a June rate hike, as we have suspected.

The US ISM Non-manufacturing Composite gauge is also on tap. Expectations suggest the pace of service-sector activity growth narrowly slowed last month. US economic news-flow has increasingly improved relative to consensus forecasts since February, opening the door for an upside surprise. Such a result may amplify upward pressure on the greenback, although significant follow-through may be lacking as traders opt to withhold true directional conviction until after the FOMC Minutes outcome.

UK Services and Composite PMI figures are in focus on the European data docket. An uptick is expected on both fronts. As with the US, realized UK data outcomes have firmed relative to consensus forecasts over the past two months. If this proves to foreshadow better-than-expected outcomes, the British Pound may continue to recover having slumped late last week. That move may have reflected flows linked to portfolio adjustment for “Brexit” referendum risk at the start of the new fiscal year and the new quarter.

Losing money trading in the FX market? This might be why.

Asia Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

23:30

AUD

AiG Perf of Services Index (MAR)

49.5

-

51.8

23:30

AUD

Weekly Consumer Confidence Index

113.4

-

114.5

00:00

JPY

Labor Cash Earnings (YoY) (FEB)

0.9%

0.2%

0.4%

00:00

JPY

Real Cash Earnings (YoY) (FEB)

0.4%

-

0.4%

01:00

NZD

ANZ Commodity Price (MAR)

-1.3%

-

0.4%

01:30

AUD

Trade Balance (FEB)

-3410m

-2500m

-2937m

02:00

JPY

Nikkei PMI Services (MAR)

50.0

-

51.2

02:00

JPY

Nikkei PMI Composite (MAR)

49.9

-

51.0

04:30

AUD

RBA Cash Rate Target 42465

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

European Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

06:00

EUR

German Factory Orders (MoM) (FEB)

0.3%

-0.1%

Low

06:00

EUR

German Factory Orders WDA (YoY) (FEB)

2.2%

1.1%

Low

07:45

EUR

Markit/ADACI Italy Services PMI (MAR)

53.9

53.8

Low

07:45

EUR

Markit/ADACI Italy Composite PMI (MAR)

-

53.7

Low

07:50

EUR

Markit France Services PMI (MAR F)

51.2

51.2

Low

07:50

EUR

Markit France Composite PMI (MAR F)

51.1

51.1

Low

07:55

EUR

Markit Germany Services PMI (MAR F)

55.5

55.5

Medium

07:55

EUR

Markit/BME Germany Composite PMI (MAR F)

54.1

54.1

Medium

08:00

EUR

Istat Releases the Monthly Economic Note

-

-

Low

08:00

EUR

Markit Eurozone Services PMI (MAR F)

54.0

54.0

Medium

08:00

EUR

Markit Eurozone Composite PMI (MAR F)

53.7

53.7

Medium

08:30

GBP

Official Reserves Changes ($) (MAR)

-

1362m

Low

08:30

GBP

Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI (MAR)

53.5

52.7

High

08:30

GBP

Markit/CIPS UK Composite PMI (MAR)

53.4

52.8

High

08:30

GBP

BOE's FPC March Meeting Minutes

-

-

Low

09:00

EUR

Retail Sales (MoM) (FEB)

0.0%

0.4%

Medium

09:00

EUR

Retail Sales (YoY) (FEB)

1.9%

2.0%

Medium

Critical Levels

CCY

Supp 3

Supp 2

Supp 1

Pivot Point

Res 1

Res 2

Res 3

EUR/USD

1.1277

1.1332

1.1362

1.1387

1.1417

1.1442

1.1497

GBP/USD

1.3997

1.4128

1.4196

1.4259

1.4327

1.439

1.4521

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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