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US Dollar May Find Support Despite Soft Economic News-Flow

US Dollar May Find Support Despite Soft Economic News-Flow

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Yen gains, Aussie and NZ Dollars drop on risk aversion in Asia trade
  • S&P 500 futures hint risk-off mood set to continue into the week-end
  • Sentiment trends may trump policy bets if US news-flow disappoints

The anti-risk Japanese Yen outperformed while the sentiment-linked Australian and New Zealand Dollars traded lower as investors’ mood soured in overnight trade. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark stock index fell 1 percent. S&P 500 futures are pointing sharply lower ahead, hinting the risk-off mood is aiming to carry through into the final hours of the trading week.

On the economic data front, US news-flow returns to the spotlight as retail sales figures and a gauge of consumer confidence from the University of Michigan cross the wires. The former reading is expected to show receipts added 0.8 percent in April, marking the largest gain in 11 months. The latter is projected to edge higher in May after hitting a seven-month low in the prior month.

Realized outcomes on US economic releases have increasingly underperformed relative to consensus forecasts since mid-March, hinting that analysts’ models are overstating performance and opening the door for disappointing results. Such a scenario might prove more damaging for risk trends than the US Dollar however.

Deterioration in US data has echoed into priced-in FOMC rate hike expectations, with forecasts implied in Fed Funds futures and overnight index swaps (OIS) sliding in tandem over the past two months. As it stands, markets envision at most one 25 basis point increase in the benchmark lending rate it fourth quarter despite hawkish exhortations from Fed policymakers and official forecasts calling for double that.

On balance, this means a dovish surprise may be hard to come by. This means soft news-flow may be interpreted in terms of its implications for global growth trends, amplifying risk aversion and adding fuel for continuation of overnight trading patterns. The greenback may even rise against most majors (with the exception of the Yen) in this scenario if the dour enough for its safe-haven credentials to be reclaimed.

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Asia Session

22:45NZDRetail Sales Ex Inflation (QoQ) (1Q)0.8%1.0%1.1%
23:50JPYMoney Stock M2 (YoY) (APR)3.3%3.2%3.2%
23:50JPYMoney Stock M3 (YoY) (APR)2.7%2.6%2.6%
3:00NZDNon Resident Bond Holdings (APR)66.5%--67.4%
3:30JPYBOJ's Kuroda speaks in Tokyo ------
4:30JPYTertiary Industry Index (MoM) (MAR)-0.7%-0.1%0.2%

European Session

6:00EURGerman CPI (MoM) (APR F)-0.4% (A)-0.4%Medium
6:00EURGerman CPI (YoY) (APR F)-0.1% (A)-0.1%Medium
6:00EURGerman CPI - EU Harmonized (MoM) (APR F)-0.5% (A)-0.5%Low
6:00EURGerman CPI - EU Harmonized (YoY) (APR F)-0.3% (A)-0.3%Low
6:00EURGerman GDP SA (QoQ) (1Q P)0.7% (A)0.3%High
6:00EURGerman GDP WDA (YoY) (1Q P)1.6% (A)1.3%High
6:00EURGerman GDP NSA (YoY) (1Q P)1.3% (A)2.1%High
6:00EUREU27 New Car Registrations (APR)9.1% (A)6.0%Low
8:30GBPConstruction Output SA (MoM) (MAR)-3.2%-0.3%Low
8:30GBPConstruction Output SA (YoY) (MAR)-2.7%0.3%Low
9:00EUREurozone GDP SA (QoQ) (1Q P)0.6%0.6%Medium
9:00EUREurozone GDP SA (YoY) (1Q P)1.6%1.6%Medium

Critical Levels

CCYSupp 3Supp 2Supp 1Pivot PointRes 1Res 2Res 3

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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