THE TAKEAWAY:June Philadelphia Fed Index, May Existing Home Sales, May Leading Indicators > Confidence Dropping, Housing Struggling, Though Future Growth Prospects Slightly Better > USD Bullish
More poor data out of the US has sparked the flight to safety shortly after the US cash equity open on Thursday, adding on to what has been a week of disappointing data out of the US. At 10:00 EDT / 14:00 GMT, Existing Homes Sales data for May, the June Philadelphia Fed index, and the May Leading Indicators report. Overall, the results were skewed negative, but there exists a silver lining.
Existing Home Sales for May declined by 1.5 percent on a monthly-basis after growing by 3.4 percent in April, worse than the expected reading of -1.1 percent. In nominal terms, sales dropped to 4.55M from 4.62M, slightly below the 4.57M forecast, according to Bloomberg News.
The Philadelphia Fed index for June was far and away the worst data released, showing that the index declined to -16.6 from -5.8, well below the consensus forecast of 0.0. The diffusion index, which covers business activity in the eastern Pennsylvania region, is viewed as one of the first monthly indicators leading up to the ISM Manufacturing report. The forward looking portion of the index dropped to -18.8 from -1.2, suggesting that the US economy is about to be hit by significantly slower growth.
Finally, the Leading Indicators report for May was the silver lining to today’s US data dump, but it was a thin silver lining indeed. The index, which suggests the growth outlook for the next three- to six-months, expanded by 0.3 percent in May from -0.1 percent in April. Seven of the ten indicators in the Leading Indicators report expanded, mainly led by strong residential building permits data. Overall, with no figures of great magnitude, it appears that there isn’t any one sector that is truly driving or weighing on the US economy; overall, the economy is in a mediocre situation.
AUDUSD 1-min Chart: June 21, 2012
Charts Created using Marketscope – Prepared by Christopher Vecchio
Following the reports, the US Dollar firmed across the board, as the mediocre data does not bode well for future consumption trends (thus hurting perceived corporate earnings driving down stock prices). Similarly, with growth slowing in the world’s largest economy and the Federal Reserve taking a “wait-and-see” approach, it’s evident that another easing package remains a distant possibility. The commodity currencies tumbled, with the AUDUSD leading the decline, falling from 1.0150 ahead of the release to as low as 1.0118 soon after. Similar price action was observed across the EURUSD, NZDUSD, and USDCAD. The AUDUSD has since rebounded back to 1.0128, at the time this report was written.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst
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