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Narrow Improvement in US Trade Balance Has Little Impact on US Dollar

Narrow Improvement in US Trade Balance Has Little Impact on US Dollar

Dylan Jusino, Contributor


Talking Points:

- US Trade Balance came in below projections in March at -$43.7 billion.

- A crowded economic calendar has traders looking elsewhere for price action.

- See the DailyFX Economic Calendar for upcoming economic data and for a schedule of live coverage see the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

With the US Nonfarm Payrolls report due out on Friday, trade data from March improved. The US Trade Balance beast estimates in March coming in at -$43.7 billion versus -$44.5 billion forecasted. This is a slight improvement from February when the trade balance deteriorated to -$48.5. Exports and imports fell in March to $126.28 billion and $191.79 billion from $128.34 and $193.49 respectively.

The trade balance, net exports, is a component of gross domestic product and is one of the biggest components of the US’s balance of payment. This economic indicator gives insight on the value of the dollar. When exports are greater than imports US experiences a trade surplus. Conversely, when imports exceed exports the US experiences a trade deficit. A strengthening US Dollar encourages American consumers to import more from abroad, while also discouraging foreigners from purchasing American-made goods as they become more expensive, relatively speaking.

The release of the trade balance garnered little price action largely due to the upcoming labor report. US Nonfarm Payrolls will mark one of the first major economic releases post-FOMC meeting. Although, in the Fed commentary they did mention that the labor market has shown continued improvement. Currently, the market priced in a 73.8% chance of a rate hike at next month’s FOMC meeting, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool. In sum, the improved trade balance is unlikely to have a material impact at the June FOMC meeting.

Here’s a summary of today’s US economic figures:

- USD Non-Farm Productivity (1Q P): -0.6% actual versus1.8% previous.

- USD Trade Balance (MAR): -$43.7B actual versus-$43.8b previous.

- USD Unit Labor Costs (1Q P):3.0% actual versus1.3% previous.

-USD Initial Jobless Claims (APR 29): 238k actual versus 257k previous.

- USD Continuing Claims (APR 22): 1964k actual versus 1987k previous.

Chart 1: DXY 15-minute Chart (May 4, 2017 Intraday)

Immediately following the data, the US Dollar Index ticked down approaching the intraday low at 99.04. However, the ove was not sustained as it continues to channel. At the time this report was written, the index was trading at 99.13.

--- Written by Dylan Jusino, DailyFX Research

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.