US AM Digest: Oil Prices Hit Fresh 3 Year Peak
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GBP: Another hit for the Pound this morning as weaker than expected retail sales pushes GBPUSD briefly through 1.4200 and post-inflation lows of 1.4170. Subsequently, this paints the picture that growth in the UK will remain subdued, which had also been suggested by the PMI surveys released earlier in the month. However, the ONS did report that retail sales had been impacted by the unusual snowy weather conditions and as such this could potentially be dismissed as temporary factors by the Bank of England, which in turn has seen GBPUSD consolidate back above 1.4200. Close above 1.4245 could the momentum towards 1.4300 intact.
AUD, NZD: The long-awaited inflation figures failed to provide much volatility for the Kiwi with the quarterly figure printing slightly higher than expected, while the yearly figure fell to the lower end of the RBNZ’s 1-3% inflation range at 1.1%. As a reminder, the RBNZ had previously noted that inflation was likely to trend lower in the medium term so markets not too surprised. NZDUSD finding near term support at 0.7300-10 holding for now. Relatively poor Australian jobs report overnight initially pressured the Aussie. The headline employment change fell short of expectations at 4.9k (consensus at 20k), full time jobs declined by 20k, as such, AUD falling to hold above 0.7800. However, cross buying in AUDNZD which made a firm break above 1.0600 has stemmed the decline in the Australian Dollar.
EUR: Sideways trading in the Euro today with the quiet momentum failing to take EURUSD above 1.2400. Additionally, 6bln worth of vanilla option expiries between 1.2300-1.2400 has kept price action rather static, while widening short term spreads between the US 2yr and the Schatz should curb the upside in the Euro, yesterday short spreads widen to as much as 300bps. Price action in the near term will likely be dictated by next week’s ECB meeting.
Oil: Fresh 3yr highs for the crude futures with Brent breaking above $74 a barrel. Yesterday’s bullish EIA crude report added to the lift in prices, where US crude stocks fell by 1mln, while the EIA also reported a surge in fuel demand amid the upcoming US driving season. Oil price hawk Saudi Arabia, who prefers $80-$100 oil prices has also helped bolster crude futures ahead of tomorrow’s JMMC meeting.
DailyFX Economic Calendar: Thursday, April 19, 2018 – North American Releases
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IG Client Sentiment Index Chart of the Day:
Oil - US Crude: Data shows 36.3% of traders are net-long with the ratio of traders short to long at 1.76 to 1. In fact, traders have remained net-short since Apr 09 when Oil - US Crude traded near 6529.7; price has moved 6.2% higher since then. The number of traders net-long is 5.8% lower than yesterday and 21.4% higher from last week, while the number of traders net-short is 7.1% higher than yesterday and 4.8% higher from last week.
We typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-short suggests Oil - US Crude prices may continue to rise. Positioning is more net-short than yesterday but less net-short from last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a further mixed Oil - US Crude trading bias.
Learn more about the IG Client Sentiment Index on the DailyFX Sentiment page
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--- Written by Justin McQueen, Market Analyst
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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.