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Does Economic Data Matter for the Euro and British Pound?

Does Economic Data Matter for the Euro and British Pound?

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Euro, Pound to ignore data flow with Brexit in focus and ECB on cruise control
  • Comments from Fed Chair Yellen critical following dismal US employment data
  • Aussie and Kiwi Dollar volatility likely as RBA, RBNZ announce monetary policy

The Euro and the British Pound are likely to look past near-term economic news-flow. For the single currency, data releases mean relatively little with the ECB firmly locked in wait-and-see mode until all of the elements of the new easing effort have been implemented and allowed an opportunity to show results. For Sterling, the upcoming "Brexit" referendum is likely to paralyze decision-making at the BOE at least through the end of the month and possibly for an extended period thereafter, undermining data's practical significance.

A much-anticipated speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen is likely to prove market-moving however. The central bank chief will be under fire to respond to May's deeply disappointing jobs data, setting the stage for next week's FOMC policy meeting. Fed officials' recent rhetoric took on a distinctly hawkish tone and Yellen will have to reconcile this with apparently clashing fundamental news-flow. If she opts to fall back on the mantra of "data dependence" without much more substance, the markets may read this as dovish and punish the US Dollar further. Alternatively, a forceful statement suggesting May's data was a one-off anomaly that won't derail tightening plans may offer a lifeline to the benchmark unit.

The Australian and New Zealand Dollars face volatility risk as the RBA and the RBNZ deliver monetary policy announcements. Priced-in expectations lean against changes on either front, putting the spotlight on forward guidance contained in the statements accompanying the rate decisions. In both instances, investors will want to know gauge when easing will resume and to what extent. As it stands, both central banks are seen issuing at least one 25bps cut over the coming 12 months.

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

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