Forex today breathed a sigh of relief in Thursday’s Asian trading, after a data heavy Wednesday that offered no new surprises. The FOMC minutes underscored the Fed’s patience stance while the ECB reiterated that risks to the economy remain skewed to the downside. On the Brexit front, the EU struck a final accord and offered a flexible Brexit deadline extension until Oct 31st to the UK, leaving doors open for an early exit if the PM May manages to clinch a Brexit deal.
Pound showed little reaction to the Brexit-related developments and circled around the 1.31 handle, as markets look forward to the UK cross-party Brexit talks for fresh directives. EUR/USD also held onto the higher levels below the 1.13 handle amid broad-based USD weakness. USD/JPY wavered in a 20-pips tight range around the 111 level amid negative Asian stocks and Treasury yields, as global growth concerns and US-EU trade war risks dented investors’ sentiment.
After a busy macro calendar, a day before, Thursday remains a thin-showing, with nothing much of relevance from the Euroland except for the German final CPI figures, that had limited impact on the EUR trades. Meanwhile, the UK docket remains data-empty and hence, the GBP traders eagerly await the outcome of the round 2 of the UK cross-party Brexit talks due later today.
In the NA session, the US PPI numbers, due at 12:30 GMT, will headline alongside the releases of the US weekly jobless claims and the Canadian new housing price index.
Besides the macro news, a bevy of global central bankers will be up on the rostrum later today.
Oil prices struggle around $64.50 in the European open on Thursday as data showed crude inventories grew more than expected in the week to April 5. Oil is capped near the five-month high off-late as earlier geopolitical threats were tested by the global growth concerns, inventory build and soft data. Traders may now focus on the late-Friday release of weekly Baker Hughes US oil rig counts for further direction.
Gold was supported yesterday, on expectations that euro zone economies would remain vulnerable from the ECB decision to stick to its ultra-easy monetary policy and manage to reach a 10-day high. However, prices fell today amid renewed trade optimism and positive Brexit developments, as the improving risk-sentiment weighs on the precious metal’s safe-haven status.