A renewed risk-on wave gripped the financial markets on the final trading day of the week, as markets cheered upbeat US growth numbers and Chinese Caixin factory sector activity report that calmed global economic slowdown fears. Hence, investors flocked to the risk assets at the expense of the safe-havens.
The safe-haven Yen was the biggest loser, with USD/JPY having extended its recent upsurge to ten-week tops near 111.80 levels. The USD bulls got a boost from the Fed Chair Powell’s upbeat remarks on the US economy. Meanwhile, GBP/USD pair remains little changed heading towards European session on Friday and EUR/USD awaits the German employment and Eurozone CPI numbers for direction.
A data-busy EUR calendar started today with the German retail sales report at 07:00 GMT. Also, a raft of final manufacturing PMI reports will be published from across the Euro area economies, starting from 08:15 GMT to 09:00 GMT. The key highlight in Europe is likely to be the manufacturing PMI from the UK docket due at 09:30 GMT and Eurozone flash CPI release at 10:00 GMT among other minority reports.
The NA session is equally busy, as the traders see a fresh batch of US economic news, including the core PCE price index and personal spending at 13:30 GMT. At 14:45 GMT, the Markit manufacturing PMI reports will be published, however, the US ISM manufacturing PMI and UoM consumer sentiment data due at 15:00 GMT will hog the limelight. Next of relevance remains the speech by the FOMC member Bostic and Baker Hughes US oil rigs count data that will drop in at 18:00 GMT.
Oil prices rose on Friday in Asia amid strong U.S. GDP data and Chinese PMI data, with U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures at $57.63 per barrel, while International Brent Oil Futures at $66.89 per barrel. The gains came on the back of U.S. gross domestic product data which showed a seasonally-adjusted annual growth of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, as traders hoped faster growth might make for a pickup in oil demand.
Crude prices rose as much as 8% in February, extending their gains from January’s rally. Gold prices fell on Friday in Asia as fourth-quarter U.S. GDP data topped expectations. The data lifted treasury bond yields and the U.S. Dollar, in turn making the non-interest-bearing gold less attractive. The precious metal received some support in the previous session after talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down without a deal.