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  • richard evans

US data continues to put USD under pressure

Good morning

 

US data releases will be one hour earlier at 12.30 or 14.00 london time due to the US clock changes that took place at the weekend. 

 

In addition, FX option expiries will be 14.00 london time, not the usual 15.00 london time.

 

This will be until Sunday 31st when we change our clocks in the UK.

 

 

Fridays US employment numbers were softer than expected.  The headline itself initially looked strong coming in higher than expected at +275k, but on closer inspection the previous months reading had been revised lower from +353k to +229k, a pretty substantial drop, average hourly earnings came in lower than expected. while the unemployment rate ticked surprisingly ticked higher to 3.9% from 3.7%. 

 

USD duly moved lower, as it had done through the week at any sign of weak US jobs numbers.  EURUSD hit a high around 1.0980, GBPUSD traded up to 1.2890.  Both pairs are off their highs now at 1.0945 and 1.2845 respectively, GBP clearly benefitting more with GBPEUR now at 1.1735, having seen a high Friday around 1.1760.   USDJPY dropped to 146.50 although that too is now a few points off those lows at 146.80.  USD weakness is also reflected in the level of gold and bitcoin, I do hate grouping those two together but for now they both tell a similar story with gold hitting new highs last week at $2195 and Bitcoin doing the same this morning reaching a heady $71,500. 

 

Overall the US dollar has lost the most in one week than I can remember for a long time.  GBPUSD pushed through the Dec 23 highs and is now at levels last seen back in July 2023, worth pointing out that the high in that move was 1.3140.  EURUSD is not so buoyant, a lowering of ECB growth and inflation forecasts at their meeting last week certainly helped that move, even though the feeling is June is most likely for any rate cut by them, same with the Fed, UK less clear at the moment I think.

 

The weekend sport saw some rather interesting results.  India smashed England in the fifth test, winning by an innings and 64 runs.  It was a shocking end to the test series, leaving England to reflect on personal and team performances.  However, the England rugby team put on an exceptional performance to beat Ireland in the six nations, although Ireland are still favourites to win the title once again.  Scotland lost to a spirited Italy, Wales lost to France, leaving Wales at the bottom of the table with four losses out of four.   

 

In football, Spurs put on an important and dominant display over fourth place rivals Aston Villa, Arsenal moved to the top of the table with a win over Brentford while title rivals Liverpool and Man City could only draw.  In other sports, Antony Joshua put on an impressive performance, ending the fight against hard-hitting Ngannou in just the second round.  Remember Tyson Fury was taken the distance by Ngannou back in October and I wasn’t sure Joshua had it in him.  How wrong I was.  Verstappen won the F1 grand prix, no surprise there, but more attention was on Oliver Bearman who stepped in to replace Ferraris Sainz having been called up on Friday.  He finished seventh, I’m sure it won’t be the last time we see him in an F1 car. 

 

In other news, a load of odd goings on with the photo released by the Royals of Catherine with her three children, taken by William.  It was the first official phot of Kate since her illness/operation, but it wasn’t long before questions were being asked as to the authenticity of the photo with some highlighting potential manipulation in the image, and several news agencies have withdrawn the use of the photo pending clarification from Kensington Palace.  Look, I have three kids, and to get a photo of all three looking remotely sensible, let alone happy, is quite a feat.  I don’t need to offer mine to the press, but if I did I’m sure there would potentially be a little tweaking taking place to get the best out of it.    

 

I’ve not missed a load of information on the calendar, what you see is what there is.  An incredibly light day in terms of economic releases, only the appearance of BoEs Mann late in the day gives us anything of interest although note early tomorrow morning we will have UKs latest employment numbers.  US inflation numbers tomorrow will obviously be key, with US retail sales and Michigan sentiment data also out this week.  Further weak data out of the US must surely make that June rate cut more likely.

 

I hope you enjoyed the sunshine Saturday.  I was out in the garden and actually felt the warmth from the sun on my face.  Lovely.  Didn’t last long though, Sunday was miserable and the forecast doesn’t look good for the next couple of weeks.  With temperatures picking up, that grass will be growing at a rate of knots and by the time its dry enough to cut again I’m going to have quite a job on my hands.  Ah well there are worse things I could be doing.

 

I’ll end it there for now, somehow I’m running late despite  fairly early start.  Have a great day.

 

-  17.00 BoEs Mann speaks

-  23.30 AUS Westpac consumer confidence

-  07.00 UK unemployment

 

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