US dollar pushes higher, GBP continues to struggle
US employment data Friday came in broadly in line with expectations, USD actually weakened a little initially but soon returned to pre-release levels and indeed is now stronger following further buying overnight and early this morning. EURUSD is now just a few pips above 1.0500, GBP continues to retreat with GBPUSD at 1.2275 and EURGBP up at 0.8560 (GBPEUR 1.1680). ECBs Rehn and Holzmann have both suggested ECB will begin to raise rates this summer, Holzmann adding that ECB are watching FX rates although don’t have a specific target in mind.
Risk sentiment is taking a battering, global equities move lower and further losses are likely. The US dollar index, which measures overall USD strength, is at its highest level since Nov 2002, at 104.00. Do bear in mind though that for a lot of 2000 to 2002 the index was above 110.00, as high as 120, so anyone thinking we must be nearing the top of the USD range may want to think again. There are still fears that Fed are behind the curve on rate rises and we could see sharper increases in the coming months.
EU plans to ban Russian oil are facing problems as Hungary continues to block the proposals. Russia marks its Victory Day today, celebrating with a huge military parade and there is some thinking that Putin will use this as a forum to announce war on Ukraine, rather than simply an military operation, perhaps announcing an escalation of the conflict.
China trade surplus was $51.12bn with exports up and imports down. USDCNY fixed at 6.6899, but is now trading over 6.72. Hong Kong has a new leader in John Lee, voted in at the weekend although lets be clear he was the only candidate to choose from and the voting was confined to a small closed group. He was never going to lose. Lee, a staunch supporter of Beijing, was previously Hong Kong security chief who led the crackdown on protesters back in 2019 and had a hand in the new security laws which criminalised political protests and reduced civil rights. He is not well-liked by the masses but Beijing won’t care.
My U15s played three league matches over the weekend, one on Friday evening and another double header on Sunday. Nine points on offer, and I am pleased to say we took all nine. Now clear at the top of the league with six matches still to play, we only need four more points from those remaining matches to secure the title. It won’t happen next weekend though, as it is cup final weekend for us. We face a team from the division above in the final which is always a tough proposition although as recent league results have shown, we do seem to be playing at a higher standard than our current division, indeed we beat a few higher division sides to get to this final. It will be exciting that’s for sure.
- 13.30 CAD building permits
- 14.00 BoEs Saunders speaks
- 15.00 US wholesale inventories
- 00.01 UK BRC retail sales
- 00.30 Japan household spending
- 02.30 AUS NAB business confidence