The UK Halifax House Price Index had recovered last month from a reading of -0.6% in January and February up to 0.4% in March. A weaker number here can be attributed in part to the recent spell of winter weather. The Year over Year figure is still robust and is expected to come in around 2.1%.
Reports over the weekend came in that North Korea is prepared to talk with the US about denuclearisation. This led to a move in the Yen of about 20 pips but the market soon settled again. There has been little market reaction to the Chemical weapons attack in Syria over the weekend but this is a potential risk given that there has been a counter strike overnight. This puts Nato and Russian forces at risk of clashing accidentally.
The ECB’s Coeure made a scheduled speech with the following comments: The EU is a vehicle that brings benefits of economic openness to the greatest number of its citizens. The ECB simulations on tariffs on US imports/exports would have significant adverse effects on the global economy. Falls in equity prices and prevailing uncertainty on retaliatory measures have already contributed to tighter financial conditions. ECB rate guidance will gain in importance and will see a change in the mix of policy instruments. The market can look through the impact of the trade spat. The ECB has seen some uptick in recent inflation numbers.
US Non-Farm Payrolls (Mar) was 103K v an expected 190K, from a prior 313K, which was revised up to 326K. This measures the change in the number of employed people in March. Average Hourly Earnings (MoM) (Mar) was 0.3% v an expected 0.2%, against 0.1% previously. The Unemployment Rate (Mar) was 4.1% v an expected 4.0%, with a prior of 4.1%. This measures the percentage of the total workforce unemployed and actively seeking employment during March. Average Hourly Earnings (YoY) (Mar) was as expected at 2.7%, against 2.6% previously. Average Weekly Hours (Mar) was as expected at 34.5, against a previous 34.5. Labour Force Participation Rate (Mar) was 62.95% v an expected 63.5%, against a prior reading of 63.0%. This data showed a pickup in unemployment and a miss on the number of jobs created. The hourly earnings also picked up, indicating a rise in inflation and putting pressure on the Fed to hike sooner. USDJPY sold off from 107.411 to a low of 106.983 after these data releases.
Canadian Unemployment Rate (Mar) was as expected, unchanged from the previous reading of 5.8%. Participation Rate (Mar) was also unchanged, as expected, at 65.5%. Net Change in Employment (Mar) was 32.3K v an expected 20.0K, against a prior 15.4K. Unemployment had fallen to 5.7%, the lowest levels in ten years, in November but ticked up slightly in December with the largest drop in the Net Change in Employment data since 2009. USDCAD sold off from 1.27831 to 1.27323 from this data.
Canadian Ivey Purchasing Managers Index s.a. (Mar) was 59.8 v an expected 60.2, against a previous 59.6. Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (Mar) was 64.7 against 58.4 previously. This data missed the expected number but is still showing robust growth, continuing one of the longest positive runs, with 20 months above 50.0. USDCAD recovered its earlier losses and moved up from 1.27322 to 1.27839 after this data release.
UK BOE Governor Carney spoke at the International Climate Risk Conference for Supervisors, in Amsterdam. He said: we need to consider the financial impacts of weather-related events. “Intense hurricanes, of the type most likely to cause large insurance losses, seem to be getting more frequent and the chance of two or more intense hurricanes occurring close together may be higher than previously thought.”
Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Counts was released with a headline number of 808 against the previous week’s 798. The number of rigs has moved above 800 after hovering around the level over the last few months. A firm reading above 800 next time could start to put pressure on crude prices as supply comes online.
US Fed Chairman Powel spoke about the economic outlook at the Economic Club of Chicago. He made the following comments: Further gradual rate hikes best promote growth and the US economy will require gradual hikes. The risks to the economic outlook are roughly balanced and 12-month inflation readings should move up notably this spring. Inflation could rise to unwelcome levels if the Fed waits too long and the gradual hike approach has reduced risks for the economy. The moderate wage gains show the labour market is not excessively tight.
US Consumer Credit Change (Feb) was $10.60B v an expected $15.00B, against a reading of $13.91B prior, which was revised up to $15.59B. This has been moving lower since reaching a high of $28.00B in January but there are seasonal factors that lead to a drop in the New Year. USDCAD sold off from 1.27849 to 1.27686 caused by this data release.
EURUSD is unchanged overnight, trading around 1.22840.
USDJPY is up 0.08% in early session trading at around 106.976.
GBPUSD is up 0.05% this morning, trading around 1.40979.
USDCAD is up 0.05% in early trade at around 1.27709.
Gold is unchanged in early morning trading at around $1,333.30.
WTI is up 0.53% this morning, trading around $62.30.