U.S. markets close in 6 hours 22 minutes

The U.S Stimulus Bill and Weekly Jobless Claims to Drive Risk Appetite

Bob Mason

Earlier in the Day:

It was a quiet start to the day on the Asian economic calendar this morning. There were no material stats to provide direction to the majors.

A lack of stats left the majors in the hands of coronavirus news and updates on the progress of the U.S Stimulus Bill on Capitol Hill.

In the early hours, the Stimulus Bill came up against more resistance, which weighed on the commodity currencies early on.

For the Majors

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was up by 0.66% to ¥110.48 against the U.S Dollar. The Aussie Dollar was down by 1.26% to $0.5884, with the Kiwi Dollar down by 1.04% to $0.5790.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s another relatively busy day on the economic calendar. Germany’s April GfK Consumer Climate figures are due out along with the ECB’s Economic Bulletin.

With widespread lockdowns across the EU and a reported 37,323 total number of coronavirus cases in Germany, the markets are expecting a marked fall in consumer confidence.

With April figures expected to be dire, the focus will likely be on the ECB’s Economic Bulletin. Expect the ECB’s outlook to have a material impact on the EUR.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.18% at $1.0902.

For the Pound

It’s a busy day ahead on the economic calendar. On the economic data front, February retail sales figures are due out.

While February numbers will not reflect the impact of the coronavirus, the Pound will be sensitive to any weak numbers. With the UK going into lockdown mode in late March, weak numbers ahead of the doom and gloom would be a concern.

Outside of the numbers, the BoE is also due to deliver its scheduled March monetary policy decision.

With no moves expected, following emergency rate cuts and an increase in the QE, the focus will be on the vote count and minutes.

At a minimum, the markets will need assurances of further support as the UK’s number of coronavirus cases approaches 10,000. The numbers suggest that the government’s decision to go into lockdown mode may have come too late.

At the time of writing, the Pound was down by 0.34% to $1.1838.

Across the Pond

It’s also a busy day ahead on the U.S economic calendar. Key stats include finalized 4th quarter GDP figures, trade data for February and the weekly jobless claims numbers.

Expect the markets to brush aside the GDP and trade figures. The focus will be on the weekly jobless claims. Plenty of numbers have been thrown around, with some forecasting as many as 3m initial jobless claims.

With the services sector grinding to a halt, as reflected in the Services PMI, it’s not going to be pretty. The current all-time high initial jobless claims stand at 695k, reached back in the 1980s.

Outside of the numbers, chatter from Capitol Hill and news updates on the coronavirus will continue to influence.

The Stimulus Bill will need to pass and the spread of the virus will need to ease for market tension to abate.

The Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.23% to 100.822 at the time of writing.

For the Loonie

It’s another particularly day ahead on the economic calendar, with no material stats due out later today to provide direction.

The Loonie will remain in the hands of market risk sentiment and any chatter from OPEC and the U.S on output.

The Loonie was down by 0.39% at C$1.4247 against the U.S Dollar, at the time of writing. The downside can be attributed to the hold up on the U.S Stimulus Bill.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

More From FXEMPIRE: