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U.S Weekly Jobless Claims to Put the Greenback in Focus as Geopolitical Risk Lingers

Bob Mason

Earlier in the Day:

It was a relatively busy day on the economic calendar this morning. The Aussie Dollar and Kiwi Dollar were in action once more.

Away from the economic calendar, the markets also responded to the moves across the EU and the U.S from Wednesday.

Fiscal stimulus from Brussels and the U.S government’s moves to further reopen the economy provided both support for riskier assets early on. Market sentiment overshadowed economic data that remained weak while improving …

For the commodity currencies, however, concerns over rising tensions between the U.S and China did pin back any breakouts.

Looking at the latest coronavirus numbers,

On Wednesday, the number of new coronavirus cases rose by 110,221 to 5,788,503. On Tuesday, the number of new cases had risen by 95,878. The daily increase was higher than both Tuesday’s rise and 89,941 new cases from the previous Wednesday.

France, Germany, Italy, and Spain reported 1,892 new cases on Wednesday, which was up from 1,535 new cases on Tuesday. On the previous Wednesday, 3,225 new cases had been reported.

From the U.S, the total number of cases rose by 20,392 to 1,745,803 on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the total number of cases had risen by 19,185. On Wednesday 20th May, a total of 21,774 new cases had been reported.

For the Kiwi Dollar

Business Confidence improved in May, with the ANZ Business Confidence Index rising from an April -66 to a finalized -41.8. May’s prelim had come in at -46.

According to the latest ANZ Report,

  • A net 39% of firms expect weaker economic activity in their own business, with the retail sector the most pessimistic once more.
  • Employment intentions rose from a net 50.8% of firms intending to reduce employment to a net 42%.
  • Investment intentions improved marginally from a negative 45% to a negative 32%.
  • Profit expectations rose from a net 70.4% expecting lower profitability to a net 56%. The agricultural sector remained the weakest at -71%, with the construction sector the least negative at -42%.
  • Export intentions rose by just 6 points to -36.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.61897 to $0.61840 upon release of the numbers. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was up by 0.05% to $0.6185.

For the Aussie Dollar

1st quarter private new capital expenditure fell by 1.6%, quarter-on-quarter, following a 2.8% fall in the 4th quarter. Economists had forecast a 2.6% decline.

According to the ABS,

  • While investments in building and structures fell by 1.1%, investments in equipment, plant, and machinery slid by 2.3%.
  • Year-on-year, total New CAPEX slid by 6.1%.
  • Investments in building and structures tumbled by 7.9%, with investments in equipment, plant, and machinery falling by 4.0%.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.66222 to $0.66282 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar flat at $0.6622.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.13% to ¥107.86 against the U.S Dollar.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s another relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. Key stats include prelim May inflation figures from Germany and Spain.

Business and Consumer confidence figures out of Italy and the Eurozone should have a muted impact, following the EU’s COVID-19 recovery plan announced on Wednesday.

We will expect EU’s recovery plan and the continued easing of lockdown measures to provide support.

The markets will need to track any chatter from Beijing and Washington, however. Any rise in tensions and action from either side will test risk appetite on the day.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.11% to $1.1018.

For the Pound

It’s yet another quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no material stats due out to provide the Pound with direction.

On Wednesday, we saw the Pound take a hit in response to the threat of the BoE cutting interest rates into negative territory.

BoE Chief Economist Haldane had attempted to pour cold water on such a prospect but to no avail.

Through the day, expect market risk sentiment and any Brexit chatter to be key drivers.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.05% to $1.2267.

Across the Pond

It’s a busy day ahead on the U.S economic calendar. Economic data includes April durable goods, 2nd estimate GDP numbers, and pending home sales figures for April.

Barring any deviations from 1st estimates, expect April’s core durable goods orders to garner some attention.

Any moves in response to the durable goods orders are likely to be limited, however. The market focus will be on the weekly jobless claims figures.

There’s plenty of optimism as the U.S economy continues to reopen, but whether the markets can stomach another 2m jump remains to be seen.

The Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.17% to 98.893 at the time of writing.

For the Loonie

It’s a quiet day on the economic calendar. There are no material stats due out of Canada to influence the Loonie.

A lack of stats will leave the Loonie in the hands of market risk sentiment and the weekly EIA crude oil inventory numbers…

At the time of writing, the Loonie was down by 0.02% to C$1.3755 against the U.S Dollar.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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