Macro Events & News

FX News

European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mixed with Japan outperforming. Risk aversion spiked after a U.S. missile strike in Syria and a strong Yen weighed on exporters, but the Nikkei managed to bounce back and is up 0.41% on the day, with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. rising strongly as crude oil prices jumped above USD 52 per barrel. The Hang Seng is down -0.64% and CSI and ASX are little changed, while U.S. and U.K. stock futures are heading south amid a fresh bout of risk aversion. This should keep Bund and Gilt futures underpinned going into the weekend. Trump hailed a new “friendship” with China’s Xi in the early hours of their meeting. The European calendar has German trade and production data at the start of the session. France and the U.K. also release production numbers and markets will be looking ahead to U.S. nonfarm payroll numbers in the afternoon.

President Trump uncorked a salvo of 50-60 missiles on an airbase in Syria in retaliation for the Assad chemical attack on his own citizens, which was apparently launched from that same base. Trump says he’s calling on all nations to seek the end of slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. It certainly serves as a warning shot to the Syrian regime and others that the new administration plans to back up its words with force, but comes at an awkward time in Russo-U.S. relations while meeting with the Chinese Premier in Florida. The risk averse yen rallied in wake of the strike, while gold shot over $1,260 and the T-note yield plunged from 2.35% to 2.30% before finding support. .US. informed Russia in advance of airstrikes on the Shayrat Airfield and did not target areas of the base where Russian forces were believed to be present, according to Secretary of State Tillerson. He warned that Russia failed to carry out a 2013 agreement to secure Syrian chemical weapons, and that Moscow was “either complicit or incompetent in its ability to carry out the agreement.” Tillerson said the strike was proportionate after a high degree of confidence that Sarin nerve gas was used in a chemical weapons attack. 

US reports: The 25k U.S. initial claims plunge to 234k in the first week of April extended a 2k drop to 259k to leave claims back near the 44-year low of 227k in the President’s Day week. Despite the early-March pop, claims have remained below the 2016 average of 263k in every week of 2017. We have a late-Easter this year on April 16, versus an early-Easter last year on March 27, and this may be adding volatility to the March-April claims figures. 

German production data much stronger than expected, with overall production rising 2.2% m/m in February from. German trade surplus widens as imports decline. Germany posted a sa trade surplus of EUR 21.1 bln in February, up from EUR 18.9 bln in the previous month, as export growth slowed down to 0.8% m/m from 2.4% m/m and imports dropped -1.6% m/m after rising 2.8% m/m in January. This is nominal data, that has been heavily impacted by oil price developments and import prices, but data are pointing to a rise in net exports in the first quarter of the year, at least on a nominal basis.

Main Macro Events Today

  • US Employment – March employment data should reveal a 180k headline for the month. This compares to 235k in February and 238k in January. The unemployment rate should hold steady at 4.7% from February, down from 4.8% in January. The balance of risk is to the upside as producer sentiment, consumer confidence and initial claims data all remained strong in March.
  • Canada Employment – Employment, expected, to 5.0k in March after the 15.3k gain in February. The unemployment rate is seen at 6.7%. Governor Poloz offered a cautious view of Canada’s economy, saying in effect that the recent few odd firm data point should not make us forget about the numerous downside risk surrounding the outlook for Canada’s economy.
  • BOE  – BoE Gov. Carney is due to speak at Thomson Reuters in London.
  • UK Manufacturing Production – Manufacturing production for February is also due today, which expected to rise 0.3% m/m after the 0.9% m/m contraction in the previous month.

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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst


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