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Economic Data Puts the Pound and the Dollar in Focus ahead of Fed Chair Powell Testimony

Earlier in the Day:

It’s was another relatively quiet start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Kiwi Dollar was in action in the early hours, with the Japan markets closed for the day.

For the Kiwi Dollar

Retail sales figures were in focus this morning.

In the 4th quarter, retail sales fell by 2.7%, partially reversing a 28% jump in the 3rd quarter. Economists had forecast a 0.5% decline.

Compared with the 4th quarter of 2019, the total value of retail sales rose by 4.9%, with total volume rising by 4.8%.

According to NZ Stats,

  • Eleven of the 15 industries had higher sales values compared with the final quarter of 2019.
  • Motor vehicle and parts retailing rose by 12%, with hardware, building, and garden supplies up 16%.
  • Electrical and electronic goods retail increased by 19%, with supermarket and grocery stores up 3.3%.
  • Fuel retailing had the largest fall, declining by 10% (NZ$241m), followed by accommodation down 18% (NZ$215m).

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.73236 to $0.73278 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was down by 0.03% to $0.7328.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was up by 0.15% to ¥104.92 against the U.S Dollar, with the Aussie Dollar up by 0.01% to $0.7917.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the economic calendar. Finalized January inflation figures for the Eurozone are due out later today.

Barring any deviation from prelim, however, the numbers should have a relatively muted impact on the EUR.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.12% to $1.2171.

For the Pound

It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the economic calendar. Key stats include December’s unemployment rate and January claimant count figures.

With lockdown measures still in effect, dire numbers will test support for the Pound. Progress on the vaccination front, however, and plans to ease restrictions should cushion the blow from any disappointing numbers.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.09% to $1.4075.

Across the Pond

It’s a relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. Consumer confidence figures for February are due out later today.

We can expect influence from the numbers, particularly with little else for the markets to consider on the day.

House price figures for December are also due out but will likely have a muted impact on the Greenback.

High demand, driven by low mortgage rates, and low inventory numbers have pushed house prices up in spite of current labor market conditions.

On the monetary policy front, FED Chair Powell testimony late in the day will also be a key driver for the Dollar and the broader markets.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.03% to 89.987.

For the Loonie

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

The lack of stats will leave the Loonie in the hands of market risk sentiment and crude oil prices on the day.

At the time of writing, the Loonie was up by 0.07% to C$1.2606 against the U.S Dollar.

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