It was a busier week on the economic calendar for the week ending April-01, 2022.
A total of 64 stats were monitored, following 43 stats in the week prior.
Of the 64 stats, 30 came in ahead of forecasts, with 29 economic indicators coming up short of forecast. 5 stats were in line with the forecast in the week.
Looking at the numbers, 31 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 33 stats, 29 reflected a deterioration from previous numbers.
A shift in sentiment towards BoE and ECB monetary policy pegged back the Greenback, while U.S stats and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine continued to deliver Dollar support.
Out of the U.S
It was a busier week on the economic calendar. Early in the week, consumer confidence and JOLTs job openings drew interest. Consumer confidence improved in March, with JOLTs job openings coming in better than forecasted.
Mid-week, ADP nonfarm payrolls, and Q4 GDP numbers failed to deliver market support. The release of the stats coincided with a shift in sentiment towards Russia and Ukraine reaching a ceasefire agreement.
According to the ADP, nonfarm payrolls increased by 455k in March, down from 486k in February. The U.S economy also grew at a slower pace than previously estimated.
Market attention then shifted to Thursday, with inflation, personal spending, and jobless claims drawing investor interest.
A further pickup in inflationary pressure supported FED Chair Powell’s more hawkish stance on monetary policy.
While personal spending was weak, nonfarm payrolls rose at a decent clip in March.
In March, nonfarm payrolls increased by 431k, following a 750k increase in February. The March numbers tested appetite for riskier assets, with the markets seeing 431k good enough for a more aggressive FED rate path.
In the week ending April 1, 2022, the Dollar Spot Index fell by 0.16% to end the week at 98.632. In the week prior, the Index rose by 0.57% to 98.789.
Out of the UK
Q4 GDP and finalized Manufacturing PMI numbers were in focus. Better than expected GDP numbers limited the downside for the Pound.
In Q4, the UK economy grew by 1.3% quarter-on-quarter, up from the first estimate of 0.90%. Manufacturing sector activity slowed in March, however. The PMI declined from 58.0 to 55.2, down from a prelim 55.5.
The better-than-expected GDP numbers for the quarter supported the market’s bet of rate hikes through to November, which limited the damage.
In the week, the Pound fell by 0.52% to end the week at $1.3114. In the week prior, the Pound rose by 0.03% to $1.3182.
The FTSE100 ended the week up 0.73%, following a 1.06% gain from the previous week.
Out of the Eurozone
Mid-week, the German economy was in the spotlight. While the stats were skewed to the negative, the impact on the European majors was modest. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ongoing, investors anticipate a near-term impact on economic activity.
In April, Germany’s GfK Consumer Climate Indicator fell from -8.5 to -15.5, with retail sales rising by just 0.3% in February.
Unemployment numbers were also underwhelming, with an 18k fall in unemployment leaving the unemployment rate at 5.0%.
On Friday, manufacturing sector PMI numbers for March also failed to impress.
In March, Spain’s manufacturing PMI fell from 56.9 to 54.2, with Italy’s PMI declining from 58.3 to 55.8. Economists had forecast PMIs of 55.5 and 57.0, respectively.
The French manufacturing PMI fell from 57.2 to 54.7, down from a prelim of 54.8. Germany’s PMI declined from 58.4 to 56.9, down from a prelim 57.6.
For the Eurozone, the manufacturing PMI fell from 58.2 to a 14-month low of 56.6, down from a prelim 57.0.
Other stats in the week included finalized inflation figures for member states and the Eurozone and French consumer spending figures. These stats drew little interest, with Germany’s economy and survey-based data in focus.
For the week, the EUR rose by 0.55% to $1.1043. In the previous week, the EUR fell by 0.62% to $1.0983.
The CAC40 rose by 1.99%, with the EuroStoxx600 and the DAX ending the week with gains of 1.06% and 0.98%, respectively.
For the Loonie
It was another quiet week on the economic data front. Stats were limited to GDP figures for January. In line with forecasts, the economy grew by 0.2% in the month, following 0.1% growth in December.
While positive, a downward trend in crude oil prices weighed on the Loonie.
In the week ending April-01, the Loonie fell by 0.36 to C$1.2522 against the Greenback. In the week prior, the Loonie increased by 1.00% to C$1.2477.
It was a bearish week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.
The Aussie Dollar slipped by 0.25% to $0.7496, with the Kiwi Dollar falling 0.65% to end the week at $0.6927.
For the Aussie Dollar
Early in the week, retail sales figures for February were upbeat. Sales increased by 1.8%, following a 1.8% rise in January. Late in the week, private sector credit and manufacturing data were also Aussie Dollar positive.
In February, private sector credit increased by 0.6%, with the AIG Manufacturing Index rising from 53.2 to 55.7.
The numbers were not good enough to deliver another bullish week, however. A pullback in commodity prices, market sentiment towards Fed monetary policy, and COVID-19 woes in China weighed.
For the Kiwi Dollar
Business confidence improved marginally in March. The ANZ Business Confidence Index increased from -51.8 to -41.9. The numbers were not good enough to support the Kiwi Dollar, however.
Weak private sector PMI numbers out of China and China’s latest lockdown measures weighed.
For the Japanese Yen
Retail sales and industrial production disappointed mid-week. In February, retail sales were down 0.8% after rising by 1.1% in January, year-on-year.
Industrial production rose by just 0.1%, partially reversing a 0.8% decline from January.
Tankan survey-based figures for Q1 also failed to impress.
The All-Big Industry CAPEX rose by 2.2%, falling short of a forecasted 4.0% increase.
In the quarter, the Big Manufacturing Outlook Index, Large Manufacturers Index, and Large Non-Manufacturing Index also eased back from Q4 levels.
The Japanese Yen fell by 0.39% to end the week at ¥122.52 against the Dollar. In the week prior, the Yen ended the week down by 2.42% to ¥122.05.
Out of China
Private sector PMIs for March drew interest in the week.
The NBS Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.2 to 49.5, with the Non-Manufacturing PMI declining from 51.6 to 48.4.
More significantly, the Caixin Manufacturing PMI slid from 50.4 to 48.1. New lockdown measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 weighed on manufacturing sector activity.
In the week ending April-01, the Chinese Yuan rose by 0.05% to CNY6.3629. Through the week prior, the Yuan ended the week down by 0.08% to CNY6.3662.
The Hang Seng Index ended the week up 2.97%, with the CSI300 gaining 2.43%.