Earlier in the Day:
It was a busy start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar were in action this morning, with economic data from China also in focus.
For the Kiwi Dollar
Business confidence and electronic card retail sales were in focus in the early hours.
In the 1st quarter, a net 11% of businesses expect a worsening in general economic conditions in the coming months.
According to the NZIER, this was a modest improvement from 16% of businesses that were pessimistic in the previous quarter.
Electronic card retail sales rose by 0.9% in March, partially reversing a 2.5% decline from February. The upside came in spite of spending constraints in the 1st week of March.
According to NZ Stats,
- Card spending increased in four of the six retail industries.
- Sales of durables increased by 1.8%, while spending on consumables slid by 3.3%.
The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.70293 to $0.70324 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar down by 0.20% to $0.7016.
For the Aussie Dollar
In March, the NAB Business Confidence Index fell from 18 to 15. In February, the index had risen from 13 to 18.
According to the March survey,
- In spite of the fall in confidence, confidence remained at a high level suggesting that firms are optimistic that the strength in activity will continue.
- While confidence declined, business conditions rose by 8 points to a record high +25 in March.
- Strong increases in all the sub-components, which are all now also at record highs drove the conditions index higher.
Looking at the sub-components:
- The employment sub-index climbed from +9 to +16, with the capacity utilization rate rising from 81.8% to 82.3%.
- Profitability also improved, with the sub-index rising from +18 to +26.
- A pickup in inflationary pressures was also evident. The labor costs sub-index rose by 1.9% following a 1.1% increase in February. Purchases costs increased by 1.8%, following a more modest 0.7% rise in February.
- Forward orders were also on the rise, with the sub-index climbing from +10 to +17.
- The trading sub-index saw the largest increase, however, jumping from +23 to +35 in March.
The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.76095 to $0.76109 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was down by 0.20% to $0.7608.
Trade data was in focus this morning.
In March, China’s U.S Dollar trade surplus widened from $103.25bn to $116.35bn. Economists had forecast a narrowing to $52.05bn.
Exports surged by 49.0% year-on-year, following a 60.60% jump in March, with imports rising by 38.1%. In February, imports had risen by 22.2%.
Economists had forecast for exports to increase by 35.5% and for imports to rise by 23.3%.
The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.76105 to $0.76116 upon release of the figures.
At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.22% to ¥109.62 against the U.S Dollar.
The Day Ahead:
For the EUR
It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the economic calendar. ZEW Economic Sentiment figures for Germany and the Eurozone are due out later today.
Expect both sets of numbers to provide the EUR with direction. EUR sensitivity to the numbers has picked up recently, so we expect the numbers to influence.
Away from the economic calendar, COVID-19 news and progress on the vaccination front will also continue to influence.
At the time of writing, the EUR was down by 0.11% to $1.1898.
For the Pound
It’s a busier day ahead on the economic calendar.
3-month rolling GDP, manufacturing and industrial production and trade data are due out later today.
While we will expect the GDP and manufacturing production figures to have the greatest interest, trade data will draw more interest.
The markets will be looking to assess the ongoing effects of Brexit on UK trade terms.
At the time of writing, the Pound was flat at $1.3741.
Across the Pond
It’s a relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. March inflation figures will be in focus later today.
With market sensitivity to inflation continuing to linger in spite of the FED’s assurances, expect plenty of influence from the numbers.
Away from the economic calendar chatter from Capitol Hill and FOMC member commentary will also need monitoring.
At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was up by 0.08% to 92.211.
For the Loonie
It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no material stats from Canada to provide the Loonie with direction.
The lack of stats will leave the Loonie in the hands market risk sentiment on the day.
At the time of writing, the Loonie was down by 0.10% to C$1.2575 against the U.S Dollar.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.