The Weekly Wrap – Fed Chairman Powell and economic data provide USD support


Outside the United States

It was a mixed week on the economic data front. Core durable goods and consumer confidence were disappointing, while private sector PMI and labor market data were upbeat.

According to preliminary figures, the services PMI in the United States fell from 56.5 to 58.9, with the manufacturing PMI falling from 57.3 to 58.5. In the week ending 18and In March, jobless claims fell back to levels below 200,000, also positive for the dollar.

Core durable goods orders fell unexpectedly, however, as consumer confidence faded in March.

In the week ending 25and In March, the Dollar Spot Index rose 0.57% to end the week at 98.789. Over the previous week, the index fell 0.90% to 98.229.

Outside the UK

Inflation, private sector PMIs and retail sales were the main statistics of the week.

It was a mixed bag for the pound. As inflationary pressures increased again, consumer spending declined in February as higher prices affected spending.

On the positive side, however, there has been an upturn in activity in the services sector. In March, the services PMI fell from 60.5 to 61.0.

During the week, the pound rose 0.03% to end the week at $1.3182. The pound rose 1.08% to hit $1.3178 the previous week.

The FTSE100 ended the week up 1.06%, after gaining 3.48% from the previous week.

Outside the euro area

Preliminary private sector PMI figures for France, Germany and the eurozone were in focus on Thursday.

While PMI indices beat forecasts, private sector activity grew at a slower pace in March. The Eurozone composite PMI fell from 55.5 to a 2-month low of 54.5. The manufacturing sector weighed on private sector activity. The Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell to a 14-month low of 57.0.

German business sentiment data on Friday also disappointed, with the manufacturing sector weighing on the news data. The IFO business climate index rose from 98.5 to 90.8. While current sentiment remained resilient, the expectations indicator fell from 98.4 to 85.1.

From the ECB, the Economic Bulletin added to the pessimism, with the ECB pointing to the uncertainty ahead and downside risks to the economy.

For the week, the euro fell 0.62% to $1.0983. The previous week, the Euro rose 1.27% to $1.1051.

The EuroStoxx600 fell 0.06%, with the CAC40 and DAX ending the week down 1.01% and 0.74%, respectively.

For the loon

It was a quiet week on the economic data front. The statistics were limited to the RMPI figures which had a moderate impact on the loonie.

The upward trend in crude oil prices supported the week.

In the week ending 25and In March, the loonie appreciated from C$1.00 to C$1.2477 against the greenback. Over the past week, the Loonie rose 1.11% to C$1.2603.

Elsewhere

It was a bullish week for the Australian Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.

The Australian dollar rebounded 1.35% to $0.7515, with the Kiwi dollar gaining 0.93% to end the week at $0.6972.

Both found support, with markets viewing the move away from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a positive.

For the Australian dollar

There were no hard statistics to provide direction for the Australian dollar.

For the kiwi dollar

Trade and consumer sentiment were the key statistics for the week. The numbers, however, had a moderate impact on the Kiwi Dollar, despite weaker consumer sentiment in the first quarter.

Trade data was mixed for February. While the trade deficit narrowed from January, the deficit widened year on year to NZ$8,370 million.

Other supply chain disruptions are highlighted in the surveys, suggesting many uncertainties ahead.

For the Japanese yen

Private sector PMIs and inflation were the main statistics of the week. The numbers did not impress. Tokyo’s core annual inflation rate rose from 0.5% to 0.8% as the services sector continued to contract. In March, the services PMI fell from 44.2 to 48.7.

A pick-up in manufacturing activity was little consolation, with the BoJ viewing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a significant risk to the economic outlook.

The Japanese yen slipped 2.42% to end the week at ¥122.05 against the dollar. The previous week, the yen ended the week down 1.60% at ¥119.170.

Outside of China

There were no major statistics out of China for markets to consider during the week.

In the week ending 18and In March, the Chinese yuan fell 0.08% to CNY 6.3662. In the previous week, the yuan ended the week down 0.31% at CNY 6.3393.

The Hang Seng index ended the week down 0.04%, with the CSI300 dropping 2.14%.

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