The Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England both decided to leave rates unchanged (2.25 percent and 0.50 percent, respectively) this week. The Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility also remained at GBP375 billion.
In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday that Building Approvals surprisingly sunk 5 percent in February, beating the median forecast of -1.7 percent. This is the fifth decline in the last 7 months.
Canadian jobs reports showed improved data in March. Statistics Canada revealed 28,700 jobs were added while the Jobless Rate remained at 6.8 percent for the second month in a row.
In Spain, the Employment Ministry reported Unemployment Change declined 60,200 in March.
In the United States, the latest FOMC Meeting Minutes revealed a split has occurred between the policymakers about a possible June hike. This happened even before the release of the weak non-farm employment figures.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Unemployment Claims last week were 281,000, close to the 283,000 estimate.
Gold had a volatile week as it showed a small gap to start the week. Since then, a steady decline through $1,200 ensued but Friday bulls saved the yellow metal from closing the week below this key level. Bulls still has control here, but they have to a stronger statement in the remaining weeks of April
Oil finally managed a weekly close above the key $50 level. This is oil’s third bullish week and it’s almost ready to take on new highs. The next resistance is $54 then $60 up to $65.
EURUSD saw a complete five-day bearish sweep and gave up almost 470 pips to close just above 1.0600. This move destroys the three-week hard-fought attempt to reach a weekly close above 1.1000. This puts the over-a-decade low at risk of getting breached. Watch out!
Pip-wise, GBPUSD showed slightly less damage than EURUSD but the former posted a new lower low for the pair in the process. Sellers will now target 1.4000-1.4200.
USDJPY moved higher this week as bulls gathered momentum through the psychological 120 level. Dollar bulls are surely targeting new highs beyond 122. Watch out for big sellers around that area.
The Week Ahead
Monday will be in its usual quiet form. Key news releases will include Japan’s Core Machinery Orders and Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes; and China’s Trade Balance.
Tuesday will be much more active with New Zealand’s NZIER Business Confidence; Australia’s NAB Business Confidence; China’s New Loans; UK CPI, RPI, HPI, and PPI Input; and US Business Inventories, Retail Sales, and PPI.
Wednesday will have Australia’s Westpac Consumer Sentiment; China’s NBS Press Conference, Fixed Asset Investment, GDP, and Industrial Production; ECB’s rate announcement and press conference; Canada’s Manufacturing Sales; US Empire State Manufacturing Index, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Rate, NAHB Housing Market Index; and Canada’s Rate statement and announcement, and press conference.
Thursday will still have adequate activity in the form of with New Zealand’s Business NZ Manufacturing Index; Australia’s Employment data; Switzerland’s PPI; G20 Meetings; US Jobless Claims, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, Housing Starts and Building Permits.
Friday will showcase Switzerland’s Retail Sales; UK Claimant Count Change, Jobless Rate, and Average Earnings Index; Eurozone Final CPI; G20 meetings; Canada’s CPI, Retail Sales, and Foreign Securities Purchases; US CPI and Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment.