The German Federal Employment Agency broke the great news that Jobless Rate fell to a record low of 6.4 percent in March as the labor market continues to improve. Unemployment Change saw a decline of only 15,000. Lower gas prices favor consumers while exports are boosted by a weaker Euro.
In the United Kingdom, Office for National Statistics reported that Current Account for the fourth quarter of 2014 breached median expectations at –GBP25.3 billion, while the prior figure was revised negatively. Final GDP stood at 0.6 percent. Construction PMI fell short of forecast, 57.8 versus 59.7.
In the United States, Trade Balance improved to -$35.4 billion, compared to median expectation for -$41.3 billion. Last week’s Jobless Claims beat expectations (268,000 versus 286,000 forecast).
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US Non-Farm Employment Change surprised to the downside as it came in just over half of forecast. Only 126,000 workers were added, compared to 246,000 expected. This is the first 100k-level figure since August. Also, the February figure was downgraded, from 295,000 to 264,000. Jobless Rate stayed at 5.5 percent for the second month in March. Meanwhile, Average Hourly Earnings improved 0.3 percent.
Gold started the week with a quick dash downward starting just beneath $1,200, but price has quickly recovered since then. Gold ended the week just above $1,200, giving bulls the incentive to push price higher. If this is an initial bullish sign, we could see Gold hover close to the $1,250 area or higher.
Oil failed to reclaim the $50 level this week but the bullish weekly close could offer another stab to the upside. There are plenty of resistance up to $55, and bulls need to prove they can cut through this area. Consolidation at the current area is more favorable to bears.
EURUSD managed to clinch its third weekly bullish close but it is still confined below 1.1000-1050 (an area high printed three weeks ago). The next aim is to go for 1.1300-1.1400 to continue chopping the bearish momentum in this pair.
GBPUSD is in a much weaker situation if you look at the weekly chart. Cable continues to struggle below the 1.5000 major level, and this indicates bearish action is still in play. Short-term target right now is the 1.5200 zone.
USDJPY is on the verge of a possible strong downside move. If successfully initiated, the downmove could bring this pair toward 117.00-50 soon. Alternatively, we could see further tug of wars around the current area.
The Week Ahead
New Zealand and Australia will exit DST (Daylight Saving Time) on April 4 (Saturday) and April 5 (Sunday), respectively.
Monday will be quiet due to observance of Easter Monday in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the UK. China will observe Tomb Sweeping Day. Spain will publish Unemployment Change, followed by Canada’s Ivey PMI and US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI.
Tuesday will be busy with Australia’s Retail Sales, ANZ Job Advertisements, and RBA rate announcement and statement; Switzerland’s Foreign Currency Reserves; UK Halifax HPI; Italy, UK, and Spain Services PMI; and US JOLTS Job Openings.
Wednesday will have lower news activity with Japan’s Current Account, Monetary Policy Statement, and BOJ presscon; Germany’s Factory Orders; Switzerland’s CPI; UK BOE Credit Conditions Survey; Eurozone Retail Sales; and US FOMC Meeting Minutes.
Thursday will have China’s New Loans and M2 Money Supply; UK Trade Balance, BOE Rate statement and announcement; Canada’s Building Permits and NHPI; and US Jobless Claims.
Finally, Friday will have China’s PPI and CPI; Australia’s Home Loans; UK Manufacturing Production; Canada’s Employment data; and US Import Prices.