The Bank of England decided to keep status quo in terms of its Official Bank Rate and Asset Purchase Facility. The Official Bank Rate stays at 0.50 percent.
In other news from the United Kingdom, the Manufacturing Production and Industrial Production came in better than expected at 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. The Average Earnings Index was also better at 1.9 percent, while Claimant Count Change was worse at -12,600. The March Jobless Rate stood at 5.5 percent, as expected.
Some data from China came in lower than expected, particularly Fixed Asset Investment (12 percent), New Loans (CNY708 billion), M2 Money Supply (10.1 percent), and Retail Sales (10 percent). The Industrial Production came in close to expectations at 5.9 percent.
In the United States, Retail Sales was flat in April. Empire State Manufacturing Index stood at 3.1, Capacity Utilization Rate at 78.2 percent, while Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment came in much lower than expected at 88.6. Jobless Claims for the prior week improved to 264,000. Meanwhile, Industrial Production surprisingly dipped in April by 0.3 percent.
Gold moved to its highest level in two months as the $1,200 level held completely this week. The next area of resistance would come around $1,280 to $1,300.
Oil tried to test the prior week’s high but failed easily mid-week. The close just below $60 would be in favor of bears who would want to pounce black gold lower and through $55.
Just like Gold, EURUSD powered to new highs after a successful test around the 1.1100 area. If bulls are enthusiastic, they can move toward 1.1500 in the coming weeks.
GBPUSD also powered higher and broke through the 1.5800 level. Friday was a retracement day where the pair closed near 1.5700. This latter level should hold next week so the pair can move much higher soon.
USDJPY remained happy in consolidation mode around the 120 level. The weekly close around 119.20 adds to the bearish sentiment, which could snowball soon.
The Week Ahead
Monday will be a very brief news day with Japan’s Core Machinery Orders; Switzerland’s Retail Sales; Germany’s Bundesbank Monthly Report; and US NAHB Housing Market Index. Meanwhile, Canada will observe Victoria Day today.
Tuesday will get more active with New Zealand’s PPI Input, PPI Output, and Inflation Expectations; Australia’s CB Leading Index and Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment; Eurozone Final CPI; UK RPI, HPI, CPI, and PPI Input; and US Building Permits and Housing Starts.
Wednesday will be brief yet active with Japan’s Prelim GDP; Australia’s Westpac Consumer Sentiment; Germany’s PPI; UK MPC Official Bank Rate and Asset Purchase Facility Votes; Canada’s Wholesale Sales; and US FOMC Meeting Minutes.
Thursday will remain active with Australia’s MI Inflation Expectations; China’s HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI; Germany, France, and Eurozone Flash Manufacturing PMI and Flash Services PMI; UK Retail Sales and CBI Industrial Order Expectations; ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts; US Jobless Claims, Flash Manufacturing PMI, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, and Existing Home Sales.
Friday will feature BOJ’s Monetary Policy Statement and Press Conference; UK’s Public Sector Net Borrowing; Germany’s Ifo Business Climate; Canada’s CPI and Retail Sales; and US CPI. ECB’s Draghi, BOE’s Carney, and BOJ’s Kuroda will also give a speech.