The latest Japan Core Machinery Orders, a measure of new private sector purchase orders for machines, surprised with a surge of 2.9 percent in March. Prelim GDP edged up 0.6 percent in the first quarter of the year.
German ZEW Economic Sentiment saw a dramatic decline to 41.9 (53.3 previously) this month, while EZ ZEW Economic Sentiment made a more modest decline to 61.2 (64.8 previously).
In the United Kingdom, the MPC Asset Purchase Facility and Official Bank Rate votes remained unchanged. Meanwhile, Consumer Price Index surprisingly dipped 0.1 percent in April, when analysts were expecting no change. This is the first time it fell since the 1960s. PPI Input gained 0.4 percent in April. Retail Sales grew 1.2 percent on clothing demand, following a 0.7 percent decline in March.
In the United States, Jobless Claims for the prior week stood at 274,000. Building Permits and Housing Starts beat forecasts, while Flash Manufacturing PMI, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, and Existing Home Sales all came in lower than forecast.
Gold retraced part of the prior week’s advance after selling ensued around the $1,230s early in the week. Price is now back near the $1,200 level and would threaten another move below it. Resistance remains around $1,280 to $1,300.
Oil had another volatile week as both sides battle for control around the $60 area. Support has thickened around $55 to $58, and we will see if this area would get tested this week.
EURUSD dived nearly 450 pips this week after sellers stepped in at the 1.1460s. Price is back down to test the 1.1000 level. Let’s see if this area would become a solid support zone.
GBPUSD has formed a 400-pip bearish weekly inside bar. Sellers dominated after the prior week’s “Goldilocks” advance through 1.5800. A strong move through 1.5400 would expose 1.5000-1.5100.
Finally, USDJPY made a decisive move this week. The pair moved higher by 230 pips and made a firm weekly close just above 121.50. If Dollar strength continues, we could see a new high soon.
The Week Ahead
Monday will be short of several vital economic news, as many major banks will be closed. Germany, Switzerland, and France will observe Whit Monday. The UK will observe the Spring Bank Holiday, while the United States will observe Memorial Day. Only Japan’s Trade Balance and BOJ Monthly Report will be the most important news to be released today.
The pace will pick up slightly on Tuesday with New Zealand’s Trade Balance; Switzerland’s Employment Level; US Durable Goods Orders, S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI, New Home Sales, CB Consumer Confidence, and Richmond Manufacturing Index.
Wednesday will open up with BOJ Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes, followed by Australia’s Construction Work Done; Gfk German Consumer Climate; and Bank of Canada’s Rate Announcement and Statement. The G7 will start its 3-day meeting today.
Thursday will start quite early with Japan’s Retail Sales; Australia’s Private Capital Expenditure; Switzerland’s Trade Balance; UK Second Estimate GDP, BBA Mortgage Approvals, and Prelim Business Investment; Canada’s Current Account and RMPI; US Jobless Claims and Pending Home Sales.
Friday will have New Zealand’s Building Consents; Japan’s Household Spending, Jobless Rate, Prelim Industrial Production, and Tokyo Core CPI; New Zealand’s ANZ Business Confidence; Germany’s Retail Sales; France Consumer Spending; Spain’s Flash CPI; Eurozone M3 Money Supply and Private Loans; Canada’s GDP; US Prelim GDP, Chicago PMI, and Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment.