USD has been trading firmly over the last European session of the week so far, extending gains from yesterday in reaction to better than expected US data as both building permits and continuing claims saw positive surprises. Looking ahead to the final US session of the week today, we have the University of Michigan confidence reading for May. This is expected to come in stronger than the prior month. If we see an inline or better than expected reading that should keep USD well bid over the rest of the day with little else in the way of market-moving data today. The index is back above the 97.68 level to end the week.
EUR Weakens Further
EURUSD is trading lower again today, marking a week of straight losses as a resurgent US dollar has kept the single currency pressured. Weak euro zone data this week has refocused concerns around the health of the eurozone economy, adding further pressure, to see EURUSD trading back down into the middle of the 1.1009–1.1217 range.
Pound Down Firmly
GBPUSD has been heavily weighed upon this week also with price breaking down to levels not seen since January. A stronger US dollar as well as concerns around the upcoming early June Brexit vote in parliament, which will be May’s final attempt, has fuelled consistent downside this week with price breaking through the April and March lows to trade 1.2757 last.
Risk Sentiment Recovers From Monday’s Crash
Risk sentiment, which had been sharply weaker at the start of the week, has recovered firmly over the week though is trading lower again today. SPX500 had broken above the 2877.30 level but has since retreated back below and is nearing 2856.30 support. Concerns around the ongoing US/China trade war, as well as rising tensions in the Middle East, present persistent downside risks though for now, it seems the market is focusing on better US data.
Mixed End for Safe Havens
Safe havens have had a mixed end to the week with gold lower against the US dollar while JPY has traded higher. XAUUSD has had a disappointing week, reversing sharply from initial highs to trade 1285.16 last. While above 180.58 though, the focus remains on further upside. USDJPY, which has broken back above the 109.70 level, is now testing the level from above as JPY picks up the majority of safe haven inflows on softer equities prices today.
Middle East Worries Keep Oil Bid
Oil prices are trading higher again today despite a bearish report from the EIA yesterday which highlighted an unexpected build in US crude stocks. Rising by over 5 million barrels last week, crude stores are now at their highest level since 2017. However, oil remains supported by ongoing, rising, tensions in the Middle East. News that Iran attacked four Saudi Arabian oil tankers earlier in the week has heightened expectations of conflict between Iran and the US which currently has warships on the way to the Middle East. The potential supply disruption is keeping oil prices well bid despite the EIA report.
Commodity Currencies Crashing
Rising crude prices have failed to help CAD into the end of the week, however, with a strong US dollar taking USDCAD firmly above the 1.3469 level resistance, headed for the 1.3502 May high next. Concerns around the health of global trade in light of the escalation between the US and China has weakened CAD despite rising crude prices.
AUDUSD has had a brutal week suffering five consecutive days of losses as price plummets toward the .6759 2019 low. Worsening trade relations between the US and China has increases expectations of an RBA rate cut in the coming months as trade between China and Australia will likely weaken.