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The Weekly Wrap – Impressive Stats from the U.S Give the Greenback a Much-Needed Boost

Out of the U.S

It was a busier week on the economic data front.

In the 1st half of the week, core durable goods and consumer confidence figures were in focus.

The stats were skewed to the positive. Core durable goods reversed a 0.3% fall, with a 1.6% rise in March.

More significantly, the CB Consumer Confidence Index jumped from 109.0 to 121.7.

In the 2nd half of the week, GDP, jobless claims, personal spending, and inflation figures were in focus.

The stats were also skewed to the positive, supporting market optimism towards the economic outlook.

In the 1st quarter, the economy expanded by 6.4%, following 4.3% growth in the 4th quarter of last year.

Jobless claims figures were also positive, with initial jobless claims falling from 566k to 553k in the week ending 23rd April.

At the end of the week, personal spending also impressed, jumping by 4.2% to reverse a 1% fall from February.

Inflationary pressures were on the rise, with the FED’s preferred Core PCE Price Index rising by 1.8% in March, year-on-year. In February, the index was up by 1.4%. Following the FED’s assurances from earlier in the week, however, the uptick had a muted impact on the markets.

On the monetary policy front, the FED stood pat on policy, which was in line with expectations. FED Chair Powell continued to reassure the markets that there would be no tapering to the asset purchasing program or shift in interest rates any time soon.

The assurances had left the Greenback on the backfoot in response.

In the equity markets, the Dow and the NASDAQ fell by 0.50% and by 0.39% respectively, while the S&P500 eked out a 0.02% gain.

Out of the UK

It was a particularly quiet week.

There were no material stats to provide the Pound with direction in the week.

The lack of stats left the Pound in the hands of market optimism towards the reopening of the economy.

In the week, the Pound fell by 0.39% to end the week at $1.3822. In the week prior, the Pound had risen by 0.70% to $1.3876.

The FTSE100 ended the week up by 0.45%, partially reversing a 1.15% fall from the previous week.

Out of the Eurozone

It was a busy week on the economic data front.

In the 1st half of the week, German business and consumer confidence waned as a result of the latest spike in new COVID-19 cases.

In the 2nd half of the week, stats were also skewed to the negative weighing on the EUR.

While the French economy managed to avoid a contraction in Q1, both Germany and the Eurozone’s economies contracted.

The contraction was aligned with ECB President Lagarde’s outlook and the latest downward revision to Germany’s economic forecasts.

Inflation for the Eurozone and member states, unemployment figures from Germany and the Eurozone, and French consumer spending figures also drew attention.

Consumer spending hit reverse in France while inflationary pressures picked up in France and across the Eurozone.

Unemployment from Germany disappointed, while the Eurozone’s unemployment rate declined from 8.2% to 8.1%.

For the week, the EUR slipped by 0.64% to $1.2020. In the week prior, the EUR had risen by 1.00% to $1.2097.

The CAC40 rose by 0.18%, while the DAX30 and EuroStoxx600 ended the week down by 0.94% and by 0.34% respectively.

For the Loonie

It was a busier week.

Retail sales figures impressed mid-week, with core retail sales and retail sales both jumping by 4.8% in February. In January, core retail sales had fallen by 1.2% and retail sales by 1.1%.

At the end of the week, February GDP and March RMPI numbers were also in focus.

The economy expanded by a further 0.4%, following 0.7% growth in January. In March, the RMPI rose by 2.3% following a 6.6% jump in February.

Continued market reaction to the previous week’s BoC outlook and policy decision also supported the Loonie.

In the week ending 30th April, the Loonie jumped by 1.51% to C$1.2288. In the week prior, the Loonie had risen by 0.22% to C$1.2476.

Elsewhere

It was a bearish week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar, with a Friday pullback leaving the pair in the red.

In the week ending 30th April, the Aussie Dollar fell by 0.39% to $0.7716, with the Kiwi Dollar ending the week down by 0.51% to $0.7162.

For the Aussie Dollar

It was a quiet week.

1st quarter inflation and private sector credit figures for March were in focus in the week.

The stats were skewed to the negative, pegging the Aussie back in the week.

In the 1st quarter, the trimmed mean CPI rose by 1.1% year-on-year, its lowest annual movement on record.

Private sector credit figures were positive, however, with both personal and business credit on the rise.

For the Kiwi Dollar

It was also a quiet week.

Trade data and business confidence figures were in focus.

A narrowing of New Zealand’s trade surplus was Kiwi Dollar negative, while a pickup in business confidence provided support late in the week.

The narrowing of New Zealand’s trade surplus came as imports surged at the end of the 1st quarter. Year-on-year, New Zealand’s trade surplus narrowed from NZ$2,380m to NZ$1,690m.

In April, the ANZ Business Confidence Index rose by 6 points from a prelim -8.4 to -2.0.

For the Japanese Yen

It was a busy week.

Mid-week, retail sales figures impressed. In March, retail sales were up by 5.2%, year-on-year. In February, sales had been down by 1.5%.

At the end of the week, industrial production increased by 2.2%, reversing a 1.3% decline from February.

Deflationary pressures picked up in April, however, with Tokyo core consumer prices falling by 0.2%, year-on-year. In March, core consumer prices had fallen by 0.1%.

The Japanese Yen fell by 1.33% to ¥109.31 against the U.S Dollar. In the week prior, the Yen had risen by 0.85% to ¥107.88.

Out of China

It was a quiet week on the data front.

NBS private sector PMIs were in focus at the end of the week. The stats were skewed to the negative, however, with both service and manufacturing sector growth easing in April.

The Manufacturing PMI fell from 51.9 to 51.1, with the Non-Manufacturing PMI falling from 56.3 to 54.9.

In the week ending 30th April, the Chinese Yuan rose by 0.33% to CNY6.4749. In the week prior, the Yuan had risen by 0.37% to CNY6.4963.

The CSI300 slipped by 0.23%, with the Hang Seng ended the week down by 1.22%.


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