French Election rides front and centre in driving direction

AUD / USD

Expected Range: 0.7460 – 0.7580

The Australian Dollar advanced against the US Dollar on Thursday reaching an overnight high of 0.7546 before settling around 0.7520. With little to no data out today Sunday’s first round of voting in the French Presidential elections will be one of the main talking point today across global markets. The AUD/USD pair is currently trading at 0.7524. We now expect support to hold on moves approaching 0.7491 while any upward push will likely meet resistance around 0.7604. The Australian dollar is also higher this morning against the Yen (82.28) and the Euro (0.7026).

 

NZD / USD

Expected Range: 0.6960 – 0.7080

The New Zealand dollar relinquished early gains bouncing of intraday highs at 0.7052 as the U.S dollar advanced on expectations of stable growth and an uptick in inflation. While commodities came under pressure as Iron Ore moved lower the Kiwi found support on moves toward the 0.70 handle. The NZD has been relatively well bid on moves toward this psychological level however a break below near term support at 0.6960 could signal entry into a deeper bearish channel while a break below 0.6850 would open the door to wider losses in the face of rising global tensions and political uncertainties. Attentions today remain off shore with risk demand and Euro flows driving direction into the weekend. 

 

GBP / AUD

Expected Range: 1.6910 – 1.7110

The Great British Pound opens stronger at 1.2809 against the US Dollar vs this time yesterday as US domestic data failed to impress. Jobless claims for the week ending April 15th rose and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index declined. One of the major European Banks Credit Suisse have said based on latest developments in the UK they are looking to raise their three-month and twelve-month GBP/USD forecast which at the moment sits at 1.25. The main release for the Pound all week is later today being March Retail Sales, expectations are not overly optimistic with analysts expecting headline sales to fall -0.2% compared to the previous month but to rise by 3.6% from the previous year. Meanwhile, as France heads to the polls this weekend for the first round vote markets could see some heavy volatility Monday morning in Australia (Sunday night for Europe) given the high level of undecided voters. 

 

USD, EUR, JPY

The USD opens marginally stronger against a basket of major currency counterparts this morning having shrugged off early losses as investors responded to stable macroeconomic data sets. Having suffered heavy selling in early trade and relinquishing ground against the Euro the dollar clawed back as steady unemployment claims data and upbeat business activity enabled market participants to maintain views of modest growth and inflation prospects. The Euro touched intraday highs at 1.0777 and maintained three week highs against as analysts place centrist Emmanuel Macron ahead of nationalist Marine Le Pen as the front runner expected to take the Presidency. Attentions through Friday and into the weekend lie squarely on the French election. With the first round of voting due to take place Sunday markets are preparing, in accordance with polls, for Macron and Le Pen to move through into round two and face off ahead of the final vote on May 7. The Euro should remain bullish as support for Macron grows however uncertainty surrounding voter turnout leaves analysts wary of a Brexit/Trump style upset. 

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