Forex Today: USD bid amid geopolitical and trade tensions, ECB minutes, Carney eyed


The overnight risk-off sentiment extended into Asia, as the traders reacted to the escalating Middle East tensions over Syria, with the US-Russia on the brink of a war. Meanwhile, looming concerns over the US-China trade dispute continue to keep the investors on the edge.

Despite risk-aversion, the US dollar managed to regain ground across its main competitors, as the FOMC March meeting minutes showed a more hawkish bias, with the Committee’s upbeat outlook on inflation. As a result, USD/JPY remained better bid just below the 107 handle, although the gains were capped amid rising demand for the safe-haven Yen. The Antipodeans traded on the back foot amid mixed fundamentals, as the risk trends continued to remain the key driver.

Among other related markets, the Asian indices were weighed down by the geopolitical risks, with the Nikkei 225 index better offered near 21,675 levels. Gold prices on Comex traded around $ 1350 levels while oil prices were largely unchanged.

Main topics in Asia

RBNZ's McDermott: employment mandate will help inflation targeting flexibility

RBNZ's McDermott is speaking on inflation targeting (and employment mandate) titled 'Evolution in inflation targeting'.

BOJ Kuroda: Will continue easing until consumer inflation stably exceeds 2 pct

Comments from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Kuroda are flowing-in via Reuters …

Australia inflationary expectations fell slightly in April

The expected inflation rate (30-percent trimmed-mean measure) fell by 0.1 percentage points in April to 3.6 percent, the Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Inflationary Expectations showed. 

China MOFCOM: China is prepared for escalation with US on trade dispute

More headlines hitting the wires from the Chinese Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) are found below.

Asian stocks drop on fears of US-Russia war over Syria

The major Asian equity markets are putting up a mixed performance amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

World Bank raises China 2018 growth forecast to 6.5%

The World Bank publishes its updated growth forecasts for East Asia and Pacific on Thursday, upping the 2018 growth forecast for the developing region.

Key Focus ahead

Today’s macro calendar is relatively light, in terms of the first-tier economic releases, but has a slew of central bankers’ speeches and events to keep the EUR, GBP traders busy. Ahead of the European open, the Bank of England (BOE) MPC member Broadbent will be on the wires, speaking at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in Sydney. Later on, we have the BOE credit conditions survey and Eurozone industrial production data, followed by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) March monetary policy meeting minutes at 1130 GMT.

In the NA session, we have the second-liner Canadian NHPI and the US jobless claims data ahead of the German Bundesbank (Buba) President Weidmann’s speech. Meanwhile, the main event risk for the pound is likely to be the BOE Governor Carney’s speech due at 1900 GMT.

EUR/USD: ECB minutes could make or break the EUR

The EUR/USD pair's retreat from the two-week high of 1.2396 to 1.2365 in Asia indicates the rally from the April 6 low of 1.2216 may have run out of steam, possibly due to rising fears of US-Russia war over Syria.

GBP/USD struggling to get a grip on 1.42 ahead of Carney's speech

The main event for today will be a scheduled speech from the BoE's head, Mark Carney. Carney will be speaking later in the day at 19:00 GMT, where he will be delivering the closing speech for the Public Policy Forum's growth summit, in Toronto, Canada.

Middle East embers look set to ignite

FX markets have been in stasis again, but players remain on high alert for Middle East escalation

 

GMT
Event
Vol.
Actual
Consensus
Previous
Friday, Apr 06
24h
 
 
Thursday, Apr 12
06:30
 
 
08:30
 
 
09:00
 
3.8%
2.7%
09:00
 
0.1%
-1.0%
11:30
 
 
12:15
 
 
12:30
 
1.848M
1.808M
12:30
 
230K
242K
12:30
 
3.6%
3.3%
12:30
 
3.6%
3.5%
12:30
 
0.2%
0.2%
12:30
 
0.2%
0.4%
12:30
 
 
3.2%
12:30
 
0.1%
0.0%
14:30
 
-11B
-29B
16:00
 
 
17:00
 
 
3.109%
19:00
 
 
21:00
 
 
22:30
 
 
53.4
Friday, Apr 13
01:30
 
 
02:00
 
8.9%
8.8%
02:00
 
 
224.9B
02:00
 
10.0%
6.3%
02:00
 
10.0%
44.5%

 

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