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US Dollar weaker on Tillerson sacking

Published: Tuesday 13 March 2018

  • Sterling gains after upbeat Spring Statement
  • Chinese Industrial Production up
​​By David Johnson

Spring in the air for Sterling?

Apparently, it is Spring, everybody. Yay! We know this, not because of the weather, but because the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spring Statement yesterday. And it was befitting of the season, in that it pointed to growth and was rather sunny in its disposition. Sterling traders liked the tone because they bought the Pound, which strengthened across the board. There is a notable lack of UK data today, so a slight fall back in the value of the Pound shouldn’t be a surprise.

US antics weaken US Dollar

Sterling’s gains against the USD had more to do with the US President’s sacking of Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who learned he had lost his job through a Tweet thanking him for his service. Classy Trump, real classy. Anyway, he and the President clearly didn’t get on. The new man was the head of the CIA until today and his replacement is the first woman in charge of the CIA. The markets didn’t like the unexpected political uncertainty and the USD dropped in value. The GBPUSD rate is up testing $1.40 again. There was some US data in amongst this melee, but inflation was in line with expectations and that, as they say, was that. We get US Retail Sales data today and that is expected to be upbeat, so maybe it will allay the USD’s decline. 

European speeches expected to be positive

Today brings speeches from two European Central Bank (ECB) members, including its President and it offers up Eurozone employment and industrial production data. All is forecast to be positive, in line with the general global economic recovery.

Increased Chinese production will strengthen linked economies

Overnight, we had news of a sharp rise in Chinese industrial production. That’ll boost the economies that supply China and their currencies will strengthen as a result. That includes the Australian and New Zealand Dollars and many Asian economies. We can see that change in the currency charts.

 New Zealand Dollar could rise overnight – time to act

Overnight tonight, we are expecting to see stronger Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth from New Zealand and that should strengthen the Kiwi Dollar. Those who need to buy NZD might wish to either do so today or place an order in the market overnight to capture or protect against any volatility.

Australian Dollar could also strengthen further

The overnight markets will also bring Australian inflation expectations and a bulletin from the Reserve bank of Australia (RBA). That is likely to be more positive than last month’s RBA meeting, so there is further scope for the AUD to strengthen.

 Celebrating Stephen Hawking

And, very sadly, Professor Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76 after battling Motor Neurone disease for 55 years. Of the many things he achieved, that was pretty inspirational.
Some Stephen Hawking Quotes
  • I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth. 
  • People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
  • We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.
  • If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans.
  • People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
EUR 10:00 EU: Employment Change 0.4% 0.3%
EUR 10:00 EU:  Industrial Production 0.4% -0.4%
USD 12:30 US: Retail Sales -0.3% 0.3%
USD 12:30 US: Core Retail Sales 0.0% 0.4%
USD 12:30 US: Producer Price Index 0.4% 0.1%
USD 12:30 US: Core Producer Price Index 0.4% 0.2%
NZD 21:45 New Zealand: Gross Domestic Product 0.6% 0.8%

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