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March

US data will drive the Dollar today – destination unknown…

Published: Tuesday 27 March 2018

  • Sterling still gaining on Brexit progress
  • US consumer and housing data should drive US Dollar - direction uncertain
​​By David Johnson

Sterling strong despite anti-Russia storm
 
The number of countries expelling Russian diplomats has reached 22 at the last count and the anger over Russia’s apparent involvement in the release of a chemical warfare agent in Salisbury is growing. Russia will still have some allies and some countries that are just too scared of Putin to act, but it is a very significant message. 
 
Meanwhile, the US Dollar has weakened a tad and Sterling has capitalised on that. Considering the UK is at the centre of the anti-Russia storm, that is an interesting development. With the Pound above $1.42 and pressing above EUR 1.14, many are suggesting this is the start of a traditional April rally for the Pound. Whether that will pan out remains to be seen, but the Pound’s strength seems to derive more from the progress in Brexit talks than from any anti-Russia action. There is almost no UK data due for release today, so this may be a day of treading water for the Pound.
 
Eurozone data should remain in line with forecasts – no move for Euro?
 
This morning brings a plethora of minor Eurozone data, but nothing likely to stir the blood of currency traders. That is assuming the data is in line with forecast. Anything untoward could shift the Euro but that’d be tales of the unexpected. 
 
US data today could prove more interesting – will the USD weaken?
 
This afternoon is more interesting. US Consumer Confidence is expected to have risen and that will add volume to the calls for higher US interest rates. However, there is less certainty over the US house price data we are expecting later. The combined effect of these two releases will direct the US Dollar. If they are unconvincing, the USD has a propensity to weaken at the moment. 
 
It’s a hard knock life…
 
And ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes created a rocket to take him high enough to prove the world is flat. He launched successfully, but what he really discovered is that the world is hard, especially when descending from 1,800 feet in a home-made rocket. So he didn’t quite make it to orbit in his steam powered rocket, but he did get into the papers and that may have been the motive all along. 
Some quick jokes 
  • I know a mathematician who is scared of negative numbers. He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them.
  • There’s a new restaurant called Karma. There is no menu, you just get what you deserve.
  • A woman in labour shouts “shouldn’t, wouldn’t, haven’t, can’t”. The midwife said, “Don’t be alarmed, they’re just contractions.”
  • Why did the chicken walk into the light? To get to the other side.
  • A guy goes to the doctor and says, “Help me. I’m addicted to Twitter.” The Doc says, “Sorry, I’m not following you”.
  • What is in Charles Dickens’ spice rack? The best of Thymes and the worst of Thymes…
  • And don’t mention 288; it’s two gross.

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
EUR 09:00 EU: M3 Money Supply 4.6% 4.6%
USD 15:00 US: Conference Board Consumer Confidence 130.8 131.2
USD 15:00 US: Richmond Manufacturing Index 29 23

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