Morning brief for May 17

Morning brief for May 17

US dollar weakness extended in the course of the Asian session with DXY dropping to 97.93 and giving up all of the gains it made after Trump’s election victory last year. This came after the New York Times spared the details of James Comey’s memo. The former FBI Director wrote that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into ties between Michael Flynn (former White House security advisor) and Russia. The following news deepened a political crisis for Trump’s administration by introducing the possibility that the president may have obstructed justice which is an impeachable offense. Donald Trump is already reeling from scalding criticism of his revelation of highly classified intelligence information to Russian ambassador, the recent news only aggravated the situation. 

The market perceived the information about Comey's memo and Trump's offense potentially leading to impeachment as yet more uncertainties that tax cuts, fiscal stimulus are delivered in the forseable future.

The euro spiked above 1.1100 in the Tokyo morning. European data continues to be positive. Yesterday we received upbeat German ZEW index that rose to 20.6 from 19.5. Trade balance data came in better than expected. The dissemination of risk surrounding the French presidential election gave rise to speculation that the ECB might tilt its guidance to a hawkish side and remove the words “or lower” from its monetary policy statement.

Aussie dipped to 0.7420 in the hours of the Asian session. Quarterly wage data is still at record low level. It undermines consumer spending. Monthly consumer confidence data from Australia confirmed the weaker readings on the weekly consumer sentiment. Today, the market will be waiting for the Eurozone annual inflation figures coming at 12:00. The consensus forecast is the final CPI remaining at previous month inflation rate (at around 1.9%).

Kiwi rose above 0.6910 against USD following the upbeat release of quarterly PPI input/output figures. The outlook for NZD/USD currency pair is still neutral. Kiwi is expected to trade within the range of 0.6850 – 0.6950.

UK CPI that we received yesterday was stronger than expected. But the pound’s reaction was subdued given the Bank of England’s content to allow inflation figures to its coveted target. Today’s focus will be on Britain’s average hourly earnings, claimant count change and unemployment rate all released at 11:30 am.

USD/CAD went lower to 1.3590 ignoring the increase in US crude inventories. Keep an eye on Canadian monthly manufacturing sales and crude oil inventories that will be released at 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm (MT time) respectively.

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