US Dollar Index Reaches 8-Month Low

Analisi Giornaliera - 07/06/2017

Risk Sentiment Remains Weak Amid Overcast Geopolitical Backdrop


The US dollar slid to a near six-week low against the safe-haven Japanese Yen earlier in the session as political crises across the globe weighs investor sentiment. Traders are growing especially cautious ahead of what has been dubbed “Super Thursday” when the UK goes to polls and the European Central Bank meets to announce its policy.

Comey Faces US Congress

Traders are in a wait and watch mode in the lead up to major events on the docket in the coming session including the ECB’s Governing Council meeting on Thursday. While the Central Bank is not expected to tinker with interest rates or make changes to its asset purchase program, market participants will be putting President Mario Draghi's statement for his views on the Euro Zone economy under a microscope. Also in focus will be former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the US Congress later tomorrow. Although new reports paint a high likelihood of Comey giving evidence about Russia’s alleged collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign team, there is still room for surprises. Investors are worried that his testimony could dampen the already flagging momentum for Trump's growth agenda. The US dollar has already shed -0.90% against the Yen this week, with USDJPY last seen around the 109.400-mark.


Australian GDP Tops Estimates

The pace of growth in Australia’s economy slowed during the first three months of the year, but beat expectations and stretched the country’s run without a recession to 26 years. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed gross domestic product grew at an annualized pace of 1.70% during the three months ended March 31st. Economists surveyed were projecting a 1.50% rate of growth for the period. On quarterly basis, the economy grew 0.30%, compared to the 1.10% reported during the December quarter. Growth is expected to rebound further in the second quarter as the economy recovers from the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Debbie, which hindered activity and hurt exports earlier this year. The Aussie dollar is rallying in the aftermath of the announcement, nearly erasing the prior session’s losses as AUDJPY trades just shy of 82.500.


Euro Zone Retail Activity Edges Higher

Retail sales in the Euro Area grew marginally in April, marking the fourth straight monthly gain as shoppers increased their purchases of food and drinks ahead of the Easter holiday. On a month-on-month basis, the volume of sales in the 19 countries that share the Euro rose by 0.10% in April according to the data compiled by the European Union's statistics office Eurostat. Although the figure missed the consensus estimate of analysts expecting 0.20% growth, retail sales rose 2.50% compared to the same period a year ago, managing to top expectations of a 2.30% climb. Food and drinks were the main areas leading the gains in retail activity, accounting for a 0.60% monthly incline. In the meantime, EURUSD is trading just below a seven-month high, with the pair currently perched around strong resistance at 1.1270.


South Africa Enters Recession

The South African economy has stumbled into a recession after shrinking for a second straight quarter during the first three months of the year, piling added pressure on the Zuma-led government.  The incumbents are already reeling from corruption allegations and credit downgrades that have severely dented the administration’s credibility. Data from Statistics South Africa showed the economy contracted by -0.70% in the first quarter after declining -0.30% in the final three months of 2016, widely missing market expectations of quarterly GDP growth of 0.90%. The first quarter contraction was led by tepid manufacturing and trade figures, indicating high unemployment and stagnant wages were finally beginning to weigh on South Africa's long-resilient consumer sector - the key driver of growth in recent years. USDZAR is gaining early Wednesday despite prevailing US dollar weakness, with the pair hovering around 12.8600.


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