U.S. Session Forex Recap – Feb. 24, 2016

  • SNB head Jordan: Unconventional measures cannot be deployed endlessly
  • U.S. CB consumer confidence index down from 97.8 to 92.2 in Feb
  • U.S. existing home sales rose to 5.47M vs. 5.37M forecast
  • Richmond manufacturing index fell from 2 to -4 in Feb
  • American Petroleum Institute reported buildup of 7.1 million barrels
  • Saudi Arabian oil minister: No plans to cut production
  • Iran oil minister: Output freeze plan is “laughable”

Retreat, comdoll bulls, retreat! Crude oil prices tumbled once more, weighing on higher-yielding currencies and risk appetite in the forex arena.

Major Events:

SNB Chairman Jordan’s testimony – Instead of jawboning the franc like he usually does, SNB head honcho Thomas Jordan admitted that monetary policy measures can only do so much when it comes to stabilizing the economy. He added that unconventional tools cannot be deployed endlessly, leading forex junkies to think that the Swiss central bank might not be inclined to lower deposit rates deeper into negative territory.

Crude oil oversupply concerns – The commodity erased most of its recent gains when plans to cap production didn’t seem to be gaining enough support. Iran’s oil minister ain’t exactly the number one fan of the output freeze plan, even calling it “laughable” and “ridiculous.”

It didn’t help that Saudi’s oil minister reiterated that they have absolutely no plans to cut oil production. To top it off, the latest report from the American Petroleum Institute indicated a buildup of 7.1 million barrels in stockpiles, reminding forex traders that the supply glut is still present.

Mixed U.S. data – Economic reports from the U.S. came in mixed, with existing home sales coming in stronger than expected and the CB consumer confidence index falling short. The former showed a gain from 5.45 million to 5.47 million instead of falling to the projected 5.37 million reading for January while the latter slipped from 97.8 to 92.2 to show weaker optimism this month. Meanwhile, the Richmond manufacturing index slumped from 2 to -4 to indicate industry contraction instead of holding steady in February.

Major Currency Movers:

CHF – The Swiss franc enjoyed a strong rally after SNB head Jordan’s speech, as the European currency also took advantage of the risk-off moves. USD/CHF tumbled from a high of .9961 to a low of .9896, EUR/CHF retreated below the 1.0950 handle before consolidating, and CHF/JPY slipped to a low of 112.29.

Commodity currencies – The comdoll gang suffered heavy losses against their forex counterparts thanks to the slump in crude oil.

AUD/USD fell to a low of .7186, NZD/USD crashed below the .6650 handle, and USD/CAD popped up to a high of 1.3801. AUD/JPY fell to a low of 80.47, NZD/JPY is testing support at 74.00, and CAD/JPY is down to the 81.00 levels.

Watch Out For:

  • 12:30 am GMT: Australia’s construction work done q/q (-2.1% expected, -1.8% previous)
  • 12:30 am GMT: Australia’s wage price index q/q (0.6% expected, 0.6% previous)

See also:

Asian Session Recap

London Session Recap

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