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It was a relatively quiet week for Europe in terms of economic data, but the data and commentary from ECB officials we did get was very negative and likely the main driver for both the euro and the franc’s under performance.

Counter currency flows seemed to have been an influence on the mid-week mixed behavior, but at the end there were buyers to be found of both currencies by the close of Friday.

Risk sentiment was arguably a factor as well in spurts, describe below for both currencies in the CHF recap.

The Euro

Overlay of EUR Pairs: 1-Hour Forex Chart
Overlay of EUR Pairs: 1-Hour Forex Chart
EUR Weekly Performance from MarketMilk
EUR Weekly Performance from MarketMilk

European Headlines and Economic data

Tuesday:

Spain partially loosens lockdown as coronavirus death rate slows

Wednesday:

French retail sales plunged 24% in March: central bank

Germany to extend coronavirus lockdown until May 3 with some easing

Thursday:

Industrial production down by 0.1% in euro area; Unchanged in EU

German Wholesale prices in March 2020: -1.5% on March 2019

German Inflation rate at +1.4% in March 2020

ECB ready to do more to avoid euro ‘fragmentation’: Schnabel – this may have been the catalyst for the euro’s turn lower, not only on the idea of more stimulus coming, but also on the fragility of the euro zone’s debt market and the ECB’s negative outlook on the economy.

Friday:

Euro area Production in construction down by 1.5% in February; Down by 1.0% in EU

In March, annual inflation down to 0.7% in the euro area; Down to 1.2% in the EU

Bank of Italy sees Italian economy contracting 5% in first quarter

The Swiss Franc

Overlay of CHF Pairs: 1-Hour Forex Chart
Overlay of CHF Pairs: 1-Hour Forex Chart
CHF Weekly Performance from MarketMilk
CHF Weekly Performance from MarketMilk

Swiss Franc Headlines and Economic data

Monday: 

Broad moves lower in both the euro and franc on the Monday session, perhaps a move on global risk sentiment which somewhat shifted positive to start the week after OPEC+ agrees on a record oil production cut to end the price war during the weekend.

Tuesday: 

We started to get terrible global economic outlook projections (e.g., Coronavirus ‘Great Lockdown’ to shrink global economy by 3% in 2020: IMF) that possibly sparked a broad move towards negative risk sentiment, reasonably the catalyst for a move higher in euro and franc against the risk currencies going from Tuesday into Wednesday.

Wednesday:

Swiss coronavirus death toll nears 1,000, positive tests still rising

Thursday:

Switzerland to start easing COVID-19 restrictions from April 27

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index fell by 0.3% in March 2020

We saw a broad move in global risk sentiment towards positive in the afternoon U.S. session after prospects of the U.S. having a plan to re-open the economy (Trump suggests U.S. states re-open economies in three phases in new guidelines) and from a recent report that a Gilead Sciences drug showed effectiveness in treating the coronavirus.