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A flat retail sales reading spelled trouble for the Aussie during the Asian session. Volatility remained muted, though, as traders wait for Trump’s decision on Iran’s nuclear deal.

  • Japan’s household spending down by 0.2% in March vs. 1.2% gain expected, 0.1% uptick in February
  • AU retail sales flat in March vs. 0.3% uptick expected, 0.6% gain in February
  • China prints 183B CNY trade surplus vs. 187B expected, -30B CNY deficit in March
  • China (USD-denominated) trade surplus clocks in at 28.8B vs. 27.5B expected, -5.0B previous
  • New Zealand’s inflation expectations dips from 2.1% to 2.0% in Q2 2018

Major Events/Reports:

Australia’s retail sales

The Aussie took some hits earlier today when Australia’s retail sales came in flat for the month of March. This is not only weaker than February’s 0.6% growth, but also missed analysts’ estimates of a 0.3% uptick.

Turns out, the rise in food retailing was offset by decreases in other industries. Specifically, food retailing rose 0.7%; other retailing slipped 0.6%; household goods fell 0.3%, and department stores dipped 0.5%.

Overall, the numbers supported concerns that February’s retail sales growth was propped higher by the record number of Chinese tourists for the month.

ABS also printed a quarterly report, which showed that retail sales turnover only grew by 0.2% in the three months to March. This is way weaker than Q4 2017’s 0.8% growth AND the 0.5% improvement that market players had expected.

Overall risk appetite

Market players might have been on the lookout for Trump’s decision on the Iran deal at 2:00 pm ET, but some traders were happy enough to take risks after China printed better-than-expected trade numbers.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.18% to 22,508.7
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is down by 0.09% to 6,083.9
  • Hang Seng is up by 1.30% to 30,384.9
  • Shanghai index is up by 0.64% to 3,156.584

Meanwhile, oil prices continued to find support from Trump possibly walking out of Iran’s nuclear deal.

  • Gold is down by 0.07% to $1,313.12
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.23% to $75.67
  • U.S. WTI is up by 0.31% to $70.18

Major Market Mover(s):

Aussie bears charged as soon as Australia printed a weaker-than-expected retail sales report. Unfortunately for the bulls, traders mostly shrugged off an upside surprise in China’s trade data.

AUD/USD is down by 6 pips (-0.07%) to .7509
AUD/JPY is down by 17 pips (-0.21%) to 81.80
EUR/AUD is up by 26 pips (+0.16%) to 1.5880
AUD/NZD is down by 19 pips (-0.18%) to 1.0693

Aussie traders might have ignored China’s trade surplus, but that didn’t stop Kiwi bulls from partying in the pip streets.

NZD/USD is up by 10 pips (+0.14%) to .7022
NZD/CAD is up by 27 pips (+0.30%) to .9060
NZD/CHF is up by 7 pips (+0.10%) to .7038

Watch Out For:

  • French markets out on Victory Day holiday
  • 5:45 am GMT: Switzerland’s unemployment rate to maintain its 2.9% rate?
  • 6:00 am GMT: Germany’s industrial production (0.8% expected, -1.6% previous)
  • 6:00 am GMT: Germany’s trade balance (19.9B EUR expected, 19.2B EUR previous)
  • 7:15 am GMT: Fed Governor Powell to make a speech in Zurich
  • 7:30 am GMT: U.K.’s Halifax house price index (-0.3% expected, 1.5% previous)
  • 9:30 am GMT: Australia’s annual budget release
  • 10:00 am GMT: U.S. NFIB small business index