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
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