Article Highlights

  • Congress postponed vote on healthcare bill
  • House Republican leaders: Not enough votes to repeal Obamacare
  • U.S. initial jobless claims at 258K vs. 240K forecast
  • U.S. new home sales up from 558K to 592K vs. 566K consensus
  • New Zealand trade deficit narrowed from 257M NZD to 16M NZD
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After hours of intense deliberations and a lot of market anticipation, traders were disappointed to find out that the House of Representatives decided to delay the healthcare bill vote. Where is Frank Underwood when you need him?

Major Events:

Healthcare vote delayed – So much for that big event and what it could mean for the Trump presidency! In a dramatic turn of events straight out of the “House of Cards” playbook, GOP leaders in Congress decided that they would postpone the vote to repeal Obamacare because they couldn’t whip up enough votes.

Some sources from Washington say that the vote could be rescheduled before the end of this week, but some GOP members hardly gave any confirmation. You see, Congress needs a simple majority or 216 votes to pass the administration’s new healthcare bill dubbed “Trumpcare” but a good number of Republicans are expected to oppose it and couldn’t be convinced otherwise. According to CNN, no Democrats are likely to support Trumpcare in its current form while roughly 30 House Republicans are opposed to the bill.

According to the Freedom Caucus, which is a congressional group consisting of the conservative Republican members, the text of the proposed healthcare bill isn’t good enough to make an informed decision. Members of this group want a broader repeal of Obamacare and the White House has practically told them to take it or leave it. Either way, this deals a huge blow to confidence in the Trump administration, which seems to be encountering more than a few roadblocks in enacting reforms.

Mixed U.S. economic data – The numbers didn’t provide much clarity for the dollar’s direction either, as reports printed mixed results.

Initial jobless claims increased from 243K to 258K last week, higher than the projected 240K figure and indicative of a slight slowdown in hiring. On the other hand, new home sales turned out much better than expected, rising from an upgraded 558K figure to 592K, outpacing the consensus at 566K for February and reaching a seven-month high.

Major Market Movers:

JPY –  The Japanese yen chalked up another day in strong gains, taking advantage of market jitters and traders’ hesitation to put money on the U.S. dollar.

USD/JPY edged down from 111.24 to a low of 110.63, EUR/JPY is down from 120.08 to a low of 119.32, AUD/JPY dropped from a high of 84.91 to a low of 84.44, and NZD/JPY is down to the 78.00 handle.

Comdolls –  The higher-yielding gang was the big loser for the past few sessions as risk-off vibes had traders fleeing to safe-havens.

AUD/USD is down from a high of .7651 to a low of .7620, NZD/USD tumbled from .7051 to .7023, and USD/CAD kept its head above the 1.3300 mark. EUR/AUD advanced to 1.4130, EUR/NZD is up to 1.5350, and GBP/CAD continued its climb from 1.6649 to 1.6711.

See also:

London Session Recap

Asian Session Recap

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