- Canada’s housing starts shoots up to 254K vs. 212K expected, 214K in February
- U.S. labor market conditions index dips from 1.5 to 0.4 in March
- Yellen: “I think we have a healthy economy now.”
- Yellen: “Gradual path of increases in short-term interest rates can get us to where we need to be”
The start of a shortened trading week might have kept U.S. equities traders on the sidelines, but that didn’t stop dollar traders from making their moves!
Janet Yellen’s speech – Yellen’s speech at a university event turned out to be a dud after the Fed head honcho barely offered anything new in terms of the Fed’s monetary policy bias.
At an event at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, Yellen expressed her confidence that the economy continues to “grow at a moderate pace” and that the Fed is now shifting its focus to allowing the economy to “kind of coast and remain on an even keel” by not waiting too long to raise their interest rates. She said that:
“Whereas before we had our foot pressed down on the gas pedal trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could, now allowing the economy to kind of coast and remain on an even keel — to give it some gas but not so much that we are pressing down hard on the accelerator — that’s a better stance of monetary policy.”
She also added that:
“We think a gradual path of increases in short-term interest rates can get us to where we need to be, but we don’t want to wait too long to have that happen.”
With not a lot of fresh meat on her speech, market players also kind of coasted along and mostly shrugged off her remarks.
More rallies for oil – As I mentioned in my London session recap, concerns over Libya halting production in its largest oil field contributed to upward pressure for oil prices.
Kuwait Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq also added into the mix after he suggested that global crude stocks could continue to drop over the next couple of months.
Brent crude oil finished the session up by 1.3% to $55.98 per barrel while U.S. crude oil prices also popped up by 1.6% to $53.08. Even energy stocks got boosts ahead of earnings season when traders are expecting higher oil prices to reflect on their Q1 2017 earnings.
Major Market Movers:
USD – Profit-taking ahead of a long weekend and geopolitical tensions involving the U.S. kept currency traders away from the dollar early in the session. However, it also retraced against its European counterparts as concerns over France’s upcoming Presidential elections weighed on the region’s currencies.
EUR/USD shot up to 1.0607 before slipping back to 1.0592 and GBP/USD bounced from a high of 1.2429 before finishing up at 1.2410. Meanwhile, USD/JPY straight up dropped 35 pips (-0.31%) to 110.96 and USD/CHF slipped by 11 pips (-0.11%) to 1.0089.
Watch Out For:
- 11:00 pm GMT: U.K. BRC retail sales monitor (y/y) (-1.0% expected, -0.4% previous)
- 1:30 am GMT: AU NAB business confidence
- 6:00 am GMT: Japan’s preliminary machine tool orders (y/y)
Bonnie and Clyde, peanut butter and jelly, Kanye West and Kanye West. Some things just go well together.
Head on to Big Pippin’s Daily Chart Art for some pip-locking technical setups!