- Reuters poll – France Macron support 24% (unch), Le Pen 21.5% (-1.5%), Fillon 20% (+0.5%), Melenchon 19.5% (+1.5%), race neck and neck.
- Global finance leaders find a more temperate Trump – Reuters ANALYSIS.
- G20 finance chiefs focus on geopolitical risks, currency – Kyodo.
- Japan DepPM/FinMin Aso – Japan-US reconfirmed FX to be dealt by finance Chiefs – Reuters.
- BoJ Gov Kuroda – Geopolitical risks cloud economic outlook – Bloomberg.
- Kuroda – Warns against policies unwinding free trade, will continue with easy policy stance till 2% inflation target hit – Reuters.
- Japan April PMI Mfg 52.8, March final 52.4, export orders growth faster.
- Reuters poll – Japan Inc braces for labor reform, associated cost rises, plans to boost productivity.
- Foreign CB US debt holdings -$6.437 bln to $3.206 trillion Apr 19 week, Treasury holdings -$5.769 bln to $2.884 trillion, agencies -$723 mln to $259.831 bln.
- NY Fed – Swaps with foreign CBs $35 mln April 19 week, all with ECB.
- Lipper – US-based non-domestic stock funds attract $1.5 bln latest week, Investors taper EZ stock buying ahead of French vote.
- New Zealand April ANZ/RM consumer confidence index 121.7, March 125.2, 7-mo low.
Economic Data Ahead
- (0200 ET/0600 GMT) Norway Q1 industrial confidence index, 3.0 forecast; last zero.
- (0300 ET/0700 GMT) France Apr PMI mfg – flash, 53.0 forecast; last 53.3.
- (0300 ET/0700 GMT) France Apr PMI services – flash, 57.1 forecast; last 57.5.
- (0300 ET/0700 GMT) France Apr PMI composite – flash, 56.2 forecast; last 56.8.
- (0330 ET/0730 GMT) Germany Apr PMI mfg – flash, 58.0 forecast; last 58.3.
- (0330 ET/0730 GMT) Germany Apr PMI services – flash, 55.5 forecast; last 55.6.
- (0330 ET/0730 GMT) Germany Apr PMI composite – flash, 56.8 forecast; last 57.1.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Eurozone Apr PMI mfg – flash, 56.0 forecast; last 56.2.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Eurozone Apr PMI services – flash, 56.0 forecast; last 56.0.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Eurozone Apr PMI composite – flash, 56.3 forecast; last 56.4.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Eurozone Feb current account balance; last E2.5 bln surplus NSA, E24.1 bln sa.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Eurozone Feb investment flows.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Italy Feb industrial orders; last -2.9% m/m, +8.6% y/y.
- (0400 ET/0800 GMT) Italy Feb industrial sales; last -3.5% m/m, +1.5% y/y.
- (0430 ET/0830 GMT) Great Britain Mar retail sales, -0.2% m/m, +3.4% y/y forecast; last +1.4%, +3.7%.
- (0430 ET/0830 GMT) Great Britain Mar – ex-fuel, -0.4% m/m, +3.9% y/y forecast; last +1.3%, +4.1%.
- (0945 ET/1345 GMT) United States Apr Markit PMI Mfg – flash, 53.5 forecast; last 53.3.
- (0945 ET/1345 GMT) United States Apr Markit PMI services – flash, 53.0 forecast; last 52.8.
- (0945 ET/1345 GMT) United States Apr Markit PMI composite – flash; last 53.0.
- (1000 ET/1400 GMT) United States Mar exist home sales, 5.6 mln AR +2.5% m/m forecast; last 5.48 mln, -3.7%.
Key Events Ahead
- (0600 ET/1000 GMT) UK DMO GBP0.5/0.5/1.0 bln 1/3/6-month treasury bill auctions.
- (0725 ET/1125 GMT) BoE MPC Saunders speaks in London.
- N/A IMF/World Bank/G20 Spring meetings in Washington, DC (till Sunday).
- N/A Japan DepPM/FinMin Aso/BoJ Gov Kuroda press conference in Washington, DC.
- N/A EIB Pres Hoyer speaks at Washington, DC Brookings Institute.
- (0830 ET/1230 GMT) Canada FinMin Morneau speaks at Washington, DC McKinsey Govt Center.
- (0930 ET/1330 GMT) Minny Fed Kashkari question-answer at St Paul symposium.
DXY: The dollar edged down from a 1-week high versus the yen as investors hesitated to take big positions ahead of the first round of the French presidential elections this weekend. The dollar against a basket of currencies traded flat at 99.82, having hit a low of 99.37 in the previous session, its lowest since Mar. 28. FxWirePro's Hourly Dollar Strength Index stood at -11.56 (Neutral) by 0400 GMT.
EUR/USD: The euro consolidated within narrow ranges, as investors refrained from placing big bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday. Polls show the most likely outcome of the first round is that Macron will go against Le Pen in the May 7 second round. The European currency traded flat at 1.0717, having touched a high of 1.0777 in the previous session, its highest since Mar. 29. FxWirePro's Hourly Euro Strength Index stood at 82.05 (Slightly Bullish) by 0400 GMT. Investors now await series of economic data from Eurozone economies and the continent’s current account figures, ahead of U.S. Markit PMI composite and existing home sales. Immediate resistance is located at 1.0750, a break above targets 1.0800. On the downside, support is seen at 1.0701 (78.6% retrace of 1.0569 and 1.0736), a break below could drag it near 1.0673 (61.8% retrace).
USD/JPY: The dollar eased from a 1-week high after the release of solid Japan’s manufacturing PMI data boosted the bid tone behind the yen. However, a risk-on rally in the Asian equities coupled with stable oil prices supported the sentiment around the major. The pair traded 0.1 percent down at 109.23, having touched a high of 109.48 in the previous session, its highest since Apr. 12. FxWirePro's Hourly Yen Strength Index stood at -109.35 (Highly Bearish) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ will continue to track developments surrounding French and Britain's election, ahead of U.S. manufacturing and services PMI reports and FOMC member Neel Kashkari's speech. Immediate resistance is located at 109.85 (50.0 % retrace of 111.57 and 108.13), a break above targets 110.25 (38.2% retrace). On the downside, support is seen at 108.81 (10-DMA), a break below could take it near 108.13 (Apr. 17 Low).
GBP/USD: Sterling declined below the 1.2800 handle as the Bank of England Governor Carney's speech failed to offer any insights on central bank’s monetary policy path in near term. Moreover, looming uncertainty over snap general elections announced by the British PM May also continued to undermine the sentiment around the British pound. Sterling trades 0.1 percent down at 1.2796, having hit a high of 1.2901 earlier in the week, its highest since Oct. 3. FxWirePro's Hourly Sterling Strength Index stood at 101.66 (Highly Bullish) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ attention will remain on the developments around the UK’s elections, ahead of the UK retail sales data and U.S. existing home sales figures. Immediate resistance is located at 1.2850, a break above could take it near 1.2901 (Apr. 18 High). On the downside, support is seen at 1.2696 (38.2% retrace of 1.2365 and 1.2901), a break below targets 1.2650. Against the euro, the pound traded 0.1 percent down at 83.75 pence, having hit a high of 82.99 on Tuesday, its strongest since July 22.
AUD/USD: The Australian dollar rose, extending previous session gains as a rebound in the metals, especially iron and crude oil underpinned the sentiment around the major. The Aussie trades up at 0.7528, having hit a peak of 0.7610 on Monday, it’s highest since Apr. 4. FxWirePro's Hourly Aussie Strength Index stood at -37.77 (Neutral) by 0400 GMT. Investors will continue to track overall market sentiment, ahead of U.S economic releases, including the U.S. manufacturing and services PMI reports and existing home sales figures. Immediate support is seen at 0.7491 (Previous Session Low), a break below targets 0.7471 (Apr. 12 Low). On the upside, resistance is located at 0.7550 (50.0 retracement of 0.7610 and 0.7491), a break above could take it near 0.7573 (21-DMA).
NZD/USD: The New Zealand dollar tumbled to a fresh 1-week low as the U.S. dollar strengthened following U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s comments on tax reforms. However, the major trimmed loses as strong New Zealand CPI released yesterday and a rebound in dairy prices continued to support the major. The Kiwi trades 0.1 percent down at 0.7002, having touched a low of 0.6982 earlier in the session, its weakest since Apr. 14. FxWirePro's Hourly Kiwi Strength Index was at 38.32 (Neutral) by 0400 GMT. Investors’ will continue to track broad based market sentiment, ahead of the U.S. economic data and FOMC member Neel Kashkari's speech. Immediate resistance is located at 0.7018 (50.0% retrace of 0.7052 and 0.6982), a break above could take it near 0.7036 (23.6% retrace). On the downside, support is seen at 0.6982 (Session Low), a break below could drag it near 0.6960.
Asian shares gained, boosted by bets on strong U.S. earnings and tax reform, while the euro eased from a three-week high as investors remained cautious over the outcome of the first round of French presidential elections on Sunday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.6 percent but was set for a 0.3 percent weekly loss.
Tokyo's Nikkei gained 0.75 percent to 18,568.93 points, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6 percent to 5,856.30 points and South Korea's KOSPI rallied 0.85 percent at 2,167.51 points.
Shanghai composite index edged up 0.03 percent to 3,173.02 points, while CSI300 index was trading 0.1 percent higher at 3,466.08 points.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was trading 0.1 percent higher at 24,088.50 points. Taiwan shares added 0.8 percent to 9,711.94 points.
Crude oil prices steadied, however, was set for its biggest weekly drop in about a month as doubts that an OPEC-led production cut will restore balance to the market weighed on investor sentiments. International benchmark Brent crude was trading flat at $52.97 per barrel by 0356 GMT, having hit a low of $52.56 on Wednesday, its weakest since Mar. 30. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was little changed at $50.70 a barrel, after declining as low as $50.06 on Wednesday, its lowest since Apr. 4.
Gold prices held firm after rising 0.2 percent in the prior session, as tensions surrounding upcoming French elections on Sunday strengthened the safe-haven demand. Spot gold was unchanged at $1,280.01 per ounce as of 0400 GMT, having hit a low of $1273.90 per ounce on Wednesday, its lowest since Apr. 12. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,282.80
The 10-year U.S treasury yield stood at 2.205 percent higher by 0.003 bps, while 5-year yield was 0.005 bps up at 1.734 percent.
The Australian government bonds slumped as investors cashed in profits on the last trading day of the week amid geopolitical tensions that were offset by a more positive market reaction to the sudden announcement of the United Kingdom’s snap election, to be held on June 8. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped over 3-1/2 basis points to 2.55 percent, the yield on 15-year note also climbed over 3-1/2 basis points to 2.96 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year traded 1-1/2 basis points higher at 1.67 percent.
The Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 2 Canadian cents to yield 0.734 percent and the benchmark 10-year off 13 Canadian cents to yield 1.481 percent. The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread was slightly narrower at -45.9 basis points, while the 10-year spread was also tighter at -75.5 basis points.