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Service Sector PMI and U.S Nonfarm Payrolls Put the EUR and USD in the Spotlight

Nonfarm payrolls and service sector PMIs are in focus today. With the West in shutdown mode, both labor market numbers and PMIs are expected to be dire…
Bob Mason

Earlier in the Day:

It was a relatively busy start to the day on the economic calendar on Friday. The Aussie Dollar and Japanese Yen were in action in the early part of the day.

Outside of the numbers, the markets also continued to respond to the latest coronavirus numbers.

At the time of writing, the total number of U.S cases stood at 244,433. For Italy, Spain, Germany, and France, the combined number of cases stood at 371,206. The total global number of cases increased to 1,104,499.

For the Aussie Dollar

Retail sales rose by 0.5% in February, reversing a 0.3% decline in January. Economists had forecast a 0.4% rise.

According to the ABS,

  • Food retailing (+0.8%), department store sales (+3.1%), and household goods retailing (+0.7%) were the main contributors.
  • There were also rises in cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services (+0.2%) and other retailing (+0.2%).
  • Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing slumped by 2.9%, however.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.60548 to $0.60507 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was down by 0.02% to $0.6060.

For the Japanese Yen

The Services PMI came in at 33.8, which was up from a prelim 32.7, while down from a February 46.8.

According to the finalized Markit survey,

  • Service sector activity slumped at the fastest pace since February 2009, with output falling at a near-record pace.
  • The spread of COVID-19 led to a marked fall in client demand, leading to lower workloads and staff layoffs.
  • New business fell at by the greatest amount since April 2011, which had been as a result of the Tsunami.
  • Business confidence also saw a steep drop as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese Yen moved from ¥107.994 to ¥108.115 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.04% to ¥107.95 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of China

The Caixin March Services PMI rose from 26.5 to 43.0.

According to the Caixin Survey,

  • Business activity and new work both declined at a slower pace.
  • Companies cut staff numbers at the quickest pace on record, however. This was attributed to rising operating costs and subdued demand.
  • While sentiment improved from February’s all-time low, business confidence in March was the 2nd weakest on record.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.60555 to $0.60601 upon release of the figures.

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Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was down by 0.14% to $0.5908.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a busy day ahead on the economic calendar. Spanish and Italian service sector PMI numbers for March are due out. Finalized PMIs are also due out of France, Germany, and the Eurozone and will also garner attention.

Service sector activity is at risk of imploding as a result of the extended lockdown across the EU. Expect today’s numbers to be worse than those seen in February, for Italy and Spain. Downward revisions to prelim figures are also likely.

Expect Eurozone retail sales figures for February to take a back seat later in the session.

Outside of the numbers, the latest coronavirus numbers will also influence.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down by 0.04% at $1.0854.

For the Pound

It’s a relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. Finalized March Services and Composite PMIs are due out in the early part of the day.

Downward revisions would certainly test support levels for the Pound but unlikely sink it. Coronavirus numbers continue to be far fewer than other EU member states. The UK Government’s preparedness to deliver more fiscal policy is also key near-term.

At the time of writing, the Pound was down by 0.10% to $1.2384.

Across the Pond

It’s a particularly busy day ahead on the U.S economic calendar.

It is not just nonfarm payrolls and wage growth figures in focus but also March ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI numbers in focus.

Following even more dire weekly jobless claims figures on Thursday, the ISM numbers will likely have a greater impact.

Expect finalized Markit PMI numbers to have a muted impact on the day.

Also of interest on the day will be the latest coronavirus numbers and any fresh government plans to tackle the continued spread of the virus…

The Dollar Spot Index was up by 0.02% to 100.196 at the time of writing.

For the Loonie

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar, with no material stats due out to provide the Loonie with direction.

With a lack of stats, the Loonie will remain in the hands of market sentiment towards the global economic outlook and demand for crude.

The numbers continue to get worse as the virus spreads, which remains negative for the Loonie near-term. For crude oil price stability, an actual cut in production would certainly ease some of the pain…

The Loonie was down by 0.10% at C$1.4152 against the U.S Dollar, at the time of writing.

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