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Bob Mason
Dollar and euro bank notes on the table

Earlier in the Day:

It was a busier start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Japanese Yen was in action, with economic data from China also in focus.

Later this morning, the RBA will deliver its 1st monetary policy decision of the 2nd quarter. With the markets expecting the RBA to stand pat, the Rate Statement will be the key driver.

It remains to be seen whether disappointing retail sales figures and a narrowing of the trade surplus are cause for concern.

Manufacturing sector activity, a ramp up in raw material prices, and a softer Aussie Dollar should offset some concerns, however.

For the Japanese Yen

Household spending disappointed once more. Month-on-month, household spending rose by just 2.4% in February, falling short of a forecasted 2.8% increase. In January, spending had slumped by 7.3%.

Year-on-year, household spending was down 6.6%, which was worse than a forecasted 5.3% decline. In January, spending had been down by 6.1%.

According to the Statistic Bureau,

  • Spending on clothing & footwear (-17.2%), culture & recreation (-17.1%), and transportation & communication (-13.0%) weighed heavily.
  • There were also declines in spending on medical care (-6.7%), furniture & household utensils (-6.2%), food (-4.2%), and housing (-0.6%).
  • A 41% surge in spending on education and a 3.5% rise in spending on fuel, light, & water charges bucked the trend.

The Japanese Yen moved from ¥110.192 to ¥110.171 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.03% to ¥110.21 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of China

The Services Sector was in focus following a somewhat disappointing manufacturing PMI for March.

In March, the Caixin Services PMI rose from 51.5 to 54.3.

According to the March survey,

  • Activity and overall sales rose at the fastest pace for 3-months.
  • While new orders increased at the quickest pace in 3-months, new export orders declined marginally.
  • Outstanding new business increased for the first time in 5-months, leading to a modest rise in payrolls.
  • Average operating expenses rose for a 9th consecutive month, though the rate of inflation was the softest since last September.
  • To ease pricing pressures, firms raised prices charged, with the rate of increase the quickest year-to-date.
  • Optimism improved significantly in March, hitting its highest level since February 2011.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.76492 to $0.76541 upon release of the figures that precedes the RBA monetary policy decision and rate statement.

At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was up by 0.01% to $0.7652.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was flat at $0.7059.

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The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. February unemployment figures for the Eurozone are due out later today.

Barring an unexpected spike, however, we don’t expect too much influence on the EUR. New lockdown measures from late March are likely to lead to a rise in the unemployment rate near-term that would mute the effect of any positive numbers.

Away from the economic calendar, expect COVID-19 news and updates on vaccination rates to also draw attention after the holidays. A further spike in new COVID-19 cases will be a concern near-term…

At the time of writing, the EUR was down by 0.03% to $1.1810.

For the Pound

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no material stats to consider following the holidays.

Away from the calendar, with the UK making good progress on the vaccine front, news from the UK government on easing measures will also draw attention.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.01% to $1.3901.

Across the Pond

It’s a relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. JOLT’s job opening figures for February are due out later today.

Following the impressive nonfarm payroll figures from last week, however, don’t expect too much influence from today’s numbers.

That leaves chatter from Capitol Hill and FOMC member commentary in focus. As the economy heats up, will the more cautious members of the FOMC stand by Powell’s promise of low for longer…

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was up by 0.02% to 92.610.

For the Loonie

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

A lack of stats will continue to leave the Loonie in the hands of market risk sentiment on the day.

At the time of writing, the Loonie was down by 0.02% to C$1.2528 against the U.S Dollar.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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