All eyes on US data dump – including Q4 GDP

The US Dollar struggles to stay resilient against its rivals early Thursday with the US Dollar Index staying in negative territory below 102.00 following Wednesday’s slide. The European economic docket will not feature any high-tier data releases and the risk perception is likely to drive the market action in the first half of the day. In the early American session, December Durable Goods Orders, weekly Initial Jobless Claims and December New Home Sales data from the US will be looked upon for fresh impetus. More importantly, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its first estimate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the fourth quarter.

Market expectation points to an annualized economic expansion of 2.6% in the fourth quarter following the 3.2% growth recorded in the third quarter.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada (BOC) announced that it hiked its policy rate by 25 basis points to 4.5% as expected. In its policy statement, the BOC noted that it is likely to hold the rate at this level while assessing the impact of cumulative rate hikes. Commenting on the policy outlook, “this is a conditional pause, dependent on the economy developing broadly in line with forecasts.” BOC Governor Tiff Macklem explained. “If we need to do more to get inflation to the 2% target, we will; if upside risks materialise we are prepared to raise rates further.” After climbing to a multiday high of 1.3430 with the initial reaction, USD/CAD lost its traction and closed the day slightly below 1.3400. At the time of press, the pair was moving up and down in a narrow channel at around 1.3390.

The BOC’s ‘conditional pause’ in policy tightening forced the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield to stay below 3.5% and didn’t allow the US Dollar to gather strength against its major rivals. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s main indexes closed the day little changed after having opened deep in the red. In the European morning, US stock index futures trade modestly higher on the day.

EUR/USD benefited from the broad US Dollar weakness and climbed above 1.0900 before going into a consolidation phase early Thursday. It’s worth noting that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quiet period starts today and policymakers are unlikely to deliver any comments on the policy outlook ahead of next week’s meeting.

GBP/USD snapped a two-day losing streak on Wednesday. The pair was last seen trading modestly higher on the day a few pips above 1.2400.

USD/JPY came under modest bearish pressure and declined below 130.00. The pair continues to edge lower toward 129.00 early Thursday. During the Asian trading hours, the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) Summary of Opinions revealed that policymakers agreed that the BOJ must keep yields from rising across the curve while being mindful of bond market function.

Gold price took advantage of falling US T-bond yields last Wednesday and registered gains for the third straight day. XAU/USD continued to push higher in the Asian session and came within a touching distance of $1,950 before retreating slightly.

Following Tuesday’s downward correction, Bitcoin gathered bullish momentum and rose toward $24,000 on Wednesday before erasing a portion of its daily gains in the late American session. As of writing, BTC/USD was trading flat slightly above $23,000. Ethereum rose nearly 4% on Wednesday and retraced the majority of Tuesday’s decline. ETH/USD was last seen moving sideways at around $1,600.

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