Key overnight events:
- The S&P 500 Index rose 2.4%, its biggest gain in a month, climbing up to levels last seen at the start of the year. US equities received a boost from better-than-expected manufacturing data as well as a rebound in crude oil prices to above $34/bbl.
- ISM Manufacturing rose to 49.5, beating the expected reading of 48.5, showing signs that the US factory sector is stabilizing.
- Crude oil futures expiring in April rose as much as 3% during the session before eventually closing 2% higher, settling above $34/bbl for the first time since end-January.
- Draghi said that the ECB is readying a “full range” of options ahead of their meeting on 10th Mar and noted that inflation is still weaker than expected.
- Spot 1.4021
- USDSGD remains directionless, as it continues to consolidate largely between the 1.4000 – 1.4100 range in the past 2 weeks.
- In a report, Moody’s stated the economic growth in Singapore has “reached a tipping point” as the country faces a challenge of sustaining growth and raising income medians “in a spatially constrained economy with no natural resource base and a limited workforce”.
- PMI for February is due for release tonight and is expected to come in at 48.9, down from January’s reading of 49.0.
- Spot 0.7223
- 4Q GDP numbers topped estimates this morning and indicated that the Australian economy expanded 0.6% quarter-on-quarter and 3.0% year-on-year, better than the 0.4% and 2.5% increases that were expected. Prior figures were also revised higher.
- AUDUSD climbed more than 1% in reaction to the favourable economic data, reaching a high this morning of 0.7236 and just shy of the 200-day moving average of 0.7254.
- A break above and we could see the currency pair test the key resistance level of 0.7385 soon.
- Spot 1.3428
- Canadian GDP in December rose 0.2% month-on-month and 0.5% year-on-year for the period of December, beating forecasts of 0.1% and 0.0% respectively. GDP for fourth quarter last year rose at an annualised 0.8%, much better than the expected 0.0%.
- Economic expansion was largely supported by an 8.9% drop of imports, as Canadians spent less money on foreign travel and electronics last quarter.
- USDCAD declined further to a low of 1.3386, and looks set to test the next resistance at 1.3286 – its 200-day moving average.
- Spot 6.5532
- China’s credit-rating outlook was lowered to negative from stable by Moody’s. The ratings agency cited weakening fiscal metrics as reflected in rising government debt and in large and rising contingent liabilities on the government’s balance sheet, as well as falling reserves due to capital outflows.
- Fitch stated that the recent 50bp cut to the reserve requirement ration for Chinese banks, together with record loan growth in January, could point to an increasing likelihood authorities are shifting policy to enable more credit-fuelled growth which, in their view, could lead to bank risks.
- USDCNH remains largely unchanged, trading within its previous day’s range as it continues to struggle to break above the previous key support-turned-resistance of 6.5600.
- Spot 8.6461
- Manufacturing PMI for February fell to 48.4 from 49.4 in January, although it was better than the 48.0 expected.
- USDNOK pared gains from the last 2 days, in response to oil’s recent stabilization. A further rebound in oil could result in further krone strength, pushing USDNOK down to the 8.6000 handle.