Key overnight events:
- The US economy expanded by an annualized 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter last year, better both the forecasted and prior expansion of 1.0%. The better-than-expected growth was fuelled by consumer spending, although corporate profits fell by the most since late 2008.
- Chinese industrial profits snapped a 7-month losing streak in the first weeks of this year, climbing 4.8% year-on-year, however the data also showed companies fell deeper in debt while inventories grew.
- WTI futures expiring in May climbed as much as 1.1% this morning, the most in almost a week, after data last week showed US oil rig count fell.
- Nikkei news reported this morning that Japan’s Abe is set to unveil new fiscal spending measures tomorrow to boost the economy. In another report by Sankei news, Abe will announce in May his intention to delay the scheduled April 2017 consumption-tax hike from 8% to 10%.
- A suicide blast claimed by Islamist militants ripped through a park in the city of Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 60 and injuring another 300; jihadists said the attack had deliberately targeted Christians celebrating Easter.
- Spot 1.3735
- Industrial production fell 4.7% year-on-year in February, worse than the 1.5% contraction expected.
- Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last week unveiled an expansionary fiscal budget to boost growth, providing more room to the central bank as it considers the need to provide more support for the economy before its next policy decision in a few weeks.
- The government will raise expenditure by S$5 billion, or 7.3% from a year earlier, and expect a surplus of about 0.8% of GDP. The bulk of the budget will go to defence, education, health care and transport.
- The economy is expected to grow about 1-3% this year, after expanding at the slowest pace in 6 years in 2015.
- USDSGD reached a 1-week-high of 1.3738 this morning as it continues to fluctuate around the 1.3728 resistance.
- Spot 0.7502
- AUDUSD remains little changed from last week as continues to be supported at the 0.7500 handle.
- The more significant support, however, is seen at 0.7385, and a pullback in commodity prices could drive the currency pair towards the level.
- Spot 1.3272
- USDCAD was barely changed from last Friday, as it continues to struggle to trade above 1.3300.
- Spot 6.5274
- The PBOC lowered its daily reference rate by a marginal 0.01% this morning, leaving USDCNH largely unchanged from Friday’s close.
- The 100-day moving average of 6.5311 looks likely to be a point of resistance.
- Spot 8.5060
- USDNOK traded 0.4% higher to 8.5126 this morning, albeit just short of last week’s high of 8.5215.
- The 200-day moving average of 8.4460 has been a source of support since last Thursday.