Key overnight events:
- US non-farm payrolls rose 215,000 in March, more than the expected 205,000. Average hour earnings rose 0.3% month-on-month, more than the 0.2% forecasted, while manufacturing payrolls dropped by 29,000, missing the 2,000-rise estimated.
- ISM manufacturing for March came in at 51.8, beating the 51.0 expected
- WTI futures expiring in May sank 3.9% on Friday to settle at $36.79/bbl, after Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said the nation will only freeze oil output if Iran and other major producers do so too.
- The S&P 500 Index added 0.6% last Friday, advancing to its highest levels this year. Health care and technology stocks led gainers, offsetting declines in energy shares.
- Spot 1.3503
- USDSGD ended Friday with a 1.5% decline for the week, after sinking to a 9-month low of 1.3415.
- PMI for March is due out tonight and is expected to improve to 48.9, from 48.5 previously.
- Spot 0.7638
- Retail sales for February came in unchanged, missing the 0.4% month-on-month increase that was expected.
- AUDUSD fell as much as 0.5% lower to 0.7637 following the disappointing retail sales release.
- The RBA is expected to leave its benchmark rate unchanged tomorrow, despite the Aussie dollar strengthening more than 12% since mid-January this year.
- Spot 1.3038
- Manufacturing PMI improved to 51.5 in March, from 49.4 previously.
- USDCAD continues to be supported above the 1.3000 handle after rebounding off near the key support of 1.2832 late last week.
- Driven by oil’s slump on Friday, USDCAD rebounded to a day-high of 1.3147.
- Spot 6.4691
- China may allow banks to convert 1 trillion yuan of bad loans into equity in the initial phase of the plan, Caixin Weekly reported, citing an unidentified executive from China Development Bank.
- USDCNH ended 0.8% lower for the week to close at 6.4714.
- Financial markets in Hong Kong and China remain shut today due to a national holiday.
- Spot 8.3030
- Manufacturing PMI for March slumped to 46.8, worse than the 48.0 forecasted. The prior month’s figure was revised 0.1 lower to 48.3.
- USDNOK rebounded from more than a 5 month low of 8.2511, back to 8.3500, on the back of oil’s declines on Friday