Key overnight events:
- Crude oil futures expiring in June advanced 1.0% to settle at $46.70, its highest close since 25th Nov last year, as US inventories dropped by 3.4 million barrels last week, government data showed. The International Energy Agency said the global oil surplus in the first half of this year will probably be smaller than previously estimated because of robust demand in India and other emerging nations.
- The S&P 500 Index ended almost unchanged as after oil’s rebound managed to offset losses by Apple Inc. Apple sank to the lowest since Jun 2014 after Nikkei reported that shipments of iPhone chips for the remainder of the year will likely shrink versus a year ago.
- The Fed’s Rosengren and George, usually on opposing sides of the policy debate, both made separate but similar cases for an interest-rate hike, arguing that the central bank risks stoking an asset bubble by delaying action for too long.
- The US dollar gained overnight following comments from Fed officials calling for a sooner than later hike and faster normalization of monetary policy. The Bloomberg Spot Dollar Index gained 0.3%.
- The pound advanced against the euro as the Bank of England policy makers led by Governor Carney voted unanimously to leave interest rates unchanged.
- Spot 1.3740
- USDSGD extended its recent climb, rising 0.40% to a high of 1.3759 earlier today, the highest in almost two months.
- A close above the 1.3738 resistance level, and the currency pair could potential enjoy a run up to 1.3900.
- Retail sales for March, to be released later today, is expected to show a rebound of 3.6% year-on-year, from declining 3.2% year-on-year the prior month.
- Spot 0.7308
- AUDUSD’s slide shows no signs of relenting as the currency pair extended losses by as much as 0.6% to a two-month low of 0.7287.
- Both the 50-week and 200-day moving averages are within close proximity, with the former coming in at 0.7310, and the latter at 0.7258.
- Spot 1.2851
- USDCAD pared losses overnight and is currently almost unchanged from its previous session’s close.
- Short-term support and resistance come in at the 1.2800 and 1.3000 handles respectively.
- Spot 6.5456
- USDCNH advanced 0.1% to 6.5548, the highest since 2nd Mar, before paring gains back below the 6.5500 handle.
- The PBOC earlier cut its reference rate by 0.44% to its lowest since Mar 4th.
- Spot 8.1361
- After dropping to a low of 8.0910 last night, USDNOK has recovered some of its losses and currently trades 0.2% higher from its prior close of 8.1193.
- The Norges Bank left its benchmark rate at a record low of 0.50%, as expected, as the government spends more of its vast oil wealth to keep the economy slipping from recession.
- First quarter GDP surprised on the upside, coming in at 0.3% quarter-on-quarter; the consensus estimate was a 0.2% expansion while 4Q GDP last year was revised down to -0.1% from 0.1%.