Key overnight events:
- US headline CPI rose 0.4% month-on-month in April versus an estimated 0.3%-rise, marking the biggest gain in three years. Stripped of food and energy, CPI matched estimates of a 0.2%-increase.
- April’s industrial production rose 0.7% month-on-month, bettering the consensus estimate of 0.3% and vastly improving from the prior month’s drop of 0.9%.
- Joining the recent hawkish comments from various Fed officials, Atlanta Fed President Lockhart and San Francisco Fed President Williams both commented that current US inflation and economic growth should justify 2-3 rate increases this year. Dallas Fed President Kaplan added that a hike may come soon in the “not too distant future”.
- According to the latest Fed funds futures pricing on Bloomberg, odds of a June hike rose to 12% from 4%, where it had been stuck for a week. FOMC minutes are due tonight and should shed further light on future projections of a June rate-hike.
- The S&P 500 Index retreated 0.9% as utilities and consumer-staples led declines. US dollar maintained near its strongest levels over the past seven weeks, with the Bloomberg Spot Dollar Index remaining unchanged overnight.
- WTI futures expiring in June settled 1.2% higher, after rising to a 7-month high of $48.76/bbl on speculation that data released tonight will show US crude stockpiles declined last week. Meanwhile, falling supply in Canada and Nigeria eased anxiety over the global oil glut.
- Japan’s economy grew by an annualised 1.7% in the first quarter this year, soundly beating the consensus estimate of a 0.3%-growth, and dodging a recession after contracting 1.7% the previous quarter.
- Spot 1.3728
- USDSGD bulls regained control of the 1.3700 handle, climbing 0.3% earlier to 1.3737.
- According to OCBC, Singapore’s exports may stay weak in the coming months and cause GDP to contract up to 1% on-quarter on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis in the second quarter.
- Spot 0.7291
- AUDUSD declined this morning, paring back all of yesterday’s post-RBA minutes gains. The currency pair gave up 0.5%, reaching a session low of 0.7285.
- Australian jobs data is due tomorrow and a poor showing could lead to AUDUSD retesting its 200-day moving average of 0.7258.
- Spot 1.2933
- Moves in USDCAD have been limited despite oil prices reaching fresh 7-month highs. USDCAD continues to fluctuate between the 1.2800 handle and its 50-day moving average of 1.2941.
- Manufacturing sales in March fell 0.9% month-on-month, less than the expected fall of 1.9%.
- Spot 6.5477
- USDCNH continues to struggle to trade above the 6.5500 handle following a 1%-rise since the start of the month.
- Blackrock CEO Laurence Fink says everyone should be worried about China’s mounting debt amid its slowing growth, even as he remains bullish on the economy in the long run, stating that the nation can’t grow at 6% when its balance sheets are growing at a faster pace.
- Spot 8.1960
- USDNOK rose 0.4% to 8.2012 earlier today, helped on by the strengthening US dollar.
- Over the medium-term, the currency pair is likely to maintain its range within the resistance around 8.2500 and the psychological support of 8.0000.