The dollar posted 2-week highs, but retreated from its best levels.

Risk appetite remained weaker with sharp losses across European and US equity markets as oil-market losses triggered notable unease.

The dollar posted 2-week highs, but retreated from its best levels with EUR/USD settling just above 1.0850.

The yen and Swiss franc maintained a firm tone amid the fragile risk tone. The Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone undermined by losses in the oil sector. The Australian dollar gained briefly from a stronger than expected retail sales report. Sterling lost ground as global risk appetite remained fragile and oil prices declined.

The German ZEW investor confidence data was mixed with sharp diverge between the components. The current conditions index declined very sharply to -91.5 from -43.1 previously and well below consensus forecasts of around 71.0. There was, however, a sharp recovery in the expectations index to 28.2 from -49.5 previously and well above consensus forecasts. The Euro-zone expectations index also strengthened to 25.2 from -49.5 previously.

The Euro was hampered by reports that the ECB’s new bond-buying programme could run out of funds by October given the very heavy supply of bonds over the next few months. Ranges overall were relatively narrow, although the Euro drifted lower into the New York open before making notable gains to near 1.1180 towards the European close.

The US Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing index plunged to a record low of -96.4 for April from -35.1 the previous month. New orders also declined very sharply and the sales index plunged with no respondents reporting an increase on the month. Employment and price components both declined on the month and, in contrast to manufacturing, respondents expected conditions to be weaker on a 6-month view.

The dollar held a firm tone with gains to a 2-week high, especially when oil prices collapsed once again, although the Euro was able to demonstrate some resilience. There was little change on Wednesday as caution prevailed with markets monitoring developments ahead of Thursday’s important Eurogroup meeting.  EUR/USD consolidated around 1.0850 in early Europe with the dollar still attracting defensive demand as developments in oil markets continued to have an important impact and commodity currencies remained fragile.

The Bank of Japan warned over potential financial system risks due to the coronavirus, although there was little overall market reaction. US equity futures remained in negative territory ahead of the New York open. The Japanese yen continued to gain an element of defensive support amid a more cautious tone surrounding risk appetite as oil prices declined extremely sharply and USD/JPY dipped to lows just below 107.30.

The yen lost some ground later in the New York session, although USD/JPY was held below 108.00. Markets were continuing to monitor progress toward a fresh fiscal stimulus with the Senate passing a $500bn support package for small businesses. There was further unease over friction between the US Administration and state Governors, especially with a partisan approach by President Trump which could undermine coronavirus containment efforts.

There were reports that the Bank of Japan is considering a further downgrading of the economic assessment, although trends in risk appetite tended to dominate. Overall sentiment remained fragile with a fresh slide in oil prices triggering a further retreat in equity markets and USD/JPY settled around 107.60.

There was little impact from the UK labour-market data given that the data was historic in nature. The evidence of gradual deterioration ahead of the coronavirus crisis was, however, a limited negative factor for the UK currency, especially with average earnings growth slowing to 2.8% from 3.1% previously.

There was some evidence of strains in money markets with demand for Sterling funds at a two-week high in the latest auction.

Bank of England chief economist Haldane stated that the first-half GDP figures would be pretty ugly and, although this was hardly a surprise, the comments contributed to negative underlying sentiment. Sterling was also undermined by fresh deterioration in risk appetite, especially with oil prices declining sharply.

Rallies faded again on Wednesday as risk sentiment remained fragile. The latest inflation data recorded a decline in the headline rate to 1.5% from 1.7% which was in line with consensus forecasts. The impact was marginal with GBP/USD around 1.2300 as UK confidence remained fragile.

Economic Calendar

07:00GBP PPI Core Output (Y/Y)(MAR)50.00%40.00%
07:00GBP PPI Input (Y/Y)(MAR)-0.90%-0.50%
07:00GBP PPI Input (M/M)(MAR)-2.00%-1.20%
07:00GBP PPI Output (Y/Y)(MAR)0.90%0.40%
07:00GBP Core CPI (Y/Y)(MAR)1.50%1.70%
07:00GBP CPI (Y/Y)(MAR)1.70%1.70%
12:00USD MBA Mortgage Applications-7.30%
13:00Bank of Canada Core CPI (M/M)(MAR)-0.70%
13:30Bank of Canada Core CPI (Y/Y)(MAR)-1.80%
13:30CAD CPI (M/M)(MAR)0.40%0.40%
13:30CAD CPI (Y/Y)(MAR)2.10%2.20%
13:30CAD New Housing Price Index (M/M)(MAR)-0.4
14:00US House Price Index (M/M)(FEB)-0.30%
15:00Euro-Zone Consumer Confidence(APR)--11.6
15:30USD Crude Oil Inventories16.133M19.248M

*All rates shown are indicative of interbank rates and should only be used for indication purposes only. It is important to note that foreign exchange rates fluctuate and that rates may vary depending on the amount and the base currency that is purchased or sold. Rates are correct as of 8:00am UK time. CentralFX are not responsible for the rates shown.