US inflation data was stronger than expected, reinforcing medium-term concerns.

Friday’s US inflation data was stronger than expected, reinforcing medium-term concerns over trends. US and UK holidays curbed activity on Monday with Wall Street markets closed.  US equity futures were little changed on Tuesday as inflation reservations curbed support.

US bond yields edged higher on Tuesday. The dollar was unable to sustain a recovery with negative real yields sapping support. EUR/USD moved back above 1.2200, but below 4-month highs. Sterling held firm amid higher UK yields with GBP/USD hitting 3-year highs near 1.4250 before a correction.

Commodity currencies rallied from Friday lows amid the weaker US currency. The Reserve Bank of Australia statement triggered slight Australian dollar losses.

The Euro-Zone industrial sentiment index strengthened to 11.5 for May from 10.9 the previous month while the services-sector index surged to 11.3 from 2.2 in April with the overall business and consumer survey strengthening to a record high. The data maintained overall expectations of a strong recovery which underpinned the Euro.

The US core PCE prices index increased 0.7% for April after a 0.4% increase the previous month and above consensus forecasts of 0.6%. The year-on-year rate strengthened sharply to 3.1% from 1.9% and above expectations of 2.9%. This was the highest annual increase since August 1992.

The Chicago PMI index strengthened to 75.2 from 72.1 previously, well above consensus forecasts and the strongest reading since May 1973.

The dollar posted gains following the higher than expected inflation reading, but the Euro recovered ground into the London fix amid some evidence of month-end buying. Overall, EUR/USD settled just below the 1.2200 level at the New York close as underlying US currency sentiment remained negative.

CFTC data recorded a small net increase in long speculative Euro positions for the week with the overall short dollar position at the highest level since February, maintaining the potential for short covering if there was a shift in sentiment, although there was no evidence of a shift at this time.

The dollar was unable to make any headway on Monday and dipped lower into the London fix with EUR/USD strengthening to the 1.2230 area. Euro sentiment was underpinned by an announcement that Germany would ease coronavirus restrictions due to falling domestic infection rates.

Commentary from Federal Reserve officials will be watched very closely in the short term with EUR/USD around 1.2225 in early Europe on Tuesday.

The US dollar posted further gains against the Japanese yen in early Europe on Friday and USD/JPY briefly pushed above the 110.00 level for the first time since early April after the US inflation data. There was selling above 110.00 with a quick retreat back below this level with a retreat towards 109.70, although yen sentiment remained weak.

China’s May PMI manufacturing index edged lower to 51.0 from 51.1 the previous month while the non-manufacturing index strengthened slightly to 55.2 from 54.9 in April. Confidence in the yen remained fragile amid further concerns over the near-term outlook. Dollar losses dominated on Monday, however, with a USD/JPY retreat to lows around 109.50 as the US currency was undermined by a lack of yield support.

China announced an increase commercial banks foreign currency reserve ratios for the first time since 20007, maintaining speculation that the bank was looking to curb yuan gains. There were still expectations that underlying yield spreads would underpin the Chinese currency. China’s Caixin PMI index was little changed at 52.0 for May. The dollar overall was unable to make headway and USD/JPY settled close to 109.50 against the yen on Tuesday as both currencies remained out of favour.

Sterling held a firm tone ahead of Friday’s New York open, although it was unable to sustain gains. There was a sharp GBP/USD retreat to lows below 1.4150 after the US inflation data before a quick recovery and a fresh test of 1.4200 as the UK currency gained support into the London fix and GBP/EUR settled near 1.1630.

Markets continued to monitor UK coronavirus developments with further doubts whether the final easing of coronavirus restrictions would go ahead on June 21st.

CFTC data recorded an increase in long, speculative Sterling positions to 31,000 contracts in the latest week from 25,000 previously, the highest level for 11 weeks.

London markets were closed on Monday with Sterling overall unable to make headway, but GBP/USD re-tested the 1.4200 area against the weaker dollar as overall sentiment held firm. Sterling pushed higher in Asia on Tuesday with further support from merger-related inflows. GBP/USD touched 3-year highs at 1.4250 before retreating slightly with GBP/EUR around 1.1630.

Another strong Nationwide reading for house prices underpinned Sterling with Bank of England Deputy Governor also warning that demand could outstrip supply which would increase inflation. Sterling held a strong tone with GBP/USD around 1.4225 in early Europe.

Economic Calendar

Expected Previous
09:00 ECB Economic Bulletin
09:30 GBP PMI Construction(DEC, 2020) 55 54.7
10:00 Euro - Zone Retail Sales (M/M)(DEC, 2020) -3.40% -6.10%
10:00 Euro - Zone Retail Sales (Y/Y)(DEC, 2020) 0.80% -2.90%
12:00 BOE MPC Vote Cut(FEB 01, 2020) 0
12:00 BOE MPC Vote Hike(FEB) 0
12:00 BOE MPC Vote Unchanged(FEB) 9 9
12:00 BoE QE Purchase Target(M/M)(FEB) 875B 875B
12:00 BoE Rate Decision(M/M)(FEB) 0.10%
13:30 Nonfarm Productivity (Q/Q) 5.60% 4.60%
15:00 USD Factory Orders(JAN) 1.00%
21:30 AUD AiG Performance of Service Index(DEC, 2020) 52.9

*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.