EUROZONE, US DATA TO DRIVE CURRENCY MARKETS ON WEDNESDAY
A deluge of economic data will move the currency markets on Wednesday, with high-profile reports from Europe and the United States set to drive the headlines.
The economic calendar kicks off at 07:00 GMT with a report on German consumer inflation. Germany’s consumer price index (CPI) for February is expected to rise 1.4% annually. The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), which calculates inflation using a method consistent throughout the European Union, is expected to rise 1.2% year-over-year.
On the monetary policy front, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi will deliver a speech at 08:00 GMT. Less than an hour after Draghi’s speech begins, ECB official Peter Praet will also deliver remarks. Other ECB policymakers scheduled to speak on Wednesday include Victor Constancio and Benoit Coeure.
Europe’s economic wire continues at 09:00 GMT with a report on Italian retail sales. Receipts at retail stores are forecast to fall 0.1% in January.
The European Commission’s statistics agency will report on industrial production at 10:00 GMT. Industrial output is expected to fall 0.4% in January. Output is expected to be 4.7% stronger than a year ago.
The same agency will report on Eurozone employment at 10:00 GMT. Employment in the currency region is expected to rise 0.3% in the fourth quarter and 1.6% annually.
Shifting gears to North America, the US Department of Commerce will report on retail sales at 12:30 GMT. The February data set is expected to show monthly growth of 0.3%.
The Department of Labor will release the latest producer inflation figures at 12:30 GMT. Factory gate prices are expected to rise 0.1% on month and 2.8% annually.
Rounding out the US release schedule are reports on business inventories and crude inventories. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expected to show a weekly build of 1.5 million barrels in the week ending 10 March.
After a bullish start to the week, the euro slammed on the breaks on Tuesday, with the EUR/USD hovering around 1.2400. Investors can expect further bullish upside insofar as prices hold above the 1.2300 handle.
Cable’s ascendancy continued on Tuesday, with prices coming to within a few pips of the psychological 1.4000 level. Price action over the past two days suggest a re-test of the 26 February high is a possibility once prices cross the psychological barrier.
The dollar’s momentum versus the yen went through a series of volatile swings on Tuesday. The USD/JPY touched a two-week high near 107.20 before a sharp decline dragged prices back toward the mid-106.00 region, where they are now. Despite the pullback, the pair is exhibiting stronger momentum, which suggests a return to Tuesday’s high is a possibility.