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RBA increased the importance of Thursday’s jobs report

Published April 17, 2019

Author: Steve Oram

Groundhog Day for most rates as this morning’s opening levels are little changed despite a bit of intraday volatility yesterday.

The RBA released minutes from its monthly meeting yesterday and comments shifted to more dovish tones as Australia’s central bank stated a cut in interest rates would be “appropriate” should inflation remain low and unemployment trend higher, although there was no immediate case for a move in the near term. The AUD initially dipped on the statement and has since pared back all of its losses. It makes Thursday release of unemployment and jobs data a key event risk.

Across the pond NZD should struggle to shrug off pre-Easter lethargy as the market winds into the long weekend, with this morning’s opening level holding at the middle of the weekly range. We have a domestic inflation data release this morning, which may provide a little spark for the NZD if the data is wildly at odds with markets expectations.

EUR is broadly unchanged on the day, but a ZEW market report out of Germany, indicated that investment sentiment in the zone appears to be improving, although there are reports that perhaps the ECB is looking at adding  further  liquidity to the market in September this year , which may have boosted this sentiment.
We have EUR CPI numbers out tonight and PMI data the following evening, both of those releases may validate the upbeat investment sentiment survey results.

GBP slipped in late trade UK time even though economic indicators form the UK were respectable. Employment held steady at 3.9%, meeting expectations.
Brexit will obviously continue to remain the elephant in the room, and unless it can find a door, the many moving parts make it very difficult to provide short term direction with confidence. We do have UK retail sales later in the week to look forward to.

The other major event in our time zone today is the release of Chinese GDP for Q1 2019. No doubt any under par reads will be blamed on the US-Chinese trade war. Current growth rates are already at the lowest levels in three decades, as the Chinese government ‘guides’ growth rates lower as the economy matures. FX markets though may prove more reactive around US-China trade war news than around the Q1’19 Chinese GDP report released in just under 4 hours time.