Afternoon analysis 05.04.2016:
The EUR/USD was steady before the Fed's minutes on Wednesday. Today's releases had no impact in the broad market. The zloty dropped against all of its major pairs as the sentiment deteriorated.
Today's data on retail sales in the euro zone surprised positively. It increased 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and 2.4 percent year to year. The forecast was an increase of 0 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Moreover, yesterday's report on the labor market showed that the unemployment rate declined to 10.3 percent from 10.4 percent.
In contrast, the service PMI indexes missed the expectations. The broad euro zone index declined to 53.1 from the flash estimate of 54. The largest disappointment was France, where the gauge dropped below 50 - the level which separates expansion from contraction.
The latest euro zone data has shown, that although the situation improves, there is no breakthrough. As a result, the ECB reiterates that it is ready to act if needed (on Monday ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said the central bank may act). However, dovish comments did not influence the EUR/USD, which has recently been very stable.
Fed ready to act
The Federal Reserve officials have confirmed their readiness to continue the tightening plan. On Monday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosenberg said he is surprised that the market’s estimate only one interest rate hike this year (according to Reuters). In his view, it was "too pessimistic.” Today, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he sees two interest rate hikes this year (according to Reuters). The latest comments have confirmed the basis scenario, which was published by the FOMC in March.
The market shows that the probability that interest rate hikes will exceed the 50 percent level in December. Given this fact, the recent remarks made by the Fed could have been considered quite hawkish. However, a similar view does not prevail in the markets, as the dollar remains rather weak.
Eventually, the discrepancy will need to be removed. The Fed's scenario is being supported by improving reports from the global economy. Moreover, better than expected data on wages resulted in a higher probability that the inflation rate will rebound. Tomorrow's release of the FOMC minutes will be important. If the report shows that the Fed pursues its plan to tighten the policy, the dollar may gain.
Commodities resumed their declines. The oil price hit the lowest level in a month, as the crude exporting countries have moved away from the deal to cut output. The copper price dropped to the lowest level since March. Moreover, the factor that negatively affected the broad market were comments from the Fed. Currently, it is less important that the tightening path will be flat.
The situation has been reflected in the zloty market. The Polish currency dropped against its all major pairs. However, the situation is rather transitory. If tomorrow's MPC statement confirms a rather hawkish stance of monetary authorities, the zloty will stabilize.
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