U.S. Stock Traders Remain Cautious Ahead of Economic Reports
Despite a pick-up in demand for higher risk assets and
higher Asian equity markets, U.S.
stock indices are predicting a flat to lower opening. Traders seem to be taking
a cautious approach before the release of this morningâ€™s U.S. GDP, Chicago PMI,
consumer confidence and existing home sales reports.
Treasury markets are trading higher this morning. Investors
appear to be anticipating U.S.
economic reports to come out lower than expected. This will keep the pressure
on the Fed to keep interest rates down.
The weaker Dollar is helping to support both April Gold and
April Crude Oil. A stronger Dollar is likely to keep downside pressure
commodity markets. Any flare-up in Greece should send traders into
Concerns about sovereign debt issues in Greece eased overnight helping to
increase demand for higher risk assets. In addition, good economic news from Japan and higher stock markets in Asia helped increase optimism over the global economic
With tensions easing regarding the sovereign debt problems
in some of the European Union nations, Forex trader focus will be on U.S.
Out of the box first this morning will be the final U.S.
Fourth Quarter GDP Report. The consensus range is 5.4% to 6.0%. The preliminary
estimate at 5.7% is todayâ€™s target. With demand for higher risk assets higher
this morning, a better than expected GDP number may pressure the Dollar. Some
feel however that a better number will send the Dollar higher because the
improving economy will indicate the Fed may have to raise interest rates sooner
The Chicago Purchasing Managerâ€™s Index due out at 8:45 CT is
projected to be in a range of 55.8 to 64.3 with the consensus at 60.Traders want to see continued strength in
this index as it indicates an improving economy. Like the GDP figure, it
difficult to project at this time how the Dollar will react. It will either go
up because of the improving economy or down because of increased appetite for
of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
figure is expected to come in at 73.7, inside the range of 73.0 to 75.0.
Investors will be watching the expectations component of this index for clues
as to how consumers feel about the economy. High unemployment and worries over
jobs may have a negative influence on this monthâ€™s index.
Finally, Existing Home Sales should come in at 5.5 million.
A weaker than expected number should help to drive investors into the U.S.
The March Euro is up overnight but trading inside Thursdayâ€™s
range. In fact, Wednesdayâ€™s range of 1.3692 to 1.3497 has held this market in
check for two days. This formation indicates impending volatility. Watch for a
break-out on either side of the market. Traders are likely to chase the market
once it commits to a direction. Overnight, Euro Zone consumer inflation was 1%
as predicted.On Thursday, the Euro
firmed after reports of a Greek bond issuance next week surfaced. Traders feel
that strong support for this bond issuance will indicate the European Union is
close to a solution for Greeceâ€™s
deficit problems. The rally took place despite reports that the S&P Corp.
was poised to cut Greeceâ€™s
Despite a rise in Fourth Quarter GDP, the March British
Pound is trading lower overnight. This is an indication of just how weak the U.K.
economy is. Traders still feel economic problems, political woes and the
possibility of more quantitative easing by the Bank of England may be too much
to overcome in the short run.
Greater demand for higher risk assets is helping to pressure
the Japanese Yen while boosting the Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar and New
Reported improvements in Japanese retail sales and
industrial production helped boost stock prices in Asia
which in turn led to the pick up in demand for higher yielding assets.
Finally, the improving Euro is helping to ease the
possibility of an intervention by the Swiss National Bank. This is fueling the
strength in the USD CHF.
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Mon 19 Mar 2018 Tue 20 Mar 2018 AA 9:30 GB- CPI A 10:00 DE- ZEW Survey Wed 21 Mar 2018 AA 03:00 AU- Employment AA 9:30 GB- Employment A 12:30 US- Current Account AA 14:00 US- Existing Homes Sales A 14:30 US- EIA Crude A A18:00 US- Fed Rate Decision A 21:00 NZ- RBNZ Rate Decision Thu 22 Mar 2018 AA All Day flash PMIs AA 9:30 GB- Retail Sales AA 12:00 GB- Bank Of England Decision A 13:30 US- Weekly Jobless Fri 23 Mar 2018 AA 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales A 12:30 US- Durable Goods A 14:00 US- New Homes Sales
John M. Bland, MBA co-founding Partner, Global-View.com
Veteran FX Trader, Max McKegg, forecasts all the Major currencies and the Australasians; providing Daily and Medium Term Trading forecasts to subscribers, who include large Banks the world over, as well as individual traders in more than 30 different countries.
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