Forex Today:Markets see glass half empty in jam-packed day, Chinese GDP, ECB, US retail sales all eyed

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, July 16:

The market mood has somewhat soured, with stocks on the back foot and the dollar paring losses from earlier this week. A busy day that has begun with top Chinese figures continues with the ECB decision, US retail sales, and many additional events.

China’s Gross Domestic Product bounces 11.5% in the second quarter and 3.2% annually, better than expected. On the other hand, industrial output met expectations with 4.8% in June while retail sales disappointed with a drop of 1.8% last month. Concerns about recent activity of the Chinese consumer outweighed past-looking GDP data.

Sino-American tensions: The New York Times reported that the White House is considering a sweeping travel ban on Chinese Communist Party members – of whom there are around 90 million. That would serve as a major escalation.

AUD/USD continues “hugging” the 0.70 level despite upbeat Chinese data and bounce of 210,800 jobs in Australia in June, better than expected. The unemployment rate rose to 7.4%. Australia may raise the level of lockdown in Melbourne from three to four.

Gold prices are trading above $1,800 while WTI oil has stabilized above $40 after several erratic movements. USD/JPY is trading just below 107 as Tokyo is raising its alert level amid an increase in cases.

Busy European and US sessions

The European Central Bank is set to leave its policy unchanged after adding €600 billion to its bond-buying scheme in June. Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, is set to urge leaders to agree on the recovery fund ahead of their summit on Friday. The “Frugal Four” group of countries reject mutually funded grants, a pillar of the program.

See ECB Preview: EUR/USD depends on Lagarde’s fearless nudging of the Frugal Four

US retail sales for June are set to show an ongoing improvement as America continued opening in the first part of the month, before COVID-19 cases in the latter part. Government stimulus may have impacted the figures as well. The figures are published alongside weekly jobless claims.

See US Retail Sales Preview: Last V-shaped recovery hopes? Three reasons for upbeat figures, S&P 500 may rise

US coronavirus cases continue rising rapidly with several states such as Texas and California posting record infections and/or deaths. Total cases surpassed 3.5 million and deaths are above 137,000.

The UK unemployment rate has likely risen above 4% in May while wage growth stabilized. The Claimant Count Change is forecast to show a more moderate increase in June after leaping by 528,900 in May. Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, told MPs that internet rates are set to remain low for a long time.

Coronavirus vaccine: Top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci expressed hopes that immunization could be achieved by year-end. His words followed Moderan’s publication of progress in developing a vaccine. AstraZeneca and OXford University also advanced in their research, suggesting their solution will provide a “double protection.”

Twitter hack: Prominent Americans such as Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Bill Gates, and others were hacked and promoted a Bitcoin scam. The development weighed on the company’s stocks and other tech shares.

Cryptocurrencies are stable with BTC/USD trading around $9,200.



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