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Daily round up
Today marks the last trading session of the month and although we have a few notable economic releases, indications are that these will be far from stellar and April will finish with more of a whimper than a bang as far as the fundamentals are concerned. However geopolitical risk continues to cloud the horizon and with European traders facing another long weekend, the temptation to derisk some positions could set the tone in the hours ahead.
Fundamental Analysis – Pound in favour
Sterling had been left to one side in the wake of last weekend’s first round of the French presidential election, but renewed optimism over a successful Brexit and the fact we saw some far better than expected retail sales figures coming from the CBI trade body has give the pound something to cheer. Cable is testing levels not seen since the pound’s flash crash of October last year and the focus will now shift to the flash Q1 GDP reading that’s due at 8.30am GMT. Expectations are upbeat here so any shortfall could leave traders itching to book profits – after this rally, there’s certainly scope on the downside.
US GDP readings for Q1 will also be in focus with this print expected at 12.30pm GMT. A somewhat lacking US durable goods order reading on Thursday is hiking expectations that the flash GDP reading will also disappoint, adding up another slug of woe to the US. Today’s print shouldn’t be negative but it could be close run, in which case another bout of profit taking from the greenback could be in order. And unless there’s a notable change of tone from the Fed in terms of cutting some slack with monetary policy then these latest gains for stocks will look difficult to justify, too.
EUR/USD has been very much on the back foot since yesterday’s underwhelming ECB meeting brought nothing new to the table and attention is now turning to the Eurozone’s scheduled release of inflation data at 9am GMT. Given the lack of intervention yesterday, the expectation here has to be that this print will disappoint too, but with oil prices drifting lower, it’s easy to see why the nascent inflationary pressures will be difficult to sustain. We have seen speculation that the outcome of the first round of the French Presidential election would help drive the decision to quicken the pace of policy tightening at the ECB, but with both candidate being seen as Eurosceptic to some degree, again there’s reason to argue that waiting until the shape of any new government in Paris is known may be the next trigger.
This article comprises the personal view and opinion of the STO Investment Research Desk and at no time should be construed as Investment Advice.
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