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Forex Major Currencies Outlook (Apr 17, 2018)

USD

The dollar barely reacted to upbeat retail sales data as traders remained doubtful about Fed tightening plans and worried about geopolitical risks.

Headline retail sales rose 0.6% versus the 0.4% consensus while the core reading posted a 0.2% gain as expected. The Empire State manufacturing index and NAHB housing index both came in below expectations. Industrial production data is due today, along with building permits and housing starts.

EUR

The euro regained some ground against some of its rivals late in the day but couldn't establish a clear direction on the lack of top-tier reports. Today's release of ZEW economic sentiment figures from Germany and the entire region could lead to more sustained moves. The former could see a drop from 5.1 to -0.8 while the latter could slide from 13.4 to 7.4.

GBP

The pound was the top-performer of the day as it was lifted by hawkish BOE expectations. The UK jobs report is due today and larger increase of 13.3K in joblessness compared to the earlier reading. Traders would likely pay closer attention to the average earnings index which could tick up from 2.8% to 3.0% and boost inflation expectations.

CHF

The franc was still in a weak spot as PPI came in below expectations. Producer prices fell 0.2% instead of posting the expected 0.4% uptick. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today so sentiment could push franc pairs around.

JPY

The yen was also on weaker footing as risk appetite and dollar support remained in play. There were no major reports out of Japan then and none are due today so sentiment could continue to push yen pairs around.

Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)

The comdolls returned some of their recent wins on news of another airstrike in Syria. Data from China was also mostly weaker than expected, with industrial production falling from 7.2% to 6.0% and fixed asset investment dipping from 7.9% to 7.5%. GDP came in line with expectations while retail sales was stronger than expected at a 10.1% year-over-year gain. New Zealand has its GDT auction lined up next. 

By Kate Curtis from Trader's Way

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