China’s better than expected export data set the stage for improved risk sentiment, and the “icing on the cake” came from surprisingly strong US Q1 earnings reports.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM: NYSE) did its part to improve the outlook for Q 1 earnings. The company beat profit and earnings estimates, posting record first-quarter results. Profit was $9.18 billion, or $2.65/share, easily beating analyst estimates of $2.35/share. The stock rose 4.12% in early trading. Wells Fargo’s (WFC: NYSE) results didn’t set a record, but they also beat forecast, earning $1.20/share of $21.6 billion. WFC shares are up 1.37% as of 13:50 GMT.
Chevron (CVX: NYSE) took a bite out of the US energy sector. The oil giant announced plans to swallow Anadarko Petroleum (APC: NYSE) for $33.0 billion in cash and stock. Traders were not very enamoured by the news and CVX is down 5.39% as of 1355 GMT.
The US dollar is lower against the commodity bloc currencies and the British pound in choppy New York trading. EURUSD retreated from its New York peak of 1.1322 after comments from European Central Bank chief economist Peter Praet echoed Mario Draghi’s remarks about the need for an accommodative ECB monetary policy.
The week ahead will be short but crammed with data. Monday will be quiet, but USDCAD traders will want to study the Business Outlook Survey for some insight into the Bank of Canada’s thinking. The Reserve Bank of Australia minutes may give AUDUSD traders a better understanding of the degree of dovishness at the central bank.
Tuesday, UK employment data should take control of GBPUSD movements as the article 50 extension means “no-deal “Brexit fears will diminish for the time being.
Wednesday is a data-laden day. New Zealand CPI, Japan Trade, China Retail Sales and CPI data from the UK, Eurozone and Canada should keep traders on their toes.
Thursday’s data includes Australia Unemployment, Eurozone Manufacturing PMI. UK and US Retail Sales reports are also on tap.
Friday, US traders will be lonely as most other markets are closed for Good Friday.
Chart: USDX highlighting lack of FX volatility for past two weeks