The US labor market continues to improve as evidenced by initial jobless claims which fell to near 43-year lows this morning. Americans seeking employment fell to 234k, just a hair above 233k last November which marked a 43-year low (claims below 300k are seen as a positive for employment).
Another mixed session for the USD this morning as we look forward to hearing from two Fed members today: James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed, and Charles Evans of Chicago who is a voting member on monetary policy this year. Bullard, not a voting member, was fairly dovish overall. He said rates should remain low in 2017 absent of inflation pressures. His estimates do not account for any fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration, so developments on the fiscal side could sway him toward a more aggressive stance.
The Brexit bill passed a final vote in the lower house of Parliament last night by an overwhelming majority, and the pound has pushed higher. Prime Minister Theresa May remains steadfast at the helm as her bill advances through the UK legislature. May denied that she has a weak hand in the negotiations and stressed that a resolution was in everybody’s best interest.
Risks are rising in the Eurozone, and amidst central banks and political turmoil, “Grexit” is back on our radar. Facing insurmountable debt that the International Monetary Fund has said they cannot bear, our Chief Economist Jeremy Cook takes a look at Greece’s Resurgent Debt Crisis and why this could be the next focal point for European markets.
Investors will be watching as President Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this weekend. Since the election, The US-Japan relations have been a priority for both sides who have made clear their intentions to negotiate a bilateral trade deal.
EURUSD: Euro remains middle-of-the-road with little new news to drive the single-currency.
GBPUSD: Pound buoyed as the Brexit bill makes its way through Parliament.
AUDUSD: Aussie Dollar continues to march higher on little new data.
USDCAD: CAD climbing as oil prices advance for a second day.
USDJPY: Yen retracts pushing USD/JPY higher as risk appetite improves.