Are markets ready for March? We’re halfway there, at least according to the Bloomberg interest rate probability measure. Investors are now pricing a 50% chance of a rate hike in March, partially a testament to the many Fed members who have been saying not to discount a move in March. This will likely lend more weight to Chair Yellen and Vice Chair Fischer’s speeches on Friday.
Despite an increase in consumer spending, the second reading of Q4 GDP in the US disappointed estimates, weighed down by a substantial trade deficit. Headline PCE consumer inflation data for Q4 expanded from the previous quarter, but the core reading which discounts more volatile elements like food and energy slipped from 1.3% to 1.2%. This leaves investors antsy for January’s PCE figures which we will see on Thursday – markets are looking for a core reading around 1.7%.
The mixed news for the USD has the dollar looking for direction, but we may not find it before President Trump’s address to Congress at 9pm EST tonight. Although precedence dictates that a State of the Union isn’t issued until the second year of a presidential term, his speech is largely expected to follow that format.
Greece is trying to secure bailout funds as it resumes talks with IMF and the EU. The IMF has long said that Greece is unable to bear the overwhelming debt that hangs over their heads, but the EU is reluctant to release additional funds unless Greece complies with their list of reforms.
EURUSD: Euro slightly higher, but failing to find footing ahead of Trump’s speech this evening.
GBPUSD: The pound is mixed as the Brexit bill is debated in the House of Lords this week.
AUDUSD: After a mixed overnight, the Australian dollar sits slightly higher this morning.
CADUSD: CAD slightly weaker, Bank of Canada meeting tomorrow.
USDJPY: Yen stronger as investors take a risk-off approach to President Trump’s address tonight.