At the beginning of this week the US Dollar was riding high and trending in an elevated position against a number of its most traded peers thanks to comments issued by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen the previous Friday. Yellen indicated that the Fed is intending to increase interest rates this year. Although the fact had been largely accepted by investors prior to this, the remarks from the usually ultra-dovish central bank chief did push the ‘Greenback’ broadly higher.
The US Dollar extended gains against peers like the Pound and Euro at the beginning of the week as US Pending Home Sales and Personal Consumption Expenditure data exceeded forecasts. However, on Tuesday the ‘Greenback’ lost ground against both the Pound and Euro as investors fixated on a concerning Chicago Purchasing Managers Index. The gauge had been predicted to rise from 45.8 to 51.8 in March, but it only edged up to 46.3. This result prevented the US Dollar from benefiting from a stronger-than-anticipated US Consumer Confidence reading of 101.3. The sentiment data prompted this response from industry expert Lynn Franco; ‘This month’s increase was driven by an improved short-term outlook for both employment and income prospects; consumers were less upbeat about business conditions.’
However, the bullish US Dollar couldn’t be kept down long and the safe-haven asset swiftly recouped these losses on Wednesday. Further ‘Greenback’ fluctuations are likely to occur in the hours ahead as the US publishes ADP Employment Change data for March and the ISM Manufacturing PMI. As the ADP employment report is often viewed as a guide to how the more influential US Non Farm Payrolls number will print, the result could trigger US Dollar movement. Economists have forecast that the data will show a 225,000 employment gain in March following February’s figure of 212,000. US Construction Spending and Markit Manufacturing PMI numbers will also be worth noting.
On Thursday the US reports with the most potential to cause exchange rate shifts include the nation’s initial jobless and continuing claims figures, trade balance stats and US Factory Orders. Investors will also be looking ahead to Friday’s US NFP print. If the nation’s jobless rate declines unexpectedly, it would support a June rate increase from the Fed and could see the US Dollar end the week on a high.