CENTRAL BANK SPEECHES CENTRE STAGE ON THURSDAY
The financial markets are ripe with activity on Thursday, with the focal point shifting to monetary policy.
European Central Bank (ECB) Board Members Peter Praet and Benoit Coeure are scheduled to deliver speeches on Thursday. Praet’s remarks will come before the ECB’s meeting minutes, whereas Coeure will speak after.
In the United States, Federal Reserve members Jerome Powell, John Williams, Patrick Harker and Esther George are all lined up to speak. Powell is reportedly under consideration for the role of Federal Reserve Chair once Janet Yellen’s first term expires in February.
In terms of economic data, the Commerce Department will report on factory orders Thursday morning. Separately, Commerce will also report on trade for the month of August.
The Labor Department will also issue its weekly jobless claims data just 24 hours before the official nonfarm payrolls report. The US economy is projected to add a mere 100,000 nonfarm jobs in September.
Earlier in the day, the Australian government reported an unexpected decline in retail sales, but said its trade surplus rose more than expected in August. Receipts at retail stores declined 0.6% from July, following a decline of 0.2% the previous month. Analysts in a median estimate called for an increase of 0.3%.
Canberra’s trade surplus came in at $989 million compared to July, up from $808 million the month before. Exports rose 1%, while imports failed to grow.
The Australian dollar fell on mixed data, with the AUD/USD exchange rate sliding 0.4% to 0.7828. The pair briefly fell below 0.7800 cents earlier in the week as the US dollar asserted its dominance. The 0.7800 level continues to offer immediate support for the AUD/USD. A break below that level could lead to a pullback toward 0.7741. On the opposite side of the ledger, the major resistance line is 0.8160, which is the gateway to the January 2015 high near 0.8300.
The euro opened flat on Thursday, and is currently trading within a narrow range against the dollar. The EUR/USD has been trending downward over the past two weeks, with the latest turmoil in Catalonia adding to the bearish pressure. The pair was last seen trading at 1.1755. The EUR/USD levels to watch include 1.1720, which remains the key support line. A break below this level would expose the 1.1660 region. On the flipside, immediate resistance is likely to come in at 1.1820.
Cable was rangebound on Thursday, as the market consolidated in the mid-1.32 region. The GBP/USD has fallen below 1.33 this week, stoking fresh bearish concerns. On Thursday morning, the pair was trading at 1.3241. Immediate support is located at 1.3320. The major resistance line is seen at 1.3340.