EUR/USD has posted slight gains in the Monday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.0580. On the release front, Private Loans increased by 2.2%, above the estimate of 2.1%. M3 Money Supply edged lower to 4.9%, matching the forecast. The US starts off the week with durable goods orders reports and Pending Home Sales. On Tuesday, the US releases Preliminary GDP and CB Consumer Confidence. As well, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress.
There was good news for the eurozone on Monday, as bank lending to eurozone households improved for a third straight month, rising to 2.2% in January. Lending has been moving upwards since 2015, but has only recently shown strong gains. This could be a sign that the ECB’s stimulus program is finally bearing results. The central bank recently extended the QE program until December and is unlikely to end it earlier. Meanwhile, M3 Money Supply, which measures growth in the amount of money circulating in the eurozone, slowed to 4.8%, down from 5.0% a month earlier. This indicator is closely watched, as it often predicts economic activity.
US data was soft on Friday. Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment dropped to 96.3 in February, compared to 98.5 a month earlier. Still, this figure edged above the forecast of 96.1. On the housing sector, New Home Sales improved to 555 thousand in January, but this was well short of the forecast of 575 thousand. This follows Existing Home Sales, which jumped to 5.69 million, above the estimate of 5.55 million. On Monday, we’ll get a look at Pending Home Sales, which is expected to dip to 1.1%.
President Trump’s administration has a rough first month, beset by constant friction with the media and trouble filling in key cabinet positions. Trump will address Congress on Tuesday and the nation will be listening closely. Will we see the combative, outspoken Trump, or will he opt for a more conciliatory approach? In order to pass key legislation, Trump will have to make nice with lawmakers from both sides of the fence, and this speech would be an ideal time to offer a hand of cooperation rather than combat. The markets will be looking for some details about the administration’s economic plan – if this is lacking, market sentiment could sour, dragging down the US dollar.