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EUR/USD Shrugs as Eurozone Inflation Steady

  • Eurozone inflation almost unchanged
  • German retail sales fall by 2.5%
  • Markets upwardly revise odds of Fed hike to 96%

EUR/USD is trading quietly at 1.0966, down 0.09%.

German retail sales fall by 2.5%

The German consumer continues to hold tight to the purse strings, as March retail sales declined by 2.4%, compared to a consensus of 0.4% and -1.3% in February. This marked the fourth decline in five months. On an annualized basis, retail sales plunged by 8.6%, lower than the consensus of -6.1% and the February read of -7.1%. The numbers are not pretty any way you slice them, and the German recovery will be slow if consumer spending does not rebound. Germany’s manufacturing PMI remained in contraction mode in March with a reading of 44.5, above the consensus of 44.0 but lower than the February reading of 44.7.

Eurozone inflation shows little change

The ECB meets on Thursday and is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points, but there is an outside chance of a second-straight 50-bp hike. Today’s release of eurozone CPI for April was hotly anticipated but showed little change and won’t be a factor in the ECB decision. Headline CPI ticked higher to 7.0%, compared to 6.9% in March, which was also the consensus. Core CPI nudged lower to 5.6%, compared to 5.7% in March and the consensus of 5.6%. The central bank is determined to put the inflation genie back in the bottle, but another 50-bp hike would raise the danger of the economy cooling down too quickly and tipping into recession.

The Federal Reserve holds its meeting on Wednesday and market pricing of a 25-basis point hike has jumped to 96%, up from 75% just a week ago. Economic activity has cooled, as evident in Q4 GDP which slowed to 1.1%, but the Fed wants to see inflation, in particular the core rate, fall more quickly.

EUR/USD Technical

  • EUR/USD is testing support at 1.0967. Below, there is support at 1.0893
  • There is resistance at 1.1088 and 1.1157

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