EUR/USD – Euro Unchanged, German Consumer Confidence Dips
EUR/USD has edged lower on Thursday, as the pair trades at 1.0770. On the release front, GfK German Consumer Climate dipped to 9.8 points, shy of the forecast of 10.1 points. Later in the day, the eurozone releases consumer confidence data. The US will publish unemployment claims and New Home Sales. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at an event in Washington, and FOMC members Neel Kashkari and Robert Kaplan will also deliver speeches on Thursday. On Friday, Germany and the eurozone release Manufacturing PMIs, and the US will publish durable goods orders.
German consumer confidence lost ground for a second straight week, as the GfK indicator fell to 9.8, its lowest level since November 2016. The drop is largely a result of higher inflation, as consumers are more concerned that their purchasing power has been reduced. Still, the German economy, the largest in Europe, remains in solid shape, as the economy is expected to expand 1.5% in 2017. German data is regarded as a bellwether for the eurozone, so the markets will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming German Manufacturing PMI report.
With a dearth of economic releases this week, the markets have been focusing on speeches from FOMC members. Earlier this week, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he expected the Fed to raise rates two more times this year. This projection was in line with the Fed’s dot point plan (which remain unchanged) as well as last week’s rate statement. Although one could make a strong case that three rate hikes in 2017 would be impressive, the markets appear disappointed, and would like four hikes, given the strong performance of the US economy. The Fed’s cautious approach has soured sentiment towards the greenback, resulting in the dollar heading lower against its major rivals, including the euro. On Wednesday, EUR/USD touched a high of 1.0825, its highest level since the start of February.