Currencies Sleepwalk into Easter



Exactly a month ago, in my article on 18th March I noted just how much FX market volatility was falling. Well, since then its deteriorated even more, with all the wind coming out of the pound’s sails too since the news that the Brexit deadline will be extended to 31st October. Prior to that the pound had, by and large been the one currency, that had been keeping the whole G10 sector from going into a complete coma, but now that seems to be ‘out cold’ as well.


As I said previously, I have seen this happen many times before over the years, but eventually of course, something will happen to spark the markets back into life again.


However, until that happens there’s really very little to get excited about and the fact that the Easter break is upon us now just provides another excuse for many of the wholesale operators to make a seriously long weekend of it.


Naturally, what is the bane of currency market speculators and pundits is conversely to the delight of those that don’t want to worry about where the prices are going, such as industry and governments etc.


Indeed, the currency markets are so quiet, that even the AUD struggled to move much overnight despite a better than expected set of unemployment data from down under.


However, and overall, the AUD has continued, with some success in its battle to win back ground, most notably versus its antipodean counterpart with the AUDNZD pushing up past 1.07 earlier this week.


Meantime, I note this morning that equity markets are slipping a little into the Easter weekend which is entirely understandable given the gains of recent weeks. However, that hasn’t helped gold much as it continues to edge its way lower again this morning, now eyeing $1270 an ounce for the first time since the end of 2018.


Elsewhere there’s fresh evidence that the UK housing market is continuing to stagnate with the latest February HPI index (released yesterday) getting ever closer to flat. Mind you this data is so latent that it probably doesn’t give the true picture of just what is happening out there and irrespective of all the damage that Brexit might have inflicted, prices are long overdue for a significant correction anyway.


By the time you read this update the latest UK retail sales data will already have hit the wires and that might have had some sort of impact provided there’s any kind of surprise in the numbers that emerge. Later today the equivalent US report will be released too, but I guess by then most of the UK markets’ participants will already be too busy jamming up the M25 to take much notice anyway.


So, as the weather here looks set to deliver a glorious Easter weekend, I am reminded to repeat what I said just now and a month ago in respect of currency market volatility dropping off a cliff. This will not last forever, and the longer it continues, the greater the reaction back the other way when the spell is finally broken.


However, that also does rather depend on the nature of the news/event that kicks it back into life. For sure its out there, but we just cannot see what it is yet or which direction its coming from.  In the meantime, I am not sure it’s necessary to keep both eyes peeled, but probably still worth, at least keeping one of them open if you can.


Important Economic Releases Due Today

18/04-9.30am UK March Retail Sales Report

18/04- 1.30pm US March Retail Sales Report

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