Intraday Market Thoughts

Long March Ends, What Springs in April

by Adam Button
Mar 31, 2014 23:18

We hesitate to over analyse quarter-end moves because of inevitable skews from flows. On the day, CHF was the top performer which is odd for a day when risk trades strengthened. The yen was the laggard on the day and the month; the focus will remain on Japan with the quarterly Tankan data due today.

A glance at the quarter shows a massive divergence in the commodity bloc with AUD and NZD leading and CAD lagging badly. That's a rare occurrence but reflects opposing central bank stances.

The most tradable headlines on the day were from Yellen who said the economy needs extraordinary support for some time. The dollar fell 30 pips across the board with the comments sounding more dovish but the underlying story didn't really change.

Perhaps what the market should have focused on is the economy data, especially the fall in the Chicago PMI to 55.9 from 59.8. It was the lowest since August and featured sharp falls in the employment and new orders components. The survey-takers blamed seasonals but that excuse is wearing thin.

In any case, the ISM manufacturing data is due on Tuesday and that will offer a more definitive impression of the sector.

As April begins, keep in mind that it's historically the strongest month for risk trades by a large margin. The pound has risen in 9 consecutive Aprils and the commodity currencies also tend to be very strong. The US dollar often lags.

It will be a critical month for Japan as the economy reacts to the hike in the consumption tax. The main release is the Q1 Tankan. All the numbers matter but ones to focus on are the large manufacturing index (exp 19) and large manufacturing outlook (exp 13). The numbers are due at 2350 GMT.

The other data point to watch is the official China PMI at 0100 GMT. It's expected at 50.1 compared to 50.2 in February and could certainly make waves in AUD trading.  The revisions to the flash estimate (48.1) from HSBC are also due. 

 The long GBPUSD trade from our Premium Insights hit the final 1.6670 longs from 1.6530 entry. AUDCAD and AUDNZD remain in progress so is the short in GBPAUD.  All trades and charts are in the Premium Insights.
Act Exp Prev GMT
Chicago PMI
55.9 59.0 59.8 Mar 31 13:45
Markit Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
57.1 Apr 01 12:58
ISM Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
54.0 53.2 Apr 01 14:00
PMI Manufacturing
53.9 55.5 Mar 30 23:15
50.3 50.2 Apr 01 1:00
48.5 Apr 01 1:45
ISM Prices Paid (MAR)
60 60 Apr 01 14:00
AIG Performance of Manufacturing (MAR)
48.6 Mar 31 23:30
Tankan Large Manufacturing Index (Q1)
18 16 Mar 31 23:50
Tankan Large Manufacturing Outlook (Q1)
13 14 Mar 31 23:50
Tankan Non - Manufacturing Index (Q1)
24 20 Mar 31 23:50
Tankan Non - Manufacturing Outlook (Q1)
16 17 Mar 31 23:50

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