FX Consolidates Ahead of Data
The major currency pairs remained confined to narrow trading ranges on Monday ahead of key economic reports due out this week. Tuesday’s US reports consist of the Q4 current account balance and retail sales. The current account deficit is forecasted to increase to $218.0 bln, up from the previous quarter at $195.8 bln. Meanwhile, retail sales are expected to reverse last month’s 2.3% rise, instead dropping 0.8% in February. The excluding-autos figure, however, is forecasted to improve to 0.5%, versus a flat reading in the previous month.
USDJPY Trades Sideways
Dollar/yen held steady near the 119-level overnight amid softer than expected Japanese economic data. The final revision for Japan’s Q4 GDP was slightly weaker than the preliminary reading, at 1.3% versus 1.4%. The final reading though, was better than forecasts of 1.2%. The year-on-year growth figure was slightly lower than preliminary as well, at 5.4% compared to 5.5%. The current account surplus for January was down by 7.6% to 719.1 billion yen, yet the decline was less than the estimated drop to 670 billion yen. Data also revealed a trade deficit in January at 209.4 billion yen, versus a surplus of 332.3 billion yen from a year earlier.