Volatility kick-started from Monday this week as this was the first day of the G20 meeting. Protectionism and the threat of a trade war sparked by U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs were in focus, boosting the haven currencies. Of course, most members of the meeting went against tariffs and strongly criticized the United States – the main element engendering this hassle.
This Tuesday continued to record another pessimistic affair for the Australian Dollar, caused by dovish Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia. With passive rhetoric from RBA President Philip Lowe, the Aussie – Greenback exchange found itself remaining stuck in its massively bearish trend.
In a separate development, UK’s CPI y/y was published declining strongly to 2.7% versus the previous announcement of 3.0% as well as the expected 2.8% of economists. The British Pound marked a retracement versus its US namesake on the release after its surge a day before.
March 20 was also the last day of the G20 meeting. Participants once again affirmed to unanimously oppose U.S. tariffs.
Wednesday this week foremost brought UK’s Average Earnings Index 3m/y whose data climbed to 2.8% against analysts’ gloomy expectations of 2.6% and the previous reading of 2.7%. Coupled with the Greenback posting a bearish scenario, the Cable – US Dollar recorded a highly positive development, delivering jubilation to the binary options traders who had been going long on the currency pair.
The Greenback’s bearish picture on Wednesday was also caused by speculators taking their profits on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike. As widely anticipated, the Fed announced its decision to lift borrowing costs to 1.75% from 1.5%, which had been fully priced-in already. Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish implication that the U.S. economy “isn’t in danger of overheating” couldn’t sustain the US Dollar’s descent.
The other item of interest of the day was the Crude Oil Inventories report. With the figure plunging to -2.6M from the prior level of 5.0M (beating the forecasts of 2.6M), Oil prices marked the third bullish move in a row during this week.
Thursday started with two high-profile economic announcements from Australia. The steep advance of the Aussie – Greenback currency pair on Wednesday was almost cleared because Australian Unemployment Rate continued to rise 0.1% compared to its recent release (5.5%). Combined with Employment Change data underperforming economists’ expectations for an increase of 19.8K, AUD/USD printed a thick-body bearish candle on its chart, well making its callers shell-shocked.
On the same day, UK’s Retail Sales m/m also came in with a strong rise to 0.8% versus the previous -0.2% and forecasts of 0.4%, overjoying GBP/USD bulls. Nevertheless, their jubilation ended up quite quickly as the Bank of England decided to push back its tightening timeline with interest rates left unchanged at 0.5%.
The British Pound – US Dollar amounted to close below its Thursday open.
The end of this week recorded a bullish affair for the Canadian Dollar since Canada’s Core Retail Sales posted an efflux to 0.9% from -1.7%, completely matching calculations. Though Canadian CPI m/m remained a little below its last announcement of 0.7%, the Loonie still found itself strongly strengthening versus its US cousin, regardless of U.S. Core Durable Goods Orders m/m also soaring to 1.2% from -0.2%.
Thanks to G20’s calls for Crypto Regulation, the world’s most famous digital asset recovered above $9,000. However, bearish sentiment was quickly back in play, driving Bitcoin to approach $8,300 at the time of writing.