Increased risk-appetite persists


An improvement in risk-appetite among investors tended to dampen appetite for safe-haven currencies, including the USD but not, it seemed, the EUR. On average it lost ground to the other majors, though not by much - ranges and net movements were mostly small.

Friday's two sets of US data related to import and export prices and consumer confidence, none of which made much difference to the USD.  Import prices increased 0.6% in March following a 1.0% rise in February.  Fuel prices played a major part in both months. Export prices advanced 0.7% in March, the same as the February increase. The University of Michigan survey of consumer confidence took the index a point and a half lower in April to a provisional 96.9, a point below forecast. 


After dropping back during the New York morning the euro plodded steadily higher through the afternoon and into this morning. It logged a barely-visible gain of 0.1% against the USD. The EUR gained support from expectations that the Mitsubishi UFJ group would have to buy euros to execute its purchase of part of Germany's DZ Bank  (the German central co-operative bank).

There were no euro zone data this morning. Germany's Bundesbank will publish its monthly report this morning but it seldom has any noticeable impact on the EUR.


The Loonie was steady as a rock on Friday and through the weekend. It is unchanged against the USD.

Oil prices rose and fell, covering a range of more than $1, with WTI crude losing a net 1% in the process. Unusually, the CAD showed little sensitivity to the moves. There were no Canadian economic statistics.


There was a bit of movement for the GBP, but the up-down-up trajectory left it just 0.2% higher against the USD. Data early today from Rightmove, a realtors' web portal, put asking prices for residential real estate 1.1% higher on the month and 0.1% down from a year ago. It was nevertheless the biggest month-on-month rise for over a year.

Sterling's usual driver, Brexit, took a back seat following Wednesday's six-month postponement to the end of October. The urgent fear of a no-deal crash-out has largely abated and the parliament is taking an Easter holiday.  Investors are now scratching their heads about the jockeying for power in the ruling Conservative party. Some among the right-wing hierarchy are pushing to replace prime minister Theresa May with one of their own, but investors are mystified what difference that might make to the Brexit process, given the entrenched opinions on both sides of the House of Commons.  


The yen's retreat came to a halt on Friday evening. It edged higher in the Far East this morning, leaving it unchanged against the USD. There were no Japanese data to affect it.

Late on Friday and again in the Far East today investors tested the technical resistance just above ¥112. Twice they were rebuffed and the yen heads into New York today a little below that level.  Where it goes next will depend on investors' risk-appetite. At the end of last week they were feeling fairly confident and if that mood persists, the pressure on USD/JPY will continue to be upward

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