Very durable goods orders


Thursday's domestic economic statistics were mostly positive for the USD. The Kansas Federal Reserve's Manufacturing Survey came in five points lower on the month at 12. Although it was slightly disappointing result: "manufacturing activity grew more modestly in April, and expectations for future activity eased slightly" the bank described the result as "mostly solid". The 230k new weekly jobless claims were more than expected while continuing claims were fewer than forecast.

Durable goods orders were much stronger than forecast, in every component. Headline orders were up by a monthly 2.7%, more than three times as much as expected, while the increase in nondefense orders excluding aircraft was 13 times better than expected at 1.3%. The numbers made little difference to the USD though, and it is on average unchanged against the other ten most actively-traded currencies


There was little to be seen from Euroland's statisticians and nothing to be heard from the European Central Bank. The only ecostat on today's list was French consumer confidence, which was unchanged at 96. INSEE summed it up perfectly, saying "In April 2019 households' confidence has stabilized", though pointing out that it remain "below its long term average (100)".

The EUR wandered through the day with few signs of enthusiasm. It is unchanged against the USD.


Careful examination shows the CAD 0.1% higher on the day against the USD. Having been on the defensive ahead of New York's opening it made upward progress during the session before giving some of it back overnight.  There were no Canadian economic data to  affect it and none are on today's agenda either.

As it has during most of the week, the Loonie kept its back turned to oil prices. A 2.7% decline for WTI crude made not the slightest difference.


The Confederation of British Industry's Distributive Trades Survey leapt 31 points to +13% in April. It was a far better result than the forecast 0% and appeared to confirm the upbeat impression shown by the official retail sales figures for March, released last Thursday. The CBI follows up today with its Industrial Trends Survey, which tracks manufacturers' order books.

Although parliament has been back at work since Tuesday there has been no discernable progress on Brexit. It is not clear whether the prime minister will have another try at getting her withdrawal agreement through the House of Commons next week. The political focus at the moment is on who leaked details of a National Security Council meeting to the press. The GBP has not been affected by the furore. It is 0.2% higher against the USD.


The yen also booked a 0.2% daily gain, cementing its position as the week's top-performing major currency. It drifted gently higher through the European session yesterday before stabilizing in New York and overnight.

This morning's Japanese data were mixed. Consumer prices and retail sales looked good; industrial production and unemployment less so. Tokyo's consumer price index inflation, excluding fresh food, accelerated to 1.3% in April. Retail sales went up by 0.2% in March, in line with forecast. Unemployment ticked up to 2.5% while industrial production fell by a monthly 0.9%.

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