There was a sharp intake of breath by investors on Wednesday when they saw the ADP employment change number. It is supposed to be a pointer to the Bureau of Labor's closely-watched nonfarm payrolls number. If so, there could be a shock on Friday: ADP's measure showed 27k new jobs in May, a tenth of the expected number. Just as important is the shape of the data: the services sector added 71k jobs while manufacturing and other industrial production shed 43k. A possible inference is that trade wars are taking their toll on American producers.
The USD dropped half a cent on the news. Fortunately, within a couple hours ISM's services sector purchasing managers' index came in a point above forecast and a point higher on the month at 56.9. The USD made a complete recovery and is 0.3% higher on the day against the EUR.
The euro zone economic data this morning did not make much difference to the EUR. A 0.3% monthly increase in German factory orders beat forecast but the 5.3% annual decline still looked ugly, even if it, too, was better than the expected 7.2% fall. Pan-Euroland data were exactly in line with analysts' predictions. Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4% in the first quarter and the number of people in work went up by 0.3%.
The big event today is the European Central Bank's monetary policy announcement and the press conference held afterwards by the bank's president. Mario Draghi and his team are expected to leave policy interest rates unchanged. However, some believe there is a possibility that the bank will restart its quantitative easing program. Most do not see it happening - not today anyway - but if the bank were to go down that path the euro is likely to suffer.
The Loonie avoided most ill effects of a 2.5% fall in oil prices on Wednesday even though not all petro-currencies were so lucky. Where the NOK took a 0.4% hit the CAD lost only 0.2% to the USD.
The only Canadian statistics related to labor productivity. The headline figure showed a 0.3% improvement in the first quarter and was in line with forecasts. Balance of trade numbers and the Ivey PMI come out this morning.
The GBP did its best to keep a low profile, something at which it is not particularly skilled. Britain's services sector PMI ought to have helped the pound's case: at 51.0 it was above forecast and half a point higher on the month. However, there was no shortage of commentators ready to argue that the UK economy as a whole is looking at shrinkage.
Sterling is 0.3% lower on the day. It has no UK economic data to look forward to today.
In common with all the major currencies, there was no mission for the JPY on Wednesday. It is 0.1% firmer - in other words practically unchanged - on the day.
Data this morning showed foreign investment in Japanese stocks falling ¥286 billion ($2.6 billion) in the week to 31 May while foreign bond investment went up by ¥442 billion ($4.1 billion). The statistics are usually of more interest to bookkeepers than to investors.