US CPI DATA IN FOCUS ON TUESDAY
Economic data takes the spotlight once again on Tuesday, with US inflation figures likely to generate most of the chatter.
Like on Monday, the European release schedule is relatively light on Tuesday. The French government will report on nonfarm payrolls at 06:00 GMT. The report is expected to show employment growth of 0.3% in the fourth quarter.
Two hours later, the Spanish government will report on consumer inflation for the month of February. This includes the monthly consumer price index (CPI) as well as the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP). The HICP reading is expected to come in at 1.2% annually.
Shifting gears to North America, the US Department of Labor will release its February CPI report at 12:30 GMT. Annual CPI is forecast to strengthen to 2.2%, compared with 2.1% the previous month. So-called core inflation, which strips away volatile goods such as food and energy, is expected to come in at 1.8% year-over-year.
Another month of rising inflation will almost assuredly compel the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates sooner rather than later. The Fed is scheduled to hold its next policy meeting on 20-21 March, where officials are widely expected to raise rates for the first time since December. The March policy statement will be delivered alongside quarterly economic projections covering GDP, unemployment and inflation.
North of the border, the Bank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz will deliver a speech at 14:30 GMT. Last week, the BOC kept interest rates on hold amid growing trade risks involving the United States.
Energy traders will also keep tabs on weekly inventory data courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute (API). The API report will be released at 20:30 GMT.
The US dollar rose against its northern counterpart on Monday, although gains were limited by ongoing geopolitical risks involving the Trump administration. The USD/CAD touched a session high of 1.2844 on Monday and has since backtracked slightly. The pair is now trading at 1.2836, where it is coming up against a firm resistance. On the opposite side of the ledger, immediate support is likely found at 1.2800.
Europe’s common currency traded sideways on Monday, as investors continued to assess dovish comments from ECB President Mario Draghi. The pair is currently trading around 1.2340. Immediate resistance is located at 1.2380. On the flipside, support is located near 1.2270, the 50-day SMA.
The Australian dollar edged slightly higher on Tuesday following stronger than expected business data. However, gains remain capped ahead of headline CPI data out of Washington. At the time of writing, the AUD/USD exchange rate was up 0.1% at 0.7882. Immediate support is located around the 0.7820 level. Prices are coming up on an important resistance band near the psychological 0.7900 level.