April 26, 2023
“The US dollar gained from the negative market sentiment yesterday, however is struggling to maintain its recovery gains this morning as investors shift their focus to upcoming data releases. Today, the US economic docket includes Durable Goods Orders and Wholesale Inventories for March ahead of Thursday’s highly anticipated first-quarter GDP report.”
Sam Cornford, Partner – Head of Trading
US President Joe Biden launched his re-election campaign, vowing to protect American liberties from “extremists” linked to former President Donald Trump. In a video released by his campaign team, Biden referred to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters and criticized Republican platforms as threats to American freedoms. However, concerns over his age might affect his re-election chances, with 44% of Democrats believing he is too old to run.
The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network, reported a record 37% rise in emergency food parcels distributed in the year to March, totaling 3 million. Over a million parcels were provided for children, and 760,000 people used a food bank in the network for the first time, including an unprecedented number of employed people struggling to balance a low income and rising living costs. High inflation has outstripped pay growth for almost all workers in the UK.
Sterling is stronger against the dollar and weaker against euro this morning. Heathrow Airport recorded 16.9 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022, up 74% from last year’s pandemic-affected level, but posted an adjusted loss of £139 million ($173 million). The airport blamed this on the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) settlement which caps the average charge levied against airlines per passenger, calling it “set too low”. Charges are paid by airlines but are generally passed on to passengers in air fares. Heathrow has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review the CAA’s decision.
Euro is well bid against most major currencies overnight. EU industry chief Thierry Breton announced that 19 companies, including five Alphabet subsidiaries, two Meta Platforms units, two Microsoft businesses, Twitter, and Alibaba’s AliExpress, are subject to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires risk management, auditing, data sharing, and code of conduct adoption by August. The companies affected include Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Google Shopping, and YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, Amazon’s Marketplace, and Apple’s App Store.
The dollar is weaker than most major currencies in the early morning trade. First Republic Bank faces limited options to turn around its business after experiencing deposit flight during last month’s banking crisis, with a more than $100 billion plunge in deposits reported for the quarter. A source familiar with the matter said that creating a ‘bad bank’ or asset sales might be possible but challenging. Shares slid to a record low, closing down almost 50%. Christopher Wolfe, head of North American banks at Fitch Ratings, said that significant writedowns could be expected if the bank is acquired.
European markets started the day lower due to concerns over the global banking sector’s health. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 1%, with tech stocks and industrials both down 2% and financial services down 1.5%. Standard Chartered posted a 21% rise in pre-tax profit, beating expectations. However, Wall Street futures rose after positive updates from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, with Nasdaq futures up 1.2% and S&P 500 futures gaining 0.3%.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)
8:00 a.m.: Germany May GfK Consumer Confidence
8:00 a.m.: Sweden March Unemployment
8:45 a.m.: France April Consumer Confidence
9:00 a.m.: ECB’s Vujcic speaks
9:30 a.m.: Riksbank Rate Announcement
10:00 a.m.: Poland March Unemployment
2:00 p.m.: ECB’s Guindos, Herodotou speak
2:30 p.m.: US March Wholesale Inventories, Durable Goods
Earnings include GSK, Nomura, Iberdola, Orange, Puma, Handelsbanken, SEB, Meta, Boeing, CME Group, EQT, Hilton, Roku, Thermo Fisher, American Tower, Spirit Airlines
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