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Inflation data today will be a key driver for the US dollar

The PCE data is the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation data metric and expectations are for a slight rise year-on-year with a slight reduction from last month’s reading. The calendar is busy before the US opens with German and Euro Area tier-1 GDP and inflation data, so we could be in for an interesting London session, with a possible reversal in the US session ahead of the weekend.

Market Brief

Yesterday’s price action in the forex markets saw the US dollar drop and the euro rise but looking at the forex heatmap at the start of the London open, we could be in for a reversal of what happened post yesterday’s US GDP data release. The GDP number for Q3 came in at an annual rate of 2.0% in the third quarter of 2021 according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is much better than the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model, which predicted a 0.2% GDP figure.

The forex heatmap also shows flows out of the NZD and AUD this morning into the Swiss franc and Japanese yen, which could indicate a move out of risk assets too. But rising Australian yields could undo that move. Yesterday the markets received earnings reports from Apple Inc and Amazon which came in slightly under market expectations adding to today’s possible reversal in risk assets.

On Thursday, Apple Inc. reported that its revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year grew 29% over the same period last year to set a record of $83.4 billion. Additionally, adjusted diluted earnings per share rose nearly 70% yearly to $1.24, while total net sales were up 15% year over year to $110.8 billion. In the third quarter of fiscal 2021 at Inc., operating income amounted to $4.9 billion after a 22% drop from the corresponding quarter in 2020. Amazon warned that they see a $4 billion operational disruption coast in Q4.

The shares of both companies saw a spike in after-hours trading, though AAPL did give up some of those gains. The worry for investors in these two giants is the costs associated with supply chain disruptions.

The AUDUSD posted a bullish engulfing candle on the daily chart yesterday and is set to test the 0.7600 level soon. The Aussie is being propelled higher by a weaker US dollar and rising Australian rates. Despite the RBA's insistence that rates will remain unchanged until 2024, markets have clearly started to squeeze the Aussie higher to push the RBA into changing policy. Australia’s April 2024 bonds yields have topped 0.75% versus the RBA’s 0.10% yield target.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire declared that the French economy in Q3 has grown faster than at any time in the last 50 years. Today there will also be German, Euro, Canadian, and the US scheduled economic data. The latest personal income and consumption figures are due before the US Open. This report will be mainly focused on the latest core PCE inflation print, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge. It is expected to show price pressures are accelerating, with a YoY rise of 3.7%.

The EURUSD traded higher yesterday but didn’t quite touch the 1.1700 big figure, so that remains a target for today. I am looking for a rejection of the breakout level around these prices but if the US PCE data comes in weaker than expected there is a chance that the greenback sells off and we get a follow-through higher on the euro. As it is a Friday it may be best to wait for all the economic data to be released before making a trade.

The US dollar index is still above the Ichimoku cloud and is balancing on a rising trend line. Looking left across the chart the current price is also testing the swing highs from March and September.

The GBPUSD is also acting stronger since the UK budget and the fall in the US dollar. The cable is now above the descending channel having tested the original breakout.

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