The US dollar had a brief step into negative territory from open, forming its intra-session low at 101.915. However, the index managed to reverse some of its earlier session losses as risk conditions exchanged hands on the day post the Initial Jobless Claims print of 191K from an anticipated 197K, paired with the Swiss National Bank following the Fed’s lead and also raising its benchmark rate. The US dollar ended off the session a touch in the positive territory at 102.532.
The move in the US dollar higher on the day, following prior session losses saw euro bulls run out of steam. The euro edged lower from its peaks, forming its intra-session low at $1.0827. The single unit was further dented by a decline in the Eurozone’s Consumer Confidence print to -19.2. The euro closed off the session significantly below opening levels at $1.0833.
Pound Sterling stepped into positive territory from open as focus shifted to the BoE’s rate decision. On the day Sterling had a choppy session as the market digested the 25bps rate increment from the BoE, with 7:2 members in favour of the hike. The pound had a brief step higher and formed an intra-session high at $1.2341. Despite easing from its peak, the pound still managed to close off the session in positive territory at $1.2285.
The local unit was dealt another good hand in yesterday’s session as rand bulls capitalized on the market’s bias for riskier assets, post the release of key data prints from the US and UK. A decline in the BER’s Q1 Consumer Confidence Index print to -23 did not deter the unit from bagging a win on the day. The rand’s bullish momentum drove the unit to a low of R18.0150/$, before slightly losing steam and calling it a day in positive territory at R18.0850/$.
The data docket is empty on the local front with key data prints expected from the UK, Germany, Eurozone, and the US. In the absence of local drivers, the rand will most likely be steered by these offshore events.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R17.90/$ – R18.18/$
- EURUSD: $1.0760 – $1.0985
- GBPUSD: $1.2200 – $1.2400