We bring you another regular recap of the most interesting events from last week that affected our trading in the currency markets!
The beginning of the last trading week was in a rather classic trading spirit. However, that changed on Thursday when the Russian Federation attacked Ukraine at 4am CET. Panic and fear of what was going to happen took over the markets.
What impact has this had on currencies?
Right from the start of the week, the first data came from the euro area, mainly concerning the change in the Purchasing Managers' Indices (PMI). These came out broadly positive and became a bullish signal for the euro, as higher readings are considered positive for the currency.
Manufacturing PMI - current: 58.4/previous: 58.7
Composite PMI - current: 55.8/previous: 52.3
Services PMI - current: 55.8/previous: 51.1
In the middle of the week, data were also released on the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the price of goods and services from the consumer's perspective and is thus becoming one of the key ways of measuring purchasing trends and inflation. The current number came out unchanged (5.1 %) and has become rather neutral for the currency.
The US currency has had a somewhat busier week. Following Monday's American holiday, dubbed "Presidents Day", which Americans celebrate every third Monday in February, new economic data came in, again relating to the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI). As with both of the aforementioned currencies, this data came in more positive than expected for the US Dollar.
Manufacturing PMI - current: 57.5/previous: 55.5
Composite PMI - current: 56.0/previous: 51.1
Services PMI - current: 56.7/previous: 51.2
The second half of the week then brought new numbers regarding US quarter-on-quarter GDP, which were slightly stronger than the previous one (current: 7.0 %, previous: 4.9 %).
At the end of the week, the US Fed published its monetary policy report.
The Fed noted that it is firmly committed to achieving the monetary policy target given to it by Congress. However, the economy's path going forward will depend on the course of the virus and related measures to limit its spread.
Read the full report here:
More varied data came for the New Zealand currency in the second half of the week, which focused mainly on the change in New Zealand interest rates and retail sales numbers.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised its cash rate for the third consecutive time by 25 basis points (current rate: 1 %, previous rate: 0.75 %) as expected. The more hawkish commentary, which was a surprise, also certainly helped to strengthen the New Zealand dollar.
The RBNZ says further tightening is needed and RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr mentioned at his press conference that a further 50 basis point rate hike cannot be ruled out in the future.
That was enough hawkish commentary to cause the NZD to strengthen further.
The full statement can be found here:
In the second half of the week, data regarding New Zealand retail sales were released, which positively surprised and gave the New Zealand currency further impulses to strengthen (current: 8.6 %, previous: -8.1 %).
24 February - a day that made history!
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, the world and financial markets woke up to a new morning. A relatively classic week turned into hell and uncertainty for everyone.
The day after the Russian national holiday, named "Defender of the Fatherland Day", at 4 a.m. CET, Russian Federation troops attacked Ukraine.
This day will go down in history, as a war in Europe, in modern history.
This dramatic event did not only leave Europe, which watched helplessly at first, cold, but also gave unexpected volatility to the financial and currency markets, which experienced a big shock.
A number of European currencies (PLN, HUF, CZK) experienced a proper depreciation as a result of the big shock and uncertainty.
However, there were also currencies that began to strengthen in response to the situation. This was especially true for the Japanese yen (JPY) and gold. These instruments are usually considered to be the so-called "safe haven" in times of uncertainty.
What's in store for the current trading week?
Earlier this week, GDP numbers from Australia and Canada are due. The markets will also be waiting for Tuesday and Wednesday's interest rate announcements coming from Australia and Canada.
However, it is necessary to be on guard, because beyond these classic economic data, the whole world and the markets will be watching how the escalating situation around the war in Ukraine will develop.