US Open Note – US retail sales surprises but dollar remains firm

US retail sales' number stronger than expected

The spotlight of the day is the US retail sales of March, which surprisingly increased to 9.8% m/m, surpassing the predictions of 5.9%, versus a contraction of 3% in February. The retail sales control group advanced to 6.9% from -3.4% before.

Initial jobless claims came out too - filings for unemployment benefits - declining to 576k in the week ending April 10 from 769k before, the lowest level since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020.

The greenback is continuing the bearish move versus the Japanese yen after the pullback off the 111.00 psychological level. Also, the US dollar index is falling towards the 50-day SMA, crossing below 92.00. Futures tracking the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Dow Jones are looking slightly positive after the mixed day on Wednesday.

The administration of Joe Biden is going to take some action regarding Russian individuals and entities as an act of reprisal for alleged misconduct over the SolarWinds hack to disrupt the US election.

Bank of America Corp released its first-quarter profit before the US market open, of $8.1 billion, or 86 cents/per share surpassing the forecasts of 66 cents/per share. Also, Citigroup Inc posted first-quarter profit estimates with the net income tripled to $7.94 billion from $2.54 billion, or $3.62/per share, beating expectations of $2.60/per share, from $1.06/per share.

Antipodeans keep the upper hand; pound meets 1.38

The antipodeans remained the best performers in the FX space for the second consecutive trading day, although the size of gains became narrower today. Particularly, aussie/dollar and kiwi/dollar have fully recovered from the downfall posted earlier in the day and look set for another battle with recent highs. However, dollar/loonie is heading south, flirting with the 1.2500 handle.

Pound/dollar was trading almost flat, around 1.3780 and the 20-day simple moving average (SMA). However, an upside correction could be reasonable following a rebound off 1.3670. Euro/dollar is failing once again to test the 1.2000 level as it is in a declining mode today.

Crude oil prices managed to climb above the $62.60/per barrel strong resistance, posting a new one-month high, while the gold price is pointing somewhat higher.

Vaccination in Europe goes on; Johnson & Johnson vaccine delays in the US

The vaccination in Europe is continuing with Pfizer and BioNTech’s speeding up deliveries to the bloc this quarter. On the other hand, in the US, the delay in the delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will impose a slower roll to minorities.

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