The euro continues to have a quiet week, as EUR/USD trades just above the 1.09 line in the Wednesday session. On the release front, German Unemployment Claims came in at -15 thousand, beating the estimate of -10 thousand. Eurozone Preliminary Flash GDP remained unchanged in the first quarter at 0.5%, matching the forecast. In the US, the Federal Reserve is expected to maintain interest rates at 0.75%. Other major events include ADP Nonfarm Employment Change and ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. On Thursday, Germany and the Eurozone will release Services PMI. The US releases unemployment claims, and ECB President Mario Draghi will speak at an event in Switzerland.
The Federal Reserve holds a policy meeting later on Wednesday. A rate hike is extremely unlikely, with the CME Group pricing in a hike at just 5%. This means that the markets will be focusing on the rate statement and the views of policymakers concerning economic conditions. The Fed has two key goals which have been achieved, namely full employment and an inflation rate of 2%. One area of concern is the balance sheet, which stands at $4.5 trillion. The minutes of the March meeting stated that policymakers want to start reducing this figure before the end of 2017, so the markets will be looking for another reference to the balance sheet in the rate statement or the minutes of the meeting. The markets are fairly confident that the Fed will press the rate trigger in June, as the odds for a hike have improved to 63%. If the rate statement is more hawkish than expected, we could see these odds increase.
High unemployment was long the bane of a sputtering Eurozone economy, but the labor situation has improved considerably. The eurozone economy continues to expand, and more growth has meant more jobs and lower unemployment figures. Just a year ago, the eurozone unemployment rate was at 10.3%, but the rate has been steadily decreasing since then. The March release remained unchanged at 9.5%, within expectations. Germany has led the way, with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.9% in February. Unemployment rolls continue to shrink in Germany, and the decline of 15,000 unemployed persons was better than the estimate of 10,000. US employment numbers will also be in the spotlight this week, with ADP Nonfarm Payrolls kicking things off on Wednesday. The indicator is expected to drop sharply to 178 thousand in March compared to 263 thousand a month earlier. On Friday, we’ll get a look at wage growth and the official nonfarm payrolls report. If these indicators are not close to the estimates, we’re likely to see some movement from the euro.
It’s Election Day (again) in France on Sunday, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen vying for the next president of France. The euro and European stock markets have been very steady in the second round of the campaign, as opinion polls continue to show a comfortable majority for Macron:
The polling average line looks at the five most recent national polls and takes the median value, ie, the value between the two figures that are higher and two figures that are lower.
Source – BBC 
French Election Timeline
May 3 – TV debate between the two remaining candidates
May 5 – [from midnight] Poll blackout
May 7 – Second round of French presidential elections. Last polls close at 19:00 BST / 14:00 EDT, with an exit poll result announced immediately.
May 11 – Official proclamation of the new President.
May 14 – [from midnight] End of Francois Hollande’s mandate
June 11 – First round of legislative elections
June 18 – Second round of legislative elections.
Wednesday (May 3)
- 3:55 German Unemployment Claims. Estimate -10K. Actual -15K
- 5:00 Eurozone Preliminary Flash GDP. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.5%
- 5:00 Eurozone PPI. Estimate 0.1%. Actual -0.3%
- Tentative – German 10-y Bond Auction
- 8:15 US ADP Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 178K
- 10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 56.1
- 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -3.3M
- 14:00 US FOMC Statement
- 14:00 US Federal Funds Rate. <1.00%
Thursday (May 4)
- 3:55 German Final Services PMI. Estimate 54.7
- 4:00 Eurozone Final Services PMI. Estimate 56.3
- 5:00 Eurozone Retail Sales. Estimate 0.1%
- 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 246K
- 12:30 ECB President Mario Draghi Speech
*All release times are EST
*Key events are in bold
EUR/USD for Wednesday, May 3, 2017
EUR/USD Monday, May 3 at 6:00 EST
Open: 1.0935 High: 1.0937 Low: 1.0906 Close: 1.0910
EUR/USD was flat in the Asian session and has edged lower in European trade
- 1.0873 remains a weak support level
- 1.0985 is the next line of resistance
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.0873, 1.0708, 1.0616 and 1.0506
- Above: 1.0985, 1.1122 and 1.1242
- Current range: 1.0873 to 1.0985
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
EUR/USD ratio continues to show little movement this week. Currently, short positions have a majority (64%), indicative of EUR/USD continuing to move to lower ground.
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