Friday's headline data release was from the US Bureau of Labour when it published its monthly employment figures. Non-farm payrolls rose by only 120,000 in March, little more than half the expected number. A 13,000 upward revision to February's number went some way to mitigating the damage but investors were left to wonder if the US recovery is running out of steam.
The market reacted by selling the US Dollar and most of the commodity-related currencies (the Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian Dollars) however, the New Zealand Dollar somehow avoided taking much of a hit but was less fortunate this morning when both the antipodeans fell on news of an unexpected trade surplus for China in March as Chinese exports went up and imports were down.
Other than that it was a quiet Easter weekend. Sterling has moved a couple of dozen ticks higher against the US, Australian and Canadian Dollars and the Swiss Franc but has fallen against the New Zealand Dollar.
Most interesting is Sterling's position against the Euro, where it came within a dozen ticks of the January high yesterday and went for another look early this morning. Back in mid-December Sterling broke above its four-year (weekly) moving average; right now it is threatening the five-year moving average.
As technical signals go, this is not one of the most compelling but an upward break could give Sterling the momentum to test the high of June 2010, which is only two and a half cents away.
History teaches that Sterling is more likely to retreat from here than to advance, if only because there will be a queue to sell pounds at a 19-month high. But that does not rule out the idea of a higher Sterling v Euro exchange rate. There is no UK data out today or tomorrow to hinder Sterling.
Conceived with Ambition