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Euro zone inflation on the deck as yen sways

Published 04/30/2024, 12:33 AM
Updated 04/30/2024, 12:56 AM
© Reuters. File photo: A woman buys groceries on the day the government is expected to unveil new measures to help families and companies in Lisbon, Portugal, March 24, 2023. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File photo
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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee:

A data heavy session, headlined by euro zone inflation figures for April, awaits Europe in an action-packed week that got off to a volatile start courtesy of the flailing yen.

The will-they-or-won't-they discussion has moved to did-they-or-didn't-they a day after a suspected intervention by Japanese authorities hauled the yen off 34-year lows.

A more than 10% decline against the dollar had traders pondering not if but when Tokyo would intervene to prop up the battered currency.

The answer it seems was at 160 per dollar, a level not seen since April 1990 and briefly breached on Monday. The yen surged to as high as 154.40 on Monday, with traders citing yen-buying intervention. It was back around 157 on Tuesday.

The details are murky and perhaps the confirmation remains some time away as Japan's top currency diplomat Masato Kanda declined again on Tuesday to comment on whether the finance ministry had intervened to prop up the yen a day earlier.

Kanda, however, said authorities were ready to deal with foreign exchange matters "24 hours".

"Whether it's London, New York or Wellington, it doesn't make a difference."

Ominous perhaps for the yen bears, who have piled on short positions on yen at record levels, with the latest weekly data from U.S. regulator showing speculators' largest net short yen position since June 2007.

Tokyo's move may yet turn out to be futile, analysts say, pointing to the wide yield differential between Japan and the U.S. but as our Breakingviews colleagues argue perhaps there are some merits to intervention.

Traders also await the Federal Reserve's policy decision, due on Wednesday when the U.S. central bank is expected to keep rates stead but take a hawkish stance after hotter than anticipated inflation reports in March.

No such worries in Europe, with inflation for April expected to stay steady at 2.4%, according to a Reuters poll. Markets now price in 67 basis points of cuts from European Central Bank this year, compared with 35 bps of easing expected from the Fed.

In a surprise piece of corporate news, HSBC said its chief executive Noel Quinn will retire. Quinn overhauled the bank in the past five years through a sweeping series of asset sales across the globe.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

Economic events: Euro zone inflation report for April, German retail sales data for March, France March producer prices

© Reuters. File photo: A woman buys groceries on the day the government is expected to unveil new measures to help families and companies in Lisbon, Portugal, March 24, 2023. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File photo

Earnings: Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p), Mercedes-Benz (OTC:MBGAF), Banco Santander (BME:SAN), Deutsche Lufthansa (ETR:LHAG) and Adidas (OTC:ADDYY)

(This story has been refiled to fix punctuation in paragraph 5)

(By Ankur Banerjee. Editing by Sam Holmes.)

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