The retail sales report today was a bigger surprise than the Fed and I get the sense that some of the equity selling was more of a delayed reaction to that soft number rather than anything Powell said. Granted, the selling picked up when he indicated that there was no plan to buy more bonds (though it remains in the toolkit). That’s not a surprise but it was somewhat of a trigger.
The dollar grabbed a solid bid ahead of the FOMC. I think that was position squaring but it ended up being the right move, at least after a few twists and turns. Markets hit the highs and lows of the day during Powell in equities but aside from USD/CAD the swings were small in FX.
EUR/USD was particularly soft today as it fell to 1.1800. Some of that was on EUR/GBP and EUR/CHF selling.
Under the radar was the 5% rally in oil even with all kinds of talk about soft demand. The headlines about an April vaccine certainty helped the mood when they hit but the weekly oil inventory data wasn’t as bullish as the API report yesterday.
Gold tried a few times to get above $1970 but couldn’t hold the line and slid backwards. I’ll be watching it closely tomorrow because the Fed didn’t offer anything for the gold bulls.