Economic calendar: Could inventory data provide more support for oil prices?

Summary:
- UK construction PMI forecasted to remain in ‘contraction’ area
- Headline durable goods order seen declining in March
- API report expected to show a decline in crude inventories

Yesterday brought another indecisive debates and votes in the UK parliament. While no major events are scheduled for today in relation to Brexit, GBP is likely to remain volatile in the morning as construction PMI reading for March will be released. The US industrial data may trigger some price moves across US assets in the early afternoon while API estimate should provide investors with a hint ahead of the DOE report.

9:30 am BST - UK, Construction PMI for March. GBP surged yesterday after manufacturing PMI reading for March showed a strong beat. However, it was mostly driven by high stockpiles. Nevertheless, the British pound erased the majority of this gain later on when the UK parliament failed to back any of motions proposed by MPs. One should keep in mind that today’s print may be distorted by Brexit gearing just as yesterday's was. Market consensus expects an advance from 49.5 pts to 49.8 pts, just a notch below the contraction-expansion threshold.

1:30 pm BST - US, Durable goods orders for February. In spite of a drop of the manufacturing PMI index in March, the ISM manufacturing gauge managed to move higher. Such a mix is quite positive as ISMs are said to measure the condition of the US economy better. However, for slowdown fears to abate, a solid set of hard data would be needed. Preliminary report on durable goods orders today will provide first reality check. A drop of 1.2% MoM in headline gauge is expected while ex-transport measure should increase 0.2% MoM.

9:40 pm BST - API report on oil inventories. Oil prices rebound with other risky assets this week as better-than-expected data from China boosted sentiment. Moreover, further decline in the Venezuelan crude exports also contributed to this strong gains. In turn, WTI is trading above the 200-session moving average while Brent is approaching one. API estimates are expected to show a 1.1 million barrel drop. While reaction is likely to be minor, the reading may serve as a guide for tomorrow’s official DOE report.

Central bank speakers scheduled for today:
- 8:00 am GMT - ECB’s Praet

WTI (OIL.WTI) managed to break above the 200-session moving average (purple line on the chart above) following a dozen or so days of struggling in the vicinity of the $59 handle. Solid API and DOE readings could support price and allow it to test $64 handle in the nearby future. Source: xStation5

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