Forex News

Nov. 12, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions)  – The US Dollar continues to gain strength against its major currency rivals after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) reaffirmed the need to raise interest rates at a gradual pace last week. The expectations of a rate hike in December lifted and the monetary policy divergence between Europe and America widened, allowing the dollar to appreciate. Demand for the dollar continues to swell as the US Dollar index, which tracks the value of the dollar against a basket of currencies, climbs to new 16-month highs around 97.50 this morning.  Data from America this week includes inflation data on Wednesday, retail sales on Thursday and industrial production on Friday.

 

EUR

 

The Euro has fallen to a fresh 16-month low against the US Dollar this morning, tumbling as investors increase demand for dollars in the current uncertain climate in Europe. As well as sterling, the euro is also suffering amid the rising risks of a no-deal Brexit. The standoff between Rome and Brussels over Italy’s controversial new budget plan is also weighing on the common currency. Tensions and risks are rising as the European Union gave Italy until Tuesday to present a revised version of the budget.  The data docket is quiet across the board today, but tomorrow’s German inflation figures and ZEW survey will kick start another busy data week from Europe. On Wednesday, flash German GDP data will be revealed alongside the Eurozone’s industrial production figures and the blocs overall GDP number. The week will wrap up with a raft of inflation data, but most notably the overall Eurozone core inflation number is forecast to remain well below the European Central Bank’s target of near 2%, which could add to the Euro’s woes.

 

GBP

 

Renewed Brexit uncertainties continue to plague the British Pound this morning. A Reuters report over the weekend revealed that Moody’s rating agency has warned that the risk of a no-deal Brexit has risen sharply. It appears that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been forced to abandon plans for a special cabinet meeting to approve a Brexit deal this week and a number of British ministers are threatening to quit again, ramping up the pressure on Ms May and weakening sterling as a result.  This week, investors will also be eying the important UK economic data released from Tuesday onwards. Tomorrow, UK average earnings and unemployment data could give the pound some support as wage growth is forecast to remain above 3%. UK inflation data will be released on Wednesday with a small uptick expected, which could offer sterling additional support. Retail sales data will be revealed on Thursday.


USA 

Nov. 8, 2018 (Allthingsforex.com) – The USD extended its gains, pushing the EUR back under 1.14, following Fed’s decision to maintain the benchmark interest rate in its current range between 2% and 2.25%, but keeping the door open to a rate hike at its next meeting on December 18.

Below is the official FOMC Statement released by the central bank earlier today:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles.”

 

Nov. 7, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions)  – The U.S. dollar slumped to multi-week lows after America’s midterm vote yielded a split Congress. The dollar slid broadly, hitting two- and three-week lows against the euro and sterling and its weakest in three months versus the Aussie and kiwi dollars. Canada’s dollar appreciated while emerging markets also outperformed the greenback. America has spoken and awarded the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Republicans maintained control of the Senate. The mixed result suggests an uphill battle for President Trump to deliver more economy-boosting stimulus, a scenario that could mean less economic horsepower and less leeway for the Federal Reserve to raise borrowing rates. The mixed vote also points to a period of dollar-negative political uncertainty if Democrats use their clout to investigate the president. Downside for the greenback could prove somewhat limited ahead of the Fed which begins a two-day meeting today that will conclude Thursday with a decision on interest rates.

 

USD

 

The strong dollar suffered a setback after America’s midterm election yielded a divided government that pointed to political gridlock ahead. With Democrats regaining control of the House from Republicans it could make it harder on the president to advance his growth-positive agenda. The specter of less horsepower for the world’s biggest economy could potentially hasten the end of the Fed’s rate hiking era. For now, though, the U.S. economy remains in a high gear, something that could lead the Fed this week to reiterate an optimistic outlook and stay on course for a December rate hike.

 

CAD

 

Canada’s dollar turned higher against its political-injured U.S. counterpart. Broad-based greenback weakness helped to push oil markets higher, giving the loonie an added boost. Canada’s economy will be in focus today with a gauge of business sentiment due at 10 a.m. ET. The Ivey PMI barely grew last time, with a reading of 50.4 in September, holding just the 50 level that separates boom from bust. The index could be primed for a bounce back in October after the U.S. and Canada forged a new trade agreement.

 

NZD

 

The kiwi dollar soared to three-month highs and led gains against the U.S. currency. The kiwi received a data-inspired jolt after New Zealand reported a 3.9% jobless rate during the third quarter, the lowest in a decade, a stronger than expected showing that all but shut the door to a local rate cut from 1.75%. While New Zealand’s central bank mulls a policy decision Thursday, it’s not expected to alter borrowing rates but officials could sound more confident in the wake of the stellar jobs news.

 

YEN

 

The yen steadied above one-month lows hit overnight as the dollar emerged broadly weaker after America’s midterm vote yielded a divided government. Dollar losses were modest and kept the U.S. currency above key levels against the yen. Gains could be tough to sustain for the yen with the Fed now in focus. America’s central bank embarks on a two-day meeting today that will conclude Thursday with an afternoon decision on interest rates. The Fed is not expected to increase rates just yet but an upbeat message would open the door wider to a rate hike in December, a narrative that’s long proven dollar-positive.

 

EUR

 

The euro rolled to two-week peaks after the dollar succumbed to political risk in the wake of America’s mixed election outcome. Meanwhile, the single currency enjoyed a data lift with German industrial output topping forecasts. America’s midterm vote merely dimmed the political spotlight on Italy, a debt-choked nation that’s in a battle with Brussels over its spending plans, a factor that could keep a relatively low ceiling above the single currency.

 

GBP

 

Sterling rallied to three-week highs against its U.S. rival as political uncertainty increased on the left side of the pond. Sterling sentiment has brightened at the margin as markets see potential scope for a Brexit deal in the weeks ahead, a treaty that would go some way in allaying pound-negative political risk. Still, the risk is still alive of a no deal outcome, a scenario that would pose a potentially significant downside threat to the U.K. economy. And even if a Brexit treaty is reached, it would still need to be ratified by area parliaments which could prove a daunting task.

 

Oct. 29, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions)  – The U.S. dollar was camped near multi-month highs after U.S. data printed close to forecast. Consumer income and spending both rose in September while underlying inflation held at the Fed’s 2% sweet spot. Key for the buck this week will be Friday’s October employment report. America’s economy likely added 190,000 jobs in October after it netted 134,000 in September, the fewest in a year. Unemployment is expected to remain at 3.7%, the lowest in nearly 50 years. Wages are forecast to rise at an annual rate of 3.1% from 2.8%. Wage growth above 3% could provide a recipe for dollar strength as it would hint at rising inflation and keep the bar low for the Fed to deliver a fourth interest rate hike of the year in December.

 

CAD

 

Canada’s dollar steadied above six-week lows, but sentiment remained fragile with oil struggling to sustain gains. Oil around $67.50 swung between modest gains and losses. The loonie will look to Canadian growth for August, due Wednesday with forecasts pointing to a 0.0% reading after a 0.2% increase in July. An underwhelming outcome would raise the bar for the Bank of Canada to raise rates after its increase last week to 1.75%.

 

EUR

 

The euro stuck near two-month lows as uncertainty over the head of Germany’s conservative party increased political uncertainty across the continent. Reports today indicated that Angela Merkel may not seek re-election as chair of the Christian Democratic Union. Uncertainty over the outlook for German leadership added to persistent concerns about Brexit and Italy’s budget battle with the EU. European fundamentals, whose tepid shape has pressured the euro, will be in focus this week with midweek data on euro zone inflation and unemployment.

 

GBP

 

Sterling was camped near two-month lows against the strong U.S. dollar. The pound has been in a downtrend since mid-October as a lack of progress with respect to Brexit negotiations has kept uncertainty at an elevated level. The longer it takes for London and Brussels to clinch a Brexit treaty, the greater the risk of no deal, a scenario that could hasten a disorderly exit from the bloc come March. The Brexit fog over Britain points to the Bank of England leaving its main interest rate unchanged at 0.75% on Thursday.

 

Oct. 24, 2018 (Allthingsforex.com) – The Italian budget woes and a disappointing drop in the Eurozone PMI served as catalysts for the EUR to break below support, sending the single currency under 1.14 in today’s trading session.

The CAD rallied following the Bank of Canada’s decision to raise its benchmark rate to 1.75% from 1.5% and signalling that more rate hikes may come in the future. Canada’s loonie ended its recent losing streak and managed to push the USD sub- 1.30.

Below is the official monetary policy statement as published by the Bank of Canada earlier this morning:

“The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 ¾ per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 ½ per cent.

The global economic outlook remains solid. The US economy is especially robust and is expected to moderate over the projection horizon, as forecast in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will reduce trade policy uncertainty in North America, which has been an important curb on business confidence and investment. However, trade conflict, particularly between the United States and China, is weighing on global growth and commodity prices. Financial market volatility has resurfaced and some emerging markets are under stress but, overall, global financial conditions remain accommodative.

The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced. Despite some quarterly fluctuations, growth is expected to average about 2 per cent over the second half of 2018. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year and next before slowing to 1.9 per cent in 2020.

The projections for business investment and exports have been revised up, reflecting the USMCA and the recently-approved liquid natural gas project in British Columbia. Still, investment and exports will be dampened by the recent decline in commodity prices, as well as ongoing competitiveness challenges and limited transportation capacity. The Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the USMCA leads to more confidence and business investment in Canada.

Household spending is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace, underpinned by solid employment income growth. Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies. In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated.

CPI inflation dropped to 2.2 per cent in September, in large part because the summer spike in airfares was reversed. Other temporary factors pushing up inflation, such as past increases in gasoline prices and minimum wages, should fade in early 2019. Inflation is then expected to remain close to the 2 per cent target through the end of 2020. The Bank’s core measures of inflation all remain around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that is operating at capacity. Wage growth remains moderate, although it is projected to pick up in the coming quarters, consistent with the Bank’s latest Business Outlook Survey.

Given all of these factors, Governing Council agrees that the policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target. In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt. In addition, we will pay close attention to global trade policy developments and their implications for the inflation outlook. ”

 

Oct. 19, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions) – The U.S. dollar’s latest rally petered out as it encountered technical resistance. The U.S. currency was flat to softer against the euro and sterling, firmer against the yen and weaker against Canada’s loonie. Emerging markets also strengthened against the greenback. The broadly weighted U.S. Dollar Index overnight nearly pushed to fresh October highs, a move that would have lifted it to two-month peaks. The dollar was still on track for a winning week thanks to Fed minutes that pointed to the central bank raising rates at a steady pace over the coming year. Dollar sentiment remains positive with the American unit also benefiting from political risk in Britain and Italy. The uncertain geopolitical situation between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia points to more market volatility over the coming days. North America today releases data on U.S. existing home sales and potentially rate hike clinching data from Canada on inflation and consumer spending.

 

EUR

 

The euro overnight nearly fell through a key technical floor which would’ve shoved the single currency to two-month lows. It could be a matter of time before the euro falls through the bottom of its range after the EU signaled a thumbs down to Rome’s budget for the coming year. So far, the single currency appears to be taking the budget crisis in stride. However, things could quickly get out of hand if the market loses confidence in Rome’s ability to get its fiscal house in order, a scenario that could lead to markedly higher government borrowing costs and potentially spread contagion risk to other fiscally fragile nations in the bloc.

 

GBP

 

Sterling found enough support to keep it above a key psychological floor against the greenback. Sterling is set for a losing week after Britain and the EU failed to reach a compromise separation agreement, keeping alive the risk of a disorderly breakup. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit proposals of sounding amenable to extending the 21-month transition period didn’t sit well with some members of her Conservative party, which added a layer of sterling-negative political uncertainty.

 

CAD

 

The loonie tumbled to fresh five-week lows after disappointing data suggested less scope for area central bankers to raises rates beyond an expected increase next week. Inflation hit the brakes by slowing to an annual rate of 2.2% in September from 2.8%. Meanwhile, lower inflation failed to inspire consumers as retail sales unexpected contracted by 0.1%. While the data is unlikely to stay the Bank of Canada’s hand on rates next week, it suggests less scope for policymakers to tighten policy in the months ahead.

Oct. 17, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions) – The U.S. dollar was the lead currency Wednesday with the stakes and tensions running high in Europe as another Brexit summit got underway. Nearly across the board gains buoyed the buck against the euro, sterling and Canadian dollar. The dollar also appreciated against the Aussie and kiwi dollars and emerging markets. However, U.S. stock futures pointing to a negative open after yesterday’s robust gains whet some appetite for the safer yen. While stronger, the dollar was confined to a horizontal range with its upside capped by mixed data. The buck’s fate today is seen hanging on the tone of the minutes from the last Fed meeting at which officials raised borrowing rates for the third time this year. Minutes suggesting solid conviction in the central bank pushing rates higher later this quarter and further over the coming year would tend to be dollar-positive.

 

EUR

 

The euro fell toward the bottom of a tight range as it largely shadowed sterling lower against the greenback. While the euro has shown a flare for acrobatics of late, having hit two-week highs this week, Italy’s precarious budget situation has fastened a lid on it. Euro zone inflation confirmed that prices grew by 2.1% annually in September but the more important core rate was a full percentage point lower at 1.1%, a decidedly benign level that keeps an ECB rate hike on a far, second half of 2019 horizon.

 

CAD

 

Canada’s dollar retreated from its highest in nearly two weeks as oil prices dipped, and the greenback enjoyed broad based gains. Market sentiment also turned cautious with Wall Street pointing to a negative open after yesterday’s massive gains. Oil prices were down nearly a percent to below $71.30. Downside for the loonie is likely to prove limited with the Bank of Canada expected to raise borrowing rates in a week.

 

GBP

 

Sterling wilted as another high stakes Brexit summit got underway between Britain and the EU. The Brexit parties remain at loggerheads over agreement on their divorce terms which is keeping alive the risk of a disorderly, no-deal outcome that is considered bearish for the pound. Sterling should serve as a barometer in today’s talks with declines signaling a greater risk of a messy outcome and a rise pointing to progress on a treaty. Sterling also suffered after U.K. inflation moderated more than expected to an annual rate of 2.4% in September, a marked slowdown from 2.7% in August. Core inflation slowed below the Bank of England’s 2% goal.

 

Oct. 11, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions) – A subdued U.S. dollar slipped to one-week lows against the euro and to its weakest in three against the yen and sterling. However, the big selloff on Wall Street this week amid concerns that a sharp spike in U.S. bond yields could harm the world economy boosted the buck against commodity peers from Canada and Australia. The loonie slumped to two-week lows while the Aussie dollar kept near a 2 ½ year trough. The dollar tends to fare its best when markets slide and investors duck for cover in safer bets. But the buck has largely sat out the latest market meltdown as it’s helped coax Treasury yields down from multiyear peaks while signs of diminishing political headwinds in Europe buoyed the euro and sterling. While a tentative calm returned Thursday with U.S. bond yields down and riskier emerging market currencies higher, caution is likely to persist, particularly ahead of news today on U.S. inflation.

 

USD

 

Softer than expected U.S. data pushed the dollar to session lows. The rattled stock market may take comfort from the latest U.S. inflation data as consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 2.3% in September, below the last reading of 2.7%, and under forecasts of 2.4%. Less volatile core consumer inflation steadied at 2.2%. Weekly jobless claims rose more than expected to a still low 214,000. While inflation remains relatively take, its at risk of climbing given low unemployment and the strong economy. Still, until meaningfully higher inflation materializes dollar gains could be tougher to sustain beyond the near-term as benign price growth can reduce pressure on the Fed to raise rates.

 

JPY

 

The yen was among the winners of the global stock meltdown that started on Wall Street. The yen shines its brightest when the global outlook dims as risk-skittish investors seek traditional safe harbors such as the Japanese currency. The stampede to safety momentarily knocked USDJPY below a key floor that had held since mid-September. The longer volatility sticks around, the better the yen should fare over the near term.

 

GBP

 

Sterling rallied to three-week highs on signs that Britain and the EU might be on the brink of clinching a Brexit treaty over coming days. The pound continues to move in fits and starts in response to Brexit headlines. A securing of a Brexit agreement would represent a big step forward in Britain’s bid to leave the 28-country EU in March 2019. A trade deal would also help to instill some semblance of certainty for U.K. businesses, potentially easing a major headwind on Britain’s economy.

 

EUR

 

The euro scored one-week highs against the greenback, boosted by a reduction in political uncertainty in Italy and Britain. The euro managed a technical victory after it closed above a key support which offered scope for stabilization for a currency that’s fallen to seven-week lows. The euro got a lift from Italy’s economy minister who intends to win back market confidence in its handling of its budget battle with the EU. Italy’s budget crisis remains fluid, suggesting the euro isn’t out of the woods. The euro also rode the U.K. pound’s coattails higher as expectations grow for Britain and the EU to agree on a Brexit treaty.

 

CAD

 

Canada’s dollar tumbled to two-week lows as global growth fears flared and oil prices moderated. The price of crude was a percent lower to below $73 Thursday which depressed the value of commodity-oriented assets. Concerns about skyrocketing bond yields and no end in sight for the U.S.-China trade war have overshadowed Canada’s sturdy economic fundamentals and expectations for the Bank of Canada to raise borrowing rates for a third time this year on Oct. 24. Still, Canada’s bright fundamentals could help slow the loonie’s pace of decline.

Oct. 8, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions) – The greenback extended a winning streak Monday in holiday-light trade while broader markets remained on a weaker footing. The euro and sterling slid 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively, with the former sinking below support to its lowest in seven weeks. The yen and other safe havens generally outperformed while the Canadian and Australian currencies lost ground. What’s been weighing on broader markets has been supporting the dollar: rising interest rates around the world for both fundamental and worrisome reasons. Italian borrowing rates have climbed, a sign of investor worry in the nation’s debt crisis. U.S. lending rates have risen but for fundamental reasons following bullish U.S. data. Numbers last week showed the lowest American unemployment (3.7%) in nearly 50 years. Moreover, global market weakness is spurring buying of the U.S. currency has a safe harbor. Focus of the week ahead will be U.S. consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, on Thursday.

 

EUR

 

More weakness drove the euro to seven-week lows against the greenback. Markets are growing increasingly concerned about the shaky state of Italian finances which has led to rising borrowing rates for Rome. Even Europe’s fundamental narrative has shown mounting signs of weakness as data today from top economy Germany disappointed. A gauge of German factory growth unexpectedly fell in August and for the third month running. The euro fell through a key floor against the dollar which potentially sets the stage for further weakness over the coming days.

 

CAD

 

Canada’s dollar dipped to late September lows as oil markets moderated from multiyear peaks and the greenback remained in vogue after a week of mostly bullish U.S. data. Canadian markets have Monday off to celebrate the nation’s Thanksgiving holiday, so price action could prove limited. The odds of Canada raising borrowing rates in a little over two weeks, on Oct. 24, increased after local data last week showed faster than expected hiring of more than 60,000 jobs in September which lowered unemployment to 5.9%, one of the lowest levels in decades.

 

USD

 

The U.S. dollar started the week with broad gains as bullish fundamentals and skittish global markets offered twin pillars of support. The dollar is on a two-week winning streak, helped in part by solid jobs data last week that reinforced expectations for the Fed to lift U.S. borrowing rates. While September hiring underwhelmed with a gain of 134,000, the two prior months were upgraded by a robust 87,000 jobs, and unemployment fell more than expected to 3.7%, the lowest since the late 1960s. And while the lid remains fastened on inflation, prices could be poised to rise given the ultra-low level of joblessness. That puts the focus on consumer prices Thursday. Core inflation is forecast to accelerate to a 2.3% annual rate for September from 2.2%.

 

JPY

 

The yen strengthened above late 2017 lows as global stocks slumped which buoyed demand for a broad range of safer bets like the Japanese currency. But rising U.S. interest rates bode negatively for the yen given how USDJPY is highly sensitive to yield differentials. The yield on America’s 10-year Treasury remained above 3.20%, the highest since May 2011. That compares to the yield on Japan’s 10-year government bond of less than 0.2%. The yen’s rise in the face of yield disparities underscores how markets are more concerned about safety, with many global stocks in the red.

 

GBP

 

Sterling lost ground as caution returned and the greenback remained on a multiweek winning streak. Sterling has recently outperformed thanks to upbeat remarks from EU leaders who have noted scope for a potential Brexit deal by November. Yet until an elusive deal is signed and delivered it will leave sterling vulnerable. Once Brexit and the EU hammer out a trade agreement it would still need to be approved by the U.K. Parliament which remains divided over the type of Brexit to pursue.

Oct. 1, 2018 (Western Union Business Solutions) – A dip in USDCAD to 4-month lows below 1.28 has moved the Value Indicator which in turn could do the same for those USD or CAD buyers that have been sitting on the fence.

The so-called Value Indicator – which is based on moving averages and offers a rough estimate of currency strength – is flashing undervalued after the big move lower in USDCAD. This is good news for USD buyers who are less than a month removed from the market being above 1.32. CAD buyers, on the other hand, continue to benefit from USDCAD having started 2018 below 1.26, amounting to a YTD gain of nearly 2%.

The tentative trade agreement reached between the U.S. and Canada has allowed a big cloud of uncertainty over the latter to dissipate. The trade deal, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, still needs to be ratified by lawmakers. The USMCA reduced trade uncertainty and put the focus on Canada’s sturdy economy and expectations for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates as soon as its next decision on Oct. 24.

USDCAD could see more volatility later this week when the U.S. and Canada release influential data Friday on jobs and trade, numbers that could also impact the interest rate outlook on both sides of the border.

If indeed USDCAD is undervalued, it could be evident in how it responds to the U.S. and Canadian labor market reports on Friday. Oct. 5, at 8:30 am, EST. The U.S. economy is forecast to add 180k new jobs in September from 201k in August, while the unemployment rate is expected to decline from 3.9% to 3.8%.