Forex News

Apr. 18, 2017 (Tempus Inc.) – The U.S. dollar found some strength early in the evening but reversed those gains following breaking news abroad. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the greenback’s strength was a “good thing” in the longer term, walking back some of President Trump’s verbal intervention from last week. Nevertheless, the greenback is weaker against the majority of its rivals, except a few commodity-based currencies.

The dollar has extended its losses in early trading after data showed some speed bumps for the housing market. Housing starts fell 6.8% on a month of month basis in March, failing to meet dismal expectations of a 3.0% decline. Building permits did surprise to the upside, but not enough to stop the dollar’s decline.

Later this morning, industrial production is expected to expand 0.5% in March, up from a flat reading in February.

 

AUD

The Australian dollar and other commodity-backed currencies are lower this morning as the price of iron ore collapses. Iron Ore, a major export of Australia, is down 7.0% over the last two days, despite strong growth data released in China.

The Aussie is also under pressure after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s minutes showed policy makers believe underemployment “remained high.” The minutes also showed concern for the country’s housing market.

 

GBP

The British pound experienced wild fluctuations last night and is now currently nearly 1.0% stronger against the U.S. dollar than last night’s close. In a surprise announcement, British Prime Minster Theresa May called for an early general election for June 8th. May is seeking to consolidate power in Parliament in an attempt to strengthen her hand for Brexit negotiations. An opinion poll released yesterday shows her Conservative party with a 21 point lead over Labour, meaning she is likely to add to her parliamentary majority. As a result, the sterling has benefited and reached its strongest level since February.


USA 

Apr. 14, 2017 (Tempus Inc.) – The U.S. dollar is still reeling after a sharp sell-off yesterday afternoon. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped below its 200 day moving average after President Donald Trump said the dollar is “getting too strong.” Many analysts have labeled the comments as “verbal intervention” to weaken the greenback. In the same interview he reversed previous promises that he would label China a currency manipulator and that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is “not toast” when her term expires next year. With no other risk events on yesterday’s docket, traders were forced to react to the President’s comments.

We will also continue to keep an eye on geopolitical risks in Syria and Korea.

Today’s data releases are unlikely to help the greenback. Wholesale prices in the U.S. declined in March for the first time since August of 2016. The print shows a lack of inflation pressures and will keep pressure off of the Federal Reserve to raise rates at their next meeting in May. Headline PPI decreased 0.1% following a 0.3% advance in the prior month. Later, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment print is expected to show a slight dip in April to 96.5 from 96.9 in the month prior.

AUD

The Australian dollar was the big winner overnight, gaining almost a full percent against the U.S. dollar. The Aussie was buoyed after data showed full-time jobs climbed the most in almost 30 years last month. Overall, employment rose 60,900 in March, beating forecasts of a 20K increase. The Aussie found added support on strong Chinese trade data. Chinese imports increased 26.3% year over year which is good news for Australia as nation relies heavily dependent on exports to China.

EUR

The Euro shot higher yesterday afternoon, benefiting from President Trump’s verbal intervention. The common currency has since given back most of its gains as political uncertainty in France looms over the currency. Inflation prints in France and Germany came in as expected. Inflation across the Eurozone has spiked higher over recent months, but we believe they have reached a peak. We do not expect the European Central Bank to change policy this year.

March 31, 2017 (Tempus, Inc.) – The U.S. Dollar sustained most of its gains overnight and is looking to perhaps improve this morning based on solid economic data that once more signals inflation growing and consumption being steady. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index grew by 1.0% thus far this week, but the “buck” may be under pressure. Investigations over Russian ties to President Trump have taken a turn since last night when former U.S. National Security Adviser Mike Flynn said that he’d be willing to speak to interested authorities if promised immunity in the case. Political meddling between nations is a serious matter and that may keep the U.S. Dollar subdued.

Personal Income and Spending data this morning showed consistency as expected. Inflationary growth continues to rise as Personal Economic Expenditures grew 1.8% over the expected 1.7% estimate while also being revised upward from the prior month. Other Fed members will speak today, but we’ll keep close eyes mostly on headlines over Brexit negotiations, which might get ugly quick and the potential for scandal in the world’s highest office.

EUR

The Euro fell 1.8% this week, based on European Central Bank dovish commentary and now deflationary pressures. The Euro-zone’s inflation slowed to 1.5% last month, way below expectations of 1.8%, a figure closer to the desired 2.0% target set by the ECB. Although the political risk of France going rightist is fading according to polls that show Emmanuel Macron, the pro-further-globalization candidate, could win with a comfortable margin, there are growing doubts over Brexit talks and the future of the EU.

The Portuguese government is saying that Brexit shows the EU needs to be reformed, echoing the sentiment of other troubled nations that feel squeezed by austerity measures placed on them to prevent defaulting on debt. The struggles are very real with an economic recovery that may need further help from the ECB next year and political uncertainty across the continent. EUR could have room for losses in the next week, maybe beyond.

GBP

The Pound fell this morning based on underwhelming data revealing that fourth quarter GDP in 2016 negatively affected consumer spending as inflation rose quickly. Trade as a result of a weakened Pound benefited, but this means only the bigger players in the economy saw growth. Although prices may be on the rise for some products, they are falling where it matters most.

Housing prices in the UK fell for the first time in two years, a worrisome figure considering that the housing and property industry suffered the most after the Brexit referendum. In terms of Brexit talks, the European Union now looks committed to holding a united front against any UK perks, saying that Britain will not decide its fate when it comes to how the full separation will take place. Friction is in the air, certainly not love.

Mar. 15, 2017 (Tempus, Inc.) – As anticipated, the Federal Open Markets Committee raised rates by 25bps today, but the USD came under pressure due to the lack of clear guidance by the U.S. central bank on the amount of future rates hikes for the rest of the year.

Today’s economic data met expectations as Consumer Price Index and Retail Sales expanded by 0.1% each.

Markets rose overnight, helping some resource-based currencies that had been sliding for days. Oil prices declining hurt the commercial value of other commodities, but a report of lower than estimated inventories of shale oil in the U.S. put a stop to the bleeding. The neighboring CAD and MXN are improving as well as the oceanic NZD and AUD.

 

EUR

Despite of today’s post-Fed announcement rally, the EUR, a currency chained by the shackles of political uncertainty, will likely trade around current ranges until we get a clearer picture of results in the Netherlands and in France. Twenty eight parties are on the race for power so a coalition is expected to form in order to have a government.

Geert Welders, the rightist politician who could shake things up in regards to trade and immigration, has lost some steam recently and his Freedom Party members may not be able to gain much support from other parties unless their numbers are impressive. A lot is up in the air, but all we can do now is to wait for the chips to fall.

 

GBP

The Pound erased some of its early week losses because it seems not a majority of Scots are feeling the whole separation from the UK as much as their fearless leader. Although Nicola Sturgeon diligently started the legal process to establish a referendum asking Scotland if it wants to be independent, a few polls showed that 57.0% of those surveyed would like to stay British.

It seems like Euro-skepticism is not just a far-right phenomenon, but a growing sentiment amongst many across the continent that the Union may no longer be the best system for economic or social cooperation between nations. GBP is still on an almost 4.0% slide since the start of February. The instability will keep downward pressure on the “quid.”

 

March 10, 2017 (Tempus Inc.) – This morning’s Employment Situation figures validate the labor sector’s consistent good run, but the U.S. Dollar is not reaping any benefits. Thus far, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, and the Nordic currencies are up against the “buck” by half a percent since the release. The data also revealed that Avg. Hourly Earnings grew at a 0.2% pace, less than the expected 0.3%, but January’s numbers were revised upward. It’s likely that market reaction thus far reflects a sentiment of certainty over a March hike, but that the indicators are not solid enough to price in three hikes for the year.

Optimism elsewhere is also pushing the greenback lower. Canadian unemployment fell to 6.6% and 15K jobs were added. It was estimated that there would actually be a contraction of about 5K jobs so this helps the “loonie” mitigate losses from oil prices sliding. The hawkish tone of the European Central Bank can also be interpreted as a sign of waning policy divergence between the two regions as the central bank prepares to get step away from intervening and using economic crisis rescue measures. BDXY, Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is down almost half a percent.

 

EUR

The Euro is at its highest level since February 16th, rising on the basis of a much better outlook from the ECB. Officially, the next nine months will have less sovereign bond purchases and ECB President Mario Draghi explained that there was reason to upgrade inflationary targets for 2017 and 2018. The risks to growth have also diminished, which has Euro bulls raving.

Although we still believe the mounting political problems in Europe will keep gains subdued, the ECB’s ability to slowly start to retreat from injecting any help into the economy of the Euro-bloc is an appreciating element for the shared currency. Any major changes to the fluctuation will not be a surprise as the EUR/USD pair has been wild since last year’s election.

GBP

Pound Sterling was under pressure until the U.S. NFPs came out, primarily losing ground on the basis of underwhelming data on their side of the Atlantic. Britain seems to be in trouble. Industrial Production contracted almost as much as expected by 0.4% last month. More worrisome, Manufacturing contracted by 0.9%, worse than the foreseen (-0.7%).

Along with trouble in both sectors, the trade deficit was higher than expected while also revised higher for January. Coming up with a Brexit deal that shall be presented once Article 50 is invoked has kept Pound on a depreciating trend, but now that fundamentals seem under threat, we believe GBP is still in search of a bottom. The “quid” is 3.9% weaker than its 2017 high reached on February 1st.

Feb. 23, 2017 (Tempus Inc.) – The U.S. dollar is fluctuating in a downward trend against most counterparts following the dovish reading of the Fed Minutes yesterday, in which the central bank seemed cautious about raising interest rates. The odds of a hike coming at the March 15th Fed meeting fell to 34.0% after trending in the 40.0%+ range.

Market watchers interpreted the Minutes as a sign of hesitation from Fed officials who appeared less concerned about inflationary growth exceeding their desired 2.0% annual target and want to see further consistency in economic growth. The outlook for the economy is a positive one, but that’s taking under consideration that the Fed is awaiting plans for major fiscal spending from the Trump regime.

We believe current ranges are bound to change next week as we enter March with a slew of data to digest. While the Fed’s policy may be on focus at the moment, the spotlight will turn to Europe and other developments abroad, which because of their negative nature, could hold the dollar afloat. Home Sales figures and consumer Sentiment from the Wolverines (Univ. of Michigan) will close out the week.

JPY

The Japanese Yen advanced overnight based on the pessimism behind the Fed rate outlook and downward stock markets across the Asian session. Once again the Yen is improving on being a safe-haven asset and the fact that policy divergence may not be a drag on the Yen in the short-term.

Also, day-trading of USD/JPY pair has increased in Japan where investors are jumping on the wild swings that occur from statements and uncertainty in the U.S. The currency couple that looked so boring just a few years back is the most exciting investment in a time of high volatility. JPY is up 1.8% since February 15th.

EUR

The Euro strengthened by over half a percent since noon yesterday as a result of major changes to the upcoming presidential election in France. Candidate Francois Bayrou announced that he would no longer seek to be head of state in order to support candidate Emmanuel Macron and significantly improve his chances of preventing a Marine Le Pen presidency. Ms. Le Pen has promised to do all she can to isolate France if elected by pushing for abandonment of the Euro and the European Union as well. Markets welcomed the news of the alliance.

We expect the euro to continue trading in positive ranges since it recovered from falling to its weakest level since January from political developments, but also because German and French data met expectations. Gross domestic Product in Germany and Business Confidence in France boosted the shared currency, but the effect may have been subdued by Italian Retail Sales that revealed a contraction instead of an expected expansion.

Feb. 10, 2017 (Tempus, Inc.) – The U.S. Dollar is trading in mixed direction as it has throughout the week with statements and political developments driving fluctuation in the absence of major data. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index shows a relatively flat USD since the start of February, a quiet time as foreseen in our monthly outlook.

President Trump is trying to improve his diplomatic approach by writing a letter to China and will meet with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tomorrow to discuss trade as well as military capabilities. His administration also seems more focused on domestic policy and continues to deal with the legal havoc of the travel ban, an item on the agenda that many global leaders have criticized.

Equity markets and commodities are on the rise, boosting CAD and “Aussie” slightly. In terms of Jobless Claims in the U.S., they continue to be around the lowest levels in four decades with this week’s reading 12,000 points lower. We expect the greenback to stay in familiar ranges as we close the week with Consumer Sentiment and Trade figures.

 

JPY

The Japanese Yen fell overnight along with its domestic stock index, the NIKKEI, while other global exchanges improved by 0.5% on average. The Yen hit the brakes, but it’s up by 1.25% thus far in February, primarily improving on uncertainty regarding Europe’s potential for further division. Tomorrow will mark a very important meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump in which trade and exchange rates will be discussed.

Since his inauguration, Trump has freely accused many countries, including Japan, of devaluing their currency for benefits to their exporters. On the other hand, Japanese officials have reiterated commitment to manufacture Japanese-brand vehicles in the U.S. and explained that they never deliberately intervened in the FX market, but rather focused on creating price stability. We’ll see if their commentary moves markets right away, but it will definitely have an impact moving forward.

 

GBP

The Pound appreciated after the lower House of Commons approved Prime Minister Theresa May’s ability to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty that officially starts separation from the UK. The thumbs up on the Brexit process will now fall in the hands of the unelected House of Lords. The political drama may not necessarily be over as the Prime Minister faces pressure from her Conservative party members to have an early vote on the final agreement and some in the opposition who would like to reject it.

This is all unchartered territory, but it seems the government is determined to have a deal that parliament will finally approve. There are still many doubts on how to work on tariffs and other trade issues between the EU and the UK once the divorce is official. With fundamentals still consistent, GBP may stay in current ranges, but any delay to Brexit or companies fleeing could bring it down swiftly. Pound is up by 3.3% thus far in 2017.

Feb. 4, 2017 (Tempus Inc.) – The U.S. Dollar is trending in a negative direction following the U.S. Non-farm Payrolls report and stellar data out of the Euro-zone and growing concerns over the unpredictability of President Trump’s administration. The U.S. economy added 227k jobs in January, up from 156k in December, but the drop in wage growth means less inflation and reduced odds of more aggressive rate hikes by the Fed.

Markets are also worried that President Trump’s tough and confusing stances on immigration as well as travel could negatively impact business activity across the globe. More concerning was yesterday’s firing of Sally Yates who as Attorney General stood against the controversial measures which deemed her as too soft on immigration. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is down by 1.9% since January 20th.

The Dow Jones, S&P, and NASDAQ indexes have tumbled after reaching record highs. With trade agreements also on the chopping block, there is little in terms of stability at the moment.

 

JPY

The Japanese Yen is up this morning after the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting in which the outlook for economic growth was upgraded. No changes were made, but the tone was positive and the commitment to quantitative easing will be there to keep credit flowing.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda did not criticize Trump’s statements regarding the perceived unfairness of trade agreements with Japan and others, but did point out that protectionism only serves as an obstacle to progress in an already globalized world.

Kuroda also explained that the BOJ does not have an exchange-rate target in mind and, once again, BOJ meetings are leading to Yen appreciation. The currency of the rising sun is up 4.0% since its weakest level of the year reached during the first week of January.

 

EUR

The Euro is up as a result of better-than-expected inflation data and likelihood of reassessment of loose monetary policy by the European Central Bank. Inflation for the Euro-zone revealed a 1.8% annual increment for the first month of the year, the best pace of growth in four years. A lot of it is owed to higher costs of energy, but puts the level near the ECB’s 2.0% target for price-growth.

Additionally, a trade advisor for the White House described the Euro as “grossly weak,” which in turn has benefitted Germany greatly, he said. These types of statements not only move markets, but are preambles to more incendiary statements that could signal a trade/currency war, which no one would want to be involved in. Euro is up 3.3% thus far in 2017.

Jan. 14, 2016 (Tempus, Inc.) – The U.S. Dollar is trading in familiar ranges after losing ground throughout yesterday and overnight sessions. Stock indexes fell flat as traders start weighing divergent outlooks and political downside, as well as upside, risks. Investors are not as prone to take risks at the moment, but the Dow Jones is close to hitting 20,000 points while the greenback continues to swim around multi-year highs against most peers.

There is no major data to push further momentum, but in today’s markets anything is possible. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be speaking at a few engagements in the coming weeks prior to the January 19th meeting. We will monitor her influence, particularly at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Wednesday January 18th.

JPY

The Yen has been on a tear, rising by 1.5% in the last two days. Markets starting to dwindle after being on a hot streak are starting to benefit the safe-haven asset. The Bank of Japan is slated to meet on January 19th where the bank could potentially add to their stimulus. More importantly, we want to find out if there is talk about coupling with fiscal policy as Shinzo Abe’s government rolls up its sleeves to boost growth in a much deflated country.

Also, will the Yen follow the 2016 trend of JPY appreciation after every meeting regardless of the decision? We shall see. In December, the trend switched, but the currency has stayed resilient unlike others.

GBP

Pound Sterling stopped falling, especially after Retail Sales for December revealed better-than-expected numbers. The “Hard Brexit” possibility is very real since UK lawmakers are starting to blatantly disregard any effects that leaving the European single market may bring.

Indeed, the Brits seem excited about the possibilities of working their own agreements, but ignore the potential everlasting damage of separating financial and business ties abruptly. Article 50 will likely be invoked by end of the first quarter, but now friction between the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party, and the Supreme Court will likely lead headlines in regards to the official Brexit process.

Dec. 16, 2016 (Tempus, Inc.) – After an historic rally over the past day and a half, the U.S. dollar opened this morning slightly weaker against its European counterparts. Nevertheless, the greenback remains at historically strong levels. The rally begun late Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s “dot plot” showed the central bank was slightly more dovish than earlier in the year. The rally continued yesterday and saw the Dollar Index (DYY) reach its highest level since 2002. The dollar touched its strongest level versus the safe-haven yen since February.

The fundamental data also help reinforce the “buck” as consumer inflation continues to build and give the Fed reason for additional rate hikes. This morning’s data disappointed but is unlikely to seriously dent the dollar’s bullish run. Housing starts fell by 18.7% in November, missing an already bearish expectation of a 7.0% contraction. Expect the focus to continue to remain on the Federal Reserve and policy divergence. While the dollar may still have room to improve, it would be prudent to watch for a forceful reversal if U.S. data begins to slip.

EUR

The Euro managed to stop the bleeding against the U.S. dollar overnight but remains near historically weak levels against its American counterpart. The common currency broke fresh 13-year lows during yesterday’s session on broad dollar strength and diverging monetary policy.

The European Central Bank extended its quantitative easing program last week as the Fed tightened policy for the first time this year on Wednesday. The Euro may have found minimal support after a report showed service and manufacturing expanded last month.

GBP

The British pound was also able to recoup some losses against the U.S. dollar but remains lower than earlier this month. The Bank of England kept rates unchanged yesterday; a day after the U.S. raised interest rates. While the Bank of England said that the Brexit vote had a limited initial effect on consumers, we may soon see proof to the contrary as U.K. companies look to hike prices.

Indeed, the Confederation of British Industry’s December survey shows that manufacturers expect to lift prices by the most in more than five years over the next six months as the pound’s plunge is boosting companies’ costs and forcing them to respond. The CBI said the sterling’s 17% depreciation “continues to ramp up pressure on prices.”