FX News Today
FX Update: The Dollar has lifted after five straight down sessions. The USD index (DXY) is showing a 0.3% gain heading into the London open, at 95.41, rising above yesterday’s high but remaining well below the 14-month high seen last week at 96.98. EURUSD has concurrently sunk to a two-day low of 1.1542, putting in some distance from yesterday’s two-week peak at 1.1623. USDJPY has also been on the up, printing an eight-day high of 110.93, and extending the rebound from Monday’s eight-week low at 109.77. Wall Street finished moderately yesterday, and US500 futures are presently flat, while US Treasury yields are lower. Fed funds futures are showing 50-50 odds for a 25 bp hike in December. There is conjecture among Fed watchers that Chairman Powell will retain a hawkish tone in his keynote speech on Friday, despite President Trump’s calls for looser policy. Elsewhere, the Australian Dollar has taken a tumble amid political turmoil regarding leadership challenges faced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. AUDUSD has lost over 0.7% in falling to six-day lows under 0.7300.
FOMC minutes: The most important point in the minutes was that “many participants” believed another hike would be appropriate “soon”, which could be interpreted as an indication for a September tightening. Participants noted that the funds rate was moving closer to the range of estimate of a neutral level, with a number of participants emphasizing uncertainty in estimates of that level, and agreeing that “accommodative” language may no longer be appropriate fairly soon. Participants generally noted the strength of the economy in Q2, as well as favorable factors that were supporting above trend growth, including financial conditions. But “several” stressed that transitory factors may have played a role, including an outsized increase in exports. All officials viewed trade as an “important source of uncertainty.” There was some discussion regarding firms having greater scope to increase prices due to strong demand or rising input costs. There was also talk over the implications of the flattening yield curve. The minutes indicated that balance sheet discussions would continue in the fall.
Asian Market Wrap: 10-year Treasury yields are down -0.5 bp at 2.813% and 10-year JGBs fell back -0.2 bp to 0.083% amid a wider decline in Asian rates. Australian bonds outperformed as the ASX declined and AUD weakened as Prime Minister Turnbill faces leadership challenges. Elsewhere, stock markets traded mostly mixed, with mainland China and Hang Seng underperforming. Topix and Nikkei posted marginal gains of 0.02% and 0.18%, while Hang Seng and CSI were down -0.83% and -0.59% respectively as of 05:18GMT. The additional US and China tariffs come into effect in the middle of ongoing trade talks and China said it will lodge a complaint with the WTO. US stock futures are heading south after a mixed close yesterday and with the Fed minutes confirming that further rate hikes remain on the cards, but also showing some concern about the impact of possible prolonged trade battles. Markets are also looking ahead to the Jackson Hole meeting amid political risks for Trump from the legal battles of his former advisors.
Charts of the Day
Main Macro Events Today
- Jackson Hole Symposium – The annual Jackson Hole Symposium is hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and is a forum for the top central bankers, policy experts and academics of the world who come together to discuss policy issues. Comments and speeches from central bankers and other influential officials can create significant market volatility. This year’s topic relates to changing market structure and implications for monetary policy. Most awaited speech is by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
- ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts – The accounts, similar to the FOMC minutes, aim to provide an overview of financial, economic and monetary developments aimed to provide the rationale behind policy decisions. Currency response depends on the accounts’ content.
- US Jobless Claims – Consensus forecasts expect that claims will increase slightly compared to last week.
- New Zealand Trade Balance – Trade balance expected to deteriorate in July, registering a $0.5bln decline.
- Japan Consumer Price Index – CPI expected to decline and stand at about 0.4% YoY, compared to 0.7% last month.
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