OANDA Market Beat Risk Aversion Boosts Dollar

OANDA Senior Market Analyst Alfonso Esparza reviews the major upcoming market news, macro analysis and economic indicator releases that will impact currencies, stocks other asset classes.

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The US dollar appreciated versus most major pairs on Friday. The Japanese yen outperformed the greenback as a safe haven, but all other major currencies suffered heavy losses during the week. Tense trade developments between China and the US and Friday’s drop in the Turkish lira dragged emerging and developed markets lower as US sanctions were doubled. Geopolitics drowned out most of the impact of economic releases with US inflation hitting a new high and Canadian part time jobs driving a drop in the unemployment rate.

– Turkish lira fell more than 20 percent in a week
– US retail sales to remain subdued
– UK retail sales to show more evidence of solid summer

Dollar Higher as Risk Appetite Vanishes

The US dollar appreciated versus most major pairs on Friday. The Japanese yen outperformed the greenback as a safe haven, but all other major currencies suffered heavy losses during the week. Tense trade developments between China and the US and Friday’s drop in the Turkish lira dragged emerging and developed markets lower as US sanctions were doubled. Geopolitics drowned out most of the impact of economic releases with US inflation hitting a new high and Canadian part time jobs driving a drop in the unemployment rate.

  • Turkish lira fell more than 20 percent in a week
  • US retail sales to remain subdued
  • UK retail sales to show more evidence of solid summer

European Bank Exposure to Turkey Hits EUR

The EUR/USD lost 1.2 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.1398, with the pair looking to fall further after breaking through the 1.14 barrier. The economic calendar does not feature major events in Europe and with current geopolitical tension the single currency remains vulnerable against the safe haven dollar.



US inflation is 2.94 percent, and with core inflation is back to 2008 levels at 2.4 percent the case for two more rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve this year remains strong. The monetary policy divergence between the European Central Bank (ECB) and the U.S. Federal Reserve has been a factor, but remains in the background as geopolitical forces have proven to have a bigger impact in 2018.

Italian, Spanish and French banks are reported to have loans worth $150 billion in Turkey. The falling Turkish lira will make those loans denominated in foreign currency harder to repay which is why the EUR has touched record lows on Friday. The European stock market has already witnessed a sell off of financial institutions.

Turkey President Erdogan was defiant and called for the population to defend the currency by selling their US dollars and gold holdings instead of trying to open a dialogue with the US regarding steel tariffs.

Loonie Grounded Despite Strong Jobs Report

The USD/CAD gained 0.77 percent during the week. The Canadian dollar is lower on Friday. The USD/CAD is trading at 1.3145. Statistics Canada released a stronger than expected employment report with a huge gain of 54,100 jobs driving the unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent in July. The loonie failed to gain momentum from that economic indicator release given the current geopolitical climate.


Canadian dollar weekly graph August 6, 2018

A flight to safety from investors has given a boost to traditional safe havens like the JPY, CHF, USD and gold. The Turkish lira has been in free fall and has triggered contagion fears as Spain, Italy and France have high exposures.

The strong jobs report adds to the probability the Bank of Canada (BoC) will hike the benchmark interest rate one more time in 2018. The BoC raised its overnight target rate to 1.50 percent on July 11 with the growth of the economy picking up for a follow up rate hike in October.

The Canadian currency was lifted by the solid jobs report, but not enough to send the loonie into the black on Friday. The indicator comes during a tense trading environment where risk appetite is subdued. 

Pound Lower on Brexit Despite Strong GDP Numbers

The GBP/USD lost 1.64 percent in the last five days. The currency pair is trading at 1.2755 near a one year low after no deal Brexit probabilities rose. The divorce negotiations between the UK and the EU have been short on positives with an 8 month period to sort out a lot of tough negotiations.



The market has priced in the scenario of the UK exiting the single market with no trade deal in place. The ball is back on the government of Theresa May to come up with a package that not only satisfies supporters at home, but more importantly is acceptable for the EU. So far that balancing act has not been achieved and has put the leadership of Theresa May into question with an almost imminent vote of confidence in the near term.

The decision of the Bank of England (BoE) to lift rates last week was unanimous, but it could end up being the only pro-active decision by the central bank in 2018 as it heads into reactive territory.

Yen Keeps Up With Dollar in Turbulent Times

The USD/JPY lost 0.51 percent during the last five trading sessions. The currency pair is trading at 110.59. The Japanese currency has appreciated but it has done so less than other times of uncertainty in the market. The use of economic sanctions by the Trump administration was a recurring theme this week causing high volatility in emerging markets.



The JPY continues to trade in a tight range despite the global uncertainty but the safe haven appeal of the currency has set it apart from other Asian currencies that have depreciated as trade war concerns rise.

Market events to watch this week:

Tuesday, August 14
4:30am GBP Average Earnings Index 3m/y
9:30pm AUD Wage Price Index q/q
Wednesday, August 15
4:30am GBP CPI y/y
8:30am USD Core Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Retail Sales m/m
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
9:30pm AUD Employment Change
Thursday, August 16
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Building Permits
7:30pm AUD RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
Friday, August 17
8:30am CAD CPI m/m

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

US Dollar Takes NFP Hit But Ends Up Higher on the Week

The US dollar fell on Friday after the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) came in below expectations with only a gain of 157,000 but otherwise the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent and wage growth remained unchanged at 0.3 percent. The greenback is still higher against most majors on a weekly basis. The past five trading days featured central banks and influential economic indicators, but the guiding factor remains the trade tensions between China and the United States. On Friday China announced its preparing new tariffs on $60 billion US goods as retaliation on the ongoing trade spat. The week that kicks off on August 6 will be more subdued from the economic calendar with the central banks of Australia and New Zealand publishing their officials rates. The UK’s gross domestic product, Canadian jobs data and US inflation will wrap up the week on Friday, August 10.

  • RBA and RBNZ expected to keep rates unchanged
  • UK quarterly GDP forecasted to gain 0.4 percent
  • US inflation advancing at 0.2 percent

Dollar Rises Guided by Geopolitics

The EUR/USD lost 0.61 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.1582 after the EUR rose 0.10 percent on Friday but is far from recouping the gains of the USD during the week. The euro rose on a tight rangebound session despite overcoming weak retail sales and was helped by the lower than expected jobs report. The currency pair was mostly guided by geopolitics and the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday. Trade tensions have escalated on the US-China front with the US central bank staying put on rates, but giving an optimistic view on the economy.



The US central bank is expected to continue with its plans to lift interest rates two more times in 2018. The jobs report brought less jobs than expected but still managed to add enough jobs to bring the unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent. There are concerns that the employment numbers will take a hit as trade war decisions trickle down but for now the outlook for American jobs is solid.

Inflation pressures remains low as despite a lower unemployment and high participation rate wages have not caught up to other costs. Labour shortages have not been widespread enough to trigger an above inflation rise in pay.

The positive employment data and the impressive growth of the economy in the second quarter validate the Fed’s decision to raise rates twice so far in 2018 and to continue on the path for two more rate hikes. The CME FedWatch tool shows a 93.6 percent of a chance of a hike in September 26.

The week of August 6 to August 10 will not bring the same economic calendar fireworks compared to the first week of the month. The highlights will be the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) with rate announcements that will likely end up with no change leaving investors to look for words from central bankers and monetary policy language for guidance.

The consumer price index on Friday will shed more light on inflation in America.

BoE Dovish Hike Sinks Pound

The GBP/USD fell 0.79 percent during the week. Cable is trading at 1.3004 wit the pound rising slightly on Friday. The Bank of England (BoE) hiked its benchmark rate on Super Thursday, but it was the cautionary words of BoE Governor Mark Carney that ultimately took the currency lower. The actions of the central bank were hawkish, by delivering the second rate hikes since the crisis, but Brexit looms over the monetary policy decision as hard Brexit scenarios have increased in probability.



The decision of the Bank of England (BoE) was unanimous, but given the fragile state of Prime Minister May’s leadership as she heads into the final 8 months of Brexit negotiations, it could end up being the only pro-active decision by the central bank in 2018 as it heads into reactive territory.

Loonie Higher on Strong Data and NAFTA Hope

The USD/CAD lost 0.58 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 1.2983 after strong Canadian trade data added more arguments for a Bank of Canada (BoC) rate hike. Canada’s deficit shrunk to $626 million in June. The monthly GDP numbers released on Tuesday by beating estimates with a 0.5 percent gain.


Canadian dollar weekly graph July 30, 2018

The Bank of Canada (BoC) lifted interest rates by 25 basis points on July 11 and a strong GDP report and a narrower trade deficit the probability of a follow up in 2018 has risen. Bank of Nova Scotia is forecasting 2 more rate hikes despite the uncertain outcome on NAFTA. The BoC will try to keep the gap between the Fed funds rate and the Canadian rate as much as the economy will allow. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hike in September and again in December to deliver the promised four interest rate hikes in their path to normalization.

Mexican Peso Rose as US Jobs Missed Expectations

The USD/MXN depreciated on a weekly basis and is trading at 18.5574 on Friday afternoon. The currency pair had a volatile week trading in a tight range. The highest point came as trade fears triggered a flight to safety in which investors bought dollars. The talks on Thursday and Friday between US and Mexican negotiators are keeping NAFTA hope alive and with he soft employment numbers in the US the MXN appreciated.



NAFTA negotiations have advanced in recent weeks as the newly elected Mexican president has been optimistic a quick deal can be reached. Mexican Trade teams are in Washington to talk with the US Trade representative, but the US did not extend an invitation to Canada to join the meetings.

The US team is sticking to the sunset cause and the auto content but there is more willingness to negotiate in bilateral terms, although Mexico has made it clear that it won’t negotiate without Canada being present.

Market events to watch this week:

Tuesday, August 7
12:30am AUD RBA Rate Statement
11:00pm NZD Inflation Expectations q/q
11:05pm AUD RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
Wednesday, August 8
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
5:00pm NZD Official Cash Rate
6:00pm NZD RBNZ Press Conference
Thursday, August 9
8:30am USD PPI m/m
9:30pm AUD RBA Monetary Policy Statement
Friday, August 10
4:30am GBP GDP m/m
4:30am GBP Manufacturing Production m/m
4:30am BP Prelim GDP q/q
8:30am CAD Employment Change
8:30am CAD Unemployment Rate
8:30am USD CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core CPI m/m

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

US Dollar Surges Amidst Volatility

BoE Signals Higher Interest Rates in the UK

The US dollar had its strongest week against major currency pairs in twelve months. Even as the United States is suffering a bout of political uncertainty the dollar became a safe haven as stocks and bonds saw massive moves this week. The signing of a federal budget by US President Donald Trump boosted the dollar ahead of the release of retail sales and inflation data next week. Central banks are moving away from record low interest rates around the globe.

  • UK inflation expected at 2.9 percent
  • US inflation potential rise has markets worried
  • EU Brexit negotiator warns UK about transition risks



The EUR/USD lost 1.77 percent in the last five trading days. The single currency is trading at 1.2235 after heavy losses were registered by European equities to follow in line with the drop in American markets. The rise in wages in the latest U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report triggered a surge of the US dollar as investors are buying the currency as higher rates are in the horizon. Higher inflation is expected and will be one of the economic indicators under review this week. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Tuesday, February 13 at 8:30 am EST. Core inflation is expected to have gained 0.2 percent in January with anything above could drive the US currency even higher.

European politics have reached some stability with the German coalition now in place but with the upcoming Italian elections in March the boat is sure to rock. Economic fundamentals have been strong in the eurozone with Germany leading the way as usual. The gap between the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) is closing with regarding monetary policy. The ECB is expected to end its QE program and could even lift interest rates later this year. The week will bring minor indicator releases in Europe with the German central bank chief Jens Weidmann speaking in Frankfurt on Wednesday, February 14 at 3:00 am EST. Earlier that day the GDP figures for Germany will be released with a 0.6 percent growth expected.

The market will be following US releases more closely after a strong week for the USD. Producer Price Index data will be released on February 15 at 8:30 am EST with a forecasted gain of 0.4 percent after the prices of goods fell last month.

Data released on Friday by the CFTC showed short positions of the US dollar shrank for the first time in six weeks signalling a change in investor sentiment towards the greenback.


Canadian dollar weekly graph February 5, 2018

The USD/CAD gained 1.52 percent in the last five days. The currency pair is trading at 1.2613 after the start of Monday trading at 1.2416. The stock market sell off has seen a growing appetite for US dollars as well as the end of some short USD positions. Canadian data was few and far between and it overall did not help the loonie. The Trade balance grew from 2.7 billion last month to 3.2 as imports grew by 1.5 percent in December, while export only did so by 0.6 percent. Canadian employment data was released on Friday and did not paint a pretty picture. Canada lost 88,000 positions well below expectations of a 10,000 gain in January. There was a slowdown anticipated after two back to back 70,000 plus gains, but the drop surprised even the more pessimistic analysts. The fact that most of the losses came in part time positions took some of the sting from the report and could be explained in part by the rise of minimum wages in Ontario.

Next week will be quiet in the Canadian economic calendar with the relatively new ADP non farm report due out on Thursday, February 15 at 8:30 am EST. and Foreign purchases of securities on Friday, February 16 at 8:30 am EST.



The GBP/USD lost 2.17 percent this week. The currency pair is trading at 1.3814 despite a hawkish Bank of England (BoE) singling a rate hike sooner rather than later. The biggest downwards pressure comes from comments by the EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Brussels as disagreements between the UK and the European Union remain. The words: “A transition is not a given”, was a shock after the Brexit divorce appeared to be headed to a more amicable end. The fragile situation of the conservative government after their narrow triumph in the snap elections they themselves triggered has left them in a position of weakness at this stage of the negotiation.

The Bank of England (BoE) hosted its first super Thursday of the year on February 8. The central bank was openly hawkish about inflation and its willingness to hike sooner than later. The BoE could move interact rates higher as soon as May. The release of the Consumer Price Index on Tuesday, February 13 at 4:30 am could validate the strong messaging from the BoE if inflation stay above the 2 percent target.

Market events to watch this week:

Tuesday, February 13
4:30am GBP CPI y/y
9:00pm NZD Inflation Expectations q/q
Wednesday, February 14
8:30am USD CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Retail Sales m/m
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
7:30pm AUD Employment Change
Thursday, February 15
8:30am USD PPI m/m
Friday, February 16
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Building Permits

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

Dollar Rebounds After Strong Jobs Report

US added 200,000 positions in January

The US dollar rose against major pairs on Friday. The release of the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) proved to be the much needed shot in the arm after the greenback was under pressure for most of 2018. The job gains were above expectations but more importantly the hourly wages came in higher, giving the Fed a potential green light to hike 3 or 4 times in 2018. The market is estimating a 77.5 percent probability of the first rate lift to come in March.

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will publish its rate statement on February 5
  • the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will follow on February 7
  • The Bank of England (BoE) will host a super Thursday on February 8

USD surged after wages rose more than expected



The EUR/USD gained 0.22 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.2424. The USD was having a week to forget but a jobs week is not done until the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report is released. The gain of 200,000 jobs in January was the boost the dollar needed after the Fed and the ADP did now sway the market. The USD reversed most of the losses of the week, gaining 0.43 percent against the EUR. The biggest boost came from the hourly wages growth at 0.3 percent for an annualized gain of 2.9 percent.

The disappointing December jobs report played a part as investors were estimating 180,000 positions and instead got pleasantly surprised by both strong gains and positive inflation signals. The move in the USD could be under threat next week as there are few economic released of note in the US and the political drama in Washington has not been beneficial to the greenback.

Fundamentals indicators and monetary policy has been supportive of the USD, but political uncertainty has hurt the dollar’s status as a reserve currency. The upgraded growth expectations around the world have also shrunk the gap between the US and the rest of the world.



The GBP/USD lost 0.31 percent during the trading week. The currency pair is trading at 1.4120 ahead of the Bank of England (BoE) monetary policy meeting on Thursday, February 8 at 7:00 am EST. The central bank is not expected to change its benchmark rate but it could signal a hike sooner rather than later specially as expectations of a softer Brexit and economic growth has been encouraging. The BoE made its first rate rise in a decade back in November. The data released on Super Thursday, so called because of the sheer number of announcements, will guide the market and shape the monetary policy expectations going further into 2018.


Canadian dollar weekly graph January 29, 2018

The USD/CAD gained o.86 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 1.2421. The USD appreciated against the loonie and put the Canadian currency at weekly lows. The greenback rose 1.22 versus the CAD on Friday after the release of the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP). The U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and positive employment numbers earlier in the week did little for the USD, but with the release of the biggest indicator it all turned.

The economic data releases form Canada will start with on Tuesday, February 6 at 8:30 EST with publication of the trade balance. Later that same day the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index will be posted at 10:00 am EST. Employment data will be the highlight of the week on Friday, February 9 at 8:30 am with a 2,000 job loss report expected after the back to back gains of 70,000 positions in the previous months.

Market events to watch this week:

Monday, February 5
4:30am GBP Services PMI
10:00am USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI
7:30pm AUD Retail Sales m/m
7:30pm AUD Trade Balance
10:30pm AUD Cash Rate
10:30pm AUD RBA Rate Statement
Tuesday, February 6
8:30am CAD Trade Balance
4:45pm NZD Employment Change q/q
NZD Unemployment Rate
Wednesday, February 7
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
3:00pm NZD Official Cash Rate
3:00pm NZD RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement
3:00pm RBNZ Rate Statement
4:00pm NZD RBNZ Press Conference
Thursday, February 8
4:00am AUD RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
7:00am GBP BOE Inflation Report
7:00am GBP MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
7:00am GBP Monetary Policy Summary
7:00am GBP Official Bank Rate
7:30pm AUD RBA Monetary Policy Statement
Friday, February 9
4:30am GBP Manufacturing Production m/m
8:30am CAD Employment Change
8:30am CAD Unemployment Rate

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar