The US dollar is mixed on Friday. Investor’s appetite for risk rose and safe haven currencies (JPY and CHF) fell while positive China and Brexit news saw the NZD, EUR, GBP and AUD advance against the USD. The Canadian dollar was dragged down in the last trading day of the week after softer than expected retail sales and inflation data. Next week’s Bank of Canada (BoC) monetary policy meeting is anticipated to bring a 25 basis point rate hike. Despite the miss inflation has been above the central bank’s target and businesses are optimistic about strong sales.
- BoC expected to hike interest rate to 1.75%
- German Business Climate to cool down
- US first estimate of Q3 GDP to confirm solid growth
Euro Caught Between Brexit and Italian Budget
The EUR/USD fell 0.41 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.1510 after rising on Friday due to a combination of softer US housing data and positive Brexit News. The gradual pace of rate lifts by the U.S. Federal Reserve had a negative impact on previously owned homes in September.
The euro rallied on Friday after a report that Theresa May’s government is ready to drop the time limit demand on the Irish border. The EU and the UK are said to be close to a deal, 90 percent by the estimate of the EU’s top negotiator, but the final 10 has proven hard to agree on.
Italian budget issues continue to drag on the euro. The threat of a downgrade of Italian debt does not seem to faze local politicians that are ready to square off against Brussels.
The European Central Bank (ECB) will publish its main refinancing rate and host a press conference on Thursday, October 25. No changes are expected, but investors need to be aware of the tone of the press conference as Mario Draghi could push a more dovish rhetoric.
Loonie to get BoC Rate Hike Boost
The USD/CAD fell 0.74 percent in a weekly basis. The currency pair is trading at 1.3117 and will look at the Bank of Canada (BoC) for support. The central bank is highly anticipated to announce a 25 basis points interest rate hike. The central bank has lifted rates twice in 2018 and rising inflation is forcing the hand of the BoC.
The rate decision has been priced in for some time, but the fundamental picture has worsened reducing the probabilities of a rate hike while still at near 80 percent. The NAFTA renegotiation was a big risk keeping the BoC awake at night, and with the USMCA some of that risk is lifted.
With inflation data lower than forecasted it now validates the gradual approach of the BoC and unless there is hawkish rhetoric from Governor Poloz, the loonie will continue to underperform against the USD.
Oil Drops as US Weekly Buildup Pressures Prices
West Texas Intermediate lost 0.95 percent this week. WTI is trading at $69.36 after staring a rebound on Friday due to surging Chinese demand. Supply concerns continue to guide daily price action. The US weekly inventories showed a buildup last week and pushed prices lower. Iranian exports have been cut ahead of the start of US sanctions, but there are reports that OPEC and other major producers are already closing the gap.
Saudi Arabia is embroiled in a diplomatic scandal and is quickly losing the goodwill it gained for having engineered price stability with the production cut agreement. The OPEC and major producers agreed to limit output to stop the free fall in energy prices and have extended the agreement to this year.
Trade war concerns eased on Friday as China and the US have agreed to meet during the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. The leaders of the two nations will fly in a day ahead of the event to try and mend the trade relationship.
Gold Rises for Third Week Straight
Gold rose 0.6 percent last week. The yellow metal is trading at $1,229.40 despite gradual rate hike talk by Fed members and the minutes form the September FOMC. The rebound of the stock market correlated with the rise of the yellow metal. Safe haven appetite in gold holdings has returned and in a market with no shortage of geopolitical risk for the remainder of the year the yellow metal is set to continue on its rise.
Market events to watch this week:
Wednesday, October 24
10:00am CAD BOC Monetary Policy Report
10:00am CAD BOC Rate Statement
10:00am CAD Overnight Rate
11:15am CAD BOC Press Conference
Thursday, October 25
7:45am EUR Main Refinancing Rate
8:30am EUR ECB Press Conference
8:30am USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
Friday, October 26
8:30am USD Advance GDP q/q
*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar