Dollar Regains Ground Ahead of Fed Minutes

Higher US inflation fails to spark dollar revival

The US dollar depreciated across the board versus major pairs despite consumer prices rising more than expected. Inflation anxiety had triggered a sell-off in global stock markets with the Fed expected to ramp up their interest rate hike path yet the dollar did not benefit as higher rates have already been priced in by the market. Fiscal uncertainty driven by political factors continue to confound investors with stock indices rebounding this week and the dollar hitting a 2014 low. The paradox in consumer spending and retail sales continues as Americans remain confident in the economic outlook yet core retail sales remain flat and taking into consideration auto sales they actually dropped by 0.5 percent. The dollar showed some signs of life on Friday as it gained against a basket of major pairs, but not enough to offset the losses earlier in the week.

  • Fed to release minutes of January meeting
  • Kuroda renominated as Governor of Bank of Japan (BOJ)
  • Lower trading activity with start of Chinese New Year celebrations and 3 day weekend in NA

Dollar Recovers on Friday But Still Underwater this Week



The EUR/USD gained 1.62 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.2448 with the EUR recovering against the earlier losses versus the USD suffered earlier in the month. US inflation rose more than expected and US treasuries dropped in prices as investors sold them anticipating higher rates this year. Bond yields rose with the 10 year at four year highs (2.93 percent). The correlation between higher yields and a stronger currency is broken at the moment for the USD as the confidence in the stability of the US economy is up for debate. Fundamentals are strong and would point to a higher dollar, but political uncertainty around fiscal stimulus has made it hard to quantify the effects of actual and proposed legislation on the currency. The U.S. Federal Reserve will publish the minutes from its January Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Wednesday, February 21 at 2:00 pm EST. The meeting was the last presided by Chair Janet Yellen and is not expected to bring any surprises, but could prepare the market on what to expect in March when Chair Jerome Powell heads his first FOMC.

The USD went through a topsy-turvy week, with Wednesday’s release of consumer price index data providing the most volatility. The market forecasts were slightly improved with a 0.3 percent monthly gain. The employment report in February 2 was the first data point that suggested a stronger inflationary pressure. Stock markets had already suffered two difficult weeks and the dollar rose as the inflation data was released only to quickly give back all gains and end up in the red.

President’s day in the US will give some investors a much needed rest from a high octane trading week. The Lunar New Year celebrations will also affect trading volumes as Hong Kong and China markets will remain closed until Thursday. Stock markets had a positive week after stronger corporate results erased earlier losses.



The USD/JPY lost 2.38 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 106.19 as the JPY keeps gaining. The government issued a statement where it was clear there is no need for intervention and the market took it as a sign to keep buying the yen. The tone changed slightly on Friday as the currency kept appreciating and there were some warning that the trade is one sided. The softness of the USD and uncertainty about how the American government will deal with growing twin deficits and political drama has boosted the JPY due to some safe haven flows.

The reappointment of BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda along with other nominations of economist who favour further easing did not factor into Yen pricing in the short term, but should impact the growing gap between rates in Japan and the United States. In the short term, lack of stability in politics and fiscal uncertainty are overriding higher growth and interest rate expectations in the US.



Oil prices advanced during the week. The price of West Texas Intermediate is trading at $61.21 with most of the gains in energy coming from dollar softness. Oil prices suffered losses earlier in the month as higher production in Canada, Brazil and the United States is anticipated given the high prices and producers in those nations not bound to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production cut agreement. Lack of traction of the US currency is keeping prices above $60.

A small rise in oil rigs in Baker Hughes was not enough to derail energy prices specially with an underlying weak US dollar. The OPEC agreement with other major producers has stabilized oil prices after the freewill caused by overproduction. The question remains if demand for energy has recovered to the point that even after the agreement timeline runs out supply will not once again outweigh demand causing another drop in prices.

Market events to watch this week:

Monday, February 19
7:30pm AUD Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 21
4:30am GBP Average Earnings Index 3m/y
9:15am GBP Inflation Report Hearings
2:00pm USD FOMC Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 22
4:30am GBP Second Estimate GDP q/q
8:30am CAD Core Retail Sales m/m
11:00am USD Crude Oil Inventories
4:45pm NZD Retail Sales q/q
Friday, February 23
8:30am CAD CPI m/m

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

US Dollar Rout Continues With Inflation Data in the Horizon

Safe haven flows after the stock market collapse favour JPY and CHF

The US dollar is once again on the back foot on Tuesday. The currency is softer against major pairs ahead of key US inflation data for January. The U.S. Federal Reserve along with traders will be looking at the consumer price figures for signs of higher inflation and further validations of their plans to keep raising US interest rates in 2018. The U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report earlier in the month boosted the USD with a positive wage growth signal at 0.3 percent monthly gain. The market will be watching the core CPI released on Wednesday, February 14 at 8:30 am EST looking for confirmation.

  • US January inflation expected to underperform
  • US Oil producers putting downward pressure on prices
  • US inflation trend to continue on Thursday with the release of the PPI



The EUR/USD gained 0.52 percent on Tuesday. The single currency is trading at 1.2355 ahead of the release of monthly inflation and retail sales data in the US. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to lift rates 3 or more times this year, but to do so it would need inflation in the US to pick up, as this was the biggest debate within the central bank last year. Doves within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are pushing for more patience, until inflation rises, while the hawks who lost Chair Yellen as their biggest supporter would rather raise rates sooner rather than later. The core consumer price index, the Fed pays more attention to this data point that excludes food and energy, is expected to come in at 0.2 percent. Retail sales are forecasted to have gained 0.2 percent in January, but the core reading to have advanced by 0.5 percent by removing auto sales.

The tumble in stocks prices has had a negative effect on the confidence in the US economy. The employment report released on February 2 posted higher than forecasted number of jobs and more importantly hourly wages rose by 0.3 percent. Several dollar rallies that started with a strong employment report have been cut short by disappointing inflation and retail sales data. This time around the USD has not been able to find solid footing in 2018. With a stock market correction and bond yields at four year highs inflation takes a more important role as it could solidify the case of Fed hawks and make way for a 4 rate hike scenario. The USD has been impacted by improving growth around the globe and other central banks have hiked or signalled and end to low rates cutting the lead of the U.S. Federal Reserve and reducing the attractiveness of the dollar. A higher than expected inflation figure could trigger a US currency recovery alongside a drop in the stock market as higher rates would be forthcoming. Vice versa a lower than expected consumer price gain could sink the dollar even lower as the market is already pricing in 3 rate hikes and could start reevaluating that position with weak inflationary pressures.

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 USD/JPY lost 0.84 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pair is trading at 107.73 as the JPY has benefited from risk aversion and risk appetite moves. Usually the USD is the main beneficiary of a risk aversion move, but given some of the global uncertainty is happening in Washington and Wall Street the greenback is not the sturdiest safe haven for investors. The USD is soft ahead of inflation and retail sales data with both having to overcome concerns.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to reappoint Haruhiko Kuroda as the head of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) for his second term and that in itself could be a sign the central bank is ready to start dealing back some of its massive stimulus program.

Market events to watch this week:

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

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

USD Struggles Ahead of Jobs Report

USD Struggles Ahead of Jobs Report

US expected to add 184,000 jobs in January

The US dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Thursday. The greenback has failed to gain traction in 2018 and is awaiting the first US jobs report of the year looking for a shot in the arm. The U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) will be published on Friday, February 2 at 8:30 am EST. Economists are expecting the US to add 184,000 positions and keep the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. Last month’s report came in lower than expected but the saving grace for the USD was that hourly wages grew 0.3 percent as expected. There are similar gains forecasted for January wages with a special emphasis on inflationary data as the Fed ponders what to do with stagnant wages despite a strong job component.

  • European manufacturing gathered steam in January
  • Unemployment claims fell last week in evidence of strong US labour market
  • Higher growth expectations outside of US putting pressure on dollar

Dollar Lower Despite Support from Central Bank



The EUR/USD gained 0.82 percent on Thursday. The single currency is trading at 1.2515 a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged and ahead of the release of the January’s U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report. Strong manufacturing data out of Europe continued to make the case for accelerated growth. The European Central Bank (ECB) did not make any changes to its QE program or interest rate in January, but with higher growth and inflation expectations are rising that its bond buying program could end this year with a possible rate hike.

US economic growth continues to soldier on, with the U.S. Federal Reserve forecasted to lift interest rates 3 to 4 times in 2018. Strong fundamentals and a supportive central bank should have the USD higher versus the euro, but political uncertainty going into the midterms has impaired the dollar. Employment has been the pillar of the economic recovery, but at near full employment there is little that even a monster jobs report can do to boost the dollar. The ADP private payrolls report released on Wednesday saw 234,000 jobs added in January, and while there is no perfect correlation between the ADP and the NFP, after the disappointing jobs report in December an improvement is anticipated which could help the USD finish the week higher versus other currencies.

The USD has fallen 3.25 despite so far this year and comments from the Fed that inflation is expected to rise helped only a little. The FedWatch tool by the CME is showing a 83.1 percent probability of a rate hike in March after the release of the FOMC January statement. Growth and interest rate rises have all been priced in, but for some investors the threat of higher political uncertainty during the midterms is a cause for concern.

Next week will offer the USD less opportunities to shine as the main indicator release will be the non manufacturing PMI related by the ISM. Services have slowed down since reaching a reading of 60.1 in October with the forecast for the January figures to be around 55.9.



US bond prices have fallen as a result of higher growth and inflation expectations this year and yields are higher seeking to attract investors that have been tempted by fixed income alternatives overseas.

The USD has been on the back foot against major currencies for most of 2018. The rally that followed the victory of Donald Trump in the November 2016 elections was driven by tax reform and infrastructure promises. The 12 month period before the promise and the reality proved to be too much for a market that was expecting a quicker turn around and the greenback depreciated in 2017. This year follows a similar trend with the euro hitting three year highs and even the pound recovering to pre-Brexit levels thanks to a softer dollar.

Market events to watch this week:

Friday, February 2
4:30am GBP Construction PMI


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

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After Strong GDP and Persistent USD Weakness

The Canadian dollar is higher on Wednesday after the economy accelerated its growth in November. Canadian GDP is posted monthly and showed a gain of 0.4 percent in November. The Canadian economy started 2017 with a bang which led the Bank of Canada (BoC) to raise rates twice before a slowdown in the third quarter. The two 25 basis points rate hikes, the overall strength of the economy, recovery energy prices and a soft US dollar continued to boost the loonie. In 2018 the BoC has hiked once more leaving the benchmark rate at 1.25 percent.

The Canadian currency has enjoyed a strong start to 2018 and is more than 2 percent higher than the USD year to date. The political uncertainty in the US that delayed pro-growth policies until the end of 2017 remain. The fate of NAFTA has kept the Canadian dollar under pressure as the end of the original timeline fast approaches. The negotiations have shown little progress and with only two rounds to go, the end result could be all parties walking away empty handed. Elections in Mexico and the United States this year will further complicate negotiating in such a divisive topic as trade.


usdcad Canadian dollar graph, January 31, 2018

The USD/CAD lost 0.24 percent on Tuesday. The currency pair is trading at 1.2304, a four month high, after the release of the monthly gross domestic product in Canada for November. The 0.4 percent gain is the biggest gain since May 2017 and a signal that growth is back on track after a slowdown in the third quarter.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.25 – 1.50 percent on Wednesday. The meeting will mark the last time for Janet Yellen as Chair of the central bank. Jerome Powell will take over next week and with no meeting scheduled for February the Fed is expected to lift rates in March to mark the start of the Powell era.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the CBC earlier that he does not think the US will pull out of NAFTA. The PM is aware that it is a possibility and his government is working on contingency plans. Also today US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the renegotiations are far from being completed at this point. He did recognize that progress has been made, but very little of it in the hard issues.

During his first State of the Union address President Trump mentioned that the US had entered into unfair trade deals and his goal was to turn that page on that period. Pro-growth policies were late to arrive, but after the tax reform gave Trump his first policy victory he intends to build on it by proposing a 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure spending legislation.


West Texas Intermediate graph

Oil prices are recovering from a drop earlier in the session. West Texas Intermediate is trading at $64.55. The weekly US crude inventories report by there Energy Information Administration (EIA) surged by 6.8 million barrels. The forecast was a mild 100,000 barrels, but it appears the cold weather has slowed down refineries in the south resulting in the buildup. The surprise to the upside was balanced with a larger than expected drawdown of gasoline stockpiles.
Market events to watch this week:

Thursday, February 1
4:30am GBP Manufacturing PMI
10:00am USD ISM Manufacturing PMI
Friday, February 2
4:30am GBP Construction PMI


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