US Dollar Recovers Ground Ahead of Fed Meeting

The US dollar bounced back on Friday, but could not offset the losses suffered during the week. The greenback was lower against most major pairs at the end of five days. Traders adjusted their positions before the weekend giving some breathing room to the USD.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will host its two-day meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement will be published at 2:00 pm EDT followed by a press conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell at 2:30 pm EDT.

A rate lift by the US central bank is highly anticipated and has been priced in to the dollar putting more focus on the words of the Fed chief.

Euro Appreciates as US Trade War Fears Soften

The EUR/USD surged 1.05 percent this week. The single currency is trading at 1.1743 after a late recovery attempt by the USD on Friday.



The Trump administration unveiled the second round of tariffs against Chinese goods on Monday but as more details came out an all out trade war can still be averted.

Despite the rhetoric market participants are optimistic about a resolution that will not have a negative impact on global growth.

German data and EU inflation will be released this week. German confidence has improved of late and forecasts show that trend will continue but European inflation early results are not expected to have gained traction. The EUR has recovered from political uncertainty earlier in the year, but investors will look at fundamentals for guidance.

Canadian Inflation Lifts Probabilities of an October Rate Hike

The USD/CAD fell 0.92 percent in the last five days. The currency pair is trading at 1.2921 after various phases of NAFTA jitters have helped and pressured the loonie. The Canadian currency gained on a weekly basis against a softening greenback.

US-China trade rhetoric hast lost some traction, and as JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon put it, it’s more like a skirmish than a war.


Canadian dollar weekly graph September 17, 2018

NAFTA optimism remains high, but officials from both sides have begun to trade sound bites as frustrations mount.

US White House Chief Economic Advisor Kevin Hasset said in a TV interview that the US could forge ahead with the Mexico only trade deal. The US has been trying to get Canada to join the quick agreement made with Mexico, but so far the negotiations have not been as smooth.

Canadian Foreign Minister wrapped up her Washington visit on Thursday with the Quebec elections on October 1 an important day if dairy concessions are given as part of the NAFTA renegotiation.

Canadian monthly GDP data will be released on Friday September 28, with a forecast of 0.1 percent. The stronger pace earlier in the year and with inflation above target will pressure the Bank of Canada (BoC) to lift rates in October. Probabilities of a 25 basis points hike are at 88.74 percent.

Oil Ends Week Higher with OPEC Meeting to Provide Guidance

Oil prices rose ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Algiers in a week that included supply concerns and pressure from US President Trump to keep prices low.


West Texas Intermediate graph

The production cut agreement by the OPEC and other major producers has been the most important factor in the stabilization of crude prices since the 2014 drop.

Supply disruptions have kept prices in current ranges even as the OPEC and partners such as Russia will be discussing ramping up production.

The biggest disruption to supply this year has come from the reapplication of US sanctions against Iranian exports. Global producers that are part of the supply curb have telegraphed their intentions but weather and geopolitical factors have been offset with global growth and energy demand forecast downgrades.

Weekly US inventories threw another drawdown data point on Wednesday and have kept the black stuff bid. President Trump has used twitter as a macro policy tool and this time his aim fell on the OPEC.

The organization has limited options and will look to Saudi Arabia for leadership as some members have pressured internally to increase production for their own national interests.

This time the US is mixing political and economic factors to force an increase in supply, even though the White House is the one who triggered the latest disruption.

Yellow Metal Loses Shine on Friday Looks Ahead to Fed Rate Hike

Gold was lower on Friday by 0.65 percent, but gains earlier in the week still managed to put it in the black with a 0.19 percent gain.

The safe haven appeal of the yellow metal was lower as US stock markets continued their rally stoked by improving economic data in America.



The Fed’s imminent rate hike is keeping gold close to the $1,200 price level and the Swiss franc is now the de facto refuge for investors.

With a 25 basis points fully priced in from the Fed metal investors will be focusing on the economic projections and any changes in the wording of the statement looking for clues on the rate hike path of the central bank.

Market events to watch this week:

Monday, September 24
4:00am EUR German Ifo Business Climate
Tuesday, September 25
10:00am USD CB Consumer Confidence
9:00pm NZD ANZ Business Confidence
Wednesday, September 26
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
2:00pm USD FOMC Economic Projections
2:00pm USD FOMC Statement
2:00pmUSD Federal Funds Rate
2:30pm USD FOMC Press Conference
5:00pm NZD Official Cash Rate
6:00pm NZD RBNZ Press Conference
Thursday, September 27
8:30am USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
8:30amUSD Final GDP q/q
Friday, September 28
4:30am GBP Current Account
8:30am CAD GDP m/m

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

Kiwi jumps on strongest growth in two years

Kiwi higher as Q2 growth beats forecasts

New Zealand recorded its best quarter-on-quarter growth in Q2 as the economy expanded 1.0%, a faster pace than the 0.8% growth economists had expected. On an annual basis, growth was also higher than expected, rising 2.8% y/y, topping estimates of a 2.5% increase. New Zealand’s Statistics Agency reported that growth was broad-based with mining the only industry to decline. The largest contribution to growth was agriculture, which rose 4.2%.

The kiwi popped higher in a knee-jerk reaction to the data, with NZD/USD rising to its highest level this month. The 55-day moving average is at 0.6687 and NZD/USD has traded below this average since April 19.

 

NZD/USD Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

 

NAFTA talks slow

It is looking increasingly less likely that any agreement on renewing the NAFTA this week with talks reportedly stalled and going nowhere. Canadian PM Trudeau said yesterday there would need to be a bit more flexibility from the US if the two sides are to reach a deal by the end of the month.

The Canadian dollar has been rising for the past two days, though more likely due to weakness in the US dollar rather than strength in the Canadian one. USD/CAD is currently trading at 1.2918, above the 200-day moving average at 1.2866. USD/CAD has traded above this moving average since April 19.

 There are $1.1 billion worth of USD/CAD options expiring today at strike 1.30

 

USD/CAD Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

 

 

EU leaders summit to produce more Brexit headlines?

EU leaders begin a summit in Austria today with an increasing risk that more Brexit-linked headlines will be released. The latest news was that UK’s May had rejected the EU’s improved proposal on the Irish border and the pound suffered as a result.

Other data points include UK retail sales for August which are expected to show negative month-on-month growth again after a positive July.  The US releases weekly jobless claims and the September reading for the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index together with August’s existing home sales.

 

You can view the full MarketPulse data calendar at https://www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/

 

Canada: International transactions in securities, July 2018

Foreign investment in Canadian securities reached $12.7 billion in July, mainly from acquisitions of federal government bonds. At the same time, Canadian investment in foreign securities totalled $13.1 billion, led by record purchases of foreign bonds.

Foreign investment in federal government bonds resumes

Foreign investment in Canadian securities reached $12.7 billion in July, up from $10.3 billion in June. Overall, foreign investors acquired Canadian bonds and, to a lesser extent, equities, but reduced their exposure to money market instruments.

Non-resident acquisitions of Canadian bonds totalled $11.1 billion in July. Foreign investors acquired $5.2 billion of federal government bonds. This was the first monthly investment this year. From January to June, foreign divestment in federal government bonds totalled $33.9 billion. Non-resident investors also added $3.8 billion of private corporate bonds to their holdings in July, the lowest level since January. Canadian long-term interest rates were up by 22 basis points in July. The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.5% in July, the second increase so far this year. In general, interest rates and bond prices move in opposite directions.

Foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian money market instruments by $379 million in July, the fourth consecutive month of divestment. Lower foreign holdings of federal government and federal government enterprise paper was moderated by investment in private corporate paper. Canadian short-term interest rates were up by 15 basis points and the Canadian dollar appreciated slightly against its US counterpart in the month.

Foreign investment in Canadian equities increased to $2.0 billion in July from $1.4 billion the previous month. The investment activity was concentrated in listed shares in the month. Canadian stock prices edged up in July.

Canadian investors acquire foreign bonds at a record pace

Canadian investment in foreign securities totalled $13.1 billion in July, following an $11.2 billion investment in June. Purchases of debt instruments were moderated by sales of equities in the month, an investment pattern generally observed since March.

Canadian investment in foreign debt securities reached a record $13.9 billion in July. Acquisitions of non-US foreign bonds and US Treasury bonds were the main contributors. Canadian investors acquired $44.9 billion of foreign bonds from January to July, with nearly 90% in instruments denominated in foreign currencies. These acquisitions mainly targeted bonds issued by foreign governments. The level of investment in 2018 has already surpassed the record investment for one year set in 2006 ($43.8 billion). In 2006, acquisitions were mainly in foreign bonds denominated in Canadian dollars, also referred to as maple bonds, as foreign corporations were active raising funds in the Canadian credit market prior to the global financial crisis. US short-term interest rates were up by five basis points, while US long-term rates declined slightly in July.

Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign shares by $796 million, the fourth divestment in five months. The reduction largely targeted non-US foreign shares in July.

StatsCanada

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower on Friday But Weekly Gains on NAFTA Hope

The Canadian dollar fell on Friday. After the Trump administration softened its stance on international trade, in particular by reopening trade talks with China, NAFTA optimism boosted the loonie. Traders did not feel confident in carrying over short dollar positions into the weekend and the greenback saw a recovery on Friday.


usdcad Canadian dollar graph, September 14, 2018

The loonie advanced 1 percent during the week and next week’s inflation and retail sales data on Friday are crucial for the fate of a Bank of Canada (BoC) interest rate hike. NAFTA headlines will roll in as the team of negotiations get back to work with the aim to add Canada to to US-Mexico agreement.

Expectations are mixed on NAFTA, as Canada seems ready to make concessions on dairy but the US and Mexico continue to press for a trilateral deal while also adding they are ready to forge ahead if its only a bilateral one.

Dollar Awaits Jobs Report Amid Trade Uncertainty

The US dollar is higher against major pairs on Thursday in anticipation of a strong U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP). The U.S. Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged on Wednesday and without a press conference there was little guidance for the markets who will have to wait until the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting are published in two weeks. Two more rate hikes are forecasted to the Fed funds rate in 2018, but the economic indicators will have to validate them. The U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) will be published on Friday, August 3 at 8:30 am EDT. Investors will be quick to scan the report for the wage growth and unemployment rate components.

  • US expected to add 190,000 jobs
  • US wages could have gained 0.3 percent
  • Unemployment rate in the US to drop to 3.9 percent

Dollar Rises on Safe Haven Flows

The EUR/USD lost 0.62 percent on Thursday. The single currency is trading at 1.1587 as the US dollar rose as investors sought a safe haven as trade tensions once again flared up between the United States and China.The Trump administration proposed a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion Chinese goods with China expected to retaliate.



Friday’s economic data release will be highly focused on US indicators. The employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be the main attraction but geopolitics will continue to guide the market if trade war concerns do not subside.

The US stock market closed with gains across the board, with the exception of the DJI. Apple became the first company to break above the $1 trillion capitalization. Not unlike Brexit negotiations it is still too early to say what effect the looming trade war between the US and China will have on markets as there is still the possibility that both sides will reach an agreement.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that the tariffs are thought through but a compromise is being worked on by the US President. 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.

Pound Lower Despite BoE Rate Hike

The GBP/USD fell 0.84 percent on August 2. The pound is trading at 1.3015 after a Super Thursday that included a unanimous vote from the Monetary Policy Committee to raise the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points. The decision to lift rates to 0.75 percent was heavily anticipated by the market. The currency rebounded temporarily on the announcement but quickly dropped as the press conference by BoE governor Mark Carney presented a gradual path in the future.



Governor Carney told the BBC that a rate hike a year was a good rule of thumb but questions remain on the timing of the decision. The EU divorce concerns continue to hang over the UK as Prime Minister Theresa May has not been able to find the perfect compromise between hard and soft Brexit.

The BoE elected to act now based on hard economic data than wait for the unclear outcome of the Brexit negotiations. The deadline is still 8 months away, but there is a lot of issues where not only are the UK and the EU apart, but there is no clear consensus between members of May’s cabinet.

Loonie Falls Ahead of NFP and Trade Disputes

The USD/CAD gained 0.13 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pair is trading at 1.3026 after the US dollar rose and the loonie failed to get traction from a rebound in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate is trading at $69.54 ahead of US rig data due on Friday.


usdcad Canadian dollar graph, August 2, 2018

####

The Bank of Canada (BoC) lifted interest rates by 25 basis points on July 11 and after a stronger than expected monthly GDP report 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.

Market events to watch this week:

Friday, August3
4:30am GBP Services PMI
8:30am USD Average Hourly Earnings m/m
8:30am USD Non-Farm Employment Change
8:30am USD Unemployment Rate
10:00am USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI

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

Dollar Mixed Ahead of Busy Week in the Market

The US dollar is mixed on Friday against major pairs. The US economy grew at a 4.1 percent pace on the second quarter according to the first estimate. The number came in right on the forecast which had no positive effect for the USD, but it did validate the U.S. Federal Reserve decision to keep a tighter monetary policy with two more rate hikes in the horizon this year. The week from July 30 to August 30 will be full to the brim featuring monetary policy announcement from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) the Fed, the Bank of England (BoE) and the release of jobs data in the United States.

  • US Fed forecasted to stand pat on Wednesday
  • Bank of England (BoE) expected to hike by 25 bps
  • US could have added close to 200,000 jobs in July

EUR Falls on Dovish ECB and Political Tension

The EUR/USD lost 0.51 percent in the past five days. The single currency is trading at 1.1659 after the European Central Bank (ECB) did not provide any additional information at the end of its monetary policy meeting in July. The statement was almost a word for word recreation of the June document offering no insights for investors on when the central bank is willing to start lifting rates. The growing gap between US interest rates and European rates and an impressive growth rate in the second quarter in America gave the edge to the US dollar.



US President Trump said on Friday that the US will beat the current pace of growth going forward. The strong fundamental data will be vital for Republicans as they face midterm elections in the fall. Politics in Europe continue to add uncertainty as Italy’s Five Star founder once again is seeking a referendum on euro membership.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is not expected to announce any changes on Wednesday when it wrap up its August meeting. The next rate move is expected in September, which a more than 90 percent probability of a hike if inflation and growth continue in their current trends.

Loonie Rises on NAFTA Optimism

The USD/CAD lost 0.64 percent in the last week. The currency pair is trading at 1.3058 in a week that saw trade war concerns ease. The NAFTA and EU-US trade conversation both had positive sound bites this week. Incoming Mexican President was eager for a quick NAFTA renegotiation and he was echoed by the Trump administration. Canada and Mexico made sure to be clear that a trilateral negotiation is needed as the US has been pushing for two bilateral sit downs.


Canadian dollar weekly graph July 23, 2018

The loonie reached its higher level in six weeks on Wednesday amidst rising oil prices despite multiple evidence of ample supply. Disruptions in Saudi Arabia and the ongoing uncertainty with Iranian crude continue to push prices higher.

The main Canadian economic events during the week will be the release of the monthly GDP report on Tuesday and the Trade balance on Friday.

Yen Higher Ahead of Bank of Japan

The USD/JPY lost 0.43 percent in the last five trading sessions. The currency pair is trading at 110.95 ahead of the July 31 Bank of Japan (BOJ) policy meeting. The central bank has remained on the sidelines for most of the year and its most active contribution was to remove inflation targeting in April. The BOJ has in place an easing monetary policy that includes bond buying to keep 10 year bond yields under control.



There is a possibility that the BoJ will change the extreme form of its QE program on Tuesday, but it remains small given the lack of strong economic indicators out of Japan. Inflation continues to struggle and the economy contracted in the first quarter of 2018 so at this point it remains unlikely that the Bank of Japan would join the group of central banks who are scaling back their quantitive easing efforts.

GBP Awaiting BoE Rate Hike

The GBP/USD lost 0.08 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 1.3116 amid political tension due to Brexit with three consecutive weekly losses. The Brexit deal that was presented to the EU, a hard fought battle for Prime Minister Theresa May and for which hard core Brexiteers resigned, was knocked back by EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Key elements were rejected outright, even both parties still cling to an October deal.



The GBP lost despite heavy anticipation of a rate hike by the Bank of England (BoE) on super Thursday. The market is pricing in a 81 percent probability of a 25 basis points rate lift to 0.75 percent. Last meeting there were three dissenters that opposed holding rates. Despite a higher interest rate the comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be in focus as he could add a dovish tone as political uncertainty will surely make the job of protecting the UK economy harder.

Market events to watch this week:

Tuesday, July 31
10:00am USD CB Consumer Confidence
Wednesday, August1
4:30am GBP Manufacturing PMI
8:15am USD ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
10:00am USD ISM Manufacturing PMI
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
2:00pm USD FOMC Statement
2:00pmUSD Federal Funds Rate
Thursday, August2
4:30am GBP Construction PMI
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
7:30am GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
Friday, August3
4:30am GBP Services PMI
8:30am USD Average Hourly Earnings m/m
8:30am USD Non-Farm Employment Change
8:30am USD Unemployment Rate
10:00am USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI

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

Dollar Rebounds in Anticipation of Q2 GDP Release

The US dollar is higher across the board against major pairs on Thursday. The first estimate of second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) in the US will be published on Friday, July 27 at 8:30 am EDT by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The dollar gained ground on the euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) held interest rates unchanged as expected but said rates would be steady a year from now. The first release of GDP data for the second quarter is released 30 days after the end of the quarter with economists and analysts expecting it to be one of the best quarters in recent years. How good will the final number be has been the subject of commentary from President Trump and other members of his administration while some forecasters are lowering their estimates after a disappointing durable goods order data point.

  • US 2Q GDP forecasted at 4.1 percent
  • President Trump has told associates GDP is around 4.8 percent
  • Some forecasters have cut their estimates due to recent soft data

EUR Lower as ECB Plays it Safe

The EUR/USD lost 0.57 percent on Thursday. The single currency is trading at 1.1661 after the central bank kept rates and the quantitive easing program unchanged. The July meeting was almost a beat for beat replay of the June meeting, leaving investors with almost no new information. There was no clear guidance on the vague meting of summer of 2019 as the time horizon to lift rates.



The US GDP release will be the main market event of the week as it could come in above 4 percent. There is an open debate between economists on how much did the Trump tax cuts influenced the positive momentum. The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet for two days next week. There are no expectations of a rate lift, but the data has so far validated the two rate hikes and more to come.

The meeting between Donald Trump and Jean-Claud Juncker was a win for the USD as it seemed Europe had conceded to American demands even if the goal is to reach zero tariffs. With trade tensions easing the market turned to monetary policy and growth divergence ahead of the Q2 GDP release on Friday morning.

The USD will face a serious challenges in August. Central banks are expected to close the monetary policy gap and retaliations from China on trade could end up hurting the American economy in the long term. Politics will also add some uncertainty to the US dollar as midterm elections approach with a forecasted Democratic win that change the power dynamics in Washington.

Brexit Fears Overpower BoE Rate Hike Expectation

The GBP/USD lost 0.59 percent on Thursday. The currency pair is trading at 1.3110 as the USD rebounded from yesterday’s losses. The Bank of England (BoE) is heavily anticipated to lift rates next week after the last monetary policy committee had three members who dissented from holding rates. Investors are pricing in a 81 probability of higher interest rates on Thursday but the divorce between the United Kingdom and Europe put more pressure on sterling.



The lack of an unified front within the Conservative party on which Brexit to pursue has left Prime Minister Theresa May with just eight months to figure out a lot of issues. The GBP has fallen as more uncertainty grips investors hopes of a comprehensive trade deal that keeps the UK as a participant of the single market.

Loonie Lower Despite NAFTA Optimism

The USD/CAD gained 0.20 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pari is trading at 1.3072 ahead of the release of the second quarter GDP data in the US. The pair almost touched 1.32 at the at the beginning of the week, but a rebound from the loonie took the currency to near 1.3050. The optimism surrounding the NAFTA renegotiation was behind most of the move with the Canadian currency touching a six week high. The meeting between US President Trump and EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker had a positive outcome although it was scarce on details and did not directly address the tariffs on steel and aluminum that will remain in place.



The change in leadership in Mexico gave the locked NAFTA negotiations a chance for a fresh start. The comments from advisors to elected-president Andres Manuel Lopez Abrador have been pro-NAFTA and the Trump administration came out in support of a quick resolution. It is unclear if the US is willing to drop the two more contentious issues it has pushed on the table, the sunset clause and the higher American percentage of US parts on autos. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said that the negotiation is in its finishing stages, but so far the biggest issues remain up in the air.

Market events to watch this week:

Friday, July 27
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

Bank of Canada Expected to Hike on Wednesday

The US dollar is mixed against majors on Tuesday. The JPY has lost as risk appetite is back in vogue with investors and the GBP has risen after the market digested the resignations of pro-Brexit members of Theresa May’s government. The Bank of Canada (BoC) will publish its rate statement on Wednesday, July 11 at 10:00 am EDT. The market has priced in a 96 percent chance of an interest rate hike. BoC Governor Stephen Poloz will host a press conference where he could offer further insight into the decision or hedge if market reaction is too extreme in his view.

  • Bank of Canada (BoC) expected to hike rate by 25 basis points
  • US Weekly crude inventories forecasted to drop after API drawdown of 6.8M barrels
  • Bank of England (BoE) Governor Carney to speak in Boston

Loonie Awaiting Bank of Canada Decision
The USD/CAD gained 0.05 percent on Tuesday. The currency pair is trading at 1.3114 ahead of the central bank meeting. Monthly Canadian GDP data at the end of June surprised to the upside and with a positive business outlook added to a strong jobs report the Canadian central bank will be looking to close the gap with the U.S. Federal Reserve funds rate. Fed members have signalled that more rate lifts are coming and two have already been priced in. The BoC is in no hurry to hike, but there is pressure to act later in the second half of the year if it decides to hold in July.


usdcad Canadian dollar graph, July 10, 2018

While the lift in interest rates will not be a surprise, there is more anticipation for what BoC Governor Stephen Poloz has to say. Hawkish comments from BoC Governor Stephen Poloz earlier in the month taken into consideration for the meeting, although the market is forecasts more dovish remarks given the uncertain global trade scenario. If Poloz maintains a neutral to hawkish there could be a sharp movement in the currency.

Commitment of Trades (CoT) data out of the CFTC shows large investors are bearish on the currency, which could create a short squeeze scenario all depending on what Poloz ends up communicating to the market.

The Canadian economy had a solid start to 2017, but the pace kept slowing down as the Trump administration attacks on trade were gaining steam. The uncertainty about trade made the start of 2018 a difficult one for the loonie and until recently the worst performer against the USD from major currencies.

Elections in Mexico and the upcoming midterms in the US make a NAFTA renegotiation less likely this year, which minimizes but does not take out of the equation an end of the trade deal. Fundamental indicators in Canada have improved giving the central bank some room to close the gap between the US and Canadian interest rates.

Yen on the Back Foot as Risk Appetite Returns

The USD/JPY lost 0.38 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pair is trading at 111.27 a six month high for the USD against the JPY. The yen is a preferred safe haven during times of uncertainty, but as investors seek returns they quickly sell the Asian currency. Trade war fears have waned this week and emerging markets have been the biggest winners at the expense of the JPY.



Pound Rises as PM May Survives Leadership Challenge

The GBP/USD gained 0.18 percent on Tuesday. Cable is trading at 1.3279 on the midst of Theresa May fighting for a soft Brexit and her job. On Friday it all seemed to have worked out with little opposition for her plans of an orderly divorce with the EU that allowed the UK to have access to the single market. Hard Brexit backing members of the cabinet started resigning over the weekend. The pound started to drop as Boris Johnson resigned and concerns rose of a confidence vote against PM May. The fact that May has survived a leadership challenge and some encouraging comments out of Brussels have boosted the currency.



The Conservative party remains divided, but the Eurosceptics do not have enough fire power to topple May so for now a soft Brexit is the only viable strategy. May has the support from Michael Gove, but if that were to change it could mean her ouster, with Gove a likely replacement.

Market events to watch this week:

Wednesday, July 11
10:00am CAD BOC Monetary Policy Report
10:00am CAD BOC Rate Statement
10:00am CAD Overnight Rate
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
11:15am CAD BOC Press Conference
11:35am GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
Thursday, July 12
7:30am EUR ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
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

U.S. Trade Deficit Is Wider Than Any Month or Year Since 2008

The U.S. trade deficit widened to the biggest monthly and annual levels since the last recession, underscoring the inherent friction in President Donald Trump’s goal of narrowing the gap while enjoying faster economic growth.

The deficit increased 5.3 percent in December to a larger-than- expected $53.1 billion, the widest since October 2008, as imports outpaced exports, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday. For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 percent to $566 billion, the biggest since 2008.

The trend may extend into this year: Solid consumer spending and business investment — assuming they hold up amid the recent stock-market rout — will fuel demand for foreign-made merchandise. While improving overseas growth and a weaker dollar bode well for exports, Trump’s efforts to seek more favorable terms with U.S. trading partners remain a work in progress, and his tax-cut legislation may cause the deficit to widen further.

One of the central themes of Trump’s presidential campaign was a pledge to level the playing field for American workers. In his first State of the Union address last week, Trump promised to “fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.” The president recently placed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, sparking concern the U.S. may prompt trade wars.

With two of Trump’s main targets, China and Mexico, the imbalances worsened in 2017. America’s merchandise-trade gap with China, the world’s second-biggest economy, widened 8.1 percent in 2017 to a record $375.2 billion.

Nafta Talks

The goods-trade deficit with southern neighbor Mexico increased 10 percent last year to $71.1 billion, the highest since 2007. The administration is currently renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the pact.

U.S. merchandise exports to China and Mexico in 2017 were the highest on record — and so were imports.

For the full year, total U.S. exports rose 5.5 percent to $2.33 trillion, while imports climbed 6.7 percent to a record $2.9 trillion. Both showed the biggest gains since 2011.

The December goods-and-services gap was wider than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg for $52.1 billion.

Exports rose 1.8 percent to $203.4 billion in December from the previous month, led by record shipments of capital goods and gains in industrial supplies and materials. Imports advanced 2.5 percent to $256.5 billion, boosted by record U.S. purchases of consumer goods, capital goods and food products.

The monthly figures add to details for the fourth quarter, when trade was a substantial drag on the economy, and show how a widening deficit may mitigate any gains in the pace of expansion in 2018. Net exports subtracted 1.13 percentage points from gross domestic product growth, which registered an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the October-December period.

Other Details

  • After eliminating the influence of prices, which renders the numbers used to calculate GDP, the December goods-trade deficit widened to $68.4 billion from $66.5 billion in the prior month
  • For all of 2017, the real petroleum gap of $95.9 billion was the narrowest in records going back to 2003, as real petroleum exports rose to a record high; the non-petroleum goods deficit of $740.7 billion was the widest on record
  • Exports and imports of goods account for about three-fourths of America’s total trade; the U.S. typically runs a deficit in merchandise trade and a surplus in services
  • Bloomberg