Week Ahead – Dollar Slows Down After US Jobs Miss

The US dollar was mixed Friday. The greenback advanced against the commodity currencies (CAD, AUD AND NZD) edging higher against the CHF, but was lower agains the JPY and the EUR. The GBP deserves a special mention as positive Brexit rumours pushed it 0.61 percent higher against the USD. The American currency lost momentum as the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) headline jobs number disappointed with a 130,000 added positions, instead of the forecasted 188,000.

The USD was boosted by solid fundamentals that keep pricing in a fourth rate hike in 2018. The Columbus Day holiday in the United States will shorten the trading week. US inflation data points will be the highlights with US PPI on Wednesday October 10, and US CPI on Thursday October 11.

  • UK GDP to slowdown at 0.1 percent
  • US PPI forecasted to bounce back to 0.2%
  • US inflation steady at 0.2 percent

Dollar to Look for Inflationary Clues

The EUR/USD is flat on Friday ahead of the long weekend in the United States. The single currency is trading at 1.1514 awaiting a long weekend and a short trading week. The US currency was supported by Fed member speeches that continue to support a fourth rate hike in 2018.



The Fed raised rates on September 26 by a quarter of a percentage point and barring a sharp decline in economic indicators will do so again in December. The path for the US dollar for the end of the year will be unobstructed, but as 2018 begins to wrap up the strong dollar narrative is raising doubts.

In Europe Italian budget concerns once again rose despite the government conceding to lower budget deficits in 2020 and 2021. The budget concessions also came with lower growth forecasts that pressured the stock market and sent Italian yields higher. The EU is unlikely to accept the budget without further changes, but the political climate could further complicate things.

The EU could be fighting in two fronts. Brexit negotiations are ongoing, and despite some positive signs, are nowhere near an agreement. Opening another front by shooting down the Italian budget could be a replay of the Greek drama in 2010 but at a much larger scale.

Loonie Falls Despite US Jobs Report Miss

The Canadian dollar fell against the US dollar on Friday despite a rebound in Canadian employment numbers and a miss in their American counterparts.

The loonie did advance against the greenback when the NFP report and the Canadian employment numbers were announced but as traders looked ahead to the long weekend they reduced their short US dollar exposures.


Canadian dollar weekly graph October 1, 2018

Canada added 63,300 positions in September driven by part time employment. The gain offset last month’s losses of 54,100 jobs that were also part time positions. The Bank of Canada (BoC) will have another solid datapoint to validate its upcoming monetary policy meeting that is being priced in at 85 percent probability of a rate hike.

The Canadian dollar is on track to end 0.29 percent lower versus the US dollar. Despite the headline jobs miss on the NFP report, the revisions and more importantly the inflation components still support a Fed rate hike in December. The CME’s FedWatch tool shows a 81.7 percent probability, down slightly from 83.3 percent yesterday.

Gold Higher on Dollar Stumble

Gold rose on Friday taking advantage of a miss on the monthly U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report. The US economy added 130,000 jobs with market forecasts near 200,000 positions added in September.

The yellow metal rose as the market digested the jobs report miss and put the US dollar under pressure.

Gold will hold on to weekly gains but as a long weekend approaches due to the Columbus Day holiday investors will trim their dollar short exposure limiting the upside for commodities.



The weakest US jobs report this year took a toll on the US dollar. The headline miss was only part of the story, wages grew as much as expected and while the lower numbers this month do not raise questions on a December rate lift by the Fed it does affect the intensity of the market focus on next week’s inflation indicators.

Oil Higher until OPEC-Russia Confirm Production Increase

West Texas Intermediate is rising 0.55 percent on Friday, with Brent making a smaller upwards move at 0.05 percent. Question marks about how and when will energy producers increase production to cover the supply fallout from the official start of US sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions start on November 4, but already Iranian exports have fallen given how the US communicated that it would not tolerate any cooperation.

The Trump administration has called out the OPEC for not doing enough to keep crude prices low, but ironically it’s the sanctions imposed by the administration that have put oil prices higher.



On a weekly basis WTI and Brent have advanced ore than 2 percent as US Secretary Rick Perry has taken off the table the option to use the emergency oil reserves to bring prices down.

Reports circulated that Russia and Saudi Arabia are ready to increase oil production, but if they have agreed they said nothing after the OPEC met with major producers on September 23 in Algiers.

Oil prices will continue to fluctuate upwards until there are confirmations that energy producers are ready to offset the lost supply from Iran.

The weekly crude inventories report will be published on Thursday at 11:00 am EDT due to the Columbus Day holiday in the states.

Market events to watch this week:

Wednesday, October 10
4:30am GBP GDP m/m
8:30am USD PPI m/m
Thursday, October 11
7:30am EUR ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
8:30am USD CPI m/m
11:00am USD Crude Oil Inventories
Friday, October 12
10:00am USD Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment

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

China to seek closer Russia ties as US eyes more tariffs

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are going to lead to a “substantial improvement” between China and its neighbor Russia, the former People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan told CNBC Tuesday.

“From the economy’s (point of view) and the financial sector’s (perspective), we would like to have a normal relationship with the U.S.,” he told CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia.

However, he added that a massive package of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, instigated by President Donald Trump, has made China “look at other markets and to diversify our trade and business relationships.”

CNBC

OANDA Market Beat Risk Aversion Boosts Dollar

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Subscription available on iTunes https://goo.gl/TZEWRW and GooglePlay https://goo.gl/cRBk39. Tune in every Tuesday and don’t miss a beat as we cover the hottest trends impacting the markets in the week ahead. Trading is high risk. Losses can exceed investment.

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

Russia Sells Off US Debt

The Russian government, previously considered a significant holder of U.S. debt, has been steadily — and sharply — paring down the vast majority of its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.

Russian holdings of Treasury securities declined 84 percent between March and May, falling to $14.9 billion from $96.1 billion in just two months, according to a U.S. Treasury Department report released July 18.

Financial bloggers have pounced on the news as being potentially ominous, but a few analysts suspect the transactions are more closely related to Russia’s sanctions-hit economy, and portfolio allocation.

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