UK PM Warned by 62 MPs to Stand Up to EU Regarding Brexit

Theresa May has been warned Britain cannot become simply a “ruler-taker” after Brexit, in a letter signed by 62 Tory MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg this week.

The letter urged Theresa May to stick to the Brexit ideals outlined in her rousing Lancaster House speech one year ago.

The Tory MPs offered their “continued and strong” support for Mrs May’s leadership before strongly suggesting six ways in which the PM could strengthen the country’s position.



The letter was written by former Remainer John Penrose and signed by another 61 MPs, including hardline Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg, former cabinet member Priti Patel and former party leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The letter, which is date-stamped February 16 and was shared on social media last night, emphasised the group’s support for leaving both the EU customs union and single market – before pointedly offering “suggestions” on how Mrs May could achieve her goals.

via Express

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Subdued Ahead of Fed Minutes

The Canadian dollar has recorded slight losses in the Tuesday session. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2669, up 0.16% on the day. On the release front, there are no Canadian releases on the schedule. In the US, the key event is the Federal Reserve minutes from the January meeting. We’ll also get a look at Existing Home Sales, which are expected to climb to 5.61 million. On Thursday, Canada releases retail sales reports and the US will publish unemployment claims.

The week started on a sour note for Canadian indicators, as Wholesales Sales declined 0.5%, short of the estimate of 0.4%. It marked the first decline in three months. The markets are expecting another soft release from Core Retail Sales, a key barometer of consumer spending. The indicator posted a strong gain of 1.6% in December, but is forecast to slow to just 0.1% in January. If consumer spending posts a weak reading, the Canadian dollar could lose more ground. The pair is under pressure, and has shed 1.0% so far this month.

It has been an eventful few weeks for Jerome Powell, who has just commenced his stint as chair of the Federal Reserve. Strong US data in recent weeks has raised speculation that the Fed may need to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes in 2018. The Fed is currently projecting three rate hikes this year, but if inflation continues to move upwards, many analysts are expecting that the Fed could press the rate trigger four, or even five times in 2018. Meanwhile, concern over higher inflation and more rate hikes sent the stock markets into a frenzy earlier in February. Powell sought to reassure the markets that the Fed was monitoring the situation, but it’s doubtful that the Fed can do much to prevent volatility in the markets.

 

 

USD/CAD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 21)

  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 53.8
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

Thursday (February 22)

  • 8:30 Canadian Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.1%
  • 8:30 Canadian Retail Sales. Estimate 0.0%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

USD/CAD for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

USD/CAD, February 21 at 7:40 EST

Open: 1.2548 High: 1.2671 Low: 1.2640 Close: 1.2669

 

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2351 1.2494 1.2630 1.2757 1.2855 1.2920

USD/CAD has posted small gains in the Asian and European sessions

  • 1.2494 is providing support
  • 1.2630 is a weak resistance line
  • Current range: 1.2494 to 1.2630

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2630, 1.2494, 1.2351 and 1.2190
  • Above: 1.2757, 1.2855 and 1.2920

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/CAD ratio is showing little movement in the Wednesday session. Currently, short positions have a slender majority (52%), indicative of slight trader bias towards USD/CAD reversing directions and moving lower.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

BoE Hearing and Fed Minutes in Focus

US Futures Continue to Pare Last Week’s Gains

US equity markets are expected to open in the red again on Wednesday, tracking losses in Europe as stocks continue to pare last week’s strong rebound.

It’s been a relatively quiet start to the morning and the week, with the bank holiday in the US and Canada contributing to this. The European session has been dominated by economic data releases so far and that’s likely to continue, with flash manufacturing and services data due from the US shortly after the open. It’s the FOMC minutes that will be released later in the day though that will likely be the standout event from a US perspective, particularly as the statement caused quite a stir at the end of January.

US Yield Curve Now (Orange) and on 29 January 2018 (Purple)

Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

The sell-off in the markets may have come a couple of days later but part of the initial trigger was a more hawkish sounding Fed, with the jobs report then being the straw that broke the camel’s back two days later. While the minutes may not generate quite the same response, traders will likely monitor what they say very closely for signs that policy makers are now leaning more towards three to four rate hikes this year, rather than two or three.

EUR/USD – Euro Ticks Lower as German Manufacturing PMI Softens

GBP Slips as Unemployment Ticks Higher

Sterling is coming under a bit of pressure this morning after UK jobs data for the three months to December showed wages still growing at a moderate pace and unemployment ticking up to 4.4%. While a higher reading on wage growth may have triggered a more bullish response from the pound, the data turned out to be quite insignificant as it’s unlikely to change the views at the Bank of England.

UK Unemployment Rate

Wages have been slowly ticking higher recently and they could continue to do so as workers demand more due to the higher cost of living and a tight labour market. The move higher in the unemployment rate won’t be a concern at this moment with it potentially being a one-off move and still very low. As long as inflation remains at upper range of what is deemed acceptable, the central bank seems intent on raising rates at least once more this year, despite the temporary factors driving it and economic uncertainty that lies ahead.

Yield-o-Mania

BoE Inflation Report Hearing Eyed as Markets Price in Rate Hikes

Members of the Monetary Policy Committee including Governor Mark Carney will appear before the Treasury Select Committee later on today, during which they will be questioned on their latest inflation report forecasts and expectations for interest rates going forward. While it’s always interesting to get the views of policy makers and the pound will likely be volatile throughout, I wonder how much of what they have to say will now already be priced in, with at least one rate hike now expected this year.

GBPUSD Daily Chart

OANDA fxTrade Advanced Charting Platform

With that in mind and with Brexit transition negotiations likely to dominate the next month, we could see the pound lose some of the momentum that’s been gathering over the last six months or so. It’s recent failed to make new highs on two occasions against the dollar and it’s also slipping against the yen in a possible sign that traders are beginning to lock in profits ahead of what could be a difficult month.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

EUR/USD – Euro Ticks Lower as German Manufacturing PMI Softens

The euro has posted small losses in the Wednesday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2317, down 0.16% on the day. On the release front, German and Eurozone Manufacturing PMIs slowed in January. The German PMI dipped to 60.3, shy of the estimate of 60.6 points. It was a similar story with the Eurozone PMI, which dropped to 58.5, shy of the estimate of 59.2 points. In the US, the key event is the Federal Reserve minutes from the January meeting. The US will release Existing Home Sales, which are expected to climb to 5.61 million.

The Federal Reserve will be in the spotlight on Wednesday, with the release of the minutes from the January meeting, the last to have been chaired by Janet Yellen. The markets will be looking for hints regarding future rate policy, and any inkling of plans to raise interest rates more than three times in 2018 could trigger volatility in the currency markets as well as stock markets. Recent US numbers have been strong, and inflation indicators have been pointing upwards. This has raised concerns that the Fed may accelerate its pace of hikes, which triggered a sharp correction in global stock markets. The new chair of the Fed, Jerome Powell has tried to reassure the markets that the Fed is monitoring the situation, but it’s doubtful that the Fed can do much to prevent volatility in the markets.

Bitcoin, the most popular virtual currency, has shown sharp volatility in the past year, fluctuating between $900 and $19,000. These wild swings have drawn the attention of policymakers and lawmakers, as there are growing concerns that virtual currencies could have a negative economic impact. France and Germany want to put virtual currencies on the agenda at the next G-20 meeting, and there is bipartisan support in Congress to adopt new rules to regulate virtual currencies. However, Draghi poured cold water on any ECB involvement, saying that it was not the ECB’s responsibility to ban or regulate Bitcoin. Draghi added that the ECB was exploring the use of blockchain, a digital technology to monitor bitcoin transactions.

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 21)

  • 3:00 French Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 58.1. Actual 56.1
  • 3:00 French Flash Services PMI. Estimate 59.1. Actual 57.9
  • 3:30 German Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 60.6. Actual 60.3
  • 4:00 German Flash Services PMI. Estimate 56.9. Actual 55.3
  • 4:00 Eurozone Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 59.2. Actual 58.5
  • 4:00 Eurozone Flash Services PMI. Estimate 57.7. Actual 56.7
  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 53.8
  • 10:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.61M
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

EUR/USD for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

EUR/USD for February 21 at 7:00 EDT

Open: 1.2337 High: 1.2345 Low: 1.2308 Close: 1.2318

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2092 1.2200 1.2286 1.2357 1.2481 1.2569

EUR/USD inched lower in the Asian session and is choppy European trade

  • 1.2286 is providing support
  • 1.2357 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2286, 1.2200 and 1.2092
  • Above: 1.2357, 1.2481, 1.2569 and 1.2660
  • Current range: 1.2286 to 1.2357

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio is almost unchanged in the Wednesday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (58%), indicative of EUR/USD continuing to move to lower ground.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Yield-o-Mania

Yield-o-Mania

Global yields ratcheted higher after a stronger than expected jump on Germany’s PPI which bolsters the hotter than expected comprehensive inflation narrative. But it was the jump in US 2-year note yields that provided the extra boost to the US dollar as shorter-dated tenors provides investors with better goalposts for determining how the market is viewing Fed sentiment

However, the lukewarm demand for two-year notes at auction and with supply concerns expected to weigh heavy on investor bond appetite this week, we could see the dollar back under pressure. Of course, traders are erring on the side of caution ahead of the release of the FOMC Jan 30-31 minutes and given the short dollar bus had reached standing room only portions, the short-term pause in this year’s grand dollar sell-off was not too unexpected.
US stock markets

US equity markets fell overnight on the back of higher US Treasury yields which are providing investors with more income than dividends on the S&P 500 Index. While the prospect of higher interest rates will keep investors on edge, it’s not like we’re returning to double-digit levels or the Fed is moving its terminal rate.So even the uptick in ten-year yields to 3 % or even 3.25 % is unlikely to kill the equity market rally as the benefits from fiscal stimulus should continue to feed through the markets. Investors are banking on much higher returns from equities than bonds again in 2018.

Oil markets

Amid OPEC supply compliance, WTI markets are focusing on dwindling inflow of Crude from Canada to Cushing due to limited accommodation on the Keystone pipeline.The disruption is providing a fillip to WTI prices while the stronger dollar has Brent prices falling and narrowing the WTI-Brent spread. Also, WTI is getting a boost from rising exports attributed to better infrastructure connecting the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. But of course, we are tapering expectation on WTI rally as the USD continues to find firmer footing.

Gold markets

A tough week for the Gold market so far as the dollar has rebounded and US Bond yields have jumped higher ahead of the FOMC minutes. Traders are hedging for a possible shift in guidance given the uptick in inflation, so this presents a significant market tail risk which could cause traders to reprice rate hike expectations in 2019 aggressively higher. A quicker and steeper slope of interest rate normalisation offers the most prominent near-term threat to gold prices as this outcome will send the USD surging.
G-10

The Euro

The lack of demand for EUR Monday certainly opened the door, and predictably on the first sign of abject news, we dipped to the low 1.23’s after the German ZEW survey plunged. The market is forever a discounting mechanism and given the extremely disappointing price action from the long perspective; it triggered one-way position squaring ahead of the FOMC minutes. And while the bullish EUR narrative continues to resonate, both bearish and bullish views will be inevitably challenged with Italian elections, January NFP and an ECB meeting due over the next few weeks so near-term convictions could turn neutral and tarnish the EUR appeal

The Japanese Yen

The USDJPY should be the best game in town this week especially if traders interpret the FOMC minute’s  colour as bold. However, the risks are balanced entering the FOMC minutes as the recent uptick in volatility could have as much bearing on Fed policy decision as the subtle rise in inflation

But until the market takes out the significant 108.15 level I continue to view the current move as little more than a pre FOMC meeting squeeze driven by yields and positioning and believe there will be substantial resistance between 107.50-108 levels.
The Australian Dollar

Pre-data comments. Given the RBA has been very vocal on wage growth as the missing piece of the economic puzzle, today’s Wage Price Index will attract an unusual amount of focus. Unfortunately, everyone is looking at this trade so the news reading algorithms will likely get there well ahead of everyone on a surprise uptick.

The Malaysian Ringgit

Riskier currencies are trading on poor footing given the firmer dollar and negative global equity sentiment. And of course, we can not overlook higher US yields which are driving opinions this week. This package of coincidences does not make a very conducive environment for regional risk.

Latam Currencies Lower on Tuesday

Latin American currencies weakened on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar strengthened worldwide after hitting a three-year low last week.

Currencies from Brazil , Mexico and Colombia weakened between 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent. The Chilean peso was barely changed as profit-taking partially offset the global upswing in the U.S. currency.

Concerns that the United States could pursue a weaker dollar policy and by mounting worries about the U.S. budget deficit have driven the dollar sharply lower this year.



Some investors turned to bargain hunting on Tuesday, however, ahead of a series of U.S. debt auctions.

Stock markets in the region were mostly up, with Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index leading gains even after policymakers ditched a plan to curb social security spending.

Investors saw the plan as key to boosting long-term economic growth, but had mostly given up on it after months of wrangling in Congress failed to advance the unpopular bill.

“Markets already expected that the pension reform would be buried,” said Ricardo Silva, a trader at Correparti brokerage.

Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday said the government’s decision was credit negative and will “severely restrict” policymakers’ abilities to comply with budget rules. Shares in power utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA were the biggest gainers on the benchmark index as investors bet the government would turn its efforts to the privatization of the state-owned company.

via Kitco

Gold Drops After USD Regains Momentum

Gold prices were clobbered on Tuesday, with the commodity booking its sharpest daily decline in more than a year, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar and stabilizing equities.

April gold GCJ8, -1.78% fell $25.10, or 1.9%, to $1,331.20 an ounce, marking the sharpest drop for actively traded futures since Dec. 14, 2016, when gold sank by $33.90, or 2.9% according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, March silver SIH8, -1.75% dropped 27.4 cents, or 1.6%, to $16.438 an ounce.

Precious metals lost ground as the dollar sprung higher following last week’s sharp decline, which has mostly extended a protracted downtrend for the commodity-pegged currency. The ICE Dollar Index DXY, +0.60% was up 0.6% to 89.724, as the greenback made strides against the euro, pound and yen. A weaker dollar can boost commodities priced in dollars, because it makes them cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies.



The popular exchange-traded SPDR Gold Shares GLD, -1.47% fell 1.5%, meanwhile, and the silver- focused ETF, the iShares Silver Trust SLV, -1.49% was trading 1.2% lower late Tuesday.

Last week saw gold register its sharpest weekly gain in more than a year, as it fed off the dollar’s slump. Gold fell modestly on Monday in electronic trade, albeit in thinner action, as many traders took the day off for the Presidents Day holiday.

Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals Inc., said the focus on rising U.S. debt, from infrastructure spending, tax cuts and a weaker dollar, threaten to push bond yields higher and that dynamic is weighing on precious metals.

via MarketWatch

Oil Mixed with WTI Rising Due to Canadian Pipeline Issues

Oil prices were mixed Tuesday, with the U.S. benchmark gaining ground on its global counterpart thanks to Canadian pipeline problems.

West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery CLJ8, +0.10%  rose 53 cents, or 0.9%, to $62.08 a barrel. Brent crude LCOJ8, -0.84% the global benchmark, lost 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $65.59 a barrel. The move left the gap between Brent and WTI prices the narrowest in six months.

The narrowing of the spread between the two benchmarks turns in large part on what’s occurring in Cushing, Okla., the Nymex delivery hub for WTI futures. Data from the Energy Information Administration released on Feb. 14 showed the amount of oil in Cushing dropped to 32.7 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 9, from 36.3 million the previous week.


West Texas Intermediate graph

Analysts said pipeline issues were the main driver.

“For one thing, less crude oil is being transported from Canada to Cushing due to the restricted capacity of the Keystone pipeline. And for another, new pipeline capacities mean more crude oil is leaving Cushing,” wrote analysts at Commerzbank, in a Tuesday note.

But the Commerzbank analysts questioned whether the spread could continue to narrow, noting that light Louisiana sweet crude, the reference type for comparable oil on the U.S. Gulf Coast, costs only $2 a barrel more than WTI. That provides insufficient incentive for Gulf Coast refineries to buy WTI from Cushing.

Meanwhile, refinery maintenance in several regions including Europe is putting a damper demand for crude causing a divergence of the crude grades.

“You still have those low stocks in Cushing supporting WTI on the other hand you have stock builds in the U.S. Gulf,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix, an oil research firm in Switzerland. “There are also some signs of physical pressure in the crude oil market in Europe, partly due to lower crude oil demand due to refinery maintenance.”

via MarketWatch

Gold Slides on Concerns of Fed Tightening as Fed Minutes Loom

Gold has posted sharp losses in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1330.89, down 1.16% on the day. On the release front, there are no US events on the schedule. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will publish the minutes of its January meeting. As well, the US will release Existing Home Sales.

Gold continues to fluctutate, and the base metal has surrendered much of last week’s gains. Investor fears of more rate hikes from the Fed sparked the turbulence in global stock markets, and gold has shown volatility, as gold prices are sensitive to moves (or expected moves) in interest rates. The Fed is currently projecting three rate hikes this year, but if inflation continues to move upwards, many analysts are expecting that the Fed could press the rate trigger four, or even five times in 2018. This sentiment is weighing on gold, and traders should expect more volatility on Wednesday, as the Fed may show some of its cards regarding future rate policy.

It’s been a busy start for Jerome Powell, who has just commenced his stint as chair of the Federal Reserve. Strong US data in recent weeks has raised speculation that the Fed may need to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes in 2018.  Meanwhile, concern over higher inflation and more rate hikes sent the stock markets into a frenzy earlier in February. Powell sought to reassure the markets that the Fed was monitoring the situation, but it’s doubtful that the Fed can do much to prevent volatility in the markets.

 

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (February 20)

  • There are no US events

Wednesday (February 21)

  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 53.8

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

XAU/USD for Tuesday, February 20, 2018

XAU/USD February 20 at 12:30 EST

Open: 1346.65 High: 1348.41 Low: 1330.17 Close: 1330.89

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1260 1285 1307 1337 1375 1416
  • XAU/USD posted losses in the Asian and European sessions. The pair continues to lose ground in North American trade
  • 1307 is providing support
  • 1337 has switched to a resistance role following losses from XAU/USD on Tuesday
  • Current range: 1307 to 1337

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1307, 1285 and 1260
  • Above: 1337, 1375, 1416 and 1433

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio is showing slight movement towards short positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (60%), indicative of trader bias towards XAU/USD continuing to move lower.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

FX Market Analysis – 20 February 2018 (Video)

Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam discusses this week’s key event risks, with the most notable being the UK jobs report and BoE inflation report hearing.

Craig also gives his live analysis on EURUSD (11:04), GBPUSD (15:13), EURGBP (17:04), AUDUSD (18:36), USDCAD (20:02), GBPCAD (22:01), NZDUSD (24:47), USDJPY (25:44), GBPJPY (26:47) and EURJPY (28:24).

USD/JPY – Dollar Punches Above 107 Yen, Fed Minutes Ahead

Higher Yields Pushing Dollar Up

Intermezzo