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Canadian dollar update – Friday August 14, 2020. This weekend's US/China meeting could cause fireworks!

FX & market recap:

FX traders hoping to get direction from equity markets were disappointed. Asia stocks were uninspiring and directionless. European equity markets knew the path: it was down. S&P futures followed suit. Traders are unnerved by political tension in Belarus because of fears of a rigged election, and elevated anxieties between Turkey and Greece. Both countries are NATO members, but the European Union is supporting Greece.

Saturday’s US and China meeting between Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Vice Premier Liu He could spark fireworks. It is supposed to review the Phase 1 Trade deal, but recent US actions including the attempt to nationalize Tik Tok and WeChat, suggest discussions may be acrimonious.

US Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Michigan Consumer Sentiment data will provide direction for equity markets and by default the US dollar. Traders will also be looking for developments on the US governments stimulus plan.

Canadian dollar highlights:

USD/CAD attempted to break support in the 1.3200 area yesterday. It failed. USD/CAD bears still have hope as the bounce was of the dead cat variety and stalled at 1.3252. Price action may get choppy in the 1.3250 area today as there are reportedly $1.5 billion in option contracts expiring at 10:00 am. The Canada June Manufacturing Data forecast is 16.4% m/m, which, if higher than expected, may undermine USD/CAD.

Euro highlights:

EUR/USD rallied in Asia, climbing from 1.1783 to 1.1826, before changing direction, and dropping to 1.1795 by the NY open. Eurozone Q2 GDP dropped 12.1% as expected, and employment fell 2.6% q/q. Ongoing issues in Belarus and elevated tensions from Turkey’s incursion into Greek territorial waters, limited EUR/USD gains.

British pound highlights:

GBP/USD is showing no signs of ill-effects from heightened quarantine rules in the country. The UK will enforce 14-day quarantine rules on travellers arriving from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba. GBP/USD traded quietly in a 1.3250-82 range until NY opened. Prices extended gains to 1.3099 on the back of EUR/GBP selling.

Asia Pacific highlights:

USD/JPY continued to consolidate gains from earlier in the week in a 106.68-107.73 range. The currency pair is at the bottom of the band, in part because US Treasury yields have slipped from their peak.

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