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Canadian dollar update – Monday August 24, 2020. Risk tone improves as Trump fast-tracks COVID-19 vaccine.

FX & market recap:

News that the Trump Administration was considering fast-tracking a UK, experimental COVID-19 vaccine, improved risk sentiment. Asia stock markets closed with gains, European bourses are higher led by a 2.2% gain in the German DAX index, and S&P Futures are also in the green.

FX volumes were light in the last full week of summer holidays. The annual Jackson Hole Symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City begins Thursday. Markets are content to wait for speeches from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Bank of England Governor Andrew Baily, and Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.

There are not any Canadian or US economic reports of note on tap today.

Canadian dollar highlights:

USD/CAD dropped in concert with broad US dollar weakness. No one cared that Erin O’Toole was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative party. USD/CAD direction continues to be dictated by US dollar moves. Domestic economic data and politics are not factors.

Euro highlights:

EUR/USD traded sideways in Asia and then started to climb when Europe opened, rising from a low of 1.1758 to 1.1839. Hopes for both a COVID-19 vaccine and optimistic comments from Fed Chair Powell on Thursday are supporting prices. Traders are ignoring downside risk from a “no-Deal” Brexit. EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said an agreement seems unlikely.

British pound highlights:

GBP/USD has not recovered from Friday’s losses when it fell from 1.3252 to 1.3060. Prices drifted in a 1.3077-1.3099 range until Europe opened, and then squeezed higher, reaching 1.3129. No-deal Brexit fears are weighing on the currency.

Asia Pacific highlights:

USD/JPY chopped about in a 105.70-105.93 range. Prices were supported by positive risk sentiment, but soft US Treasury yields capped gains. Meanwhile, AUD/USD outperformed NZD/USD, as the latter suffered from weak economic data. NZ Retail Sales fell 14.2% in Q2 due to the coronavirus and the current lockdowns in Auckland, suggest further economic weakness ahead.

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