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CPI Data didn’t Translate to a Dollar Rally; Eyes Still on Data

USD - US Dollar

There were no fireworks in the FX market yesterday as January’s CPI figures matched expectations. Evidence of a slowdown in the disinflation process is giving an opportunity to the Federal Reserve and markets to feel more comfortable about more tightening beyond March. Fed Funds futures are now pricing in 68bp of extra hikes, having added around 7bp in price after the inflation release. We think data will remain the key driver for the dollar and the global risk environment, as the depth of the US economic slowdown is still a key driver of rate expectations, especially when it comes to the timing, size and pace of Fed easing in the medium term. Today, we’ll keep a close eye on retail sales data, industrial production and empire manufacturing, which should all improve.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

The risk-off mood that has knocked the Canadian dollar lower.  The greenback is hovering near 1.34, the high for the week after bouncing from 1.3275 yesterday. The CAD’s fortunes remain closely tied to the broader USD performance but edging towards regaining a little ground on some of the crosses where the EUR and GBP in particular are showing signs of giving up some of the (strong) recent gains. Look for the loonie to trade broader market themes. Observe the USD/CAD trends.

EUR - Euro

EUR/USD remains primarily a dollar story, and despite having survived the US CPI risk event, we continue to see some downside risks in the near term on the back of raising bets on Fed tightening and a lack of drivers from the euro side. We don’t think that today’s speech by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will drive major market moves. The release of eurozone-aggregate industrial production data for December should not have any material market impact.  We see room for EUR/USD to slip back to 1.0650/1.0700 by the end of this week.

GBP - British Pound

This morning's UK inflation data missed estimates (5.8% vs est. 6.2% year-on-year). This is also true of 'core services', that the Bank of England is paying closest attention to because it includes the slowest-moving/most persistent components of the inflation basket. The data release goes firmly in the opposite direction of what the central bank has forecast. We would still expect a 25bp hike in March, but if this trend continues then it would heavily lean towards a pause in May.

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