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Fed speakers have continued to sound hawkish, but markets are not becoming unresponsive

USD: Fed speakers have been centre stage in the past few days as markets gauged comments about the policy normalization path following last week’s hawkish shift at the FOMC meeting. It appears that the market pricing of Fed’s rate expectations are already sitting on the hawkish side so that additional comments indicating early tapering/hikes now have a more contained and above all short-lived impact on sensitive assets. Today, the US calendar includes more Fed speakers, and the market reaction will tell us whether investors have become “used” to a certain hawkish tone. Should this be the case, we will see limited upside for the dollar, and commodity currencies may find more support in the day. On the data side, durable goods orders are widely expected to have rebounded in May.

CAD: The CAD retains a firmer tone and has edged back below the 1.23 level, reflecting the USD’s somewhat mixed tone and mostly stronger commodity prices. Crude oil prices remain well-supported as global recovery expectations persist and expectations for progress in the Iran nuclear talks remain in check. Firm crude and still supportive (if marginally narrower) spreads continue to signal a significant CAD undervaluation; fair value estimates for USDCAD range between 1.18-1.19.

EUR: The German IFO surveys will be published today and markets are expecting another set of fairly strong readings, especially after the above-consensus PMIs yesterday. While this is a welcome development from a Eurozone-sentiment perspective as the economy is proving resilient on its way out of the spring’s restrictions, it is failing to provide a solid shield to EUR/USD, which still appears heavily influenced by Fed-related narratives. It would be an encouraging sign for the pair to find hold above 1.1900 today even if we get more hawkish Fedspeak.

GBP: The Bank of England meeting today should not generate much currency volatility. The ongoing debate about whether to hike rates in 2022 has heated up after the hawkish Fed dot-plot projections last week, and market pricing has indeed moved more aggressively towards an earlier-than forecasted start of the tightening cycle. Still, the Bank’s projections are already on the more optimistic end of the spectrum and the recent sharp rise in Delta-variant cases in the UK represents a threat to the recovery. Most doubt the BoE has much interest in sounding more hawkish than what the market is currently pricing. Expect the impact on sterling to be limited today.

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