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Fresh stimulus hopes bode ill for the USD

USD: The risk-on/dollar-off combination characterized yesterday’s price action on the back of some heavy buy-the-dips following Monday’s risk correction. Vaccine hopes continue to provide the underlying supportive narrative for risk assets as approvals by national authorities are now expected within the next few days in countries like the US and the UK. Adding to the positives was the report that a bipartisan group of US senators have agreed on a fiscal stimulus package worth USD908 billion. At the same time, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell have both claimed they have come up with new proposals, all of which is revamping hopes of another fiscal injection in the US by the end of the year. We have ADP employment data as the only standout in the US calendar today, which should provide some direction for market expectations ahead of Friday’s payrolls. Still, data is clearly playing second fiddle to vaccine and stimulus news.

CAD: Canada’s mini-budget saw the government announce an increase in the Federal budget deficit to CAD382bn (17.5%/GDP) this year; more support for the economy was provided in the form of temporary benefit increases, wage subsidies and help for hard-pressed industries. Finance Minister Freeland indicated that the government thought it was better to err on the side of too much stimulus than too little and indicated heavy spending would continue in the aftermath of the pandemic to bolster the recovery. In an era of big deficits globally, the CAD took the news in its stride. Direction over the short term will be based on the USD trend.

EUR: EUR/USD staged a strong rally yesterday, with some dollar weakness helping the break above the key 1.2000 which then unlocked further upside for the pair. There are no data releases in the eurozone today save the hardly market-moving unemployment data and the fresh two-year highs should be able to hold thanks to the support provided by a weak dollar. The risks for the EUR remain related to any pessimistic turn in the EU Recovery Fund or Brexit negotiations.

GBP: The rhetoric around Brexit talks has not changed much in the past 24 hours: officials continue to engage in intense negotiations but differences on the core issues (including fisheries and level playing field) remain. CFTC data indicate GBP positioning entered the final phase of Brexit talks with a net short positioning (-12% of open interest). While this suggests some room for short-squeezing to help GBP if a trade deal is eventually reached, GBP net shorts don’t look pronounced enough to mitigate the downside in a no-deal scenario.

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