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Daily Currency Update

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Further global COVID spikes create additional market risk

USD: Evidence of further spikes in infections globally and fresh restrictions being imposed (New York closed schools yesterday) are putting a limit to another widespread risk-on rally on the back of more encouraging vaccine-related news. The trade-weighted dollar is enjoying a mild rebound though most currencies continue to remain supported. Today, the US calendar includes housing data, the Philly Fed Index and initial jobless claims, all of which may have a limited market impact as investors retain focus on virus-related factors and developments across the ocean -Brexit and threats to the EU economic-recovery package, which we discuss below. We remain of the view that the general direction of travel for global markets is warranting a weaker USD across the board, but uncertainty around these two factors may keep risk-assets at check heading into the weekend and put a floor below USD for now.

CAD: The CAD remains a slave to external factors, particularly the broader market risk tone, as well as energy prices; these two drivers are supporting a firm undertone for the CAD at present but obviously leave it susceptible to sudden setbacks. The next key data release will be tomorrow’s September retail sales report.

EUR: EU leaders are set to hold a virtual call today to re-discuss its pandemic-relief package after Hungary and Poland threatened to veto the package. The key point of conflict is once again the rule of law which puts some conditionality to the funds based on some democratic standards. We could see no major breakthrough on the matter at today’s virtual-meeting and more negotiations may well be required, with uncertainty that could still weigh on the EUR

GBP: Reports that the UK and Canada are very close to reaching a post-Brexit trade deal is undoubtedly good news for both economies, but with time dangerously running out on a EU-UK trade deal, sterling is struggling to react positively to the news. Some EU countries have reportedly urged the European Commission to report its no-deal Brexit plans, which are adding some doubts about the effective state of any advances in the negotiations. These days will be crucial for Brexit, and we might expect a large move in GBP at any time now.

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