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Market Overreaction to Powell’s Comment? USD 1% Lower this Morning

USD - US Dollar

The dollar came off sharply late yesterday on comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell which signalled that December would probably be the occasion to shift to a slower pace of rate hikes. The move looks an overreaction in that while Chair Powell did acknowledge the slowing in the pace of hikes, his core message was one of stubbornly high core inflation and labor market shortages. Inputs on both inflation and employment will come today and tomorrow in the form of the October core PCE deflator and the November jobs report, respectively. The USD’s direction will be data dependent to close out the week.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

Canada releases its November manufacturing PMI this morning employment data tomorrow. After a surge in October, slower job growth is expected. The Bank of Canada meets next week, and the market favors a 25 bp hike, though has about a 1-in-3 chance of a 50 bp move. After pushing above CAD 1.36 on Tuesday, the US dollar fell to about CAD 1.3410 yesterday. A little follow-selling pushed it a little below CAD 1.3400 earlier today. The bout of Canadian dollar underperformance does not look over as the loonie often underperforms in a weaker US dollar environment. Observe the USD/CAD trends.

EUR - Euro

EUR/USD weakness in late Europe yesterday looked a function of end-month portfolio rebalancing and it is no surprise to now see EUR/USD well above 1.04 on the sharp drop in US yields. Resistance is clearly set at the 1.0480/1.0500 area, above which we could see a spike to the 1.0600/0620 area. Bigger picture, however, weak global demand is not a good story for the euro. We would like to think that 1.05/1.06 is as good as it gets for EUR/USD in December.

GBP - British Pound

The softer dollar environment is giving GBP another lift. This rally could extend to the 1.22/23 area unless either today’s US core PCE data or tomorrow’s US jobs data can put a floor back under US yields.

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