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No news is bearish news for the greenback

USD: The dollar is drifting to the lows of the year as investors re-allocate portfolios in the rest of the world. One key part of the story is that the Fed will keep rates very low well into the (hoped for) upturn and we should hear a little more on this story from Fed Chair Powell this week. We will also see the latest Beige Book ahead of the next FOMC meeting on Dec 16th. We’ll also get some fresh US updates in the form of the November employment report and ISM releases. The focus this week will be whether US state governors choose to impose harsher lockdowns to curb second waves. While more lockdown restrictions may stand to curb US equity markets, the prospect of the Fed being prepared to add more liquidity should limit any dollar upside.

CAD: CAD’s exposure to US sentiment has proved detrimental as the loonie failed to follow other currencies in another decent rally this past week. The US contagion and data narrative will remain an important factor for CAD into the week, although more domestic drivers are set to come into play. Canada’s third quarter GDP is expected to show a robust rebound in excess of 45% annualized growth and the jobs report should also show robust gains. Still, this week will be a pivotal one for oil prices as the OPEC+ meets and an extension to output cuts will be discussed. Some oil underperformance may offset the positives from strong data and CAD may still struggle to keep up recent gains.

EUR: EUR/USD continues to grind higher, buoyed by the broadly weaker dollar. Local inputs to the EUR story this week come from the EZ flash November CPI and a soft October retail sales figure. Neither should detract from the view that the ECB will offer fresh stimulus when it meets on Dec 10th. The simmering threat of a veto of the EU Recovery Fund by either Poland or Hungary has yet to be taken seriously by FX markets (a deal is expected) and the EUR will also take note of any progress on Brexit.

GBP: It is once again a potential make-or-break week for sterling as face-to-face EU-UK trade negotiations began this past weekend. The markets are becoming more concerned about a potential no-deal, but the levels at which GBP is trading is still telling us that very little of the worst-case scenario is being priced in. Accordingly, should negotiations definitively collapse, the downside reaction should still be asymmetrical. Picking a timing on an official deal or no-deal announcement remains complicated considering the number of delays, but time is indeed running very short and we should at least see the balance tilt towards one of the two outcomes more decisively this coming week. The data calendar looks very quiet in the UK this week.

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