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The global risk rally has lost steam ahead of Jackson Hole

USD - US Dollar

Markets have been navigating considerably calmer waters compared to last week as they approach the Jackson Hole risk event. In a week where global risk appetite has strongly rebounded and activity currencies have pared a share of their recent losses, Powell’s speech is set to be a “litmus test” for risk assets. Essentially, it will tell us how sustainable the rebound in risk sentiment is and to what extent it has been driven by expectations of a more cautious tone by Powell (i.e. hints that tapering will be delayed) due to the Delta-variant spread.

Today, a wait-and-see approach may dominate price action, also considering the calendar only includes the second reading of US 2Q growth data and jobless claims. Yesterday, the rally in equities paused, and gains in G10 commodity currencies were quite modest compared to earlier in the week. The dollar appears to be finding some support today as markets turn more cautious as the Jackson Hole risk event draws closer.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

The USD/CAD finally showed some signs of consolidation yesterday and despite sentiment recovering further, the 1.2580/00 support zone remains intact for now. There isn’t much on the Canadian calendar today while commodities and risk assets more generally are showing little movement, suggesting that narrow range trading will persist. We look for USD support in the mid/upper 1.25s.

EUR - Euro

Thanks to the partial unwinding of defensive trades that caused USD weakness this week, EUR/USD is back in the upper half of the 1.17/1.18 range. Today, the focus in the eurozone will be the minutes of the ECB July meeting. Investors’ interest will mostly be on any hint that policymakers will start discussing the unwinding of the PEPP at the September meeting. The lack of clear bullish EUR drivers should keep EUR/USD below 1.1800 today.

GBP - British Pound

With no domestic factors currently driving sterling's movements, GBP/USD has been largely following the risk recovery higher thanks to USD weakness. This looks unlikely to change today considering there is no data out of the UK. Should the dollar stabilize into the Jackson Hole risk event, the GBP could struggle to move back above 1.3800.

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