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Daily Currency Update

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The USD is benefitting from Fed tightening prospects and safe-haven demand

USD - US Dollar

An upbeat session for global risk sentiment yesterday was more than offset by a late drop in US equities, led by another grim day for tech stocks. Some stabilization in US equities may keep the upside capped for the dollar today, although it is clear from this week’s action in FX that the market’s bullish sentiment on the greenback did not fade with the new year. The dollar should stay strong as the first phase of the Fed’s tightening remains unchanged, and even though the Fed should stay on hold on Wednesday, markets may continue to look at the dollar to maintain some strength into next week’s meeting. No major data releases to watch today.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

All looked fine for a continuation for a higher in CAD close yesterday before a full 3% turnaround in equities which led to an ugly close for U.S. equities and saw USD/CAD once again above 1.2500. Taking a step back, CAD traded very well compared to other G10 currencies, supported by a higher oil price and a growing belief in the market that the BoC may raise rates next week. It could be another tough day today as the market with the pair trading in a broad range between 1.245 -1.2550. Retail sales data are released this morning.

EUR - Euro

Markets received contrasting messages from the ECB yesterday. While the minutes from the December meeting clearly highlighted growing concerns about inflation and a hawkish bloc within the Governing Council that is growing stronger and louder, President Lagarde gave an interview where she argued in favour of a more cautious approach to tightening – especially compared to that of the Fed. EUR/USD was not able to move below 1.1300 overnight and enjoyed a small rebound in the Asian session. Our view is still that more Fed-induced dollar strength should keep some pressure on the pair, and a return to the 1.1200 November lows should be on the cards in the coming weeks.

GBP - British Pound

The data flow in the UK earlier this week (good jobs figures and higher inflation) had all but endorsed market speculation that the Bank of England will hike rates at its next meeting on 3 February, a move that is now fully priced into the GBP. Given the recent data strength, this morning’s quite weak January consumer confidence and December retail sales numbers did not hit the pound particularly hard. Most expect the GBP will continue to remain supported as most expect the BoE to hike rates again in February.

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