The dollar rally paused despite a contraction in US equities yesterday, as quarter-end flows likely saw a slight predominance of dollar selling, and commodity currencies found some (short-lived) respite thanks to another spike in energy prices. Markets have grown even more concerned around the prospect of a supply imbalance this winter after the Chinese government ordered major energy firms to secure supplies “at all costs”.
Equities came under pressure again in the Asian session, and futures point at a negative open in main Western stock indices. Accordingly, we could see the dollar remain well supported into the weekend with commodity currencies continuing to drop some of their recent gains. Looking at events in the US today, markets will keep an eye on September’s ISM manufacturing, on any policy/inflation remarks by the Fed’s Harker and Mester and on whether we’ll see the $550bn bipartisan infrastructure bill secure House approval after House Democrats delayed the vote yesterday.
CAD - Canadian Dollar
The Canadian dollar was partly shielded from the USD appreciation this week thanks to the commodity complex of oil and natural gas. However, the under new pressure this morning as global risk appetite and Asian equities dropped.
Today, Canada sees the release of July’s growth data, which is expected to show a marginal MoM contraction in activity. The release will not be able to majorly influence the market’s upbeat sentiment on Canada’s economic recovery, strengthened all the more by up-to-date jobs figures. When adding the steady rise in inflationary pressure, the case for an imminent round of extra tapering by the Bank of Canada should remain strong even if GDP data come on the soft side today.
Ultimately, CAD should still be able to count on a supportive domestic story, but the short-term fate for the currency remains mostly reliant on the global risk dynamics. Today’s choppy environment should keep the USD/CAD above 1.2700.
EUR - Euro
The euro received no help from yesterday’s inflation numbers out of Germany, which saw the headline rate jump above 4% in September, the highest in nearly 30 years. Markets are clearly still reluctant to translate this into more aggressive pricing when it comes to ECB policy normalization, and as today’s euro zone-wide data is released, the EUR may still struggle to find any strength. Considering the dollar’s momentum, EUR/USD still looks more likely to test 1.1500 rather than to rebound to the 1.1700 area in the coming days.
GBP - British Pound
It’s been another grim week for the pound, which remained highly sensitive to swings in sentiment and still struggled to cash in on the recent hawkish repricing of Bank of England rate expectations. Despite this week’s more cautious comments on the recovery outlook by Governor Andrew Bailey, markets have moved to price in around 65bp of tightening by the end of 2022, likely on the back of concerns that higher energy prices will pump up inflation in the coming months.
Another risk-off day today could see the GBP struggle, but the pound appears to have already widely discounted the unsupportive risk environment.
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