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USD marginally higher as US-China relations somewhat improve

USD - US Dollar

One of the big disappointments this year has been US-China relations. Joe Biden's arrival in the White House was meant to unwind Donald Trump's trade war and potentially find a way for constructive dialogue. That has not been the case. And domestic challenges in China plus the shift in policy to 'common prosperity' have seen Chinese equities serially underperform this year. Despite all this, the PBOC has never fixed USD/CNY above 6.50 and the trade-weighted Renmimbi is at its highs. We suspect this has to do with the Chinese authorities prioritising lower import costs as it they seek to help SMEs under margin pressure. The proposition that China still wants a strong Renminbi to fight higher commodity prices is supported by news yesterday that China has sold oil from its strategic stockpiles for the first time. This follows sales from its industrial metal stockpile earlier this summer.

The US data calendar is light today, just August PPI, and we favour DXY making a move back towards the lower end of its 92.00-92.50 trading range.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

Markets took this week’s BoC decision relatively poorly from the CAD’s point of view as policymakers stayed the course and did not make any concession on the outlook following the disappointing Q2 GDP data. It feels that the markets are a bit too negative on the CAD right now as fundamentals remain—relatively—positive. Crude remains firm but spreads have narrowed marginally and the volatile risk backdrop is making it hard for the CAD to strengthen. The CAD remains above the 1.26 level and could move toward the high-1.26’s with a light economic calendar ahead of us.

EUR - Euro

Most are a little surprised to see EUR/USD edge lower yesterday despite a more upbeat ECB - including an upward revision to the 2022 inflation forecast and a moderate 'recalibration' of its PEPP programme. Yet President Lagarde has raised expectations that December will be a big meeting - with all its programs up for review. This suggests that any encouraging Eurozone activity data or high inflation prints over the coming months could ripple through rates markets and support the EUR. Put together, the core forecast of the EUR/USD suggests is between 1.17-1.20 into year-end. For today, a slightly pro-risk mood could see EUR/USD edge back to the 1.1850/70 area.

GBP - British Pound

While EUR rates edged lower at yesterday's ECB meeting, GBP rates actually nudged higher. Remarks from Governor Bailey that conditions have been met to start tightening (even though a repeat of the August BoE meeting) seem to be resonating. Today's July GDP data was slightly disappointing, however, and on balance, we see nothing to damper current support for the GBP.

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