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USD: No Change in the Downward Trend

USD: The Fed delivered no changes yesterday, which disappointed those looking for an increase in quantitative easing/ focus on long-end bond buying. While initially modestly USD positive, its effect faded. With Fed policy still to translate into negative real rates and the odds of US fiscal stimulus rising, there is more downside to USD – as evident in the price action overnight.

CAD: The BoC response to FX strength has been uncharacteristically neutral. On 15 December BoC Governor Macklem held a speech on the topic of trade and competitiveness, a topic which markets have grown accustomed under the leadership of previous BoC governors to associate with fairly aggressive comments on FX, or with opportunistic policy shifts widely viewed as aimed at the currency. It appears that the BoC, at least for now is relatively agnostic to FX developments. clearing the way for further CAD strength.

EUR: The broad-based USD weakness continues to push EUR/USD higher, with the eventual US fiscal stimulus approval potentially moving EUR/USD above 1.23. The vaccine news has improved the economic outlook for 2021 and we expect the EUR to remain a bid over the medium term.

GBP: The GBP has certainly gained strength over the last few weeks as the rhetoric from the UK and EU increases the chances of a deal. It seems that the differences over the level playing field issue have narrowed, with the main focus now on fisheries. The fact that Parliament will be on stand-by to possibly ratify the deal over the Christmas period is undoubtedly a good sign. With a deal still inconclusive, the Bank of England should adopt a wait-and-see approach today. We don't expect fresh monetary stimulus, but we could see signals from the Bank that it is prepared to ramp up various schemes to smooth over any Brexit-induced market volatility.

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