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USD Remains Mixed; CAD Soft on Crude Weakness

USD: Despite the post FOMC meeting sharp rise in US Treasury yields and the fall in equity markets yesterday, the spillover into FX markets has been fairly underscoring the two-way risk outcomes surrounding the latest Fed decision. First, by allowing to run the economy hot and leaving the long end US Treasury yields unprotected, the risk of another sell-off in US Treasury yields is a potential headwind to cyclical FX. Second, by signalling not to rush to increase interest rates, the prospect of deeply negative USD front end real rates and the rebounding economy point to USD softness. As long as the former does not dominate, this should provide same breathing room to cyclical FX ahead of the anticipated economic recovery in Q2.

CAD: The CAD looked a little limp yesterday with significant weakness in crude oil prices driving the USD back above 1.25. Crude oil has rebounded nearly a dollar so far today, providing a lift for the CAD, and spreads remain CAD-supportive but the drive for further CAD gains may have weakened a little in the short run. Canadian Retail Sales are expected to fall 3.0% in January. Forecasts are heavily skewed to the downside.

EUR: With the AstraZeneca vaccine obtaining clearance from the EMA yesterday, downside to the already modestly undervalued EUR should be limited today. We expect EUR/USD to hold above 1.1900.

GBP: The BoE meeting didn’t rock the upbeat sterling boat yesterday and the constructive GBP outlook remains in place. With the BoE not materially leaning against higher gilt yields and the currency strength, GBP is set to continue reaping the dividend of the faster vaccination process.

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