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Waiting for the markets’ verdict on the debate

USD: Risk assets are starting to recover from last week’s flight-to-safety and equity futures point at another positive open for stocks in Europe and the US. While consumer confidence (we expect a relatively strong read) and some Fed speakers (Williams, Harker, Clarida, Quarles) will be the highlights in trading hours, tonight’s Presidential debate (at 9PM ET) will take centre stage. Biden approaches the first face-off leading almost all polls by at least 5 points, with some surveys giving him a 10-point lead. While the debate by itself may or may not be a turning point in the campaign, it will key insofar as it will allow a gauge of first real market reaction to any perceived advantage of one or the other candidate as a result of the debate. Away from the debate impact, USD could face another unexciting day as risk keeps recovering.

CAD: Has failed to pick up much support from the positive risk mood on the day and finds itself at the foot of the major currency overnight performance league versus the USD. Crude oil continues to consolidate around the $40 level for WTI, domestic data releases have failed to inspire (note Jul/Aug GDP is released Wednesday) and the government’s Throne Speech was a non-event for the CAD. The CAD is not really trading on its own merits at the moment and remains a slave to the broader USD tone. USD/CAD features support at 1.3339 and 1.3272, with resistance at 1.3399 and 1.3460.

EUR: Inflation numbers out of Germany today will shape the expectations for Friday’s EZ-wide data. Markets are likely expecting a flat YoY print at 0.0% in Germany, with any move into negative territory possibly adding fuel to recent speculation around an ECB rate cut. Yesterday, President Lagarde stressed that the Bank remains ready to add stimulus if needed to support the economic recovery and that it continues to monitor the exchange rate among other indicators to assess the medium-term inflation outlook. Barring a negative CPI read in Germany, EUR/USD should test 1.1700 today ahead of the US Presidential debate as improved sentiment may take some support off the USD.

GBP: Sterling continues to be the mirror of market complacency to the UK-EU trade negotiations and the risk of a legal fight between the two parts if the UK walks away from the Withdrawal Agreement. These days’ developments may have make-or-break implications for GBP, and Brexit-related news will be closely monitored. For now, we still see GBP’s balance of risks skewed to the downside.

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