USD continues to drive higher; Canadian retail sales on deck this morning
US Dollar Comment:
The dollar continues to retrace the mid-July to mid-August sell-off. It is hard to pin down the exact reason for dollar strength –US yields have softened a little over recent sessions. However, the generally positive stance on the dollar at a time when European and Asian growth prospects remain challenged. There is very little on the US data calendar today. Barring some very poor pieces of US data (next week’s data calendar looks second-tier) or some surprising recovery stories overseas, we would expect the dollar to consolidate near the recent highs.
Canadian Dollar Comment:
Today, Canada announces its retail sales for June. Canada's retail sales have increased by an average of 1.5% per month this year, helped by higher prices. However, following a sharp 2.2% gain in May, analysts predict that Canadian retail sales will climb only modestly, by 0.4%. The Canadian dollar surged over the CAD1.2935 level, which had served as its upper limit earlier in the week. It reached a low of CAD 1.2950 yesterday and is currently approaching CAD 1.2980. Above this, the immediate potential reaches CAD1.3035. The US dollar is up against the Canadian dollar for the third straight session, its longest winning streak in a few months.
It does not normally receive a lot of attention and probably will not move markets today, but the release of eurozone current account data for June should be a reminder of the eurozone’s dwindling external surplus. The June monthly data might pick up from May’s EUR4.5bn deficit – largely on the back of Germany’s better trade surplus. Moreover, there seems to be growing consensus that a recession is around the corner. Expect EUR/USD to stay offered in a 1.0100-1.0200 range on a quiet Friday.
British Pound Comment:
Consumer confidence in the UK has fallen to a record low as concerns about a recession increase and inflation squeezes household personal finances. At least July retail sales brought a glimmer of hope. But it is still not helping to change the cost-of-living crisis narrative. It looks unlikely to dent expectations that the Bank of England will be hiking 50bp on 15 September. Actually, the market now prices a 56bp hike on that date. It is fair to say that the pound remains fragile. However, it looks more vulnerable versus the dollar, where GBP/USD could trade lower to the 1.1935/50 area.
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