GBP Higher on Brexit Extension
It’s been an interesting morning for FX markets today with a lot of movement underway. Following a rather dovish BOE meeting yesterday which saw the bank reaffirming the need to remain on hold while Brexit uncertainty continues, GBP was sharply bid today. The market reacted to news that the EU has offered the UK a conditional two-month Brexit extension.
May has been given an extra two weeks to get a deal through parliament, which will then allow the UK to remain in the EU until May 22nd. Although the timescale is still tight, the market is optimistic about the chances of May gaining parliamentary backing, helping GBPUSD climb. However, for now, it remains under the 1.3215 level. Focus will now shift to whether May can secure a deal in parliament with GBP likely to remain highly sensitive to news reports in the meantime.
Weak PMIs Weigh on EUR
EURUSD weakened this morning as the strong USD recovery combined with a raft of weak PMI data sets have fuelled a heavy tone. Price is now well below yesterday’s 1.1342 lows, keeping focus on a run down to 1.1235 next. Both eurozone and German PMI readings for March came in below expectations
USD Recovers Following Flat FOMC Meeting
The US Dollar recovery continues as USDIndex erases the losses suffered in the wake of the March FOMC meeting this week. USD was down initially as the Fed highlighted slower growth as a reason for keeping rates on hold. However, USD is now rallying strongly as the dovish sentiment from the ECB, BOJ, and BOE means that rate differentials still favor the dollar, keeping the Index firmly above the 95.72 low.
Equities Down on USD Strength
Strident moves higher in the US Dollar today have weighed on equities prices with the SPX500 retreating from yesterday’s 2860.11 high. The UK100 has come off sharply and is now racing towards the 7263.3 level which was the mid-February high. In Europe, GER30 has traded below yesterday’s 1146.4 lows on weak data readings, adding to the heavy tone in equities.
Gold & JPY Up On Safe Haven Inflows
On the other hand, Gold prices are ending the weekly firmly higher despite the reversal from 1316.96. Price found support at 1309.12 as a risk-off end to the week keeps gold bid. This risk-off tone is evident in FX also as the Japanese Yen has been gaining this morning. USDJPY is now moving back down towards yesterday’s 110.28 lows as safe haven inflows favor JPY. CHF has not seen the same level of safe haven inflows, however, with USDCHF climbing back above the 99.26 level support.
AUD & CAD Down As Oil Sinks
Commodity currencies have come under pressure from this risk-off tone also, with both AUD and CAD trading lower. Comments from US officials downplaying the likelihood of a deal ahead of upcoming trade talks in Beijing have seen AUDUSD turning lower again, now challenging yesterday’s .7090 lows. USDCAD is now trading back above the 1.3377 mid-January high as oil prices have traded lower in the wake of a stronger US Dollar. Looking ahead to the US session, traders are waiting on Canadian CPI.