Market Waits For The FOMC
The US dollar kicks off the week with a lightly bid tone as the USD index pushes against the 97.10 level from below. Data weakness and dovish Fed commentary have weighed on USD recently. Looking ahead this week, the market is expecting to hear a similar dovish tone at the FOMC meeting due on Wednesday,which should keep USD offered.
ECB Easing Expectations Weigh on EUR
EURUSD remains weak following heavy declines last week. The declines came in response to a dovish ECB meeting. At the June meeting, the bank pushed its rate hike forecasts out further into 2020. It stated that it had also discussed the potential for introducing fresh easing, if necessary, in the event of escalating trade wars and weaker economic activity. EURUSD hovers around the 1.1217 level for now, looking vulnerable to another leg lower.
GBP Down Ahead of BOE
GBPUSD is starting the week under pressure also following a late break below the 1.2604 level on Friday. Ongoing political uncertainty, both domestic and regarding Brexit, is keeping sentiment subdued in the pound. Looking ahead, the BOE meeting on Thursday is likely to hear the bank reiterate its message of concern regarding the Brexit outlook. Expectations are for the BOE to reemphasize the need to wait for further details before making a decision on rates.
Risk Assets Underpinned By Easing Expectations
Risk assets, though a little softer at the open today, have been well supported over the last week. This is due to the wave of expectations for fresh easing from both the Fed and the ECB. The downward impact of Trump’s ballooning trade wars has been offset recently by more supportive language from G10 central banks. This has assuaged any earlier concerns regarding potential rate hikes this year. SPX500 remains atop the 2877.30 level, currently trading 2891.93.
Gold and JPY Down
Safe havens have started the week a little lower today given the general improvement in risk appetite over the last week. Following a quick move above the 1346.97 level last week, gold prices sharply reversed and are trading 1335.24 this morning. However, this is likely on technical selling mainly. USDJPY continues to push against the 108.75 level. The market has not managed to close this back above, following the move below in late May.
Record High US Crude Production Weighs
Oil prices have also had a relatively limp start to the week. Crude is languishing in the lower half of the recent 51.28 – 54.88 range. The market seems to be shrugging off the recent escalation in tensions in the Middle East regarding Iranian attacks on Saudi oil tankers. Recent EIA reports have highlighted soaring US crude production and growing inventory levels which, for now, seem to be driving the price action in oil.
Commodity Currencies Under The Kosh
USDCAD appears to be taking advantage of lower oil prices. The pair is continuing its recovery off the recent mid 1.32 lows to trade back up towards the 1.3469 level. The ongoing trade wars are taking their toll on the Canadian dollar. However, a dovish tone from the FOMC this week could reverse sentiment in USDCAD, allowing CAD to recover.
AUDUSD has started the week at lows with price hovering above the .6862 level. RBA rate cuts, ongoing concerns regarding the US/China trade war as well as a broadly stronger USD over the last month have also conspired to send AUD lower following the recent test of the .70 level. For now, sentiment remains weighted to the downside.