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  • richard evans

US dollar weaker ahead of FOMC rate meeting next week after higher initial claims

Good morning

Firstly, an apology. I’ve been away for the last couple of days and hadn’t mentioned it before I left, prompting some readers to ask as to my whereabouts and general health. I am pleased to report everything is fine thank you, just a couple of days of client visits which I have to say is the most pleasant part of this job.

So what have I missed? Well BoC surprised the markets with a 25bps rate rise, sending USDCAD lower from 1.3400 to low 1.33s, while I see the China trade surplus was considerably smaller than expected at a ‘mere’ $66bn or so, USDCNY fixed at 7.1115, slightly down on yesterdays fix. And what on earth happened in golf, with the PGA and LIV merger. Didn’t see that coming.

The surprise move by BoC, which follows a surprise move by RBA earlier in the week, does not appear to have had much impact on FOMC thoughts for next week, with the Fed having hinted at a ‘pause’ or indeed a ‘skip’ this time around and after a few ups and downs, the US dollar looks like it will end the week on a softer footing, suggesting the market is ignoring any chance of a surprise rate rise. Higher US equities backs this up.

Higher than expected initial claims numbers from US yesterday seems to have given the market confidence that Fed will leave rates on hold. I really don’t see what a pause will do. After their reasonably clear forward guidance a ‘skip’ is on the cards, the Fed rarely surprise the markets, but I don’t see why the Fed don’t just pull the trigger again next week and raise 25bps. Perhaps they are thinking their work is already done but they don’t want to share that with the markets or we’re likely to see a much weaker USD. The likelihood is that they will pause but signal more rate rises to come. Either way, expect a decent amount of volatility next week.

GBPUSD traded up to 1.2565 this morning, now 1.2545 while EURUSD is now 1.0770, just 15 points off the recent highs. GBP holding gains over the single currency at 1.1650. USDJPY sits at 139.45, still pretty high given USD weakness, which leaves GBPJPY 175.00 and EURJPY 150.15. UK PM Sunak has announced the Atlantic Declaration which seeks to boost ties with US by reducing trade barriers and making for closer defence ties, while BCC say UK could avoid a recession through ‘anaemic’ growth this year. Biden addressed Sunak as ‘President’ at a rather awkward looking media moment.

In other news, Ukraine appears to have begun its counter-offensive, with modern western weaponry reportedly seen in action. This comes after the destruction of the Kakhova dam which has caused widespread flooding in the region. The counter offensive by Ukraine is likely to be difficult, it is hoped it will weaken Russian resolve but progress will be slow and unfortunately large losses are likely as Ukraine try to take back areas that have been in Russian control for some time now.

Elsewhere, we have seen some incredible photos from New York, where people have been told to wear masks if they venture outside to protect them from the smoke coming over from Canadian wildfires.

Fortunately we don’t have similar problems here, just as well given the forecast is suggesting temperatures this weekend could get close to 30 degrees, although we do have warnings of thunderstorms that could upset the barbeques. Next week temperatures are likely to be in the mid 20s but with an extremely busy economic calendar next week we might not get much chance to enjoy it.

Have a great weekend, good luck to Man City as they take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final.

- 09.00 ECBs de Guindos speaks

- 13.30 CAD unemployment

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