Currency Market Analysis
Jun 25, 2015 | Currency Market Analysis
The U.S. dollar made little headway Thursday as markets waited on word about Greece and whether it would receive default-averting money in time. Greece has a massive €1.6 billion bill to pay to the IMF by Tuesday. Without access to its remaining bailout funds, Athens could default, a scenario that could hasten its exit from the euro and lead to financial market pandemonium. The dollar, meanwhile, held a solid lead against its rivals for the week, amid elevated expectations for the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates. U.S. data today on jobs, the consumer and inflation will further stir the rate debate. An economy that should grant the Fed’s wish of wanting to see improvement on jobs and inflation would be the dollar’s ticket higher, news that would bolster the case for a rate hike. Unease over Greece buoyed the safe haven yen. Attention Swiss franc buyers: today is a lucky day. The franc plunged nearly a percent to multiweek lows after the chairman of the Swiss National Bank offered a stern warning that its currency was overvalued. Canada’s loonie steadied near multiweek lows, pressured by energy market weakness. Today’s U.S. data come due at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Great deal for the CHF buyer so put them on today’s priority call list. The Swiss franc took a spill after the nation’s central bank chairman sounded dovish on area policy and hawkish on the outlook for U.S. interest rates. Thomas Jordan would like to see the Fed raise interest rates ‘ASAP.’ Mr. Jordan also fired a warning shot to markets that he still considered the franc overvalued. Losses for the franc could prove short-lived as haven currencies like the Swissie stand to benefit from uncertainty related to the Greek debt situation.
Gains against the euro helped underpin the pound against the dollar. Sterling sentiment received quite a makeover from news last week of the fastest growth in U.K. paychecks in 4 years, encouraging news that suggested the wait for a U.K. rate hike has grown shorter. Doubts remain about the sustainability of the pound’s rise, however, with it at risk of slipping should the U.S. economy show more convincing signs of improvement.
The euro idled near multi-week lows as markets awaited word on Greece. If and when a Greek deal for more default and euro exit-averting money is sealed, the market focus is expected to shift back to fundamentals, a key source of weakness for the euro. Although prospects for Europe’s economy have brightened, with inflation above recent lows and unemployment below recent highs, officials are not expected to taper back on their super low rate policies for a very long time, which contrasts America’s outlook for higher, dollar-positive interest rate policy.
The loonie steadied near two-week lows as an absence of news on the Canadian economy this week caused it to drift lower. Oil market volatility and a perkier greenback have also worked against the commodity-driven Canadian currency.
A trio of constructive U.S. data helped validate the dollar’s buoyant week and leave in line for further appreciation. Signaling a green light for a U.S. rate hike, consumer spending soared 0.9 percent in May, the most in six years, weekly jobless claims came in below forecasts at 271,000, keeping beneath 300,000, a historically healthy level, for a 16th straight week, while incomes rose a solid 0.5 percent. Inflation was largely steady with annual core prices up 1.2 percent. The positive trend in place for the labor market sets the stage for a robust monthly jobs report with the next one due Thursday, July 2 since U.S. markets will be closed Friday, July 3 ahead of the Independence Day holiday.
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