Global Themes

The U.S. dollar’s latest rally petered out as it encountered technical resistance. The U.S. currency was flat to softer against the euro and sterling, firmer against the yen and weaker against Canada’s loonie. Emerging markets also strengthened against the greenback. The broadly weighted U.S. Dollar Index overnight nearly pushed to fresh October highs, a move that would have lifted it to two-month peaks. The dollar was still on track for a winning week thanks to Fed minutes that pointed to the central bank raising rates at a steady pace over the coming year. Dollar sentiment remains positive with the American unit also benefiting from political risk in Britain and Italy. The uncertain geopolitical situation between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia points to more market volatility over the coming days. North America today releases data on U.S. existing home sales and potentially rate hike clinching data from Canada on inflation and consumer spending.

EUR

The euro overnight nearly fell through a key technical floor which would’ve shoved the single currency to two-month lows. It could be a matter of time before the euro falls through the bottom of its range after the EU signaled a thumbs down to Rome’s budget for the coming year. So far, the single currency appears to be taking the budget crisis in stride. However, things could quickly get out of hand if the market loses confidence in Rome’s ability to get its fiscal house in order, a scenario that could lead to markedly higher government borrowing costs and potentially spread contagion risk to other fiscally fragile nations in the bloc. 

GBP

Sterling found enough support to keep it above a key psychological floor against the greenback. Sterling is set for a losing week after Britain and the EU failed to reach a compromise separation agreement, keeping alive the risk of a disorderly breakup. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit proposals of sounding amenable to extending the 21-month transition period didn’t sit well with some members of her Conservative party, which added a layer of sterling-negative political uncertainty. 

CAD

The loonie tumbled to fresh five-week lows after disappointing data suggested less scope for area central bankers to raises rates beyond an expected increase next week. Inflation hit the brakes by slowing to an annual rate of 2.2% in September from 2.8%. Meanwhile, lower inflation failed to inspire consumers as retail sales unexpected contracted by 0.1%. While the data is unlikely to stay the Bank of Canada’s hand on rates next week, it suggests less scope for policymakers to tighten policy in the months ahead. 

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