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A Confluence of Fundamental Storms Will Complicate the Dollar’s Role

The Dollar managed another advance through the final three-month period to close out 2018. Though, activity through the quarter was somewhat misleading as the fundamental backdrop was exceptionally tumultuous with several conflicting themes and complications making it difficult for the market to establish a clear beat on what exactly would prevail in establishing a trend for the world’s most liquid currency.

Heading into 2019, the Greenback will continue to be buffeted by systemic crosswinds that could cater to its more elementary fundamental roles or alternatively see capital diverted by unique stability risks. One thing looks certain, the first quarter of the new year will be facing an environment of high volatility. That is the investor term for ‘uncertainty’, which holds obvious risks but also a few possible benefits.

The political and geopolitical environments represent more profound risk to the US economy and currency, while more traditional considerations of cooling GDP could further undermine the Federal Reserve’s intentions to further tighten policy.

On the other hand, with utter fear comes the panicked demand for absolute liquidity for which the Dollar still holds the undisputed title. When it comes to projecting the US currency’s course, a healthy appreciation of the technicals and the question “just how intense are market conditions” will prove the best compass.

See the complete Q1'19 US Dollar forecast as well as forecats for the other major currencies, equities, Gold, and Oil.

--- Written by John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist