US Dollar Uptrend Dented as Euro, Pound Find Reasons to Rally
- Prospects for a greenback rally remain strong given schedule of event risk between Wednesday and Friday.
- Retail trader sentiment suggests the near-term outlook for the US Dollar is neutral.
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The US Dollar finds itself down for a third straight day mid-way through the European session on Tuesday. The shift lower by the greenback seems to be due to forces beyond its control, as the underlying factors of the DXY Index's recent rally - the rise in US Treasury yields on the back of Fed rate hike expectations repricing - remain intact: there is still north of an 80% chance of a 25-bps hike in December.
The gains by the major European currencies today can be directly attributed to data and news flow from the course of the morning. For the British Pound, UK Prime Minister Theresa May's declaration that Brexit "doomsayers" would be proven wrong is shaking off some of the recent concers that her leadership was slipping.
Political risk has been the prime source of risk for the British Pound in recent weeks, and it would appear that market participants view the British Pound more favorably when UK PM May is seen in a positive light. Nevertheless, what she said yesterday is important for a long-term perpsective on the Sterling: that a Brexit deal won't be negotiated until the end of the two-year window, which expires in March 2019.
Ultimately, what this means is that if a deal is agreed upon by UK PM May's team but fails to make it through UK parliament, then the odds of a 'hard Brexit' are near certain. While definitely not a near-term influence, this is one of those comments that may prove in hindsight to be foreboding.
Elsewhere, the Euro's gains today are coming on the back of more positive economic data out of the Euro-area (after all, the Citi Economic Surprise Index for the Euro-Zone is +45.8). German industrial production hit a six-year high in August per figures released yesterday, and the August German Trade Balance figures showed an increase in the trade surplus (quite an achievement given how strong the Euro has been year-over-year).
All in all, there has been little by way of data or news that would suggest that the European Central Bank won't announce a taper to its QE program at its October 26 meeting.
The US Dollar still has a chance to finish the week positive, however, as it has a series of data and event risk coming up that are expected to fall in the greenback's favor. The September FOMC minutes on Wednesday will detail the account of the policy meeting that sparked the DXY Index's bullish outside engulfing bar on September 20. Later in the week, the September US Advance Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index are expected to show further improvement in line with what the Fed would need to see in order to hike again this year.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist
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