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US Dollar May Fall Even as Fed Delivers Interest Rate Hike

US Dollar May Fall Even as Fed Delivers Interest Rate Hike

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • US Dollar pulled back overnight ahead of Fed rate decision
  • FOMC forecasts and commentary likely to stick to status quo
  • Announcement passing may set off unwind of long-USD bets

The US Dollar underperformed in overnight trade, pulling back from a perch near 13-year highs. The move probably reflected investors scaling back exposure ahead of the upcoming Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement. The rate-setting FOMC committee is widely expected to issue the year’s first and only increase in the target Fed Funds rate.

The hike has been widely expected, with futures markets implying the priced-in probability of tightening at 100 percent for some time. That seems to imbue post-announcement comments from Fed Chair Yellen as well as updated policy and economic forecasts with market-moving potential. Here too however, straying far from the status quo seems unlikely.

Central bank officials are probably looking to avoid a communication misstep like the one they made exactly 12 months ago, when they projected four rate hikes for 2016 while traders had priced in just two. The markets balked, triggering a violent deterioration in sentiment and committing the Fed to a clean-up effort that occupied most of the subsequent year.

With this in mind, the FOMC will likely do its utmost to avoid rocking the boat. Yellen is well-practiced in seemingly meaningful but ultimately vague and non-committal rhetoric. Further, much of the Fed top brass has signaled that next year’s outlook is highly contingent on the direction of fiscal policy following the election of Donald Trump, so there is little impetus to change September’s economic and rate path forecasts.

On balance, this means the rate decision may offer little to propel speculation. In this case, markets could treat it less like an inflection point and more like the passing of the last bit of top tier event risk for the year. That may open the door for the onset of profit-taking as investors square their books ahead of the calendar turn to 2017. In the context of recent moves, this may send the greenback lower even as rates rise.

UK jobless claims data headlines the economic calendar in European hours. A rise of 6.5k in applications for unemployment benefits is expected. This would be broadly in line with the near-term trend average and seems unlikely to push the BOE out of wait-and-see mode. That means the result will probably not offer a strong lead for the British Pound.

Join our FOMC rate decision webinar to follow the announcement and its impact live!

Asia Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

23:30

AUD

Westpac Consumer Conf Index (DEC)

97.3

-

101.3

23:30

AUD

Westpac Consumer Conf SA (MoM) (DEC)

-3.9%

-

-1.1%

23:50

JPY

Tankan Large Mfg Index (4Q)

10

10

6

23:50

JPY

Tankan Large Mfg Outlook (4Q)

8

9

6

23:50

JPY

Tankan Large Non-Mfg Index (4Q)

18

19

18

23:50

JPY

Tankan Large Non-Mfg Outlook (4Q)

16

18

16

23:50

JPY

Tankan Large All Industry Capex (4Q)

5.5%

6.1%

6.3%

23:50

JPY

Tankan Small Mfg Index (4Q)

1

-1

-3

23:50

JPY

Tankan Small Mfg Outlook (4Q)

-4

-2

-5

23:50

JPY

Tankan Small Non-Mfg Index (4Q)

2

2

1

23:50

JPY

Tankan Small Non-Mfg Outlook (4Q)

-2

1

-2

0:30

AUD

New Motor Vehicle Sales (MoM) (NOV)

-0.6%

-

-2.4%

0:30

AUD

New Motor Vehicle Sales (YoY) (NOV)

-1.1%

-

0.9%

4:00

JPY

Tokyo Condominium Sales (YoY) (NOV)

-22.7%

-

-0.6%

4:30

JPY

Industrial Production (MoM) (OCT F)

0.0%

-

0.1%

4:30

JPY

Industrial Production (YoY) (OCT F)

-1.4%

-

-1.3%

4:30

JPY

Capacity Utilization (MoM) (OCT)

1.4%

-

-2.0%

European Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

8:15

CHF

Producer & Import Prices (MoM) (NOV)

-0.1%

0.1%

Low

8:15

CHF

Producer & Import Prices (YoY) (NOV)

-0.7%

-0.2%

Low

9:30

GBP

Claimant Count Rate (NOV)

2.3%

2.3%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Jobless Claims Change (NOV)

6.5k

9.8k

Medium

9:30

GBP

Average Weekly Earnings (3M/YoY) (OCT)

2.3%

2.3%

Low

9:30

GBP

Weekly Earnings ex Bonus (3M/YoY) (OCT)

2.6%

2.4%

Low

9:30

GBP

ILO Unemployment Rate 3Mths (OCT)

4.8%

4.8%

Low

9:30

GBP

Employment Change 3M/3M (OCT)

50k

49k

Low

10:00

EUR

Eurozone Industrial Production SA (MoM) (OCT)

0.1%

-0.8%

Medium

10:00

EUR

Eurozone Industrial Production WDA (YoY) (OCT)

0.8%

1.2%

Medium

10:00

CHF

Credit Suisse ZEW Survey Expectations (DEC)

-

8.9

Low

12:15

GBP

BOE's Carney Speaks in London

-

-

Medium

Critical Levels

CCY

Supp 3

Supp 2

Supp 1

Pivot Point

Res 1

Res 2

Res 3

EUR/USD

1.0506

1.0569

1.0598

1.0632

1.0661

1.0695

1.0758

GBP/USD

1.2532

1.2606

1.2632

1.2680

1.2706

1.2754

1.2828

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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