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US Dollar May Fall as Yen Gains on Fizzling Trump Trade Optimism

US Dollar May Fall as Yen Gains on Fizzling Trump Trade Optimism

2017-02-24 10:04:00
Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC
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Talking Points:

  • British Pound drops as UK bond yields plunge at Friday trading open
  • Yen may extend Asia session gains as risk aversion sweeps the markets
  • US Dollar at risk after Treasury’s Mnuchin undercuts “Trump trade”

A lull in top-tier event risk left most major currencies rudderless in Asian trade. The British Pound declined as UK bond yields dropped at Friday’s trading open. A singular catalyst is not readily apparent but prepositioning for a bill sale later in the day may be at least a part of the story. The Treasury will auction off 28-, 92- and 180-day paper.

The Japanese Yen edged higher as stocks declined across most Asian bourses, offering a lift to the perennially anti-risk unit. The Australian Dollar fell after RBA Governor Philip Lowe said he is comfortable with policy as-is through 2017. This is hardly a departure from recent rhetoric but the remark seemed to find added meaning as US Treasury bond yields rebounded, highlighting Aussie-negative yield spread dynamics.

Looking ahead, a quiet data docket may leave risk appetite trends in charge. European shares are following Asian equity benchmarks lower and S&P 500 futures are under pressure, indicating more of the same once Wall Street comes online. The Yen seems like a natural beneficiary of a risk-off environment and may continue to build upward into the weekly close.

The US Dollar may suffer. Comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seem at least partially responsible for the dour mood. He said the impact of the Trump administration’s pro-growth politics is unlikely to be seen this year, pouring cold water on hopes rampant since last year’s election that an expansionary fiscal policy pivot will boost inflation and force the Fed into a steeper rate hike cycle.

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Asia Session

US Dollar May Fall as Yen Gains on Fizzling Trump Trade Optimism

European Session

US Dollar May Fall as Yen Gains on Fizzling Trump Trade Optimism

** All times listed in GMT. See the full DailyFX economic calendar here.

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

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