Yen Drops as Market Mood Brightens, British Pound Finds Footing
- Yen declines as risk appetite firms in Asian trading hours
- Pound gains ground as Tories, DUP find common ground
- S&P 500 futures hint at risk-on end to the trading week
The Japanese Yen underperformed as sentiment brightened in Asian trade, sapping demand for the perennially anti-risk currency. No single driver appeared to account for investors’ chipper mood. Rather, regional shares tiptoed higher in what looked like a correction after yesterday’s heavy selling. That took the MSCI Asia Pacific equity benchmark down 1.25 percent, the most in three months.
The British Pound pushed higher after news that the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Theresa May has reached broad agreement on a governing agenda prioritizing Brexit and UK unity with Northern Ireland’s DUP. That will allow the government to push on despite the Tories’ loss of parliamentary majority, offering a bit of relief for political uncertainty fears following last week’s shock snap election outcome.
Looking ahead, a barebones European economic data docket offers little to inspired price action. That may keep sentiment trends at the forefront. On this score, the bias seems to favor cautious optimism. S&P 500 futures are pointing cautiously higher, hinting that overnight trends have scope for continuation.
Remarks from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan as well as the University of Michigan’s US consumer confidence gauge are due to cross the wires. The former may echo optimism on display after the FOMC meeting earlier in the week. The latter is already expected to show a downtick and may yet disappoint if recent trends in US news-flow continue to hold up.
On balance, that will do little beyond underscoring what is a standby feature of the current fundamental backdrop: the Fed’s optimism and the markets’ skepticism thereof. Absent a sudden jolt from Washington DC as investigators probe the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the next macro scene change will probably have to wait until next week.
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** 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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