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US Dollar, Market Sentiment at the Mercy of Fed Chair Powell

US Dollar, Market Sentiment at the Mercy of Fed Chair Powell

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

TALKING POINTS – US DOLLAR, POWELL, FED, CANADIAN DOLLAR, OIL, TRUMP

All eyes are on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he speaks at a joint SNB/IMF event in Zurich. He will discuss the influence of monetary policy on global financial conditions.That seems all too appropriate at a time when Fed rate hikes are pushing up borrowing costs worldwide.

Requisite niceties aside, Mr Powell will have the chance to confront this reality head-on. If he does so in earnest, it seems difficult to imagine that he will do anything other than respectfully assert the primacy of US economic needs in the Fed’s thinking, implying that tightening will not be easily delayed.

In this scenario, the US Dollar may return to the offensive against its major counterparts. More broadly, recent price action suggests financial markets are far from sanguine about aggressive stimulus withdrawal. The anti-risk Yen and Swiss Franc may thus advance if Mr Powell’s remarks sour sentiment at large.

The Australian Dollar succumbed to disappointing economic data in Asian Pacific trade, dropping after soft retail sales statistics crossed the wires. Seemingly upbeat Chinese trade figures released soon after failed to offer a meaningful lift but at least may have helped check immediate selling pressure.

The Canadian Dollar fell with crude oil prices after President Donald Trump said a decision on continued US participation in a nuclear disarmament deal with Iran will be announced today. With the WTI benchmark already at a four-year high, that may have inspired profit-taking from short-term buyers.

See our quarterly FX market forecasts to learn what will drive prices through mid-year!

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

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