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Currency Markets Vulnerable to Headline Risk Amid Volatility Lull

Currency Markets Vulnerable to Headline Risk Amid Volatility Lull

2018-08-17 06:30:00
Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC
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TALKING POINTS – EURO, US DOLLAR, TRADE WAR, RISK, VOLATILITY

  • Currency markets mark time as trade war, emerging market worries cool
  • Eurozone CPI, US consumer confidence data may not command attention
  • Headline flow may trigger kneejerk volatility spikes in rudderless markets

Currency markets marked time in Asia Pacific trade, with shell-shocked investors seemingly welcoming a lull in top tier data flow, trade war rhetoric and fresh headlines informing the selloff across the spectrum of emerging market assets. FTSE 100 and S&P 500 futures are conspicuously idle, hinting more of the same might be on tap when London and New York come online.

Indeed, the European docket is conspicuously sparse. A revised set of Eurozone CPI figures is due to cross the wires, with expectations calling for a slight upward revision of the on-year inflation rate from 2.0 to 2.1 percent. Anything shy of an improbably dramatic deviation from forecasts seems unlikely to inspire a response from the Euro considering near-term ECB monetary policy is essentially on autopilot.

Later in the day, the University of Michigan gauge of US consumer confidence is due to cross the wires. A slight improvement is expected, but US Dollar traders will probably look through the release as the focus for Fed rate hike speculation turns to the central bank’s Economic Symposium next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The gathering often sets the stage for major policy changes.

Nevertheless, investors’ sensitivity to headline flow is almost certainly still elevated. Volatility may return with a vengeance if a stray soundbite rekindles worries about any of a myriad thematic headwinds, from emerging market instability to festering trade war tensions or struggling Brexit negotiations. With that in mind, proceeding with caution seems eminently sensible.

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

To contact Ilya, use the comments section below or @IlyaSpivak on Twitter

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

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