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Is the US Dollar Losing Steam?

Is the US Dollar Losing Steam?

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Fed policy outlook still in the spotlight on September FOMC meeting minutes
  • British Pound remains under pressure after epic "flash crash" volatility surge
  • Russia/OPEC posturing, Deutsche Bank insolvency fears may rattle markets

Speculation about the direction of Federal Reserve monetary policy remains in focus as the central bank releases minutes from last month's pivotal meeting of the FOMC rate-setting committee. Officials said the case for a rate hike has increased and hinted that tightening could commence as long as economic conditions remained unchanged from their present path into the year-end. Retail sales and consumer confidence data as well as extensive commentary from policymakers including Chair Yellen will further inform the outlook.

The British Pound remains on the defensive following last week’s so-called “flash crash”. The currency faces a potentially tumultuous week ahead as Prime Minister Theresa May heads to Denmark and the Netherlands for bilateral talks with Prime Ministers Rasmussen and Rutte (respectively) ahead of this month’s EU leaders’ summit. Increasingly fiery rhetoric on both sides of the English Channel has already exploded in epic fashion and markets are understandably worried that it may do so again.

Crude oil prices ended the longest winning streak in two months after Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he doesn’t expect to reach a deal with OPEC at a meeting to discuss participation in the cartel’s supply control scheme in Istanbul. Frequent public reversals and a last-minute deal to cut output among OPEC members in Algiers two weeks ago suggests the narrative may yet emerge as a source of further volatility. Finally, Deutsche Bank reportedly failed to secure a penalty-reducing bargain with US regulators last week, which may precede returning insolvency jitters and spill over into broader risk aversion.

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

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