Forex Major Currencies Outlook (Aug 18, 2016)

USD

The US dollar gave up some of its recent gains when the FOMC minutes showed that the central bank is in no rush to hike interest rates. Most policymakers judged that it would be prudent to accumulate more data before tightening. Ahead of this, Fed member Bullard said that he prefers to see evidence of stronger growth before voting to adjust policy and that he only sees one hike over the next two years. US initial jobless claims and Philly Fed index are due today.

EUR

The euro took advantage of dollar weakness but was unable to gain much ground against its other counterparts. There were no economic reports from the euro zone yesterday while today has the current account balance and final CPI readings due.

GBP

The pound had a volatile time when it saw mixed results from the UK jobs release. July claimant count dropped by 8.6K versus the projected 5.2K rise while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9% as expected. The average earnings index rose from 2.3% to 2.4%, short of the estimated 2.5% figure.

CHF

The franc also took advantage of dollar weakness but was unable to rally much further since its ZEW economic expectations index fell from 5.9 to -2.8 to reflect pessimism. There are no reports from the Swiss economy today.

JPY

The yen regained ground to the dollar and some of its forex counterparts despite the lack of top-tier data from Japan yesterday. Japan’s trade balance is up for release today and a smaller surplus of 0.14T JPY is eyed from the earlier 0.33T JPY surplus.

Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)

The comdolls took advantage of the post-FOMC minutes dollar weakness but the rallies were limited. Crude oil recovered on a draw of 2.5 million barrels in US inventories after a slump when Saudi signaled that it can raise production to record levels. Australian jobs data is due next and a 10.2K rise in hiring is eyed.