The US dollar was unable to take a lot of advantage of the safe-haven flows yesterday as Fed Chairperson Yellen warned that central bank officials are watching exchange rates closely before making any monetary policy adjustments. This echoes FOMC member Dudley’s remarks indicating that dollar strength might actually be harmful for the US economy. For today, US retail sales reports are due and a 0.1% uptick in the headline figure is eyed while the core version of the report could show a flat reading.
The euro managed to hold on to some of its wins despite the slump in the European stock market, fueled by concerns about the banking sector and a possible Grexit. Up ahead, preliminary GDP readings from the euro zone and its top economies could serve as catalysts for strong euro moves.
The pound was still in a weak spot due to downbeat manufacturing production data released the previous day and the looming possibility of a Brexit. Only the construction output report is due from the UK today and another downbeat reading could spur more losses for the British currency.
The franc was able to chalk up some gains against the dollar but lost ground to the euro as currency intervention talk started to hit the airwaves. Although SNB officials have already maintained that the franc is overvalued, they’ve stopped short of actual intervention based on the latest foreign currency reserves data. Swiss CPI was weaker than expected with a 0.4% decline versus the projected 0.3% drop. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today.
The yen surged against its forex rivals thanks to yet another round of risk aversion but quickly spiked when rumors of central bank intervention were spread. A Japanese official mentioned in an interview that they are watching FX movements closely and with urgency. There are no reports due from the Japanese economy today, which suggests that risk sentiment could push yen pairs around again.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were mostly unchanged to the dollar but ended weaker against the yen, as risk-off flows dominated. There were no major releases out of the comdoll economies, although news of an OPEC compromise appears to be lifting oil prices. OPEC leaders seem willing to cut production only if their non-OPEC counterparts also agree to do so, but Iran has previously stressed that they plan to increase production.