The US dollar was a big winner in yesterday’s London and US sessions thanks to the run in risk aversion. Data from the US economy was actually weaker than expected, with factory orders down 1.0% versus the projected 0.8% drop, but traders preferred the safe-haven dollar over higher-yielding assets and currencies. The FOMC minutes are up for release today so more volatility is expected for dollar pairs.
The euro struggled to hold on to its gains and failed as risk-off vibes returned to the markets. Data from the euro zone was mostly better than expected while retail sales came in line with expectations of a 0.4% gain. ECB Governor Draghi is set to give a testimony today and might confirm that further easing will be put in place, although the lack of dovish remarks could prop up the shared currency.
The pound dropped to fresh record lows against the dollar on reports that three of the UK’s top property funds are refusing withdrawal requests from investors. This comes after property speculators started liquidating their holdings as prices tanked after the Brexit decision. Fears of contagion and more financial stress are weighing on the pound, as well as the downbeat UK services PMI, even after BOE Governor Carney tried to reassure the markets in his presser after the release of their Financial Stability Report.
The franc weakened against its forex peers thanks to contagion fears in Europe and the lingering intervention threat from the SNB. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday and none are due today so risk sentiment could keep pushing franc pairs around.
The yen took advantage of the risk-off moves in the financial markets, even advancing against the US dollar. There were no reports out of Japan yesterday and none are due today so risk sentiment could play a rose in yen price action, as well as fears of intervention from the BOJ or Japanese government.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls returned their recent gains as risk-off vibes were back in the markets, weighing on commodity prices as well. Retail sales and trade balance figures from Australia missed expectations but the Aussie drew a bit of support from the RBA’s decision to keep rates unchanged. In New Zealand, dairy prices were down 0.4% in the recent GDT auction. Canada has its trade balance due next.