The US dollar rallied then reversed as traders have been paying extra close attention to tax reform updates. Senators are gearing up to unveil their version of the tax bill today while Congress will vote on theirs next week. There have also been rumors that Senate might impose a one-year delay before implementing tax cuts. Only the initial jobless claims and final wholesale inventories data are due today, so the focus could still be on tax reform.
The euro weakened to the commodity currencies but managed to regain ground against the yen and pound. Only the French trade balance was released from the region and the actual figure came in line with expectations, leaving the shared currency reactive to its counterparts instead. German trade balance and EU economic forecasts are up for release today, but these aren’t highly expected to cause huge swings for the euro.
The pound was one of the weakest performers for the day as fresh Brexit jitters popped up. There has been waning support for PM May’s government and it doesn’t help that the EU is suggesting pushing back future negotiations until unresolved major issues regarding citizen’s rights in the post-Brexit period are settled. There were no major reports out of the UK yesterday and none are due today, so the focus could remain on Brexit uncertainties.
The franc slid mostly lower against its peers as risk-taking was in play. There were no major reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday while today has a speech by SNB head Jordan. Jawboning could be part of his testimony as usual but expressing less concern about franc strength could allow the currency to rebound.
The yen had a mixed run as it mostly reacted to country-specific factors. Data turned out weaker than expected as core machinery orders sank by 8.1% instead of just by 1.8% while the current account surplus was smaller than expected at 1.84T JPY. The Economy Watchers Sentiment index is due next and a fall from 51.3 to 50.7 is eyed.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Kiwi got its wings back when the RBNZ kept rates on hold as expected while adjusting its forecast for hitting the inflation target earlier. This also meant an adjustment to their OCR interest rate forecasts. Acting Governor Spencer also assured that government changes would have little effect on economic conditions. Chinese CPI readings turned out better than expected, which is also supporting the Kiwi at the moment, while US crude oil inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels instead of falling by 2.5 million.