The US dollar continued to advance against its peers even though there were no major reports out of the US economy. News that the ECB could be ready to taper its QE program before its conclusion drove risk aversion back in the markets on the prospect of reduced stimulus. For today, the ADP non-farm employment change report is due and a weaker gain of 166K compared to the earlier 177K reading is eyed. Also lined up today is the ISM non-manufacturing PMI, which might show a climb from 51.4 to 53.1.
The euro made a strong rally when unnamed ECB officials were quoted saying that policymakers are close to reaching a consensus on QE tapering before the program’s end-date on March 2017. ECB Governor Draghi refused to comment on these speculations and denied that any discussions had taken place. Euro zone retail sales and services PMIs from its top economies are due today.
The pound carried on with its slide as investors continued to price in the repercussions for the UK in case it does leave the single market. Data was actually better than expected, as the construction PMI rose from 49.2 to 52.3 instead of dipping to 49.1. The services PMI is due today and a drop from 52.9 to 52.1 is expected, although traders could still shrug off any stronger than expected figures.
The franc was in a weak spot to the dollar and euro but took advantage of pound weakness. There were no reports out of Switzerland yesterday and none are due today, leaving the franc functioning as a counter currency.
The yen was also one of the weaker performers of the day as stronger odds of a Fed rate hike drove traders away from the lower-yielding yen and onto the dollar. Yen bulls seem to be running out of energy in pushing for downside breaks of the lows in yen pairs, despite stronger than expected consumer confidence data. There are no reports due from Japan today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were no match to dollar strength, although the Aussie managed to hold on to some of its wins after the RBA kept rates unchanged. The Kiwi was the weakest of the bunch after the GDT auction showed a 3% decline in milk prices. Australia retail sales, Canadian trade balance, and US crude oil inventories are lined up for today.