The US dollar was much stronger across the board, thanks to hawkish remarks from Fed Chairperson Yellen and support from FOMC members Brainard and Dudley. Yellen said that a December rate hike is a “live possibility” if upcoming data meets the FOMC’s expectations. The ADP non-farm employment change came in line with expectations of a 180K gain while the ISM non-manufacturing PMI leaped from 56.9 to 59.1, with a strong improvement in its jobs index. Initial jobless claims and preliminary labor costs data are due today.
The euro dipped to new lows against the dollar and the yen, as risk aversion weighed on financial markets yesterday. Most economic figures from the euro zone came in stronger than expected yesterday, with the exception of the German services PMI which was downgraded from 55.2 to 54.5. German factory orders and euro zone retail sales are due today, along with another speech by ECB Governor Draghi.
The pound was able to enjoy a few gains in recent trading, as the UK services PMI beat expectations. The index climbed 53.3 to 54.9, outpacing the consensus at 54.6. Traders are still holding out for today’s Super Thursday events, though, as the BOE will make its interest rate decision, release the MPC meeting minutes, and print the Inflation Report. Any changes in bias or economic forecasts could have a significant effect on pound price action.
The franc advanced against its currency rivals, as risk aversion settled in the financial markets. There were no reports out of Switzerland yesterday while today has the SECO consumer climate index and the Swiss CPI on tap. Price levels might fall flat again in October, weaker than the previous 0.1% uptick, with negative readings likely to spur talks of SNB intervention.
The yen took advantage of the run in risk aversion yesterday, also boosted partly by stronger than expected Japanese consumer confidence data. There are no reports lined up from the Japanese economy today, which suggests that risk sentiment could keep pushing yen pairs around.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls gave up a lot of ground in yesterday’s risk-off environment, as the prospect of Fed tightening weighed on commodity prices. Canada actually saw stronger than expected trade data, which indicated a 0.7% increase in export activity. US crude inventories were lower at 2.8 million barrels but this wasn’t enough to boost oil prices. Canada’s Ivey PMI is due today and a rise from 53.7 to 54.0.