FX & market recap:
FX markets were topsy-turvy overnight. EUR/USD and GBP/USD gave back most of their Asia gains during the European session. AUD/USD and NZD/USD lost ground, and USD/CAD opened unchanged. The size of the US dollar losses in July, combined with waning month-end portfolio rebalancing flows and renewed coronavirus concerns, limited FX action.
Asia equity indices closed on a mixed noted, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and the Hang Seng modestly lower, while China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index ticked higher. China Non-manufacturing PMI at 54.2 was better than forecast but a tad worse than the 54.4 reported for June. Any disappointment was offset by Manufacturing PMI which came in at 51.1 (June 50.9). European equity indexes were flat to slightly higher. US Futures point to a positive open on Wall Street, supported by yesterday’s strong tech earnings reports, after the close. US Michigan Consumer Sentiment and Chicago Purchasing Manager Index are due today.
Canadian dollar highlights:
USD/CAD remained bid, even as EUR/USD and GBP/USD rallied, and remains trapped in the 1.3330-1.3470 ranges since July 21. USD/CAD may be getting a bit of support from concern that oil prices will drop again when Opec increases production. The 2.2 million barrel per day emergency production cut expires August 1. Traders are looking ahead to today’s GDP data which is forecast to show the economy grew at 3.5% m/m in May, a vast improvement on April’s 11.6% decline.
EUR/USD climbed steadily in Asia rising from 1.1846 to 1.1908 in early European trading. Prices continue to be supported by the dovish FOMC outlook, rising coronavirus cases, and failure to pass another stimulus bill to replace the CARES Act. Reality intruded when Euro area Q2 GDP was -12.1% q/q. The drop was expected, but it served to remind EUR/USD bulls the Eurozone economy was a long way from pre-pandemic levels.
British pound highlights:
GBP/USD is ready to close out July as the best performing G-10 currency. Prices extended yesterday’s gains, rising from 1.3088 to 1.3143. There were not any announcements about a break-through in EU/UK trade talks, and there were not any blow-out UK economic data reports. There is some talk that the bulk of the GBPUSD rally this week is due to month-end portfolio rebalancing flows.
Asia Pacific highlights:
USD/JPY slid from 105.25 yesterday to 104.20 just before Europe opened. Prices rebounded in part because Ministry of finance officials, who do not comment on FX levels,” said they were watching FX markets with urgency and saying, “stability is important.” Prices bounced to 104.65 at the NY open. Gains are limited as the technicals are bearish below 105.50. AUD/USD and NZD/USD gave back Asia gains in Europe, mostly due to profit-taking, however, the positive China data underpinned prices.