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Fed plans in spotlight
There has for some time been talk that Janet Yellen would be on a collision course with Donald Trump and last night’s comments – by all accounts – seemed to reinforce this point. The Federal Reserve Chief maintained her hawkish stance and indicated that the next rate hike wasn’t all that far off, although broad-based dollar support has been slow to materialise. That said, resurgent talk that the terms of the North America Free Trade Agreement would be renegotiated has served to drive USD/CAD notably higher. 

AUS/USD saw little response to the modest tick higher for the Australian unemployment rate, with the pair regaining 0.7500. Despite the overhang of the fact the country could still slide into recession this year, the bigger risk in the near term appears to be what happens next in terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership – another trade agreement that Donald Trump has made it clear he doesn’t support. Comments in the coming days regarding the future role of the US in this deal should be closely watched and could in turn add some fresh downside pressure to the Aussie dollar.

The ECB’s latest interest rate decision is due at 12.45pm GMT this afternoon, but there’s little expectation of Mario Draghi bringing anything new to the table. However any resurgent optimism in the subsequent press conference from 1.30pm GMT could give cause for cheer and in turn help offer EUR/USD some support, with recent highs around 1.07 the likely target. 

Crude oil prices may have been clear of the $50 mark for close on two months now, but again the incoming US President has the ability to shake up matters here a little. This afternoon’s inventory data will be closely followed and the headline figure is expected to show a modest draw. Failure to deliver here could well see prices slide once again, especially on the basis that Trump’s policies will likely favour an expansion of oil output.
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