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Whitehouse Jawboning Rattles Greenback
Tucked away in yesterday’s data was a US 7 year Treasury auction and with concern building over the Trump Administration’s ability to deliver a meaningful boost for the nation’s economy, bond yields came under pressure. Investors were clearly keen to get a slice of the action with the offer covered almost two and a half times, underlining their uncertainty over just how rosy the outlook might be for the US economy. With a flurry of fresh releases due out of the US later today, the potential has to be for any overshoot to be received with some dollar buying – and the potential bidding up of bond yields, although sustaining any move like this may be the difficult part.
The Traders’ View
Our prop desk is currently shorting the Yen off both the Kiwi dollar and the Pound, whilst there’s also notable interest in long cable positions, with buying having been seen above 1.2525.
Fundamentals – Whitehouse jawboning rattles greenback
Over the last 24 hours we’ve seen some across the board dollar weakness emerging as the market responds to two key messages emerging from the White House. US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s comments over limits as to just how much the administration can do to bolster growth in the near term have been combined with Donald Trump’s musings that he wants to see a weaker dollar to encourage exports from the USA. As a result the dollar index is languishing round levels not seen since the start of the week, whilst other major currencies have also found meaningful support against the greenback. With a flurry of data releases due this afternoon including Michigan Consumer Sentiment and New Home Sales all at 3pm GMT, anything that looks a bit hotter than expected here could offer the dollar a shot in the arm.
The outlook for the Canadian dollar is being very much overshadowed by Donald Trump’s proposed border tax plans that would see imports hit with a notable levy, whilst exporters would receive the proceeds in the form of a rebate. As with many of the new President’s policies, there’s a lack of clarity over the detail or indeed the exact timing of any change, so since Trump’s inauguration, USD/CAD has traded in a relatively narrow channel. We could see something of a short term break out of this today however with January’s inflation data due for release at 1.30pm GMT. Whilst the border tax has the potential for the bigger overall impact, a notable contraction below the -0.1% that’s forecast for the core month-on-month reading could well see USD/CAD break out of the current range on the upside.
That talking down of the dollar combined with the lack of clarity from the Fed earlier in the week has served to help propel gold to pre-US election highs in recent trade. We noted the technical drivers behind this move yesterday, too, although if we do see this afternoon’s US economic data come in a little better than forecast, the potential for a dollar correction will likely take the shine off these latest gains. 

This article comprises the personal view and opinion of the STO Investment Research Desk and at no time should be construed as Investment Advice.
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