Dollar firms after Powell states policy ‘well positioned’

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26 November 2019


The US dollar has had a good start to the Thanksgiving week, rising against most major currencies on Monday.

lack of appetite for additional Federal Reserve rate cuts and a Dow Jones near record highs can be attributed to much of the dollar strength. Fed Chair Jerome Powell once again indicated during his speech yesterday that rates are unlikely to be lowered any further. He stated that monetary policy was currently well positioned in order to support the already strong US labour market.

The greenback did, however, give back some of its gains against the higher risk currencies following some upbeat comments out of the US-China trade war. According to China’s Global Times, talks between trade representatives from both sides have been progressing well, with the signing of the phase 1 deal reportedly close.

That being said, as we mentioned last week, investors are getting buffeted by so many contrasting headlines that each now seem to be taken with a grain of salt and the reaction in the markets to the news was therefore relatively limited.

A number of mostly second-tier economic reports will be released in the US this afternoon. Housing data out today should be strong provided it reflects the impact of lower interest rates. Looking further ahead, investors will have one eye on tomorrow’s revised US growth data for the third quarter, although no significant alterations to the data are expected.

Euro edges towards the 1.10 level

A worse-than-expected set of IFO confidence indicators out of Germany far from helped the euro’s cause yesterday, which edged perilously close to the 1.10 level. While the business climate index was in line with consensus, the expectations index, an early indicator of activity over the next six months, came in at just 92.1 in November versus the 92.5 that economists had pencilled in.

The common currency is still nursing its losses from Friday after a pretty dire services PMI and some dovish comments from new ECB President Lagarde ramped up selling pressure. There’s no major data out of the bloc until Thursday, so the euro may get a little bit of respite until then, barring any significant news from elsewhere.

Survation poll shows narrowest race in three weeks

The pound was one of the few major currencies to outperform the dollar yesterday, although it gave back much of its gains this morning. Investors in the UK remain fixated on the upcoming general election. A report out over the weekend from number crunching firm Datapraxis suggested that the Tories could be set for a fairly hefty 50 seat majority, which would be great news for the pound.

Investors are, however, not getting too carried away, particularly following the turnaround witnessed at the 2017 election, where Labour massively outperformed on election day. The most recent opinion poll released by ICM Research actually showed just a 7% advantage for the Conservative Party, the narrowest lead Johnson has enjoyed since a Survation polls on the 8th November. A similarly suppressed lead in any of the upcoming polls could drag sterling lower over the coming days.