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Commentary: USD rallies on Fed and trade news
00:00, 07 January 2014
USD is on the move again this morning, gaining against resource currencies like CAD and AUD in particular on supportive overnight news. Late yesterday, Janet Yellen was confirmed as the next Chair in a Senate vote last night, but only by a 56-26 margin. This was a record low of support for a nominee to that position and much lower than outgoing Chair Bernanke’s last confirmation which was by a 70-30 margin. Part of the reason for the vote may be low attendance due to the bitterly cold weather across North America this week. The result also suggests, however, that monetary dovishness has become less popular politically and because of this, the central bank could come under increased pressure to continue or accelerate tapering and eventually start normalizing the money supply and interest rates. A less dovish Fed would remove a key factor that had been undermining USD and speculation of continued tapering has taken much of the pressure off the greenback enabling it to rebound. Better than expected trade numbers out of the US have also provided support this morning. Stock markets in Europe and North America have been on the rebound this morning. Spain’s IBEX and Italy’s MIB have been leading the charge once again on anticipation that their depressed economies may rebound this year. US indices plus the FTSE and DAX have bounced back at a more moderate pace and appear to be essentially clawing back yesterday’s losses as they continue to consolidate. Today is relatively quiet for news but action could pick up this evening with the first half of China’s monthly basket of economic indicators due followed by US ADP payrolls tomorrow morning. Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: US trade balance ($34B) vs street ($40B) Canada trade balance ($0.9B) vs street ($0.1B) Germany retail sales 1.6% vs previous (0.2%) Germany unemployment chnge (15K) vs street (1K) Germany unemployment rate 6.9% as expected Australia trade balance ($118 million) vs street ($300 million) Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EST Canada Ivey PMI street 54.5 vs previous 53.7