The U.S. dollar is lower against most major pairs on Friday. The greenback was waiting for U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s speech at the central bank summit in Jackson Hole but in the end no new information was provided. Chair Powell reiterated the data dependency of the central bank and shared his optimism regarding inflation. The market is already pricing in two US rate hikes in 2018 and the somewhat dovish remarks from Powell did not add support to the U.S. dollar.
China is buying our oil and that could be Iran’s worst nightmare. It seems that the Chinese trade talks went nowhere, but despite that fact, China’s demand for U.S. crude oil might rise anyway. According to Reuters “China’s Unipec will resume purchases of U.S. crude oil in October after a two-month halt due to the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.”
The U.S. dollar fell against major pairs on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that China and the European Union manipulate their currencies. Trade war escalation has reached the second phase at a time when American politics are having an identity crisis with the ongoing Russian interference during the 2016 elections. Steven Mnuchin will head to Buenos Aires to take part in the finance ministers G20 meeting with trade and monetary policies sure to be a topic of discussion.
It’s looking like being a quiet end to the trading week, with the only notable economic releases coming from Canada and it being one of the less eventful days of earnings season. The Canadian inflation figures will be one interesting takeaway today, after a year in which the central bank has been actively raising interest rates, most recently this month taking the number of hikes to four.
Markets haven’t been behaving well with Thursday/Friday being the latest example. I’m not even sure it was the weak jobs number which came in at 103,000 despite expectations of 182,000. Supposedly the Ides of March always augur in bad weather which leads to a "less than" haul. We’ll see soon enough in 30 days whether the weather caused an outlier.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell went to Wall Street and was not happy enough to enact whatever rate hikes the Fed had planned for this year, and markets were told to count on three more in 2019. Nobody knows what tomorrow or next month will bring, let alone next year. I came away thinking this guy is trying to pop the stock market bubble.
The FOMC members will gather today for a two-day meeting. It will be the most important event this week, since Powell will chair the meeting for the first time. Gold investors want to get to know him better as the uncertainty makes them a bit nervous.
The U.S. dollar is mixed against major pairs ahead of the March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The Fed is expected to deliver its fist interest rate lift under Chair Jerome Powell. The Fed will publish its rate statement on Wednesday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Strong data has fuelled the dollar revival but the drama in the White House and tariff uncertainty are keeping the currency down against safe haven currencies.