Sterling bears were unleashed during Wednesday’s trading session, with the British pound/U.S. dollar currency pair sinking to a fresh seven-week low at 1.2150 as investor anxiety heightened ahead of the UK Spring Budget speech. Treasury chief Philip Hammond will be in the limelight today, and is set to provide some insight on the UK government’s financial plans as it embarks on its quest to exit the European Union.
The general consensus going into today’s UK budget is that Chancellor Philip Hammond will disappoint and that the pound/U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) currency pair may extend its declines towards 1.20. He is well aware of Brexit risks and may thus predict a more turbulent economic outlook.
Comments from members of the U.S. Federal Reserve have put a rate hike in March back on the table. Lack of details on the Trump administration pro-growth policies had reduced the probability of the central bank raising interest rates but the words from Chair Yellen and other influential members now have the market pricing in an 80% probability of a rate increase on March 15.
A day after their biggest daily gains of the year so far, U.S. equity indices are heading for an unchanged open on Thursday as investors await more commentary from the Fed ahead of its blackout period.
Brexit-fuelled anxieties have exposed Sterling to sharp losses this week with sellers exploiting the rising uncertainty to attack the GBP/USD currency pair to a fresh six-week low at 1.2260 during trading on Thursday. Sentiment is turning increasingly bearish towards the Pound and the terrible combination of soft domestic economic data from the UK coupled with political risk could ensure the currency remains pressured.
The sharp drop in the price of oil has weighed heavily on the oil-linked Canadian dollar today. The USD/CAD currency pair has surged above 1.3200 handle and was heading toward 1.3280 resistance at the time of this writing. The USD/CAD’s rally has come despite an otherwise down day for the U.S. dollar, which has been hurt by soft data and anxiety ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech tonight.
Many economists, as well as business owners, are concerned that Donald Trump's protectionist stance is going to have a serious impact on U.S. growth, and for those with an interest in forex data and currency futures, this means depreciation of the dollar over time. Here, we look at what protectionism could mean, and whether there are other policies under Trump that may be able to offset the negative view on this in economic circles.
The signs were there for a stock market plunge, which is exactly what has happened today. Gold, a perceived safe-haven asset, had been rising strongly of late despite the dollar’s strength and the equity market rally. The Japanese yen, likewise another safe haven asset, has been firm and today it has got firmer.
Monetary policy guidance and strong U.S. data failed to provide another push higher for the greenback last week. Fed Chair Janet Yellen made a blunt statement in her testimony before Congress that it would be unwise to wait too long to tighten monetary policy.
The U.S. dollar is higher against most major pairs ahead of the Presidents Day long weekend. American economic fundamentals had a strong week, but failed to gain traction given the rise of political risk as Trump's Administration continues to send mixed messages to markets. The stock market and safe havens like gold and the Japanese yen finished higher against the dollar in a very political week.