Ahead of the ECB meeting, euro traders are approaching things with a bit of caution today, apparently taking profit on their long positions with the EUR/USD and EUR/GBP both easing back a little. However, it has been a minor retracement so far and I would not be surprised at all if the single currency were to turn positive again in the afternoon.
Despite today’s sell-off, the price action on the British pound/U.S. dollar currency pair looks bullish thanks mainly to ongoing weakness in U.S. dollar. The cable took its sweet time but last week finally cleared a major hurdle when it closed above the 1.3000-1.3050 resistance area where it had struggled in the past.
Last week's price action in the Canadian dollar marked a major "sea change" for the currency. Whereas the loonie had previously been lumped in with the other commodity dollars struggling to recover from the big downdraft in the price of hard goods, last Wednesday's rate hike from the Bank of Canada injected new life into the currency.
The key theme in the forex markets at the moment is ongoing weakness in the U.S. dollar, which sold off further last week following Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish testimony and disappointing economic data. The Federal Reserve Chairwoman indicated that rates may "not have to rise all that much further to get to a neutral policy stance.”
Gold has been undermined by rising government bond yields owing to major central banks generally turning more hawkish while the still-buoyant equity markets means there has been reduced demand for the perceived safe haven asset. Thus, for the time being, the impact of the weaker U.S. dollar is not having any meaningful impact on the buck-denominated precious metal.
At her testimony yesterday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen came across as more dovish than expected. The dollar fell sharply as investors were reminded that future rate rises will be rather gradual. Stock markets love low-interest rate levels and for that reason, they were able to rise sharply which lifted the Dow to a new all-time high. Investors also liked the look of the latest Chinese trade figures that were released overnight.
Today's latest UK jobs and wages data was overall better than expected, which has alleviated some of the concerns about the falls in real wages. But the key question remains: will the Bank of England maintain its recent hawkish rhetoric? I think it will, and I, therefore, expect to see higher levels for the pound against some of her weaker rivals, including the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. dollar is higher against most major pairs after a jobs report that added more than 200,000 positions. The Canadian dollar was the outlier making gains against the greenback on the back of a similar strong jobs report that validates the hawkish comments from the Bank of Canada in the last three weeks.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported the June Non-Farm Payrolls figures, and while the data wasn't perfect, it is certainly reassuring for bulls on the U.S. economy. On a headline basis, the U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June, solidly above economists' expectations of 175,000 new jobs. In addition, the BLS revised its estimate of jobs growth in the previous two months higher, for a net addition of 47,000 more jobs.