The Turkish Lira resumed its drop early Monday touching a new record low of 7.21 per dollar before recovering slightly during Asia trade. Comments from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak over the weekend that a plan would be revealed today to calm the markets failed to restore confidence.
Another week has flown by and what a disastrous one it has been for the likes of the Turkish lira and to a lesser degree the British pound, but once again it has been a good for the US dollar. Next week should be equally exciting as there are a few important data releases to look forward to, while the ongoing situation in Turkey could bring about further volatility – not just for the lira but the stock markets too.
The economic situation in Turkey has been a powder keg for months, and it’s finally found a spark. While investors have never truly trusted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he’s shredded his last vestiges of credibility in recent months by appointing his son-in-law as the country’s finance minister and espousing his belief that lower interest rates were needed to fight inflation, the exact opposite of economic orthodoxy (and your humble author would argue, all the empirical evidence of centuries of central banking); indeed, Erdogan recently stated, “interest rates are the mother and father of all evil."
After a sharp slide, the pound has finally caught a bid today. While it is too early to suggest that a low has been hit, today’s rebound is certainly a welcome relief for the pound bulls. The British pound/U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) currency pair has ended a run of five consecutive losses, the GBP/JPY is up after falling six days in a row, while the euro/British pound (EUR/GBP) is back below 0.90 after a sharp four-day rally.
As the Brexit-hit pound continues to get a hammering, the FTSE is still going strong despite an otherwise lackluster day in the stock markets. The GBP/USD broke below the 1.29 handle to reach its lowest level since last August, while the EUR/GBP hit a fresh high for the year at 0.90 and the GBP/JPY dropped below the May low of 143.20, as investors fretted over the prospects of a no-deal Brexit. The weakness of the pound may be the reason why the FTSE is trading higher.
It’s been a relatively quiet day for many major currencies today, with a dollop of weakness in the Canadian dollar and a touch of strength in the Australian dollar after last night’s RBA meeting the most notable moves so far. While British pound/U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) currency pair has been essentially flat on the day, there are a couple of major events coming up on Friday that could shake the pair from its top.
Fears of a full-blown trade war between the world’s two biggest economies are set to intensify after the Trump Administration announced another round of tariffs on Chinese products on Tuesday. In a move that is likely to cause the further deterioration of US-China trade relations, the United States will begin imposing 25% tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese imports starting from Aug. 23. With Beijing expected to fight back by targeting $16 billion worth of U.S. goods with equal tariffs, the US-China trade saga could get even messier.
The dollar has remained bid against most currencies post-Friday’s U.S. jobs report. The greenback rose on Friday in reaction to the mixed-bag nonfarm payrolls report which showed a weaker-than-expected headline number, but that was offset by positive revisions to the previous reports and a decent but expected rise in average hourly earnings figure.
The U.S. dollar fell on Friday after the U.S. Non-farm payrolls (NFP) came in below expectations with only a gain of 157,000, but otherwise the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% and wage growth remained unchanged at 0.3%.