Markets expected some additional monetary policy insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen when she addressed a Washington conference this morning. They didn’t get any. She just opened the conference
US Jobless Claims were a tad higher at 258,000 vs. forecast for only 240,000 but the data was ignored
FX markets are fixated on the Republican’s Health Care bill. It is seen as a watershed moment in the Trump presidency. If he can get it to pass, traders would conclude that he won’t have any success with his tax cut or infrastructure spending plans either
Until the results are known, FX trading will be whippy, inside recent ranges.
USDCAD slipped to a low of 1.3317 in Asia and then rallied to 1.3351 in Europe, in part because of the bounce in oil prices. Another test of the overnight low occurred in early New York trading but it failed and USDCAD recouped those losses. Yesterday’s Federal budget did not have any bearing on the FX market.
Oil prices managed to hang on to yesterday’s gains and traded in a narrow $48.15-$8.41 rang. The bottom fell out in New York trading and WTI dropped to $47.71. The health care debate is making everyone nervous.
Sterling rebounded from losses in early European trading when February Retail Sales surpassed expectations. (Actual 1.4% vs forecast 0.4%). GBPUSD popped to 1.2525 from 1.2462 and has settled in the 1.2505-15 area.
EURUSD failed to sustain gains above 1.0800 and the single currency dipped to 1.0768 by the in early New York trading. The ECB Economic Bulletin confirmed that the ECB maintains an easing bias.
In Japan, USDJPY rallied from the 111.13 open, in part because of an uptick in US Treasury yields. That move ended quickly and USDJPY dropped from 111.55 down to 110.65 in New York.
Asia walked in to an announcement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand that they had left the Overnight Cash Rate (OCR) and policy stance unchanged. Governor Graeme Wheeler noted that numerous uncertainties remain, particularly to the international trade outlook.”
NZDUSD declined on the news, falling from 0.7053 to 0.7023. That move didn’t last and Kiwi recouped all its losses by the time London walked in, only to retreat into the New York open. Since then NZDUSD has rallied back to 0.7047.
AUDUSD declined as well but that move was due to nervousness ahead of today’s US healthcare vote.
USDCAD Technical outlook:
The intraday USDCAD technicals are modestly bullish inside a narrow uptrend channel bounded by 1.3310 on the bottom and 1.3420 on the top. In addition, the uptrend line from the middle of February is still in place while prices are above the 1.3260-80 zone. A break above 1.3420 or below 1.3310 will yield another 0.0100 points. For today, USDCAD support is at 1.3310 and 1.3260. Resistance is at 1.3380 and 1.3420.
Today’s Range 1.3310-1.3380
Chart: USDCAD Hourly