US dollar tracking Treasury yields

Despite the firmer tone to risk appetite the USD index moved higher tracking the move in US Treasury yields. Indeed, the USD’s reaction was actually opposite to what would be expected given the rally in risk assets but its move clearly reflects the growing influence of yields.

The surprisingly robust April ISM manufacturing survey following the disappointing Chicago PMI for the same month highlights that recovery is not straightforward, suggesting that USD gains will also not be straightforward.

March factory orders are on tap today but the bigger focus will be on the April ADP jobs report, which will give important clues to Friday’s payrolls data. Expectations centre on a 170k outcome for the ADP report, a smaller increase than the 209k registered in March. In the meantime I expect the USD to hold its gains.

As noted at the start of the week EUR/USD was poised to edge higher despite the bad economic news emerging from the region. EUR/USD has continued to strengthen over recent weeks despite the release of data showing Eurozone economic underperformance relative to the US. A case in point is the April Eurozone purchasing manager’s data to be released today, which will reveal further weakness, especially in peripheral countries.

Some easing in peripheral bond yields has helped to support sentiment for the EUR leading to further short covering in the currency but further gains are expected to be limited. EUR/USD now sits around the middle of its 1.30-1.35 range but further upside will be restricted ahead of the key US jobs data on Friday. EUR/USD resistance is seen around the 1.3385 level.

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