US dollar finding its feet

Markets continue to second guess the Fed but the Fed’s Bullard did not provide much by way of clues overnight. Nonetheless, US Treasury yields continue to push higher. Taken together with an upgrade to US credit ratings by S&P ratings (in light of the better US fiscal outlook) provided some support to the USD. Data releases overnight provides little direction and a similarly lean data schedule today will leave markets without any major directional influences aside from reacting to the rise in US yields.

After dropping by around 3% the USD index looks to be showing greater stability and further gains are likely over coming weeks as the USD tracks US yields higher. Retail sales data on Thursday will provide more direction both to Treasuries and to the USD and a likely healthy reading expected ought to allow the USD to register further gains. Similarly June Michigan confidence data is likely to reveal that consumer sentiment remains at its strongest level since July 2007.

Conversely the EUR is unlikely to react well to the hearing in the German Constitutional court on a number of legal complaints in particular the ECB’s Outright Monetary Purchases (OMT) programme, with the German Bundesbank being of the most vociferous opponents of the programme. While the court is unlikely to rule against OMT, it will at the least highlight the divisions within the Eurozone over this and other policies.

The Bank of Japan’s inaction at its policy meeting today was met with disappointment. There was a significant minority expecting action especially the implementation of 2 year liquidity provisioning operations widely reported by the Japanese press. Consequently the JPY strengthened following the unchanged BoJ decision but its gains are likely to be limited. Relatively higher US yields suggest that the USD will renew its strength versus JPY.

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