US dollar languishing at multi month lows

Following the resolution to the uncertainty and stress surrounding the political conflict on raising the US debt ceiling and thereby avoiding a US debt default markets will likely take a more upbeat tone this week extending last week’s rally in risk assets. We will also be able to scrutinise delayed US data releases, in particular the US September employment report which will be released tomorrow and possibly September US retail sales this week.

These and other US data may however, take some of the shine off buoyant equity markets given that they are unlikely to be particularly impressive. Indeed, clues will now be sought to determine exactly what impact the government shutdown and protracted political friction will have had on the economy but the news may not be particularly good in terms of US recovery hopes.

On the plus side and as reflected by the bull flattening in US interest rate markets, markets appear to be pushing back expectations of Fed tapering especially as US politicians will likely gear up for another fight over coming months when the debt ceiling / budget will need renewed agreement.

Fed tapering by December now looks highly unlikely unless the US delivers a series of very positive data surprises. The net impact on the USD is clearly a negative one, with the currency continuing to languish at multi month lows and showing little sign of turning around over the near term.

Elsewhere, in Europe the data will be a little more encouraging, with the ‘flash’ purchasing managers’ indices and the Germany IFO business confidence survey expected to show further improvement while in the UK a healthy reading for Q3 GDP is likely to add to the view that further Bank of England asset purchases are moving off the table. The EUR will likely benefit from the weakness in the USD and relatively better data releases although the sharp increase in EUR positioning suggests that further upside momentum may slow.

Asian currencies will continue to benefit from a double dose of good news from the US debt ceiling agreement as well as a run of positive Chinese releases over recent weeks. This is set to continue this week, with solid Chinese purchasing managers indices (PMI) data expected on Thursday and firm Q3 Korean GDP data on Friday. Meanwhile the central bank BSP in the Philippines is likely to keep policy on hold this week given the well behaved inflation backdrop.


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