Friday, January 22

FX Update – Ahead of NFP, USD finds a bid

The narrow trade-weighted USDIndex (DXY) posted a two-day high at 93.16, extending the rebound from the 27-month low seen yesterday at 92.53. EURUSD concurrently retreated to a 1.1819 low, which is a pip shy of yesterday’s low and 2 pips shy of making it a big figure correction from yesterday’s 27-month peak. Cable posted a two-day low at 1.3098, drawing back from the 1.3187 five-month peak seen Thursday following the warily upbeat BoE outlook. USDJPY continued to ply a narrow range (less than 15 pips) around the 105.50 mark. Both the Aussie and Kiwi Dollars corrected moderately as the US currency firmed. AUDUSD, after first edging out a high at 0.7243, which matches Wednesday’s 18-month peak, ebbed to a low at 0.7196. USDCAD lifted to a three-day high at 1.3372.

Front-month USOil futures were soft for a second day, maintaining sub-$42.00 levels after posting a five-month high earlier in the week at $42.52. Gold prices corrected below $2,050.00 after printing a fresh nominal record high at $2,077.85. The ascent of gold has been a reflection of investor concerns over the risk of there being an eventual pop in inflation as a consequence of massive global fiscal stimulus efforts and massive global monetary uber-accommodation, although there has been scant sign of this happening thus far, with disinflation remaining in force and with much of the US yield curve and other sovereign benchmark yields either at or near record lows. In the mix is speculation that the Fed, and possibly other major central banks, may be amid a strategic shift to allow higher inflation.

The US Department of Labor’s weekly initial jobless claims will be THE key data release from the US later today, while labor market reports from Canada and the United States will be closely watched by market participants. The median forecast of economists polled by Reuters is for the Non-Farm Payroll to rise by 1,600,000, following the big miss in ADP number of 167,000 on Wednesday and the better than expected Weekly Claims yesterday of 1,186,000 compared to expectations of 1,400,000. The range in the Reuters poll estimates varies from -280,000 to 3,500,000. On the other hand, Canada is expected to add 400,000 jobs with the Unemployment Rate slumping lower to 11% from 12.3%.

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