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Forex - Yen Weaker, Euro Steady Ahead of ECB Meeting

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The yen was weaker on Wednesday as a cautious risk-on mood dampened safe haven demand, while the euro was steady ahead of the upcoming European Central Bank meeting on Thursday.

ECB policymakers are widely is expected to unveil a fresh wave of stimulus measures to shore up growth and inflation in the euro area economy, which has been hit by the escalating U.S.-China trade war and Brexit.

The ECB could set the tone for upcoming rate-setting decisions by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan next week, and for the broader global risk appetite.

But concerns have been building that global central banks are reaching the limits of their stimulus options, especially those with negative interest rates and sub-zero long-term sovereign bond yields.

"Given the chance that the ECB fails to match market expectations for easing policy, the balance of risks favors higher EUR/USD and European FX outperformance," ING forex strategists said in an overnight note.

The euro was little changed against the U.S. dollar at 1.1043 by 02:38 AM ET (06:38GMT).

The dollar pushed higher against the yen, climbing 0.25% to 107.78.

Much of the positive mood in recent days has been driven by optimism that high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators next month can deliver some sort of trade-war breakthrough.

That was tamped down somewhat by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro on Tuesday, when he urged patience about resolving the two-year trade dispute between the world's two largest economies and said to "let the process take its course."

The British pound has managed to hold on to last week's gains after British parliament passed a law compelling Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a delay to the Oct. 31 date for leaving the European Union. Sterling last traded at 1.2365.

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AUD/USD stays on course for test of 100-day moving average

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AUD/USD trades at fresh six-week highs as we begin European trading

AUD/USD D1 11-09

The aussie got a boost earlier from the headline pertaining to China here and that saw AUD/USD hit a high of 0.6885 briefly. Currently, price is challenging resistance around 0.6880 from the 50.0 retracement level as seen above.

It has been a solid run for the pair over the past week and buyers don't look like they are letting up just yet.

The 100-day MA (red line) @ 0.6907 remains the key level to watch in all of this as a break above that will see buyers start to exert more control over the pair in the bigger picture. That will potentially put 0.7000 back on the map with the Fed to come next week.



PM Modi, K P Oli jointly inaugurate Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart K P Sharma Oli on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline via a video link.

The over 60 km-long pipeline is the first-ever cross-border petroleum product pipeline in the South Asia region, according to a video presentation made before the inauguration.

As of now, tankers carry petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973.

"This India-Nepal energy cooperation project is a symbol of our close bilateral relations. It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs," the Prime Minister's Office had said on Monday.

Forex - Euro Steady Ahead of ECB, Sterling Slides

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 The euro was holding steady on Monday as investors looked ahead to a European Central Bank meeting later this week at which new stimulus is expected, while the British pound was pressured lower by Brexit uncertainty.

The euro was little changed at 1.1029 03:41 AM ET (07:41 GMT) after falling 0.1% on Friday.

The ECB is all but certain to approve new stimulus measures on Thursday to boost an ailing economy, but the exact composition of the stimulus package is still unclear.

While an interest rate cut seems like a done deal the big question is whether a resumption of asset purchases will be part of the package after some policymakers said it would be premature.

Heightened expectations for ECB easing come as other global central banks move to ease monetary policy, including the People's Bank of China, which on Friday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves.

Policymakers are rushing to bolster growth as a wide-ranging dispute between the United States and China over trade policy drags into a second year, increasing the risk of recession.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to act "as appropriate" to sustain the economic expansion in the world's biggest economy, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Friday in Zurich, confirming expectations for a rate cut at the Fed's next policy decision on Sept. 18.

Sterling traded at 1.2254, down 0.2% for the day.

The U.S. dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 98.40.

The dollar traded at 106.97 yen, little changed from Friday.

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Divorce insurance: Is it time for Indians to secure alimony settlements?

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Ashmit Gupta, a 38-year old Kolkata businessman who has filed for a divorce, must arrange Rs 30 lakh for the alimony his ex-wife has sought. While he has investments worth Rs 10 lakh that will pay a part of that amount, he is still to arrange Rs 20 lakh within the next few months.

Countries like Egypt are now contemplating a law to make divorce insurance mandatory to ensure that men are able to pay alimony to their ex-spouses without having to face a financial burden. Considering the financial costs linked to a divorce and subsequent payments to the spouse, it could be time for Indians to seek insurance to cover divorces as well.

While India still has among the lowest divorce rates, the numbers have doubled over the last one decade. As per Census 2011, there were 1,362,316 divorces in India. While the number is low compared to other countries, it is still a significant number.

If the average alimony amount per divorce stood at Rs 15 lakh, it is a whopping Rs 2.04 lakh crore in settlements itself for the 1.36 million divorces. Over and above that are the legal expenses and child support which would run into several lakhs of rupees.

It is estimated that the alimony payment amount in India has risen by 35 percent over the last five to seven years.

Taking an insurance policy that pays for the divorce proceedings is a financially-prudent idea. Usually taken at the time of marriage, this insurance product will provide for all financial costs pertaining to a divorce.

The premium payable depends on the earning capacity of the individual and the income profile of the couple. There is usually a period of initial two to three years during which a claim is not admissible.

As a starter, policies with a standard cover of Rs 25 lakh or 30 lakh could be offered. These would be priced at less than Rs 15,000 per annum. If any individual seeks additional insurance, top-up plans could be offered.

The amount and duration for which alimony is payable depends on how long the marriage existed. Marriages that last more than 10 years are even entitled to get a lifelong alimony.

In India, there is no cap on the amount of alimony that can be sought by the wife. In case of a lump-sum settlement, the amount could go up to one-third of the husband’s net-worth.

With Indian couples being far more open to the idea of a divorce than a decade ago, it is imperative that the financial costs will also be considered. Having insurance products available for this purpose could help sort out the financial matters and help the couple focus on other crucial matters including property division and child custody.

Forex: Traders Look to Beijing for New Stimulus

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The U.S. dollar was marginally higher Monday morning and the yuan strengthened somewhat as weak export data from China suggested Beijing might introduce new stimulus measures.

The US Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies was up 0.03% to 98.42 by 10:12 PM ET (02:12 GMT).The dollar got some bad news on Friday on a weaker than expected nonfarm payrolls report that reported 130,000 new jobs, compared to the 150,000 Wall Street had been expecting.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) set the reference rate for the yuan at 7.0851, compared to Friday’s fix of 7.0855.

Chinese exports fell by 1% in August, defying expectations for a 2% increase. Shipments to the U.S. slowed down sharply as a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. The new data has led to speculation that Beijing will introduce stimulus measures beyond the cut to banks reserve requirement ratios (RRR) of 50 basis points or 100 basis points for some banks, introduced on Friday.

The USD/JPY pair traded down 0.05% at 106.85. Japan’s economy grew by 1.3% between April and June, according to data from the Cabinet Office released today. The data matched the expectations of economists polled by Reuters. The rate translates into quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.3%.

The AUD/USD pair was up 0.07% at 0.6851 while the NZD/USD pair was up 0.05% to 0.6428.

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U.S jobs data supports dollar as fragile risk-on mood holds

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 Encouraging U.S. economic data gave the dollar an edge over its peers on Friday, arresting a recent flight from the greenback while also supporting Asian currencies as investors toned down recent gloom over the global economy.

Separate surveys suggested the world's largest economy is in better shape than investors had feared. U.S. service sector activity accelerated in August and private employers boosted hiring beyond expectations.

It contributed to a broad risk-on shift in money, bond and stock markets stoked by news that China-U.S. trade talks would resume next month, and supported the dollar.

"Stronger than forecast employment, factory orders and productivity numbers contradicted the recent 'slowing U.S. economy' narrative," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at brokerage CMC Markets in Sydney.

The dollar recouped some losses against the Australian and New Zealand dollars and against a basket of currencies clambered off a one-week low to hold flat around 98.419.

Traders now await the government's monthly payrolls report due at 1230 GMT on Friday for the next snapshot on the labor market's health.

"Investors are now hoping they can take this week's positivity over the finishing line, so fingers crossed the August U.S. payroll report...doesn't throw a damp towel on the proceedings," said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific  Market Strategist at AxiTrader.

Other factors supporting risk sentiment were a potential breakthrough in the Hong Kong political crisis and reduced chances of Britain crashing out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal.

The pound rose to its highest level against the dollar in more than a month and held most of those gains to trade around $1.2326 in Asian hours.

That was in spite of more political chaos in Britain, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to kick off what is in effect an election and a Brexit campaign was overshadowed on Thursday when his younger brother quit the government.

The euro (EUR=EBS) was steady at $1.1031 at 0030 GMT. The yuan gained overnight and held in morning offshore trade around 7.1382 per dollar. The trade-exposed South Korean won hit a month high of 1,198.40 per dollar.

Sentiment has been skittish, however, since the Brexit project remains up in the air and previous progress on U.S.-China trade negotiations has failed in the past.

The yen, which was sold to a one-month low of 107.22 per dollar on Thursday, bounced a little to 106.98, a signal some caution remains.

"These moves may prove to be short term rather than the start of a fresh cycle," said Nick Twidale, director of Sydney-based brokerage XChainge.

"Both the major geo-political issues that seem to have turned over the last few days have a large degree of uncertainty associated with them over the medium, let alone long term," he said, referring to Brexit and U.S-China trade talks.

"We've seen a lot of activity on the frequent flyer accounts of both the Chinese and US trade negotiation teams before which has resulted in little in the way of progress."

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Canadian Dollar Technical Analysis Overview: USD/CAD, GBP/CAD, EUR/CAD

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CAD Analysis and Talking Points

  • USD/CAD | Momentum Shifts to the Downside, 50DMA Eyed
  • GBP/CAD | Bounce Fades, Brexit Keeps Cross Volatile
  • EUR/CAD | Key Fibonacci Support Breaks
  • USD/CAD | MOMENTUM SHIFTS TO THE DOWNSIDE, 50DMA EYED
  • USD/CAD saw its sharpest fall since January 30th as a neutral statement from the BoC had been perceived as hawkish relative to expectations, while oil prices had also surged over 4%. However, while momentum indicators may well be pointing to further downside, eyes are on whether trend signals confirm the recent shift in momentum. On the downside, support is situated at the 50DMA at 1.3188, in which a closing break below raises risk of a 1.3115 test (61.8% Fib of 1.2780-1.3660 rise). Looking ahead, market participants will be paying attention to comments from the BoC Deputy Governor at 1700BST, while external factors regarding key US data will also be in focus.

    USD/CAD Price Chart: Daily Time Frame (May 2019 – Sep 2019)

    Canadian Dollar Technical Analysis Overview: USD/CAD, GBP/CAD, EUR/CAD

    GBP/CAD | BOUNCE FADES, BREXIT KEEPS CROSS VOLATILE

    Despite the recent bid in GBP/CAD, the 50DMA situated at 1.6230 has held firm, thus curbing the upside in the cross. That said, as will be the case with many GBP pairs, Brexit induced volatility is likely to cause sizeable swings. On the topside, key resistance resides at 1.6300-25, which has previously limited gains in the pair. Trend signals are relatively weak, emphasising the fact that the cross is lacking firm direction, as such, the cross may stay within a 1.60-1.63 range.

    GBP/CAD Price Chart: Daily Time Frame (Feb 2019 – Sep 2019)

    Canadian Dollar Technical Analysis Overview: USD/CAD, GBP/CAD, EUR/CAD

    EUR/CAD | KEY FIBONACCI SUPPORT BREAKS

    The downtrend continues for EUR/CAD, which trades at a fresh 2 year low. A neutral BoC vs a dovish ECB that is set to announce a new stimulus package next week keeps the outlook bearish, particularly with momentum indicators also bearishly aligned. The cross has now edged below the 50% Fibonacci retracement of the 1.3017-1.6150 rise, which in turn opens-up a move towards the 1.45 handle.

    EUR/CAD Price Chart: Weekly Time Frame (Jan 2015 – Sep 2019)

    Canadian Dollar Technical Analysis Overview: USD/CAD, GBP/CAD, EUR/CAD



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USD/IDR Flat After Negative Consumer Confidence Report

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A pile of mixed IDR banknotesThe Indonesian rupiah was flat versus the US dollar after the negative consumer confidence report.

The Bank Indonesia reported that the Consumer Confidence Index was at 123.1 in August. That was a decline from July’s 124.8. Still, the report said that the index was “in the optimistic zone”.

USD/IDR was flat at 14,160 as of 8:15 GMT today.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the Indonesian Rupiah, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Indonesian Rupiah:

  • USD/IDR Flat After Bank Indonesia Cuts Interest Rates (2019-08-22)
  • Indonesian Rupiah Climbs vs. US Dollar As Crude Oil Prices Drop (2018-12-19)
  • Indonesian Rupiah Stable After Central Bank Raises Interest Rates (2018-08-15)
  • Bank Indonesia May Intervene to Support Falling Rupiah (2018-04-25)
  • Indonesian Rupiah Weakens on Fed Interest Rate Hike Bets (2018-04-23)
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Indian rupee unlikely to gain traction as investors stay shy: Reuters poll

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The Indian rupee will not regain ground lost against the dollar in the coming year, according to strategists polled by Reuters, who believe a recent rollback of a surcharge on foreign investments will have no impact on the currency.

After gaining about 2% following a sweeping victory in the general election by the incumbent government late in May, the rupee has lost nearly 6% since a July 5 budget when a surcharge on foreign investments was introduced.

That pushed international investors to turn net sellers after being net buyers until then from February.

Although those higher taxes were withdrawn last month, the move did not alleviate the rupee's weakness and about 60% of respondents did not expect it to have any impact for the remainder of the year.

The rupee fell to 72.40 per dollar on Tuesday, its weakest this year, still suffering from data last week that showed the economy grew at its slowest pace in over six years in the last quarter.

The Aug 29-Sept 4 Reuters poll of over 50 strategists predicted the currency will trade around 72 per dollar over the coming year.

While the median forecast showed the rupee will not retest Tuesday's low, the 12-month view was the most pessimistic in Reuters polls since December.

"Although the measures by the government to rollback the surcharge is a step in the right direction, the damage is already done, as foreign investors continue to withdraw from the Indian equity market," said Hugo Erken head of international economics at Rabobank, referring to its impact on the rupee.

"Given other factors which fuel a further risk-off sentiment - such as...weak GDP print of 5% for fiscal Q1 and further escalation of the China-U.S. trade war - we feel it is difficult to attract investors to make up for the losses in portfolio flows."

That weaker rupee view lines up with a separate Reuters positioning poll which showed short bets for the currency rose to the highest since November 2018 on growing concerns about the U.S.-China trade war.

Emerging market currencies, including the Indian rupee, have been hit hard by the intensifying trade war. China has allowed the yuan (CNY) to weaken further beyond 7 per dollar to help offset new tariffs imposed by the United States.

"USDINR continues to watch CNY movements and broader dollar bias, which at this juncture points toward further INR weakness owing to a weak global environment," noted Radhika Rao, economist at DBS in Singapore.

Slowing growth concerns pushed central banks across a group of 37 developing economies to deliver a net fourteen interest rate cuts last month - the largest since the financial crisis.

Of those, the Reserve Bank of India was one of the most aggressive. It has lowered interest rates several times this year and is expected to do so again.

However, over 75% of strategists in response to a separate question said expected RBI rate cuts would have no impact on the rupee or be negative. The remainder said easing would benefit the currency.

"Even after the 110 (basis points of) cuts, the impact on the rupee was felt more recently when a number of other factors emerged, including the slowdown in both domestic and global demand," said Kunal Kundu, India economist at Societe Generale(PA:SOGN), the most accurate forecaster for Asian currencies in 2018.

"That is why interest rates as a stand-alone factor will only have a marginal effect on the rupee."

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