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Dollar finds support as trade talks stay on track, euro nurses losses

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The euro nursed losses on Tuesday after weak readings on German manufacturing rattled confidence, while the dollar found broad support as investors looked for signs of progress from Sino-U.S. trade negotiations.

The single currency (EUR=) shed 0.2% overnight after a survey showed European business activity stalling, and in fact going backwards in powerhouse Germany where a manufacturing recession deepened.

It held around $1.0990 in Asian hours, while the dollar edged higher against the Japanese yen to buy 107.58 yen and held its ground on the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

Against a basket of currencies (DXY), the dollar edged higher to 98.621.

"The U.S. dollar is rising by default rather than anything U.S.-specific," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, adding that volumes were low as traders mostly kept to the sidelines waiting for news.

"Trade is never far from the markets' radar, but I think currency markets are increasingly expecting (U.S-China tensions) to be protracted, I think optimism has dissipated."

The British pound wallowed at $1.2431, near a one-week low, ahead of a UK Supreme Court ruling due around 0930 GMT.

The court will rule on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament just weeks before Brexit, with the case's outcome potentially complicating his plans to lead his country out of the European Union next month.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were steady ahead of a speech by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Phil Lowe at 1005 GMT, with the market expecting a dovish tone after weak jobs data last week lifted expectations of an imminent rate cut.

Both currencies sat near three-week lows, with the Aussie buying $0.6772 and the kiwi $0.6290.

"We think Lowe will provide a strong signal that the RBA is ready to cut rates again, endorsing our view for a 25bp cut in October," said Tapas Strickland, a director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank in Sydney.

"Any comments on the scope for unconventional policy will also be critical for the market."

The Bank of Japan's governor Haruhiko Kuroda is also due to speak today, around 0530 GMT.

Meanwhile a delicate upbeat mood broadly held, with Chinese importers' decision to buy 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans seen as a positive sign leading in to trade negotiations next month.

China's yuan strengthened very slightly to 7.1056 in offshore trade.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business that discussions were scheduled in two weeks and that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

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US Dollar Index Technical Analysis: The Greenback faces initial support at the 55-day SMA at 97.89

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  • DXY is extending the consolidative theme above the 98.00 handle following another interest rate cut at the FOMC meeting on Wednesday.
  • The immediate bullish view stays uncompromised for the time being, sustained by the 55-day SMA at 97.89 and Friday’s low at 97.86 .
  • If the recovery gathers traction, the index should then target last week’s peak at 99.10.

DXY daily chart

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DOLLAR INDEX SPOT


OVERVIEW
Today last price98.32
Today Daily Change34
Today Daily Change %-0.26
Today daily open98.58
 
TRENDS
Daily SMA2098.4
Daily SMA5097.99
Daily SMA10097.63
Daily SMA20097.16
 
LEVELS
Previous Daily High98.69
Previous Daily Low98.2
Previous Weekly High99.11
Previous Weekly Low97.99
Previous Monthly High99.02
Previous Monthly Low97.21
Daily Fibonacci 38.2%98.5
Daily Fibonacci 61.8%98.39
Daily Pivot Point S198.29
Daily Pivot Point S298
Daily Pivot Point S397.8
Daily Pivot Point R198.78
Daily Pivot Point R298.98
Daily Pivot Point R399.27

Forex - Yen Rises against Dollar After BOJ Holds

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The yen rose from a seven week low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy on hold, in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s overnight decision to cut rates.

The dollar was down 0.44% to 107.95 yen by 2:32 AM ET (6:32 GMT) after the BoJ kept policy on hold, as expected, but signaled it could ease next month.

Central banks around the world have been loosening policy to counter the risks of low inflation and recession.

The Fed cut interest rates for a second time this year on Wednesday in a 7-3 vote. The rate cut was widely expected, but the split vote has raised some concern about predicting the future path of monetary policy.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described U.S. prospects as "favourable" and the rate move as "insurance." He did not rule out future cuts, but his remarks were not as dovish as markets had hoped for.

The euro rose 0.1% against the dollar to 1.1045, while the British pound was little changed at 1.2468.

Investors are awaiting a Bank of England policy meeting later Thursday. The BOE is expected to  keep rates unchanged, but uncertainty over Brexit has complicated the monetary policy outlook.

The Australian dollar was down 0.6% at 0.6786 after data overnight showing that the country’s unemployment rate unexpectedly rose in August, underlining the case for additional stimulus by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

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Euro to Pound Sterling Exchange Rate Struggles to Sustain Gains despite Stronger Eurozone Data

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Euro to Pound Exchange Rate Floundering as Investors Unwind Bets against Sterling

Tuesday’s stronger than expected Eurozone data wasn’t enough to keep the Euro to Pound Sterling (EUR/GBP) exchange rate climbing, as the Pound (GBP) remained generally appealing while investors unwound bets against it.

Since last week, hopes that a softer Brexit was still possible have led to a big Pound recovery. EUR/GBP fell over a pence last week and closed at the level of 0.8860.

This week, the Euro (EUR) has attempted to rebound but has been unable as investors are hesitant to sell Sterling too far for now.

While EUR/GBP has avoided last night’s three month low of 0.8844, the pair has only rebounded slightly and still trends low near the level of 0.8864.

Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates Unappealing despite Signs of Improvement in Eurozone Sentiment

The Euro has remained largely unappealing overall this week, as markets are still anxious about the possibility of Germany being in recession. Signs of optimism in yesterday’s Eurozone data were not enough to boost the shared currency against a stronger Pound.

Tuesday saw the publication of ZEW’s September economic sentiment index results. While Germany’s current conditions print was even weaker than expected, the outlooks were actually less dire than predicted.

German economic sentiment lightened to -22.5 and the overall Eurozone’s sentiment index lightened from -43.6 to -22.4.

Still, continued concern about the overall health of Germany’s economy, as well as uncertainty over the European Central Bank’s (ECB) latest monetary policy plans limited demand for the Euro.

Pound (GBP) Exchange Rates Sturdy as Investors Hope to Avoid Missing another Rally

Speculation that the Pound could continue a rally that started at the end of last week has kept investors from selling the British currency much so far this week.

Sterling has been highly volatile, as on Monday it briefly shed some of Friday’s gains, but rebounded and climbed again on Tuesday afternoon.

Analysts have said that the main question for the Pound outlook was whether no-deal Brexit was really off the table or not.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that while he will not break the law, Britain will be exiting the EU on the 31st of October with or without a deal.

This, as well as warnings from EU officials that no-deal Brexit was a serious risk, kept no-deal Brexit fears on the table, keeping a lid on the Pound’s potential for gains.

Euro to Pound (EUR/GBP) Exchange Rate Awaits Central Bank Speculation and News

While developments in UK politics and Brexit will remain the primary influence for Pound movement, expected central bank news and likely speculation will be highly influential for the Pound to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate over the coming days.

This evening’s Federal Reserve policy decision could cause some Euro movement if it surprises investors, due to the Euro’s negative correlation with the US Dollar (USD).

It will be followed by the Bank of England’s (BoE) own September policy decision tomorrow.

The BoE is not expected to show any notable shifts in tone, but if its stances have been shifted at all by data or Brexit news then the Pound could of course see some reaction.European Central Bank (ECB) speculation could influence the Euro’s movement as well, depending on today’s upcoming inflation rate stats. Overall, central bank and Brexit news is likely to influence the Euro to Pound (EUR/GBP) exchange rate.

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MARKET WRAP: Sensex up 83 pts, Nifty ends at 10,841; realty, metals surge

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Benchmark indices moved higher in Wednesday's noon trade after trading in a range-bound manner for a major part of the day. 
 

The S&P BSE Sensex gained 135 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 36,620 levels. Bajaj Finance, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Asian Paints were the top gainers in the Sensex pack. The broader Nifty50 index was up 40 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 10,860 levels.

The Nifty sectoral indices, except Nifty FMCG, were trading in the green. Nifty Metal, Nifty PSU Bank, and Nifty Realty indexes all gained over 1 per cent each.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index was ruling at 13,460 levels, up 78 points, or 0.6 per cent, and the S&P BSE SmallCap index was hovering around 12,900 levels, up 48 points, or 0.37 per cent.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Caution ahead of an expected US interest rate cut kept wider financial marketsin tight ranges.


European shares are expected to tread water, with pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 futures shedding 0.06 per cent, German DAX futures losing 0.1 per cent and FTSE futures down 0.14 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.14 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.18 per cent after 10 straight days of gains and China’s blue-chip share index rose 0.52 per cent.


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03:46 PM
Nifty Realty among top gainers on the NSE today


Key indices on NSE

03:44 PM
 

RIL, SBI, ITC contribute most to Sensex's gain today

03:43 PM
 

Sensex heat map


GBP/AUD Slips from Three-Week High as UK Inflation Disappoints

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GBP/AUD Exchange Rate Muted as UK Inflation Misses Expectations

The Pound Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate is stuck in a narrow range this morning, in response to a weaker-than-expected CPI release from the UK.

At the time of writing the GBP/AUD exchange rate is currently trading at around AU$1.8218, virtually unchanged from the morning’s opening levels but down from a high of AU$1.8259.

UK Inflation Slows, BoE Rate Decision to Come

The Pound (GBP) is facing headwinds this morning as markets react to the UK’s weaker-than-expected consumer price index (CPI).                        

According to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK inflation slowed from 2.1% to 1.7% in August, missing expectations for a modest slide to 1.9% and falling to its worst levels since December 2016.The drop in inflation is welcome news for consumers, as combined with the recent surge in wage growth, which struck 4% in July, consumer spending power is on the rise.

However, the slump in inflation could put more pressure on the Bank of England (BoE) to consider lowering interest rates.

The BoE will conclude its latest policy meeting tomorrow, and while no policy changes are expected from the bank this month, could the slowdown in inflation push the BoE towards lowering interest rates after Brexit?

Could a Rise in Unemployment Prompt another Rate Cut from the RBA Next Month?

Coming up later tonight the publication of Australia’s jobs report could see the Australian Dollar (AUD) continue to give ground.

Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is expected to report unemployment rose from 5.2% to 5.3% in August as employment growth slowed from 41,100 to just 10,000.

The Reserve Bank of Australian (RBA) has repeatedly stressed that it views domestic labour figures as a key gauge of the health of the Australian economy.

Another rise in unemployment is likely to put more pressure on the RBA to continue easing monetary policy, with the minutes from the bank’s most recent policy meeting appearing to leave the door open for an October cut.

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Thailand sees small impact on inflation after Saudi attacks

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 Thailand expects little impact from surging oil prices on its inflation rate and exports following attacks on Saudi oil facilities, a commerce ministry official said on Monday.

Saturday's drone assaults on Saudi oil facilities shut 5% of global crude output and caused the biggest surge in oil prices since 1991 after U.S. officials blamed Iran and President Donald Trump said Washington was "locked and loaded" to retaliate.

But the situation is not expected to drag on and should lift Thailand's inflation by just 0.01 percentage point, official Pimchanok Vonkorporn said in a statement.

The ministry is maintaining its 2019 headline inflation forecast of 0.7%-1.3%, she said, adding that the impact of oil prices on inflation is less than that of a strong baht , Asia's best performing currency this year.

The strengthening baht, which has gained 6.7% against the dollar so far this year, might keep inflation less than 1% this year, Pimchanok said.

In January-August, headline inflation was 0.87%.

Oil-related exports may improve only slightly and the ministry is sticking to the government's annual export growth target of 3% in the second half of 2019,

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Forex - Japanese Yen Rises Amid Heightened Geopolitical Tensions in Middle East

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The Japanese yen rose against the U.S. dollar on Monday in Asia amid heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East after weekend attacks on Saudi oil plants disrupted global oil supplies.

The USD/JPY pair dropped 0.3% to 107.80 by 12:00 AM ET (04:00 GMT).

Drone strikes attacked an oil processing facility at Abqaiq, the world’s largest, and the nearby Khurais oil field on Saturday and knocked out 5% of global oil supply.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for the damage, but the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeohas pointed the finger directly at Iran as he said over the weekend that Iran has launched an “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

The news intensified tensions in the Middle East, sending the yen higher as it drew safe-haven demand.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar traded slightly lower ahead of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies slipped 0.1% to 97.732. Data on Friday showed that U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in August. That came after better-than-expected producer price inflation data on Wednesday and consumer price data on Thursday.

The Bank of Japan is also due to meet this week. Some believe the central bank may push interest rates further into negative territory and ramp up stimulating policies.

Sino-U.S. trade developments also remained in the spotlight as junior U.S. and Chinese officials will reportedly meet this week ahead of planned talks between senior trade negotiators in October.

Tensions between the two sides eased somewhat in recent weeks after Beijing exempted some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods last week and U.S. President Donald Trump postponed a tariff increase on a range of Chinese goods by two weeks.

The USD/CNY pair slipped 0.1% to 7.0717. The AUD/USD pair edged down 0.1% to 0.6872, while the NZD/USD pair gained 0.2% to 0.6381.

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China Backs U.S. Farm Purchases as Trade Talks Atmosphere Warms

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China said it is encouraging companies to buy U.S. farm products including soybeans and pork, and will exclude those commodities from additional tariffs, in the latest move to ease tensions before the two sides resume trade talks.

The Commerce Ministry’s announcement on Friday follows a move earlier this week to exempt a range of American goods from 25% extra tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to lessen the impact from the trade war. China didn’t specify the amount of purchases of pork and soybeans, which are key exports from agricultural states important for President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.

Equity markets have rebounded in recent days as both Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping sought to lower tensions that are clouding the outlook for the world’s biggest economies. Adding to the pressure on Beijing, China is facing pork shortages that are pushing up prices during a holiday period, prompting officials to ration sales in some areas. Still, major differences on the substantive issues that sparked the trade war remain.

“It is hoped the U.S. side can keep goodwill reciprocity with China through practical actions,” Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said in a tweet shortly before the move was announced.

Trump administration officials have discussed offering a limited trade agreement to China that would delay and even roll back some U.S. tariffs for the first time in exchange for Chinese commitments on intellectual property and agricultural purchases. Working-level teams from both countries are set to meet next week.

“The ice is thawing,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. in Singapore. “China’s reciprocity to Trump’s goodwill gesture will set the stage for more cooperative trade talks.”

Soybean futures were little changed in Chicago after the Xinhua announcement. Prices had jumped 3.3% on Thursday and hog futures rose the most allowed by the exchange amid optimism that China will boost imports of American farm products. The U.S. government also cut its outlook for soybean stockpiles more than expected in a monthly crop report.

The Shanghai Composite Index increased for a second consecutive week, and the S&P 500 Index was on course for its third straight week of advances.

The Chinese government is growing increasingly concerned about soaring prices and its potentially to mar celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s founding on Oct. 1. China is hoping to import 2 million tons for the year, some of which would be added to state reserves, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

China bought about a million tons of pork so far this year, of which about 87,771 tons were from the U.S., according to Chinese customs data. Even if purchases tripled, imports would only make up about 6.6% of domestic supply, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C). said in a report on Sept. 12. The world’s biggest consumer of pork accounted for about half of global demand last year, while it produced about 54 million tons, Citigroup said.

More imports are only going to go part of the way to addressing shortages. The country is likely to see a 10 million ton pork deficit this year, more than the roughly 8 million tons in annual global trade, according to Vice Premier Hu Chunhua. That means the country will need to fill the gap by itself, he said.

China’s Fight Against Pork Prices Could Include U.S. Imports

China had halted U.S. farm-product imports in August after trade-deal negotiations deteriorated. Before that, Beijing had given the go-ahead for five companies to buy up to 3 million tons of U.S. soybeans free of retaliatory import tariffs, people familiar with the situation had said.

The goods exempted from additional tariffs this week by China included pharmaceuticals, lubricant oil, alfalfa, fish meal and pesticides. The exemptions are effective from Sept. 17 to Sept. 16, 2020, and will cover 16 categories of products worth about $1.65 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on China’s 2018 trade data. Further rounds of Chinese exemptions will be announced in due course, the ministry said.

Wednesday’s exemptions apply to the round of tariffs Beijing imposed on U.S. goods starting last July in retaliation for higher U.S. levies. China began accepting applications for tariff exemptions in May, but it is the first time they have stated which products will be excluded. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has announced six rounds of exclusions for the punitive tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods since December.

“We can all see there is a likelihood of a mini-deal given China’s pork problems and to a lesser degree the 2020 election issue,” said Michael Every, head of Asia financial markets research at Rabobank in Hong Kong. “Does this mean we get a ‘real deal’? Let’s just say that this is still highly unlikely.”

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Forex - Dollar Extends Losses on Lingering Trade Hopes

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The dollar extended losses in early trading in Europe Friday, as higher-yielding currencies advanced on hopes of at least a temporary truce to the U.S.-China trade war.

President Donald Trump downplayed a Bloomberg report that his administration was preparing to do a temporary deal with China, potentially rolling back some of the import tariffs recently imposed on Chinese goods.

“Well, it’s something that people talk about,” Trump told reporters en route to an event late Thursday. “I’d rather get the whole deal done,”

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell to its lowest in over a week in early trading and by 3:30 AM ET (0730 GMT) was at 98.07, down 0.2% from late Thursday.

Both the euro and the British pound made solid gains, sterling rising above $1.2400 for the first time in seven weeks as the political and judicial problems of Prime Minister Boris Johnson embolden hopes that the country will avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union at the end of next year.

The euro, meanwhile, is rising despite the European Central Bank’s best efforts to keep it weak with a package of monetary easing measures. By 3:30 AM, it was at $1.1104, up by three-quarters of a cent from immediately before the ECB’s policy decisions.

“We expect the euro to suffer more in the coming months and believe that it is still too early to bet on a stronger euro,” said Nordea Markets analyst Jan von Gerich, who has a target of between $1.07-$1.08 for EUR/USD.

Von Gerich argued that the modest size of the ECB’s new quantitative easing program was a slight disappointment, despite the dovish signal effect of it being left open-ended. He said it was likely that incoming President Christine Lagarde would want to ease policy further in December, not least by raising the ECB’s current limits on how much it can buy of each government’s individual bonds. That would allow the bank to beef up the program if needed.

Emerging currencies continued to rally against a backdrop of easier monetary policy in developed markets. The Russian ruble hit a seven-week high against the dollar, while the offshore Chinese yuan rose to its highest in a month.

The Turkish lira was consolidating just below the three-week highs it hit on Thursday in the wake of the Turkish central bank's 325 basis-point interest rate cut.

The mainland Chinese and Korean markets were closed Friday for holidays, while Japan’s is closed on Monday.

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