FX Update – June 19 – Mixed Markets

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By: Stuart Cowell

Narrow ranges have been prevailing among Dollar pairings and cross rates against a backdrop of uncertainty in global markets. Most stock markets have lifted out of lows over the last day, though many indices still remain below highs seen earlier in the week. China’s CSI managed to edge out a three-and-a-half-month high, but Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s KOSPI, while posting moderate gains, remained below highs from earlier in the week. S&P 500 futures gained 0.5%, but remained off yesterday’s highs.

In Forex markets, EURUSD has settled to a consolidation of recent losses, holding a narrow range in the lower 1.1200s, above the 16-day low seen yesterday at 1.1185. USDJPY has been plying a narrow range in the upper 106.00s, holding above yesterday’s one-week low at 106.67. Cable, amid its second week of declines, has steadied in the mid 1.2400s, above yesterday’s 18-day low at 1.2401. EURGBP concurrently settled off its three-week high, seen Thursday, at 0.9044. Both AUDUSD and AUDJPY have been posting narrow ranges well within the confines of their respective Thursday highs and lows. The Canadian Dollar posted modest gains, although USDCAD remained within its previous-day range.

USOil prices printed a nine-day peak at $39.69, buoyed by news that the OPEC+ group agreed to meet their supply cut quotas, along with major oil traders saying that demand is recovering, although both these items should already have been largely factored in. USOil has failed to close over $40.00 since the early days of March. Gold continues to hold over the key $1725.00 zone, and test the $1730 area, in early European trades.

European stock markets are modestly higher in early trades too, with the GER30 up 0.5%, the UK100 0.3%. US futures are now posting gains of 0.4-0.6% and the 10-year Treasury yield is up from overnight lows at 0.71% – up 0.5 bp on the day.

Taking a step back, global market sentiment is grappling with glass-half-empty and glass-half-full arguments. There are signs of new waves of coronavirus infections as economies reopen, which has already seen social restrictions being introduced in some places (such as in Beijing and California). Geopolitical issues remain wildcards. President Trump, for instance, said yesterday that the US could complete a “decoupling” from China. On the “half full” side, there is the expectation that the massive stimulus by global central banks is primed to give risk assets a major boost.


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