FX Update – August 12

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By: Stuart Cowell

GBPUSD, H1

A risk-off theme propelled the Yen higher while the likes of the China-proxy Australian Dollar, and many developing-world currencies, underperformed.

The Brexit-afflicted Pound also posted fresh major-trend lows during a notably thin Asian session (amid holidays in Japan and Singapore) before rebounding some. Cable lifted back above 1.2105 after printing a 31-month low at 1.2015. The UK currency also lifted out of respective 33- and 10-year lows versus the Yen and Euro.

The London Times reported that pro-EU members of parliament are scheming to force the UK government to delay Brexit as a means to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Johnson is reportedly to meet with the Irish prime minister in the coming days, too, though it is highly unlikely that the two would make any substantive progress with regard to the Irish backstop.

The Cable rally to 1.2105 ran out of steam as the UK PM’s spokesman, James Slack, confirmed that no meeting with Irish PM Varadkar was scheduled.

USDJPY drifted to a fresh seven-month low, at 105.05, and a 28-month low against the Euro, reflecting a rise in the Japanese currency’s safe-haven premium as stock markets in Europe and S&P 500 futures sputtered.

Concerns of a protracted trade war between the US and China are taking a stronger grip, while the risk of a no-deal Brexit was brought into sharper focus in global markets by UK data on Friday showing an unexpected contraction in Q2 GDP.

AUDUSD and AUDJPY traded lower by over 0.5% and 1%, respectively, though both remained above the 10-year lows that each saw last week. EURUSD continues to gravitate around 1.1200, following lows earlier at 1.1161.

The PBoC set the midpoint of the Yuan at 7.0211, a new 10-year-plus low, after it reached 7.0136 on Friday. The IMF said on Friday that it considers recent Yuan weakness to be in line with fundamentals, endorsing the PBoC claim.


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