Risk appetite helped prop up the Australian and New Zealand dollars last week; with a dearth of ecostats on the calendar this week, markets will need to be feeling risky once more if AUD and NZD are to record more gains.
Markets spent much of last week awaiting the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) interest rate decision. Although a 0.25% rate hike was as-good-as-certain, analysts were worried that recent poor jobs data could see the FOMC becoming less optimistic about hiking interest rates any further this year.
In the end, the FOMC were more upbeat than expected. As well as hiking interest rates as forecast, they also gave a surprising amount of detail on their plans to begin disposing of the enormous pile of assets left over as a result of post-financial crisis quantitative easing. Markets knew that the Federal Reserve was intending to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, but had not expected things to progress this quickly.
It wasn’t all positive for USD, however. The FOMC decisions temporarily overshadowed Wednesday’s poor inflation and retail sales data, but this could cause problems in the future. Core price growth unexpectedly slowed from 1.9% to 1.7%, while retail sales posted a -0.3% decline instead of stagnating in May.
Rounding off the week in disappointing fashion was the University of Michigan consumer confidence index, which fell much further-than-expected from 97.1 to 94.5.
A significant number of Federal Reserve officials are set to give speeches this week, including William Dudley, Charles Evans, Stanley Fischer and Eric Rosengren. Any monetary policy clues will have a strong effect on the US dollar, although not all of the speeches will reference this aspect of the Fed’s duties.
From a data point of view, the US calendar is remarkably sparse. Friday’s initial and continuing jobless claims figures and Friday’s preliminary Markit PMIs for June and new home sales data for May are the most prominent releases in the docket.
Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now overseas all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure
Phil has FSA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)