02/01/2018 - US Dollar Hits Three Month Lows

USD

The dollar reached three month lows on Friday, keeping the US currency on track to post its worst performance since 2003. Early 2017 saw the US dollar index hit 14 year highs amidst hopes that then newly elected president Donald Trump would implement expansionary fiscal measures to boost growth and inflation.

However the USD has continued drift lower on doubts surrounding the administrations ability to gain approval of these policies from the Senate.

The dollar had fallen almost 10 percent over the year largely due to robust growth outside of the United States. This has seen other countries’ central banks moving towards tighter monetary policy which has lessened the gap between the Federal Reserve and others. Although markets have priced in at least three rate hikes over the course of the next year, traders have slashed their bearish bets on the dollar to the lowest level since mid-November.

EUR

Italian president Sergio Mattarella last Thursday signed a decree to dissolve parliament and pave the way for a general election. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s cabinet met shortly after the decree was announced to confirm the election date as 4 March.

The election is widely expected to produce a hung parliament, instability and possible market turbulence in the euro zone’s third largest economy. Markets are concerned that the uncertainty will leave the economy more fragile than others given that it has largest public debt in the euro zone after Greece’s and one of the bloc’s highest jobless rates.

Key Announcements

09:30-GBP: Manufacturing PMI; Forecast at 58.0 against a previous of 58.2