Both the euro and the US dollar came under selling pressure yesterday following comments made by figure heads from the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve.
New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley defended the central bank decision to leave quantitative easing unchanged at US$85 billion in monthly purchases. Dudley stated that in his view the US economy still needs an accommodative monetary policy and thus changes in policy will be in line with how financial conditions evolve. Indeed earlier in the day, Markit PMI data proved this as an expansion in the manufacturing sector fell short of expectations for the month of September.
ECB President Mario Draghi announced possible plans for the central bank to reintroduce a new round of low cost loans known as long-term refinancing operations (LTRO’s) to financial institutions in the euro region. Whilst this news could be seen as positive for the euro zone as the facility will enable more lending between financial institutions; from an investment point of view the facility would make the euro less lucrative as reintroduction LTRO’s will ensure low interest rates and inflation remains on target.
Earlier on the day, Markit PMI announced that the manufacturing fell short of expectations in September but services expanded even further, surpassing expectations.
The pound remained will bid yesterday ahead of data this week that is set to reveal that UK house prices increased in September by 4.5%, consumer confidence improved and the revised second quarter GDP is set to increase to 0.7%. All in all, the once underdog pound is now being favoured by investors as speculation continues to accumulate that the UK will raise interest rates well before the BoE’s current guidance of three years and before the Federal Reserve increase theirs.
Overnight we saw some Indian rupee weakness after Moody’s downgraded the credit rating of the country’s biggest lender, State Bank of India. Lack of confidence in the bank could well prompt outflow of the rupee out of India from a lack of confidence in equities in the country.
This morning German IFO business climate fell below expectations taking some attraction out of the euro, although the weakness seems to be limited at the moment.
Today there seems to be renewed uncertainty surrounding the Feds thoughts on tapering monetary stimulus as well as uncertainty surrounding Germany’s coalition talks. Risk aversion seems to be the feeling amongst investors as can be seen as share prices seem to be dropping from their recent all-time highs – this could well prompt some US dollar attraction.
9.30am – GBP – BBA Mortgage Approvals (Aug): Expected to increase to 38,600.
14.00pm – USD – Housing Price Index (Jul): Expected to increase to 0.9%.
14.30pm – USD – FOMC Member Pianalto Speech.
15.00pm – USD – Consumer Confidence (Sep): Expected to fall to 79.8.
15.00pm – USD – Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (Sep): Expected to increase to 17.