The US Dollar rises firmly, pushing the USD/JPY currency pair to a new 5-month high price close to the big round number at ¥140.
- Markets are dominated by a firm rise in the US Dollar, as expectations grow for another 25bps rate hike at the Federal Reserve’s next meeting in June, even though the FOMC Meeting Minutes released yesterday showed that FOMC members were evenly divided with a slight dovish tilt towards no rate hike in June – the minutes are of course not current. The expectation of a hike is strong even though the US debt limit impasse continues with politicians unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, which may begin to risk US credit ratings. The ratings agency Fitch has put the US AAA rating for long-term foreign-currency issuer default on negative watch, which knocked the wider US stock market, although tech stocks have recovered significantly in recent hours.
- In the Forex market, the US Dollar is rising firmly, against its long-term trend. Action has been dominated so far today by weakness in the New Zealand Dollar and strength in the US Dollar. Trend traders will probably be looking for long trades in the USD/JPY currency pair while short NZD/USD may also be attractive. The Kiwi remains weak after the RBNZ yesterday signalled that its terminal rate had been reached in a surprise move.
- Stock markets are mixed, with a feeling that the US debt ceiling issue is repressing a broadly bullish market. The NASDAQ 100 Index recovered a lot in recent hours, and still looks quite bullish. If a solution to the debt ceiling issue is found, we will likely see this Index rise strongly.
- Some soft commodities have been breaking to new highs and trending strongly, notably the Cocoa ETF NIB, which rose Friday to close at a new 5-year high.
- UK CPI (inflation) data released yesterday showed that annualized inflation fell month over month from 10.1% to 8.7%. A stronger fall, to 8.2%, had been expected. This may be slowing the Pound’s relative decline today by a little.
- There will be releases today of US Advance GDP data (expected to show an annualized increase of 1.1%) and new Unemployment Claims (expected to show 249k claims).