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The US Dollar (via the DXY Index) was on its way to its lowest levels in two months earlier today before a series of weaker data releases from China and Europe prompted demand for the greenback. Q1’18 Chinese GDP missed expectations slightly, February UK wage growth figures came in below expectations, and the March German ZEW Survey posted larger declines than expected.
The weakness in data abroad has seen both the British Pound and the Euro sell off slightly this morning, prompting demand for the US Dollar, and otherwise saving it from more downside following US President Trump’s comments (on Twitter, of course) about currency manipulation and exchange rates yesterday. Confusingly, his comments came just days after his own US Treasury department issued a report to Congress suggesting that no countries are seen as currency manipulators.
Amid the rebound in the US Dollar and further strength in US equity market futures, Gold has eased off once again, although remains comfortably within the confines of its bullish symmetrical triangle that eyes an upside resolution.
While the weekend airstrikes against Syria by the US, UK, and France initially provoked concern, the diminished prospect for further military action – and for now, no more economic sanctions against Russia – has limited the negative impact on global financial markets.
Looking ahead, speculation around Fed policy is likely to rise to the forefront again today, with Williams, Quarles, Harker, and Evans set to speak at various points between 13:15 GMT and 17:10 GMT. Yesterday, outgoing NY Fed President Dudley commented that three or four rate hikes this year remain possible; currently, rates markets are pricing in hikes in June and September, with less than a 40% chance of a fourth rate hike by December.