The FOMC provided some unexpected impetus

The FOMC  provided some unexpected impetus

A combination of improving US economic data and confident sounding Fed steering a steady path to a June rate hike has provided the market with some food for thought over night.

On the US economic front, the ISM Non-manufacturing index rebounded from 55.2 to 57.5 in April, beating consensus at 55.8 while the ADP  printed 177k for April slightly above consensus inspiring the dollar bulls in early trade

AS the expected, the Feds delivered a rather benign statement and while acknowledging growth had slowed,  but they recognised this as transitory, and labour trends were expected to strengthen further in 2017.

Japanese Yen

USDJPY continues to trade constructively despite lacking any spirited upside momentum.Overnight the pair was steadily bid on stronger US ISM print, but the improving employment trends comment in the FOMC statement provided the catalyst to push the pair to 112.75. Barring any unexpected shock, we should see the Greenback supported until Friday; then we should expect the markets to then move on the NFP report, especially the wage growth component. Also, the markets are keying on Fed speak later that day hoping that Yellen and Fischer will provide a more detailed policy forward guidance at that time.

Australian Dollar

Commodities are once again in the driving seat of the Australian Dollar indicating the signals generated by the sliding CRB Index of commonly traded commodities were sound in spite of all the questionable noise surrounding this week’s  RBA event. Base metals laboured overnight, and after seeing Chinese and Australian equity indexes trading heavily, London walked in and hit the sell AUDUSD  button.

But the Aussie dollar slide started early yesterday in part driven by an interest to sell AUDNZD after a bumper New Zealand Q1 jobs report and then was hammered mercilessly lower after a 6.5 %  slide in iron ore with Copper down over 3 % and Gold technical floor giving way. The weaker China Manufacturing PMI print this week has stoked fears of  China growth worries which is fueling further downside momentum for the entire commodity complex.

The AUDUSD remained offered leading up to the FOMC, and the convincingly hawkish tone from the FOMC did the Aussie bulls little favour, as there was renewed interest to sell Aussie late in the NY session.

If you trade the Aussie from the three C’s perspective ( Commodity, Carry, China) . with all three signals pointing lower for AUDUSD it more likely we will see a test of .7400 as opposed to a retracement to .7500 in the near term.

A  convincing  break of the .7400 level will send the Aussie longs running for the exit and could add more fuel to the downside momentum


Continues to trade sideways ahead of the Key French vote on the weekend with dealers likely willing to fade either side of the moves through 1.0850-1.0950 as in all likelihood barring any surprises we’re likely going to straddle 1.0900 at weeks end. Getting some air time on market Chat rooms was  Reuters latest survey of 65 strategists on EUR, while the general smorgasbord predictions were on offer for the plight of the EUR, one part of the study most are buying into is how to view the post-French election fall out. Most see a 1% gain on a (highly expected) Macron victory versus -5% loss on Le Pen. Reuters adds: “Analysts were split on what margin Macron needs to win by for their forecasts to hold, with the range varying from as little as five percentage points to more than 20%.”

EM Asia

The dollar bulls are holding court today with the FED’s  convincingly steering the market to a June rate hike. Post-China Manufacturing PMI jitters continue to resonate while the slide in global commodity prices has weighed on regional sentiment overnight  


For the ASX miner, the question now is how low gold can go? Gold could eventually move below $ 1200 on a combination of improving US economic data higher US interest rates and easing Geopolitical tensions. Near-term risks are skewed to Friday’s US employment report and Fedspeak. A positive outcome for the wage component in the NFP release and a confident sounding Yellen and Fischer will likely see XAU test 1225 level heading into the weekend


The DoE inventory report disappointed OIL bulls after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said weekly crude stocks fell by 930,000 barrels to 527.8 million. That was less than half the forecast draw of 2.3 million bpd. And  WTI saw a knee-jerk reaction from $48.00 to $47.30 on results but has since recovered. But I think more importantly with commodities driving some G-10 currencies, the statement from   Saudi oil ministers indicated that oil would be kept in a range from $45 – $55 per barrel and if usual trends remain intact that  means the markets will have a greater propensity to  test the base range resolve as opposed to the upside. So I would expect seller to remain dominant near-term

French Pre-Election Debate
The rancorous French pre-election TV  debate had little influence on markets as  63 percent of viewers found Macron more convincing than Le Pen in the discussion, according to a snap opinion poll by Elabe for BFMTV. This supports the market’s view that Macron will win Sunday ballot. Clearly, Le Pen Europhobic stance is not winning any favours with the undecided vote.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Stephen Innes

Stephen Innes

Head of Trading APAC at OANDA
Stephen has over 25 years of experience in the financial markets and currently based in Singapore as the Head of Trading Asia Pacific with OANDA. Stephen's market views focus on the movement of G-10 and ASEAN Currencies. His views appear in Bloomberg, CNBC.Reuters, New York Times WSJ and the Economist. His media appearances include Bloomberg TV & Radio, BBC International, Sky TV, Channel News Asia, ASTRO AWANI and BFM Malaysia. Stephen has an extensive trading experience in Spot and Forward FX, Currency and Interest Rate Futures, Money Market Derivatives and Precious Metals. Before joining OANDA, he worked with organisations like Nat West, Chemical Bank, Garvin Guy Butler, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Stephen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and holds a Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Stephen Innes