US yields give the dollar a slight boost
The US dollar advanced unevenly overnight, as positioning gets rejigged ahead of the FOMC meeting, with short US dollar exposure being trimmed. US 10-year and 30-year yields rose notably overnight for much the same reason, which supported greenback gains. The dollar index rose just 0.05% to 90.89. although the rally has accelerated in Asia, increasing 0.11% to 90.98.
The rise in the dollar index overnight can mainly be attributed to a fall in the Japanese yen, with other index heavyweights such as the euro and sterling almost unchanged. After a dovish BoJ yesterday, the rise in US yields overnight had an immediate impact on USD/JPY, highlighting how sensitive the pair is to the interest rate differential. USD/JPY rose 0.60% to 108.60 overnight, advancing to 108.90 in Asia. USD/JPY has traced out a bottom at 107.50, and a break of 109.00 could see the pair advance to 110.00 once again. Much will depend on the wording of the FOMC statement.
Elsewhere, AUD/USD has fallen 0.35% to 0.7740 today, unwinding its overnight gains after weak inflation data this morning. AUD/USD has strong support at 0.7700, which includes its 100-day moving average (DMA). It is unlikely to be seriously tested unless the FOMC surprises, and I expect advances by AUD/USD and NZD/USD to resume after the meeting.
Notably, the Malaysian ringgit has outperformed this week, boosted by Brent crude holding around USD65.00 a barrel, and in anticipation of impressive export data today. USD/MYR is trading at 6.1000 this morning, having traced out a double bottom at 4.0965 overnight. If MYR strengthens through 4.0965 today, USD/MYR could be on track to retrace the rest of its March losses, with USD/MYR targeting 4.0700 in the first instance.
The US dollar has advanced versus both G-10 and regional Asian currencies this morning despite the PBOC setting a firmer CNY fix at 6.4853. Without sounding like a broken record, I regard the greenback strength as transitory and reflecting a reduction in short-dollar risk exposure ahead of the FOMC. Regular service should resume tomorrow, assuming the meeting passes without drama.
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