US dollar broadly higher as risk sentiment fizzles
The US dollar soared versus both developed and emerging market currencies overnight, as recession fears saw a spike in haven demand for US dollars. Quite a bit of that looks to have been recycled into US bond markets as well, adding to the recessionary downward pressure on yields. The dollar index leapt 1.26% to 106.49, a two-decade high. It remains there in Asia and the next technical target is the 109.00 area. Having broken out of a 5-year triangle at 102.50 in April, its longer-term target remains in the 1.1700 area. Support is at 1.0585, the overnight breakout point, and then 1.0500, followed by 1.0350 and 102.50.
The Norwegian oil strike deepened recession fears and broke the euro yesterday, EUR/USD plummeting 1.51% to 1.0265, a multi-year low. In Asia, it has eased another 0.10% to 1.0253. The overnight low at 1.0235 is initial support, followed by 1.0130 ahead of 1.0000. As I have said before, any deeper interruption of Europe’s natural gas supplies will mean a move below parity and a European recession. Since breaking a multi-year support line at 1.0850 in April, the euro has never looked back. Although risks are skewed to the downside now, the Norwegian strike settlement may allow EUR/USD to find some friends this afternoon. It has resistance at 1.0300, and then the 1.0350 breakout, followed by 1.0600.
GBP/USD fell by 1.18% to 1.1960 overnight, easing to 1.1945 in Asia. Recession fears are also complicated by political instability in London now following multiple ministers resigning overnight, with the Bank of England also sounding a loud economic warning as well. That makes constructing a bullish case for sterling challenging and a move back towards the March 2020 lows near 1.1400 can’t be discounted. It has immediate support at the overnight low at 1.1900, followed by 1.1800. Resistance is at 1.2000 and 1.2200.
USD/JPY, rather surprisingly, finished almost unchanged at 135.86 overnight but has immediately moved 0.30% lower to 135.45 in Asia today. With the US/Japan rate differential narrowing sharply, long USD/JPY becomes more dangerous by the day and the risks increase of an ugly correction lower to wash out the speculative longs. If US yields find a floor, USD/JPY may cling to its gains for now though. USD/JPY has resistance at 136.65 and 138.00, with support at 134.25 and 132.00.
AUD/USD and NZD/USD have also fallen sharply overnight to 0.6800 and 0.6160, where they remain in Asia. The overnight fall in resource prices will be an additional headwind for the Australian dollar in particular, but both remain at the mercy of international investors who use them to express risk sentiment. AUD/USD is in danger of testing 0.6700 this week, and NZD/USD 0.6000. Failure will signal a deeper move lower is in progress.
Asian currencies retreated overnight, led by USD/KRW, which gained 1.0% to 1308.00, and USD/PHP, USD/INR, and USD/IDR, which all rose around 0.50%. A weaker Chinese yuan fixing by the PBOC today has kept the pressure up on Asian currencies, as has fears of more China lockdowns. Notably, USD/IDR has breached 15,000.00 this morning and rates hikes from Seoul, Jakarta, Manila, and New Delhi are now a certainty. The price action overnight and this morning does suggest that Asian central banks are around selling US dollars, but with Asian currencies gaining no solace from lower US yields, this looks very much like a risk aversion move that will keep the pressure up on local currencies. Bank Negara should hike by 0.25% this afternoon, but if they don’t, look for extended MYR weakness.
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