Dollar in choppy waters
The US dollar held onto its intraday gains on Friday, as US bond inflows seemed to support it as investors preferred safety over risk into the weekend and today’s US holiday. With the weekend being relatively uneventful, the US dollar has eased in Asia, but overall continues a pattern of choppy range trading. The dollar index rose 0.82% to 104.65 on Friday, thanks mostly to a weak yen. In Asia, it has eased 0.26% to 104.38. The dollar index has support at 1.0350 with resistance now distant at 1.0570.
EUR/USD eased by 0.56% to 1.0495 on Friday in another 100-point session, climbing by 0.31% to 1.0525 in Asia as weekend hedges are taken off. Dutch natural gas futures prices remain elevated, so the single currency is not receiving much of a boost from last Friday’s oil retreat. It has initial resistance at 1.0600, with challenging resistance at 1.0650. Support is at 1.0450 and 1.0400 now although I note that EUR/USD has based twice at 1.0350. That leaves the door open slightly to a corrective recovery this week.
Sterling has another awful day as its economic picture darkens, falling by 1.10% to 1.2215 on Friday, edging 0.22% higher to 1.2240 in Asia. GBP/USD has initial resistance at 1.2400 and 1.2500, with support at 1.2200 and then 1.1950.
USD/JPY powered higher on Friday as the Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged and continues to heavily intervene to cap ultra-low JGB yields. With Japan’s inflation only expected to hit 2.50% this Friday, I can’t really blame them, but with the US, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, et al hiking, the interest rate differential continues to power USD/JPY higher. USD/JPY leapt 2.10% higher to 135.00 on Friday, with last week’s 131.50 low a distant memory and a bargain for somebody. Having probed 135.45 today, USD/JPY has eased back to 134.85 this morning, as commodity prices fell. It is likely to be only a respite though unless US yields move sharply lower this week. USD/JPY has resistance at 135.60 with support distant at 132.20.
Swings in investor sentiment continue to generate all the two-way volatility in the Australian and New Zealand dollars. AUD/USD fell 1.60% on Friday to 0.6935 before rising to 0.6955 in Asia. NZD/USD fell 0.80% to 0.6315 on Friday before rising to 0.6330 in Asia. A US holiday is dampening volumes but both Australasians have traced out bottoming patterns on the charts. As long as 0.6850 and 0.6200 hold respectively, further gains to 0.7150 and 0.6450 cannot be ruled out.
On a 24-hour basis, Asian currencies are mostly unchanged today after the losses on Friday and were mostly unwound this morning. The main reason has been a rally by China’s CNY and CNH after the PBOC left both the 1 and 5-year LPRs unchanged. USD/CNY has fallen 0.60% to 6.6760, while USD/CNH has fallen by 0.50% to 6.6745, dragging USD/Asia lower. Although the KRW, INR, MYR, THB, and IDR look the most vulnerable and remain near last week’s lows, a US holiday today should mean range-trading continues into Wednesday.
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