US dollar soars on risk-aversion

US dollar rises as investors seek safety

The US dollar soared overnight as risk aversion swept financial markets, with the euro having a particularly painful session as Russian risks accelerated. The dollar index smashed through 102.00 on its way to a 0.56% gain to 102.30, where it remains in Asia today. At these levels, the dollar index is potentially testing the upper boundary of a 5-year triangle. A weekly close above 103.00 resistance this week will have me pondering making a call for the 120.00 region in the months ahead. In the short-term, support lies at 101.00 followed by 99.75.

EUR/USD had a torrid session as the Russia energy risks started coming true. EUR/USD fell by 0.70% to 1.0635, before booking a tiny gain back to 1.0645 in Asia. The 1985 support line is now well and truly broken and a move back below parity in the coming months is suggested. Widening Russian energy weaponisation will hasten that outlook. In the near-term, the technical picture, potential energy sanctions on Russia, and a widening US/Europe interest rate differential, suggest EUR/USD will now test support at 1.0600 en route to 1.0300. Resistance is at 1.0760 and 1.0810.

GBP/USD fell through 1.2700 and 1.2760 overnight, on its way to a 1.30% loss to 1.2575, where it remains in Asia. Sterling is guilty by association with the euro, with Brexit nerves around Northern Ireland, a too dovish Bank of England, and a soaring cost of living all weighing on the currency. That said, the relative strength index (RSI) is now at extreme oversold levels, meaning some sharp relief rallies are now possible. The technical picture is now signalling further losses to 1.2200 and potentially sub-1.2000 in the weeks ahead. GBP/USD would need to reclaim 1.3050 to change the bearish outlook.

Falling US yields and perhaps some haven flows into yen itself eased the upward pressure once again on USD/JPY overnight. USD/JPY fell 0.70% to 127.25 overnight, drifting to 127.65 in Asia. USD/JPY risks remain heavily skewed higher, thanks to a hawkish Fed. Support remains at 127.00 and 126.00, with resistance at 129.50 and 130.00.

AUD/USD reclaimed most of its overnight losses today after higher than expected inflation data increased the pressure on the RBA to start tightening policy sooner. AUD/USD has rallied by 0.66% to 0.7170 today, having closed below support at 0.7150 overnight.  AUD/USD could spend the next few sessions consolidating between 0.7150 and 0.7250 but remains vulnerable to another US equity or Russia/China risk-aversion move. NZD/USD slumped another 0.90% to 0.6370 overnight and ominously, has not coat-tailed the AUD higher today. Short-term rallies back to 0.6700 are possible, but it remains on track to test 0.6525 and potentially, 0.6400 this week.

USD/CNH and USD/CNY traded sideways overnight and are almost unchanged at 6.5850 and 6.5540 today. The PBOC set another neutral USD/CNY fixing this morning, possibly signalling that the yuan selloff has gone far enough for now. Additionally, stronger Industrial Profits data and a quiet Covid-zero news ticker today appear to be lending the yuan temporary support. The plethora of China risks are now complicated by Russia’s energy militancy, and thus USD/Yuan risk remains heavily weighted to the upside, even if some short-term pullbacks are possible thanks to very overbought short-term technicals.

USD/KRW and USD/THB rose sharply overnight, but some stability in the yuan, and lower US yields, are allowing Asia currencies to pause for breath today. Whether the relief is temporary or not is up for conjecture. A Russia-derived spike in energy prices again will certainly increase downward pressure on regional currencies. USD/MYR finally steadied and USD/INR mysteriously unwound yesterday’s palm-oil-ban gains. Like the Philippines, it appears that Bank Indonesia is back capping US dollar gains, as is the Bank of Korea apparently.

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Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, from 2016 to August 2022
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley was OANDA’s Senior Market Analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes.

He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays.

A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV and Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

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