US dollar tramples all before it

Flight to safety boosts US dollar

The US dollar caught another flight-to-safety boost overnight, running rampant over DM currencies with the euro, sterling, yen, and Australian dollar coming in for particular attention. In Asia today, EUR/USD continues to flirt with parity, while the US dollar has strengthened broadly across the Asia FX space.

The dollar index soared 1.23% higher to 108.21 overnight, gaining another 0.16% to 108.38 in Asia as the euro and sterling losses continued. Overall, the technical picture remains constructive for the dollar index, although the daily relative strength index (RSI) is now in overbought territory, suggesting a temporary downward correction is possible. Having broken out of a 5-year triangle at 102.50 in April, its longer-term target remains in the 1.1700 area. More immediate resistance is at 108.45 and 110.00. Support is at the 1.0585 breakout point, and then 1.0500, followed by 1.0350 and 102.50. ​

EUR/USD tumbled by 1.43% to 1.0040 overnight, edging 0.17% lower to 1.022 today, having traded as low as 1.0006 earlier in the session. I expect there to be plenty of bids into parity initially, likely option and exporter-related. A break of 1.0000 is likely to trigger a sharp move lower as stop-losses and algos kick in. Since breaking a multi-year support line at 1.0850 in April, the euro has looked consistently weak, the recovery rally failing ahead of 1.0850 in a technical analysis nirvana. An oversold RSI allows for short-term recovery, with resistance at 1.0200 and 1.0270. Support is at 1.0000, and failure targets the 0.9900/25 area.

GBP/USD fell by 1.19%% to 1.1890 overnight, dragged lower by the euro and a rampant US dollar. With a new Prime Minister not due to be announced until early September, this uncertainty will continue to weigh on the sterling. In Asia GBP/USD has edged 0.20% lower to 1.1867. Immediate support is nearby at 1.1860 and 1.1800, with 1.1400 the medium-term target. Resistance is well defined at 1.2060 and 1.2200.

USD/JPY rallied by 0.98% to 137.40 overnight despite US yields easing. In Asia, it is steady at 137.30 as Finance Minister Suzuki’s comments add some two-way risk into being long USD/JPY at these levels, at least temporarily. USD/JPY has resistance at 138.00 and 140.00, with support at 136.00, 134.25 and 132.00. Only a sharp fall in US yields seems likely to turn USD/JPY lower.

AUD/USD slumped by 1.70% overnight to 0.6735 on a combination of haven-based US dollar buying, a reversal in global investor sentiment, and China lockdown concerns. In Asia, it has eased 0.17% lower to 0.6725. A correction above resistance at 0.6900 looks unlikely for now, with risks skewed towards the downside and a test of 0.6600. NZD/USD also plummeted overnight and is facing a test of 0.6100 today.

Asian currencies fell overnight as investors moved into risk-aversion mode and bought US dollars across the board. The won, baht and yuan led losses, and today USD/Asia is higher by around 0.30%, with the Philippines peso falling 0.60% after poor trade data, while USD/IDR is testing 15,000.00 and USD/MYR looks set to test 4.4500. USD/INR and USD/PHP are trading at record lows although the price action in USD/INR, USD/IDR, USD/KRW, USD/PHP and USD/THB suggests that local central banks are offering US dollars at these levels. That is likely to be smoothing rather than lines in the sand, and US inflation above 7.0% this Thursday will probably spur more selling. USD/CNH has also moved sharply higher in the last 24 hours, and any indication that China is enacting lockdowns again in major urban centres will see it and the rest of the Asia FX space move sharply lower.

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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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