Currency markets remain in hibernation

The currency markets have been quiet of late, and any hopes that the end of the second quarter would cause a stir in the currency markets have now been dashed. Quarter-end flows had little to no effect on currency markets overnight, with the G-20 space content to continue in wait-and-see mode. The dollar index was barely changed, lower by just 0.18% to 97.36.

One senses that the dollar’s corrective recovery may still have more to run, and that currency markets are more fearful of the COVID-19 pandemic’s fall-out in America in the near term. The second quarter of 2020 has been marked by a global rotation out of the USD.

USD/JPY has quietly risen by 200 points over the past week, to just shy of 108.00 overnight. USD/JPY faces strong resistance now though, with the 100 and 200-day moving averages (DMA’s) awaiting at 107.90 and 108.40 respectively.

Unusually, the Japanese Yen is showing no signs of the haven flows supporting the greenback. That may well be because of the procession of negative Japanese data recently. A rise through 108.40, though, may surprise markets and see USD/JPY continue rallying to the 110.00 level.

EUR/USD and GBP/USD continue to sit in the middle of their monthly ranges. Although some downside may remain, both Britain and the Eurozone could outperform the US in Q3, at least initially. This is mostly due to the inability of the US to get on top of its COVID-19 situation. Some patience will be required, but both EUR and GBP should resolve higher eventually, supported by their own recoveries and as well as a recovery in Asia.

The Australian dollar, being a proxy for China and world growth and having emerged early from COVID-19 lockdown, led the global rotation out of US dollars in Q2. For the past month, much like the S&P 500, the Aussie has spent that time consolidating in a narrow 0.6800 to 0.7000 range.

The pennant-like formation on the charts suggests that a breakout is coming, and it will most likely be higher. As long as China’s recovery remains on track, both the Australian and New Zealand dollars seem destined for higher levels in the medium-term, even if corrective pressures persist in the near-term.

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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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