Dovish Fed Governors cap dollar’s gains
A plethora of Federal Reserve Governors, notably Harker, Brainard and Clarida, along with some successful bond auctions, managed to cap the rise in US yields overnight, with the 10-year now over ten basis points of its recent highs. Harker said that the Fed would basically keep rates lower for longer.
Brainard, always an uber-dove, said much the same and added that the Fed could increase bond purchases if necessary. Clarida noted that when the Fed does raise rates, they will only have to raise them slightly to reach a neutral policy stance. He added that the Fed would like to see one year of two per cent inflation before tightening. Despite the dovish chorus emanating from the Fed, the dollar finished the overnight session stronger. The dollar index rose 0.30% to 90.35 and has climbed to 90.40 this morning. That leaves the index mid-range with critical levels being 90.00 and 91.00.
Amongst the major currencies, only sterling defied the greenback overnight but has traced out a double top at 1.3700. Sterling’s uptrend remains intact, but elsewhere, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, NZD/USD and USD/CHF have all moved deeper into reversal territory. Notably, on EUR/USD, a failure of 1.2135 opens a correction lower that could extend to 1.1900, its 100-day moving average (DMA). On USD/CHF, a rise through 0.8920 could see USD/CHF rise to 0.9050 initially, its 100-DMA.
Asian currencies are showing more fortitude, as the Chinese yuan remains anchored near its recent highs, with USD/CNY unchanged at 4.4710 this morning. Although the PBOC is sending subtle signals that the CNY rally has done enough for now, it would take a rise through 6.5500 to signal that the US dollar squeeze is spilling into the regional Asia space. Only the Korean won and Indonesian rupiah show material signs of weakening, but realistically, the yuan will have to buckle before seeing a general Asian currency retreat.
Overall, the rise of the US dollar overnight, even as US yields retreat, is a warning sign that the short-dollar squeeze may be about to accelerate.