The USD remained mildly under pressure in Asia today after the weaker US retail sales numbers.

 

USD/CNH

USDCNH traded a 7.0978-7.1088 tight range with light interest even after the higher-than-expected USDCNY fix. It seems the markets are thinking that China is trying to bring some normality back to the daily reference rate to better align with the current market spot markets.  Barring any trade talk headline, and that's a big ask, expect USDCNH to remain rangebound spot between 7.08 and 7.12 into the weekend.

 

AUD/USD

There appear to be some differing opinions between Singapore and London as to which direction the Aussie should veer. Australian fixed income traded poorly both before and after the Australian labour market data out earlier. There are now 5bp of cuts priced in for the RBA's November and the market will be reluctant to have less than that until Australian CPI data is released. Then again it could be some profit-taking going though.

 

Oil

Crude oil moved 1% lower after the API survey signalled a 10.5m bbl. Crude oil build. If confirmed by the official data on Thursday it would be the most significant build since February 2017. It's also well above consensus, which was for a build of 3.1m bbl. Prices had been supported on Wednesday by the news that the US is to relax sanctions on Chinese shipping giant Cosco. The DOE data will be a huge catalyst one way or the other.

 

Gold

Very tight ranges on Gold today as mixed geopolitical and macro signals sully the landscape. The weaker US economic data buttress but the positive news flows from Brexit and Trade trades, may be shifting from a tailwind to headwinds for the yellow metal.   There was very muted on either side of the ledger today as small bids intersected with equally low offers.  The gold euphoria has died down considerably as Brexit headlines have held risk markets hostage.

 

Brexit

There was a lot of Brexit news to digest and left traders second-guessing long GBP positions. One of the main developments is that Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party are still not ready to accept the latest Brexit deal. After reports late last night that they are not comfortable with the proposed VAT regimes, it appears their concerns are broader, including customs and consent. This is where we left the Brexit deal on the table yesterday. Talks continue this afternoon (Asia) on Article 50. UK PM Johnson is expected in Brussels at 1400 BST, but some chatter he may show up to ask for some more sweeteners. The EU summit schedule is uncertain, but Brexit is expected to be first up on the agenda. No doubt the summit will continue into the wee hours of the morning.

 

The Euro

After days of lagging the sterling move, the single currency was finally able to gain some traction with some help for the US retail sales data and fiscal chatter our of Germany.

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