Here is what you need to know on Monday, August 22:
The greenback preserves its strength to start the week after having registered impressive gains against its rivals last week. The US Dollar Index rose 2.3% to post its biggest one-week gain last week and was last seen trading modestly higher on the day at around 108.20. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's National Activity Index for July will be featured in the US economic docket and Statistics Canada will release the New Housing Price Index data. In the absence of high-impact data releases, investors will also keep a close eye on risk perception. In the early European session, US stock index futures were down between 0.45% and 0.65%.
Although markets are yet to make up their mind about the size of the September Fed rate hike, Reuters reported that only 18 of 94 economists surveyed in a recent poll expected the US central bank to opt for a 75 basis points (bps) rate hike. Nevertheless, the CME Group FedWatch Tool shows that markets are pricing in a 48.5% probability of a 75 bps rate increase next month.
During the Asian trading hours, the People's Bank of China announced that it lowered the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) and the five-year LPR by 5 basis points and 13 points, respectively to 3.65% and 4.3%. This dovish step taken by the Chinese central bank helped the AUD and NZD stay resilient against the USD at the beginning of the week. As of writing, the NZD/USD pair was up 0.53% on the day at 0.6200 and the AUD/USD pair was up 0.42% at 0.6900.
EUR/USD is struggling to stage a recovery following last week's sharp decline and trading below 1.0050. According to several news outlets, Russia plans to shut down the Nord Stream gas pipeline for three days for maintenance at the end of the month.
GBP/USD lost nearly 300 pips last week and continues to trade on the back foot within a touching distance of 1.1800.
USD/JPY consolidates last week's gains and trades in a relatively tight channel at around 137.00 early Monday.
Gold registered losses for five straight days and stays under modest bearish pressure in the European morning on Monday. At the time of press, XAU/USD was trading in negative territory slightly above $1,740.
After having suffered heavy losses last Friday, Bitcoin recovered modestly over the weekend but struggled to gather bullish momentum. BTC/USD trades in negative territory below $21,500 on Monday. Ethereum is down more than 2% on the day, continuing to push lower toward $1,500.
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