Forex Today: Higher US yields, risk aversion lead to a stronger US Dollar


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Japan's growth data for the first quarter and the Australian Wage Price Index will be the highlights of the Asian session on Wednesday. Despite mixed data and the ongoing debt ceiling drama, the US Dollar has gained momentum.

Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, May 17:

The US Dollar strengthened across the board on Tuesday, driven by higher US yields and mixed US data. The Dow Jones index experienced a 1% loss, while the Nasdaq slid by 0.18%. Investor sentiment remained cautious. The US Dollar Index gained 0.20% and was last observed above 102.60.

“The president changed the scope of who is negotiating,” said Kevin McCarthy, the top congressional Republican, during his talks regarding the debt ceiling. He sounded more optimistic about a deal to avoid a US default. 

US Retail Sales rose by 0.4% in April, falling short of the market consensus of 0.7%. However, March figures were revised higher from -1% to -0.7%. Industrial Production expanded by 0.5% in April, surpassing the market consensus of 0%. On Wednesday, the US will report Building Permits and Housing Starts.

Fed’s Mester sounded hawkish on Tuesday. She mentioned she would like to get to a point where it could equally be a potential increase or decrease in interest rates. “I don’t think we’re at that hold rate yet”. More Fed speakers are scheduled on Wednesday. Earlier, Fed’s Barking said that if inflation persists or accelerates “there’s no barrier in my mind to further increases”. 

The US 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.57%, reaching its highest level in two weeks before retracing slightly. The 2-year yield reached 4.12%. European yields also rose, weighing on the Japanese Yen. USD/JPY reached fresh weekly highs above 136.60 before pulling back modestly. Japan will release preliminary Q1 GDP and March Industrial Production data.

EUR/USD was rejected from above 1.0900 and dropped towards 1.0850. It continues to maintain a bearish tone, trading near the weekly low area. Final inflation data is due in the Eurozone on Wednesday.

GBP/USD failed to hold above 1.2500 and pulled back due to a strong US Dollar. The Pound was also influenced by UK data. The ILO Unemployment rate unexpectedly edged higher from 3.8% to 3.9% in the three months to March, reaching the highest level in over a year. The claimant count change also showed an unexpected increase of 46.7K in April, compared to an expected decline of 10.8K.

USD/CAD finished modestly higher, above 1.3470. The Canadian Dollar strengthened across the board following higher-than-expected Canadian inflation data. The annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) unexpectedly accelerated for the first time since June 2022, reaching 4.4%.

Analysts at RBC wrote: 

“Inflation in Canada accelerated in April, but has still on balance been easing since peaking in summer 2022. Early signs that the lagged impact of higher interest rates are weighing on economic growth suggest underlying price pressures should continue to ease. The BoC is expected to stay on the sideline for the remainder of the year.”

NZD/USD attempted a recovery but retreated to 0.6230 after reaching 0.6258. AUD/USD fell from above 0.6700 to 0.6655. The Australian Dollar lagged due to weaker Chinese data, the RBA minutes and a larger-than-expected decline in the Westpac Consumer Confidence report for May. Australia will release the Wage Price Index on Wednesday and the Employment report on Thursday.

Gold experienced a sharp drop below $2,000, remaining under pressure and potentially testing the crucial support level of $1,970. Silver also lost ground, falling to $23.60. Crude oil prices retraced some of Monday's gains, with WTI ending around $70.55. Cryptocurrencies also experienced losses; BTC/USD falling below $27,000 by 1.40%.

 

 


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