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Forex: Fed caution remains in place

The minutes to the October FOMC meeting in the US reflected a greater concern with the global economy, a theme that has become increasingly prevalent in recent weeks. There was also an increased focus on inflation expectations against this background of slower growth. In addition, there was a wider discussion regarding the Fed’s continued pledge to keep rates low for a “considerable period” of time, but there was not sufficient consensus to remove or adjust this long-held pledge. The dollar was net-net little changed on the release, but the debate is worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

Overnight, we’ve also seen the latest HSBC PMI data in China fall to sit bang-on the 50.0 level, from 50.4 previously. Europe faces more preliminary PMI data today from major Eurozone countries, with the main reading released at 09:00 GMT. UK retail sales data are seen at 09:30 GMT. In currencies, USDJPY continues to look like a one-way trip higher, with the sixth consecutive daily gain and yet another fresh high for the year at 118.98, with EURJPY also continuing its climb higher, the overnight high at 149.02. Whilst stocks are more stable, the yen continues to suffer on the back of the uncertainty and policy deadlock caused by the impending election. The yen aside, most majors continue to be range-bound. The latest polls in Switzerland suggest that the referendum at the end of the month will reject the proposition to boost Swiss gold holdings. This has softened the gold price this week, although EURCHF continues to bump along the 1.20 floor.

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