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By XE Market Analysis March 25, 2021 3:03 pm
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    XE Market Analysis: Asia - Mar 25, 2021

    The dollar advanced broadly in N.Y. trade on Thursday, getting a boost from better than expected jobless claims, and an upgrade revision to Q4 GDP. The DXY printed a fresh four-plus month high of 92.92, with the USD posting gains against most major currencies. Firmed up Treasury yields helped Dollar sentiment as well. Wall Street was choppy, remaining in the red through much of the morning, despite the stronger data. Stocks turned partially positive in afternoon trade, though the NASDAQ underperformed on ongoing valuation concerns. Friday's U.S. calendar features personal income and consumption data, along with advance goods trade and advance inventory figures, along with the final March University of Michigan sentiment index.

    [EUR, USD]
    EUR-USD broke under the 1.1800 mark, printing 1.1762, a better than four-month low. The stronger U.S. data, including upgraded Q4 GDP, and the lowest initial jobless claims since the pandemic began a year ago, highlight the better growth path the U.S. is on versus Europe. In addition, the USD's interest rate advantage should continue to support the Dollar going forward, while Europe's weak Covid vaccine rollout will weigh further on the Euro. The next EUR-USD support level is the November 12 low of 1.1759.

    [USD, JPY]
    USD-JPY topped at a six-session high of 109.24, and holding the 109 handle since breaching it in London morning trade. Gains have reportedly been limited by Japanese exporter offers, which are said to be in place up to the 109.50 region. USD supportive yield differentials have continued to underpin the interest rate sensitive pairing, while overall, the Dollar has moved up broadly this week, leaving the DXY at four-month highs. The nine-month high of 109.36 seen on March 15 is the next upside target.

    [GBP, USD]
    GBP-USD outperformed through the N.Y. session, moving from 1.3692 at the open to 1.3744 after the London close. The USD had made gains on most other major currencies throughout the day. Sterling support perhaps came from comments from the BoE's Haldane who expects a "rip roaring" recovery, even if consumers only spend part of the savings accumulated during the pandemic. The bank's chief economist said that "If some of those savings do get spent, even a small amount of them, we are talking about a pretty rip roaring recovery", adding that "when it comes, it will come fast, and it will be large".

    [USD, CHF]
    The SNB maintained its expansionary policy stance. The statement stressed that the pandemic "is continuing to have a strong adverse effect on the economy", adding that despite the "recent weakening, the Swiss franc remains highly valued" and against that background the policy rate was held at -0.75% and the bank stressed that "it remains willing to intervene in the foreign exchange market as necessary". The bank will also continue to supply the banking system with liquidity on "generous" terms. Nothing really new there, despite the fact that the SNB lifted its conditional inflation forecast on the back of higher oil prices and a weaker CHF. However, the new forecasts, which project average price increases of 0.2% this year, 0.4% for 2022 and 0.5% for 2023 are clearly nothing that would force the SNB to abandon the very expansionary policy. Looking forward the SNB's baseline scenario expects a gradual easing of virus restrictions in coming months and the forecast for overall growth this year remains at 2.5-3.0%. However, the SNB highlighted ongoing uncertainty, and warned that against the background of ongoing increases in mortgage lending and residential property prices this market remains vulnerable and "continues to present a risk for financial stability"

    [USD, CAD]
    USD-CAD topped at 1.2626, above Wednesday's two-week top of 1.2609. Another downturn in oil prices, along with a generally stronger USD have supported the pairing this week, while the risk-off backdrop has weighed on the CAD as well. WTI crude was back under the $59.00 level, while the DXY printed fresh four-month highs earlier in the session. The March 11 high of 1.2626 is the next USD-CAD resistance point, with support at Wednesday's low of 1.2543.

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