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By XE Market Analysis May 22, 2020 1:18 pm
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    XE Market Analysis: Asia - May 22, 2020

    The Dollar rallied through the overnight session, as safe-haven flows headed to the USD following China's likely legislation to crack down on Hong Kong's autonomy. In N.Y. trade, the Greenback retained its bid, though narrow ranges prevailed with the major pairings, and activity slowed into the Long Memorial Day weekend. There were no incoming US. data on Friday, though Wall Street and Treasury yields were modestly lower. EUR-USD ranged between 1.0915 and 1.0885, while USD-JPY meandered inside of 107.50 and 107.65. USD-CAD topped at 1.405, after opening near 1.4000. GBP-USD ranged between 1.2166 and 1.2208.

    [EUR, USD]
    EUR-USD printed four-session lows of 1.1085, down from overnight highs of 1.0961. Safe-haven Dollar buying has been behind the move, with the USD benefiting broadly as U.S./China tensions ramp up following China's intent to crack down on Hong Kong's autonomy. The U.S. Senate is considering legislation which would allow sanctions on China officials. EUR-USD support is at the 50-day moving average of 1.0886, with resistance at 1.0960.

    [USD, JPY]
    USD-JPY rallied to 107.65 highs early in the session from opening lows of 107.43. The pairing has since eased back toward the lows, as the risk-sensitive Yen gains ground on the back of U.S./China tensions, and lower equities a Treasury yields. Aside from geopolitical concerns, USD-JPY will likely continue to have two-way risk, as uncertainties surrounding the economic outlook remain high. As countries break their quarantines and get back to work, results will likely not be linear in nature, results will most likely be mixed, as fresh outbreaks remain a fear.

    [GBP, USD]
    Cable ranged between 1.2208 and 1.2167 in N.Y., after toughing a four-session low of 1.2161 ahead of the open. Sterling still remains net softer over the last week following losses seen on news that the latest round of UK-EU trade negotiations had failed to find away around significant points of disagreement. UK retail sales for April were released Friday, and were even worse than expected, tumbling by 18.1% m/m and by 21.6% y/y. UK-EU trade negotiations are coming to a head, with less than a month-and-a-half until the July-1st deadline for the UK to decide whether it wants to extended is post-Brexit transition membership of the EU's single market beyond year-end.

    [USD, CHF]
    The SNB has successfully been putting a cap on the franc, which has seen EUR-CHF in recent weeks skirt along just above the five-year low that was first seen on March 9th at 1.0505 without breaching it. Weekly sight deposit data out of Switzerland has pointed to the extent of SNB franc selling over the pandemic crisis period, which was most acute in March before basing out as global governments and central banks acted with interventions and stimulus packages. A rise in sight deposits (money held by commercial banks) can suggest the francs turning up after being sold by the central bank. The 1.0500 level in EUR-CHF, while not a fixed floor, has clearly been a line in the sand of the SNB.

    [USD, CAD]
    USD-CAD rallied to four-session 1.4050 highs, up from opening lows of 1.3997, and overnight lows of 1.3939. The rally came despite the recovery of oil prices, seeing WTI crude trading back over $33, after bottoming at $30.74 overnight. USD buying was a factor in the USD-CAD rally, driven by a broad haven-bid for dollars as Hong Kong re-emerges as a flash point in U.S./China, and indeed West/China relations. USD-CAD resistance is at the 50-day moving average of 1.4089, with support marked at the overnight low of 1.3939.

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