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By XE Market Analysis April 19, 2017 3:19 am
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    XE Market Analysis: Europe - Apr 19, 2017

    Dollar majors have remained relatively steady despite a discernibly risk-off backdrop. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower, while Japan's 10-year JGB yield dipped below zero for the first time since last November on safe-haven demand for sovereign paper. USD-JPY remained settled in the mid 108s after making a rebound high yesterday at 109.22. A five-month low was logged at 108.12 on Monday. Geopolitical tensions remain on edge, while anti-EU candidates are polling well into Sunday's fist-round presidential election in France. The pound has steadied after rallying strongly yesterday on the PM May's call for a snap general election on June 8. The FT's poll tracker points to a landslide victory that would greatly increase the Tory Party's majority, which, the thinking goes, would dilute the influence of the hard right on May, giving her more flexibility in Brexit negotiations. Cable clocked a six-month high at 1.2908 yesterday, and has since consolidated gains in the lower 1.28s. The pair is showing a 2.2% gain on the week.

    [EUR, USD]
    EUR-USD lifted to three-week highs above 1.0700, with the euro benefitting on news that support for pro-EU candidate Macron increased in the latest poll, though the election still looks to be wide open. EUR-USD is up from a one-month low seen last week at 1.0569 after Trump said the dollar was "too strong." The French presidential election on Sunday will dominate euro markets from now on in, with two anti-EU candidates, Le Pen and Melenchon, polling over a combined 40%. We expect the euro to be a sell on rallies in the meantime.

    [USD, JPY]
    USD-JPY has settled in the mid 108s after making a rebound high yesterday at 109.22. A five-month low was logged at 108.12 on Monday. Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsular, a backdrop that should keep USD-JPY, which correlates inversely during phases of heightening North Korean concerns, a sell on rallies.

    [GBP, USD]
    The pound has steadied after rallying strongly yesterday on the PM May's call for a snap general election on June 8. The FT's poll tracker points to a landslide victory that would greatly increase the Tory Party's majority, which, the thinking goes, would dilute the influence of the hard right on May, giving her more flexibility in Brexit negotiations. Cable clocked a six-month high at 1.2908 yesterday, and has since consolidated gains in the lower 1.28s. The pair is showing a 2.2% gain on the week. We expect the pair to establish a range in the low 1.30s.

    [USD, CHF]
    EUR-CHF has drifted back under 1.0700 in recent sessions. The February-8 low at 1.0632 provides a downside reference point, which is lowest level traded since last June. Recent declines have reflected broader euro weakness following the ECB's walk back of market speculation that the central bank might have been preparing to switch out of its dovish guidance at its policy meeting next month. There is also political risk into France's presidential elections. EUR-CHF support is at 1.0677, and resistance is at 1.0720-25.

    [USD, CAD]
    USD-CAD rose to a nine-day high at 1.3412, extending the recovery from last week's six-week low at 1.3223. Softer oil prices have been weighing on the Canadian dollar. Support is at 1.3263-1.3284.

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