The commodity bloc currencies have managed to hang on to last week’s gains, but they have been unable to add to them. Risk sentiment is bolstered by last week’s China data and the rise in equity indices.
The US dollar is marginally firmer against the G10 major currencies but only slightly so. GBP is unchanged, and CAD is a tad higher. The catalyst for the greenback’s modest rally is the better than expected NY Empire State survey. (Actual 10.1 vs forecast 6.0) However, it is a third tier report and only a trading factor today because it is the only data available. It also dovetailed nicely with Chicago Fed President Charles Evan’s comments that the labour market looked fine and he wasn’t worried about a recession.
President Trump took more shots at the Fed over the weekend, tweeting “If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5,000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%...with almost no inflation. Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!” Trump may have an agenda. Newswires quoted National Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow saying “Trump wanted to "disrupt Fed" by nominating Herman Cain and Stephen Moore for seats at the central bank.”
Wall Street has been flirting around “flat” since the open as this morning's key earnings reports were soft. Citigroup (C: NYSE) beat earnings per share forecasts but missed on revenue, and the stock is down 0.53% in early trading. Goldman Sachs results were similar, earnings beat but revenue missed.