The US dollar hit 7-week highs against other currencies this morning as investors digested the expectation-beating housing starts, US retail sales, and non-farm payroll reports all released throughout the month. Despite relatively-strong economic news in the states, the Federal Reserve has been hesitant to raise interest rates amidst the potential economic slowdown in Europe and other countries. That said, the market is pricing in a 44% probability that the central bank will raise rates by the end of the year, and could strengthen the US dollar if those odds rise with more good economic news in the future.
Meanwhile, the pound is recovering from yesterday’s tumble as the UK’s unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked down to 4.9% in three months through May — the lowest unemployment levels since 2005. The outlook is still somewhat murky, however, as separate wage data revealed that average weekly earnings fell perhaps as employers held back on spending in the weeks leading up to the Brexit vote. Also helping to support the pound is the Bank of England agents report’s conclusion, which signaled to investors that the short-term impact of Brexit seems limited. We are waiting on Friday’s post-Brexit data to get better insight on where the UK is headed.
The euro is slightly down as investors anticipate tomorrow’s European Central Bank interest rate decision. Most analysts expect the central bank to talk of more stimulus measures to counter the potential slowdown from Brexit. If the bank unexpectedly takes a wait-and-see approach and leaves monetary policy alone — as the Bank of England did last week — the euro could rise.
Elsewhere, the data is light, but the Chinese Yuan is continuing to stabilize after a long slide as investors and the central bank are acknowledging the positive economic reports coming out more recently.
EURUSD: The euro is trading slightly lower as investors await tomorrow’s ECB interest rate decision.
GBPUSD: The pound is recovering after the unemployment rate ticked down unexpectedly to the lowest levels since 2005.
AUDUSD: The Aussie dollar is down slightly on little new data.
USDCAD: The Canadian dollar is trending lower, essentially in tandem with oil prices.