The volatility of the global equity markets has cooled off a bit since Monday’s meltdown. The Dow Jones recovered about half of its losses on Tuesday, but falling U.S. stock futures Wednesday morning serves as a reminder that instability is lingering.
However, the currency markets are relatively still among the storm with market movers not expected until Thursday.
GBP/USD quiet ahead of Thursday
The GBP/USD pair was the worst performing pair yesterday, and is now fighting to hold onto 1.39 after falling below the mark. An increase in demand for the dollar, combined with the economic and political uncertainty of the U.K., has the pair pressuring multi-week lows.
There isn’t a great deal of economic activity today that could move GBP/USD – beyond a series of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve presidents. Investors will be watching the Bank of England’s monetary announcement Thursday closely. Although no interest rate change is expected, investors will be keen to hear BoE’s position and what it might indicate for the coming quarters.
The U.S. government is still barreling toward a government shutdown if a deal is not reached on Thursday. On Tuesday, President Trump, when speaking on the progress of immigration reform and recent gang violence, said “I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.”
Immigration has been a key point of negotiation for Democrats around passing a funding bill. The House passed a temporary funding bill Tuesday night to keep the government open until March 23 and increase military funding through September, but it’s unclear yet if it will pass in the Senate. Meanwhile, congressional leaders are also ambitiously trying to complete a long-term funding plan in the next day.
Germany deal doesn’t phase euro
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have reached an agreement to form a coalition government, more than four months after Merkel suffered election losses in September.
In exchange for her to remain in power, Merkel has to give up key ministries to the SPD and other smaller parties.
Although this gives more direction to Europe’s biggest economy, the EUR/USD pair is still extending its losses from yesterday. The pair is trading down around 1.233 with very little economic data on the calendar to sway it in another direction.
USD drops, regains against JPY
The USD/JPY pair seems to be the most impacted by the recent stock market moves, falling below 109 as the yen continued to be a safe haven and Asian stock markets dropped. The pair regained 109 this morning on demand for the dollar.
There are few economic events on the calendar that could impact the pair today, besides the slim possibility of some market-moving commentary coming out of one of the Fed president speeches.