After the Federal Reserve minutes held up the dollar through Wednesday, the greenback is flailing against the euro and pound this morning with ECB minutes out and a series of Fed speeches scheduled Thursday.
EUR/USD swayed by meeting minutes
Minutes released yesterday from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting last month described a robust economy and increasing likelihood of an interest rate hike. The hawkish notes caused EUR/USD to fall below 1.23 and the pair is now bouncing back above the mark.
Meeting minutes from the European Central Bank released this morning were less influential on the pair, as they showed that some ECB members would like to drop the bank’s easing program in the event of a slowdown. However, it was decided that it was too soon to change the bank’s forward guidance communication.
The ECB minutes also echoed the concern expressed by ECB President Mario Draghi during the bank’s press conference last month over U.S. monetary policy. The ECB feared the U.S. administration was deliberately trying to devalue the dollar after U.S. Treasury Secretary made a comment at Davos supporting a weaker dollar.
Members of the Federal Reserve Bank system are giving a series of separate speeches today, with New York President William Dudley kicking it off this morning and Dallas President Robert Kaplan rounding out the day.
Pound recovers from GDP downgrade
The pound fell on news of revised Q4 GDP results for the United Kingdom showing a drop in quarter-over-quarter growth to 0.4% from 0.5%.
GBP/USD hit a fresh low of 1.3856, but was able to bounce back up closer to 1.39 due to softer U.S. Treasury yields and Wall Street opening higher. The pair was trading up around 1.394 at time of writing.
The pound has been weakened recently by Brexit headlines. Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting with her cabinet today to discuss what an ideal Brexit plan looks like.
May, who is facing criticism from her own party, just can’t catch a break. The PM had to spend at least a portion of her Thursday responding to British rapper Stormzy’s performance at the Brit Awards Wednesday night, in which he called her out for the country’s handling of a deadly apartment fire last June.
Canadian retail sales miss lifts USD/CAD
USD/CAD is reaching year-to-date highs this morning around the 1.27 midpoint. The rise in the pair was perpetuated by missed Canadian retail sales and after U.S. weekly jobless claims beat estimates.
Canadian retail sales for the month declined 0.8% in December, compared to the estimated gain of 0.2%. Retail sales excluding autos fell 1.8% in December compared to the 1.7% gain in November.
The disappointing retail numbers only became more impactful on the loonie when the U.S. released its weekly unemployment claims data. Initial jobless claims fell to 222,000 for the week of Feb. 16 from 229,000 the week before and lower than estimates at 230,000.
Later this morning, the Energy Information Administration will release its crude oil stock change, which might influence the commodity-linked loonie