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USD Enters Consolidation Period

August 4, 2020


After suffering its largest monthly fall in three years, the U.S. dollar looks to be entering a period of consolidation. However, the causes of the DXY to fall by 10% from its high in March still exist, so it is expected that a ‘sell rally’ could develop later into August. There will like to be a further upward movement for the index as we approach Friday’s NFP report.

The July ADP & NFP figures added weight to the view that the second COVID wave in the U.S. has created some weakness in the USD. The market will be focusing on the Phase IV stimulus package now that the supplemental employment insurance has expired. Delays to this will not help the dollar. Looking at seasonality trends, August seems to mark a more difficult month for US equities and risk currencies in general, which could prompt some profit taking for a market generally positioned short dollars. It is only three months until the US Presidential election, and any corrections to the DXY look unlikely to beat the 94.50 area.

One of the biggest obstacles for a further advance in EUR/USD is that speculators have been waiting eagerly for this outcome since late March and net EUR long positioning now matches that seen in early 2018, shortly before Trump’s trade wars killed the 2017/18 EUR/USD rally. Now, however, the loss of US growth and rate differentials, plus a challenging run-in to November elections suggests the EUR/USD rally is more sustainable.

The British pound has been performing surprisingly well. The highlight this week will be Thursday’s Bank of England meeting, where the focus will be on negative rates. It is unlikely that the EUR/GBP trading under 0.90 for too long and continue to favor 0.91-0.92.

US threats against Chinese interests, from the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and others, have had less of an impact on the CNY and Chinese assets markets than they have previously. Improved July Chinese manufacturing PMI has helped, and despite oil looking fragile, a strong and stable CNY can provide support to commodity trading.