Morning brief for May 19

Morning brief for May 19

Strong economic indicators from the US lifted the dollar overnight. US initial for unemployment claims fell to 232K vs estimate of 240K. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook index for May came much higher at 38.8 vs previous 18.5.  The Political news also helped to send the dollar higher. The former FBI director James Comey in his testimony claimed that he had not been pressured for political purposes to close an investigation.  It seems that Mr. Trump would be off the hook unless the Special Counsel investigations uncover some evidence of a collision between his election campaign and Russian entities.

In the course of the Asian session, the USD surrendered some of its earlier gains. We got some of the geopolitical news from Asian region: a second US carrier is being moved in close to North Korea for exercises; China intercepted a US Air Force plane over the yellow Sea.

USD/JPY slipped to 111.40 in the Asian session amid geopolitical tensions near the Korean peninsula. Further USD losses are not ruled out until it manages to hit 111.90. The solid support can be found at around 110.20.

EUR/USD ticked higher to 1.1115 in Tokyo morning. The single currency is getting some support from an emerging view that ECB might remove its current monetary policy stimulus (start gradually winding down its QE program). Bundesbank President Jens Weidman noted that political risks diminished following the euro-pleasant outcome of UK deal.  Tonight, traders should focus on three speeches from several ECB officials. They might give us some details on whether ECB is ready to wind down its balance sheet.

Aussie posted some modest gains against USD. AUD/USD rose to 0.3230 in the Asian session. The recent AUD’s upsurge has room to extend higher to 0.7480. Until the solid support at 0.6970 is still intact. We would remain bearish on USD.

USD/CAD is trading sideways within a range of 1.3570 – 1.3667. It skipped a few point in today’s session. At the present moment, prices are hovering around 1.3590 level. Today’s focus will be on the Canadian inflation and retail sales figures. Brent and WTI futures are a bit higher ahead of the OPEC meeting scheduled for next Thursday. The oil producing countries will discuss extension of the output cut deal.

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