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August

US Dollar weaker after Trump comments

Published: Tuesday 21 August 2018

  • New Zealand Dollar awaits retail sales data
  • Australian Prime Minister survives challenge – narrowly…
  • Sparse meaningful data today
​​By David Johnson

The US President is not chuffed by the Federal Reserve raising the base rate and doesn’t see a definite end date to talks with China over trade. That weakened the US Dollar; which is quite ironic when the US President was also accusing China and the EU of manipulating their currencies. Three words spring to mind, pot, kettle and black.
 
Either way, the US Dollar weakened on the comments (could that have been the president’s aim?) and that allowed the Pound to push back above $1.28 and the Euro to strengthen above $1.15. The Sterling – Euro rate slipped by a fifth of a cent against the Euro. The US president seems to be the antithesis of stability.
 
Australian Prime Minister survives challenge – narrowly…
 
I mention that because the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is seeking to be a "source of stability and confidence" by keeping rates at the record low of 1.5%. There is little chance then of an early rate hike and the Aussie Dollar looks pretty comfortable at 1.74 against the Pound and around 73.5 cents against the US Dollar. The Australian Prime Minister is anything but comfortable, but he did survive a challenge yesterday by the thinnest of margins. So that’s something, isn’t it?
 
Sparse meaningful data today
 
Today’s hard data is very sparsely represented. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) will release their latest industrial trends survey, which is expected to be marginally weaker than last month. An index reading of 10 is expected against last month’s 11. It is unlikely that Sterling will do more than shimmy on that announcement.
 
Keep an eye on oil prices…
 
There is an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting today where the controllers of oil will agree on volumes and that will impact the value of crude oil… and hence, your petrol or diesel costs. It also affected the value of the US Dollar to some extent. One to watch, then.
 
New Zealand Dollar buyers, beware…
 
Things get a little livelier later tonight when New Zealand data hits the newswires. Their dairy price indices and retail sales data is forecast to be in the positive zone, so strength in the New Zealand Dollar is likely before the UK opens for trade tomorrow. Beware of that, especially if you are a NZD buyer.  
 
Bubble and Squeak
 
And if you felt you missed out on owning a bubble car, fear not. A Swiss company is bringing the front opening teeny tiny cars back to life. The Microlino will have a 20 horsepower motor (about a quarter of the power of the average modern car) and will cost around £10,000. Whether it will become as iconic as the original Isetta, remains to be seen.
Long lost
 
A student didn’t realise he had forgotten to write to his parents for a long time; so busy had he been with studying and partying until a letter arrived from his dad. It read, ‘Dear Michael, your mother and I enjoyed your last letter. Of course, we were much younger then, and most likely much more impressionable. Love, Dad.’

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
GBP 09:30 UK: Public Sector Net Borrowing 4.5b -2.1b
GBP 11:00 UK: Confederation of British Industry Industrial Order Expectations 11 10
CAD 13:30 Canada: Wholesale Sales 1.2% 0.7%
NZD 23:45 New Zealand: Retail Sales 0.1% 0.4%
NZD 23:45 New Zealand: Core Retail Sales 0.6% 0.8%

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