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US Dollar trails on trade war concerns

Published: Wednesday 26 September 2018

  • Federal Reserve in focus
  • Labour party speech success to be watched closely
​​By Charlie Horsley

The US Dollar is trading tightly against its major currency counterparts as investors focus on the Federal Reserve’s policy review later this evening at 19:00 GMT, as global markets continue to worry about escalating trade wars between the US and China.

The US currency slipped against both the Australian and New Zealand Dollars, which benefitted from a survey showing increasing New Zealand business sentiment.

Federal Reserve in focus

The Federal Reserve will end its two-day policy meeting this afternoon. The Fed is expected to raise interest rates for the eighth time since late 2015 at the meeting. Investors are also counting on another rate hike before the end of the year, although the outlook for 2019 is less clear. The voting will be a point to note: we will see which policymakers are more cautious and which are impatient for change. But most expect a unanimous vote at this stage.

Labour party speech success to be watched closely

In the UK, opposition party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, will be speaking on this afternoon in his closing speech at the Labour party conference. He will commit the party to hitting a target of 60% of energy to come from low carbon or renewable sources by 2030.

In his speech, Mr Corbyn will say "the old way of running things isn't working anymore" and Labour's better-than-expected election result last year showed voters were ready for something new. Investors and markets will be watching to see how this speech is received.

Data dispatch

Data-wise, there is no major data due for the UK today. The latest mortgage approvals data from UK high street banks reported that mortgage approvals have dropped by 4.2%, as the UK housing market – largely thanks to falling house prices in London – continues to soften. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Reported Sales data will also be released in the UK, highlighting the UK’s shorter-term retail and wholesale trends. The report offers insights into sentiment in the UK retail sector.

New home sales data and crude oil inventories will be released in the US. Oil prices can often affect the strength of the US Dollar, so this will be one to keep an eye on.

Get in touch for a no-obligation discussion if you are concerned about how ongoing trade talks are affecting your foreign exchange plans.
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Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
USD 15:00 US: New Home Sales 627k 630k
USD 15:30 US: Crude Oil Inventories -2.1m -0.7m
USD 19:00 Federal Reserve Funds Rate 2.00% 2.25%
USD 19:00 Federal Reserve Funds Statement    
USD 19:00 Federal Reserve Economic Projections    
USD 19:30 Federal Reserve Press Conference    
NZD 22:00 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Official Cash Rate 1.75% 1.75%
NZD 22:00 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Rate Statement    
NZD 22:00 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Monetary Policy Statement    
NZD 23:00 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Press Conference    

For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/news