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Cable pops higher as DUP rumoured to be planning to back May’s new plan

By Alex Edwards

GBP/USD pushed higher overnight following rumours that the DUP would be backing PM May’s Plan B next week. This latest headline is providing some good support this morning too, albeit the pair has come down off its overnight highs.

There’s not a lot of top tier data due for release and so focus is likely to remained affixed on Brexit related headlines.

The USD has been relatively steady over the last 24 hours. US data was on the whole, positive; unemployment claims and flash manufacturing PMI came in better than market forecasts, despite the government remaining in shut down mode.

Headlines on the US-China negotiations were mixed, with Commerce Secretary Ross saying they were ‘miles and miles’ from a resolution, but Treasury Secretary Mnuchin indicating that the US and China were ‘making a lot of progress’.

There isn’t any US economic data due out today so it may be a quiet finish to the week in currency markets.

EUR/USD was sold off yesterday following the ECB’s assessment of the Eurozone economy. The ECB left its monetary policy unchanged, which was widely expected. However, they finally admitted that the growth risks are now biased downwards, blaming protectionism for the change. The ECB stated that there would be no changes in their stance until the next staff projections are updated in March. President Draghi also indicated that the persistence of weak data will dictate the type of policy action at the next meetings.

EUR/USD fell below 1.13 on the news but has slowly recovered since and opens this morning back above the big figure.

There’s no data due out from the Eurozone today, but the ECB’s dovish stance will likely keep any euro gains in check though.

The AUD has remained on the back foot for the last 12 hours or so. If anything, it’s been bid slightly higher, mostly a result of some mild weakness in the USD.

It’s a public holiday in Australia on Monday and so action in AUD/USD, like most other major pairs, is likely to be muted.

The Canadian dollar seesawed through Thursday, trading within a tight range of approx. 40 pips of 1.3332 and 1.3375. The loonie was affected by disappointing Canadian monthly retail sales data, showing a decline of 0.9% in November.

The CAD has also been weighed down by a pull-back in crude oil prices. Oil prices lost some additional ground on Thursday amid lingering concerns over global economic growth, and coupled with some USD strength, helped the pair regain positive traction and climb above mid-1.3300s.

The NZD, like the AUD, made some mildly positive gains overnight. There was no obvious cause other than a slightly weaker USD.

Other than ‘Visitor Arrivals’ there was no top tier local data out from NZ.