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Mixed bag for US dollar

USD - United States Dollar

Has the demand for the dollar bottomed out? Or is it just a Friday in 2020?

After a week in which demand for EURUSD reached over a two-year high, the pair held steady near 1.215 for the second day in row. However, it’s been a mixed bag for the world’s most widely traded currency.

On the back of strong Canadian fundamentals, employment gains beat expectations by a lot, demand increased for CAD and drove USDCAD lower. It fell through 1.28 and approached a low not seen since October 2018.

The US labor market, which may be in store for another whooping by COVID-19, disappointed in November. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 245,000 after a revised 610,000 the prior month. Consensus was for 460,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%. The number of long-term unemployed ticked up. In total, those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more increased by 385,000 to 3.9 million, accounting for 36.9% of the unemployed.

Key Movers

A second night of intensified talks between Brexit negotiators in London signified that progress could be made. It’s not all plain sailing from here on in for GBP though, and a mini sell off in this morning’s early hours of trading suggest that there is plenty left to do. France has dug its heels in once again. President Manuel Macron said that his country would veto any deal that doesn’t give them enough access to UK waters for its fisheries. However, some deem this as slightly short sighted, as the damage to both sides of the negotiations from a no deal Brexit and its impact on the ever-important financial services sector would leave a much larger hole in both the UK and Europe’s pocket. The financial sector is a dominant part of the UK’s economy. In the same light, European companies are also eager to retain access to the UK’s extensive derivatives market.

The Australian dollar extended beyond 0.74 US cents through trade on Thursday as investors continued to chase equities, commodity currencies and risk assets higher amid sustained positive sentiment and risk demand. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended gains to record new highs throughout the US session, dragging the AUD above resistance at 0.7410/0.7420 to mark intraday highs at 0.7448. The AUD continues to enjoy a series of higher highs and higher lows, spurred by a positive shift in demand for risk, amid hopes a vaccine will see any Q4 retracement unwound throughout 2021. Having broken above the September 2nd high at 0.7410, the AUD is now poised to make a run toward the psychological 0.75 cent barrier. While upside gains may be harder won in the short term as COVD-19 headwinds still linger in the minds of investors, there is little scope to suggest the long run US dollar downturn will correct itself.

Expected Ranges

EUR/USD: 1.213 - 1.217 ▼

GBP/USD: 1.341 - 1.353 ▼

AUD/USD: 0.741 - 0.744 ▲

USD/CAD: 0.776 - 0.781 ▼