Euro jumps, US Dollar drops on Trump tax cut caution

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21 December 2017


The Euro popped by almost half a percent at one stage against the US Dollar on Wednesday, briefly touching its strongest position so far this month.

nvestors continued to bet that Donald Trump’s long awaited tax cuts would have limited impact on overall economic activity in the US. After the US Senate approved the tax bill early on Wednesday morning, we may also be seeing another case of ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact’, surrounding the tax overhaul. The bill will slash corporate rates and those for the wealthy, a proposal which has drawn widespread criticism from Democrat Senators. All 48 of them opposed the bill during this week’s US Senate vote.

Another strong set of US housing figures were not enough to prevent a depreciation in the Dollar yesterday. Existing home sales jumped to 5.81 million in November, a jump of 5.6%, its largest increase in nearly eleven years. This afternoon’s US GDP growth figure will be the main focal point in currency trading today, although is expected to remain unrevised at 3.3% annualised.

Riksbank ends large scale quantitative easing programme

With announcements in the major economies relatively few and far between leading up to the traditionally quiet Christmas period, Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, stole much of the attention. The Swedish Krone rose by around half a percent on Wednesday after the Riksbank announced a long awaited end to its quantitative easing programme, three years after it began. The central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at -0.5%, although will halt purchasing government bonds this month following an increase in Swedish inflation that is now back just shy of the 2% target.

In the absence of any major market moving announcements or data releases in the UK, the Pound was fairly range bound yesterday, ending London trading only modestly higher on the greenback. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney spoke yesterday, although didn’t explicitly comment on monetary policy. Carney instead talked about Brexit, claiming that big European banks operating in the UK would face little change following Britain’s exit from the European Union, providing supervisors in the EU cooperated with London after Brexit.

The latest net borrowing figures this morning could shift Sterling if it materially deviates from consensus. Absent any surprises here, we could be faced with another relatively subdued session of trading in the UK leading into the holiday period.