Dollar recovery falters on Trump, Eurozone PMIs beat forecast

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24 August 2017

thomasdodds

The recovery in the US Dollar on Tuesday proved short lived yesterday with comments from US President Donald Trump sending the currency lower across the board.

L
ate on Tuesday evening Trump warned that he might terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada after recent talks failed to bridge differences between the three countries. In another outlandish claim, Trump also suggested that he may shut down the government if the funding for the wall on the US-Mexico border is not approved.

The President’s controversial and unpredictable rhetoric has given investors little reason to buy the greenback in the past few weeks and the currency continues to languish around a fifteen month low as a result. This afternoon’s weekly jobless claims number is once again expected to be solid, although will do nothing to materially shift the market’s rather bearish view towards the Dollar.

Eurozone PMIs grow ahead of Draghi speech

The Euro received an additional boost from the generally impressive set of business activity PMIs out of the Eurozone. The all-important composite index, which represents a weighted combination of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to an above forecast 55.8 from 55.7. A relatively underwhelming performance in the services sector was more than offset by a bumper set of manufacturing data. The manufacturing PMI jumped to a multi-year high 57.4 in August following a robust expansion in both Germany and France.

While the European Central Bank remains noncommittal about any potential policy changes, recent surprisingly strong growth data is likely to push the ECB towards adopting a more hawkish policy stance sooner rather than later. President Mario Draghi will be speaking on Friday at the Jackson Hole symposium although, as we have mentioned earlier in the week, he is not expected to deviate from his recent forward guidance.

Sterling languishes at fresh lows, GDP data out this morning

This week has proven a particularly quiet one in the UK with a lack of any new announcements or data releases causing investors to focus on the uncertainty generated from the ongoing Brexit negotiations. With nothing in the way of positive news on this front, Sterling was sent back below the 1.28 mark against the US Dollar yesterday, while slumping to a ten-and-a-half month low versus the Euro. This marks its weakest position against the common currency since as far back as October 2016’s “flash crash”.

This morning we finally had some concrete data on the state of the UK economy after ONS released its final GDP number for the second quarter. The economy expanded by an unrevised 0.3% in the three months to June and the Pound was little budged as a result. With nothing else on the docket today Sterling will probably be driven more by events elsewhere than anything else.