US Dollar recovers as fears ease over Hurricane Irma

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12 September 2017


The US Dollar posted modest gains against its major peers on Monday, tentatively gaining some traction after its worst week in two months.

nvestors breathed a sigh of relief from a relative calming in geopolitical tensions as negative headlines out of North Korea took a break over the weekend. While hurricane Irma caused widespread power outages and a handful of deaths as it hit Florida, it also missed the most populous areas and the damage caused was not quite as devastating as initially feared. The psychological 1.20 level in EUR/USD also appears to be presenting somewhat of a buffer for Dollar weakness, and the pair has twice retraced its gains shortly after passing this mark in the last couple of weeks.

Job openings data from JOLTS will be the only economic release of note out of the US today following a complete absence of any data releases whatsoever on Monday. We instead look to Thursday’s inflation figures which are expected to show a modest uptick on previous.

In the UK, this morning’s inflation numbers showed that consumer price growth accelerated to 2.9% in August, sending the Pound sharply higher. That was above consensus for a reading of 2.8% year-on-year following July’s 2.6%. As we have mentioned in the past, we think that a continued increase in inflation towards around the 3% level should encourage more members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee to begin voting for an immediate interest rate hike. We may get the first evidence of this on Thursday as the BoE releases its statement and minutes following its two-day meeting for September.

Sterling actually had a fairly nondescript day yesterday with a session absent of any market moving news keeping the currency within a fairly tight range. Any clues from the Bank of England about plans for future monetary policy could give the Pound some much needed direction.

Economic and political news out of the Eurozone was also fairly limited on Monday. European Central Bank member Benoit Coeure warned that a rising Euro could lower inflation in the Euro-area unless it was offset by a stronger economy. The strength of the common currency, which has now rallied by around 15% since the beginning of the year, is providing a major headache to the ECB as it gears up to tighten its monetary policy for the first time in six years.