Home Focusing on the Fed

AUD:  The minutes to the May meeting will be released overnight, this being the meeting where rates were cut from 3.00% to 2.75%.   Markets will be reading closely for signs of more to come. This in essence would weaken the Aussie, but there are growing signs that the currency could correct higher from an oversold position.

USD: No key data, with speech by Chicago Fed President Evans the only focus later on, with market becoming more sensitive to changes in tone from voting Fed members.

Idea of the Day

The big focus this week is on the dollar and for signs that the US central bank could start slowing down the pace of monthly asset purchases.   Expectations of such a change have in part been behind the recent rise in the dollar, which last week touched a near 3 year high on the dollar index (DXY).

We’ve heard more talk from officials regarding such a move, with the focus on Wednesday’s release of FOMC minutes and also the Fed Chairman’s testimony to Congress.   It seems unlikely that the Fed will step back from its commitment to buy USD 85bln of securities per month in the near-term, with the economy still mixed and inflation pressures easing.

But they are keen not to scare markets when the move does eventually happen, hence the propensity to talk openly about it.   Waiting for the minutes and Bernanke could hold markets back in the early part of the week as the dollar waits for a reason to justify further gains.

Latest FX News

JPY:  New highs at 103.31 made on Friday, with some modest retracement overnight on the back of comments from the economy minister Amari who cautioned of the negative impact from further yen weakness.   EURJPY holding very steady, below 132.77 high made earlier last week.

AUD:  The strongest performer during the Asia session, following on from a period of just one up day on AUDUSD in the previous 2 weeks.   This could be taken as an early sign that we could be in for period of correction from an oversold position. More:  AUD/USD: Where next after the collapse? A look at the big levels

USD:   Thursday of last week saw the dollar reach levels last seen in July 2010, looking on the dollar index (DXY). The greenback continues to benefit from speculation that the Fed may indicate a slowdown in the pace of bond purchases.   Fed minutes are the focus, released Wednesday of this week.

GBP:  There were some more positive signs and talk on the economy last week, but the currency has struggled to see much benefit, holding steady on EURGBP and Cable only just off the lows seen last week. Inflation data will be the focus for tomorrow.

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