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Forex today was seeing a switch up in the greenback extending to the upside as the market gets back to basics focussing on the Fed’s rate hike outlook and escalating US/China tariffs with shots fired in the trade war as new tariffs kick in.

The Fed is set on its rate hike path although there will be some caution going into 2019, so data will be key. As for the data overnight, the US August Markit preliminary PMI fell to 55.0 (last: 55.7). Services also dropped to 55.2 (last: 56.0) and manufacturing slid to 54.5 (last: 55.3). However, data remains consistent with above-trend growth. US housing indicators continued to soften where new home sales were falling to 627k (mkt: 645k; last: 638k). This was the weakest level in nine months and was something that the Fed highlighted as a risk to the outlook in its minutes yesterday. Friday’s gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole will be watched where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be the featured speaker on Friday.

The DXY was higher within the 95.1500-95.7090 range on Thursday and US yields were steady around the 2.82% mark.  As for the euro, it was faded down to a low of 1.1529 and just above the rising 100-hr SMA at 1.1527 as markets go long the dollar again. EZ data had the composite PMI lifting slightly to 54.4 in August (last: 54.3, mkt 54.5) while Germany saw an increase in its composite to 55.7 (last: 55.0). France climbed to 55.1 (last: 54.4) -so, all in all, off their highs but EZ PMI levels remain well in expansionary territory. Sterling was offered the hardest on no-deal Brexit angst, falling from 1.2909 to a low of 1.2802 ending in NY at 1.2815 and down by 0.76%.      EUR/GBP was helped along by the no-deal Brexit fears, ending NY at 0.9007 from within the NY range of between 0.9023-0.8978. USD/JPY was hit up through buy stops and rallied all the way to 111.41, a pip shy of the 14th August high. Support came in at 111.74, a familiar support zone. As for the commodity complex, with a focus on the Aussie, it dropped from 0.73 the figure to 0.7239 where the dollar’s strength sent metals down hard. Also, the leadership challenge has not done the Aussie any favours, and the political situation amplifies the macro risks. Markets are mulling over the prospects of a rating downgrade on a shift in government. However,  this will all be welcome by the RBA who have been anticipating more weakness in the Aussie due to dollar strength.  

Key notes from overnight:

Wall Street ends modestly lower as trade concerns resurface

Key events ahead:

Analysts at TD Securities explained that with market barely reacting to the  August FOMC minutes, the focus will shift to Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole remarks at  10am EDT  on Friday. “Treasuries are unlikely to react unless Powell mentions longer-term issues such as balance sheet runoff, the pace of hikes, or  r*, but we expect little new information.”