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  • Forex today was mixed, leading to a slightly lower greenback ahead of the midterms and prospect for the Democrats  taking The House – ( a split Congress could block Trumps’ domestic growth agenda).  
  • US data releases continued to indicate strong growth momentum ahead of mid-term elections – leaves dollar close to 2018 highs.

One of the highlights was the  enforcement of US sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors that commenced.  Brent crude oil snapped a 5 day losing streak, up about 1%. “President Trump said he allowed temporary waivers for 8 countries buying oil from Iran “because I don’t want to drive the oil prices in the world up,’ noted analysts at Westpac.  Meanwhile, markets look ahead  to the outcome of the midterm elections and then will expect the FOMC to hold but maintain its upbeat assessment on the US economy.

Currency action:

EUR/USD was higher after there was soundbites from Euroland that Italy was showing a willingness to compromise with EU on the budget. EU’s Dombrovskis was saying earlier that Italy is openly acting not in line with EU rules and also a Politico report was stating that the EC will propose disciplining Italy under EU fiscal rules on Nov 21. However, EUR/USD reversed losses down at 1.1345 when the greenback and US yields gave up earlier gains. Cable was able to keep the bid flow on the desks in the end following a session low due to the Sun’s article that said there will not be a Brexit deal this week. However, the markets shrugged that off and prefer to go with the narrative of BoE rate hikes once a smooth transition takes place between the UK leaving the EU and MPC summer 2019 meetings. The ‘hope’ of a UK-wide customs agreement is underpinning the pound still. EUR/GBP was subsequently lower again, -0.31% by the close of play on North American having travelled between a range of 1.3065 and 1.2966 ending the day at 1.3040. The cross is weighed by the Italian uncertainties. USD/JPY was unable to develop any further up the 113 handle on the US data with ISM non-manufacturing coming in below prior, albeit beating expectations. The pair as being unwound ahead of the midterm elections where a soft dollar could be the outcome if the Democrats take The House. USD/JPY drifted sideways within a narrow range between 113.32 and 113.07. AUD/USD was riding the optimism of the possibility in a trade war truce. AUD/USD was weighed, however, by a weaker outlook in EM-FA and China lead by a deterioration again of the Yuan. However. US yields and the greenback gave up their gains which helped AUD/USD to stablise on the 0.72 handle for a NY close of 0.7211.

Key notes from US session:

Key events ahead:

Wall Street closes mixed as investors stay on the sidelines ahead of midterm elections

Key event risks ahead – Westpac