Fed and the dollar

Global equities failed to register gains overnight despite Bernanke’s speech at the annual Dinner of the National   Economists Club affirming that the Federal Reserve will not taper until such time when fundamental data – predominately, the labor market – improves on a sustained basis and interest rates will continue to remain near zero for a “considerable time” after quantitative easing ends, “perhaps well after” unemployment falls below the Federal Reserve target of 6.5%.   Bernanke reiterated that the central bank will remain transparent and will clearly communicate the framework for its future policy decisions to ensure that market expectations and the Fed are aligned.

The dollar came under renewed selling pressure as Bernanke’s comments echoed that of Yellen’s testimony last week, ahead of FOMC minutes due for release later in the day where traders will peruse for clues as to the central banks’ fiscal outlook, its assessment on the labor market and its perspective on inflation.   Data released this morning showed that inflation contracted for the month of October at -0.1% while remaining stable at 1% on an annualized basis, in line with market consensus.   Retail sales climbed 0.4%, its largest gain in three months, and higher than the expected 0.1%, giving hope to American retailers as they gear up for the upcoming holiday season.   Other data on tap this morning include September business inventories and existing home sales for October.

North of the border, the Canadian dollar is up a modest 0.18% against the greenback, but continue to trade within a tight range.   Supporting the loonie includes Bernanke’s dovish commentary, and a decline in the US-CDN 2 year interest rate spread.     Domestic highlight today will be Bank of Canada Governor Poloz’s and Senior Deputy Governor Macklem’s testimony before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.   Analysts expect Poloz to maintain a dovish bias which will limit further CAD strength.   For the pair of USD/CAD, support is located at 1.0415 while resistance is found at 1.0485.

Across the Atlantic, the pound remained strong despite the release of dovish Bank of England minutes, revealing that it will not be raising the cost of borrowing until such time when the jobless rate have fallen to 7% and when the Monetary Policy Committee is confident about the durability of the recovery, easing of credit supply constraints, a strong housing expansion and the extent to which the British economy returns to full capacity.   Cable is currently trading at 1.6170 levels, where a daily close above 1.6168 will bring forth resistance at 1.6209 and 1.6249.  On the downside, support is seen at 1.6093, 1.6042 and 1.6012.

The upside momentum for the euro in the short term seems to be intact as it touched a 13 session high of 1.3580 in the Asian session and have retraced all of its losses following the European Central Bank’s   decision to cut interest rates on November 7th.   Fundamental data from Germany has weighed on the currency with German PPI contracted 0.2% month-on-month and -0.7% on an annualized basis.   Near term euro drivers include PMI releases and commentary from ECB officials.  The euro would need to close above 1.3538 to test resistance at 1.3623.   Support, on the other hand is placed at 1.3501, 1.3464 and 1.3440.

Further reading:

US retail sales surprise to the upside: +0.4% – USD stronger

EUR/USD Nov .20 – Lower on Weak German Inflation Data