Hopes fade over fiscal stimulus package
Currency markets remained for the most part, in a range-trading holding pattern overnight. The US dollar lost ground on stimulus hopes and upbeat US data in a non-descript session. With no US package emerging, risk aversion has risen in Asia, with the US dollar index reclaiming all of its losses from overnight, increasing 0.20% this morning to 93.90, leaving is almost dead centre of its two-week range.
That risk-off tone has been heightened by the news that US President Trump will begin a quarantine period after an aid tested positive for Covid-19 overnight. That may have implications for the election campaign and possibly the second debate, although may readers I acknowledge, would be more than happy for him to stay in quarantine. The extra element of uncertainty has seen the EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD and NZD/USD all fall by 0.20% this morning. USD/JPY has been unmoved by Japan’s Finance Minister stating that a third extra budget is not being considered.
With the G-10 currencies all range-bound and moving on headlines, and with the major centres of North Asia, all closed for holidays, activity in regional Asian currencies is very light. The US dollar has risen 0.20% versus the SGD, MYR and THB in line with the Trump news, but otherwise, Asia seems content to wait for the Non-Farm Payroll data this evening.
What can we expect from the September Non-Farm Payrolls? The forecast stands at a rise of 850,000 jobs. It is noteworthy that the next time Non-Farm Payrolls is released, the US election will have passed. That means that today’s reading assumes a greater than usual significance, with a soft number possibly turning into a campaign issue if a stimulus deal is not reached. The same could also be said if the data outperform, with the Republicans using the numbers to show that the economy is improving under their helm. Either way, the data should ensure we have an energetic finish to the week.
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