By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist, FXTM
The Greenback and U.S. Treasury yields continued to fall early Thursday, after Trump’s comments to the Wall Street Journal that the dollar is getting too strong. According to the U.S. President, he’s the one to blame for this, because “people have confidence” in him. Maybe not everyone agrees, with his approval rating currently standing at 40%. More importantly, Trump said “I do like a low-interest rate policy” and that the Treasury would not be labeling China a currency manipulator.
Donald Trump has already made many U-turns after his election, but yesterday’s one is of primary concern to currency traders. During his Presidential campaign, he accused Fed Chair Janet Yellen of being “political” and “doing what Obama wants her to do”, by keeping rates at zero. He even called the high equity prices a false market, with the cost of funds being essentially free. Now, he likes a low- interest rate policy and may reappoint Yellen to a new four-year term, possibly adding more doves to voting members. However, markets still believe that the Fed will continue with the tightening process for now, with June’s 25 basis points rate hike expectations hovering steady above 60% according to CME’s FedWatch. This is likely to limit further steep losses on the USD, but overall there’s a high chance that the dollar could have already topped out for the year.
Backing away from labeling China a currency manipulator is another promise he broke. This shift is seen as a positive development by markets, as it eliminates the risk of China dumping its U.S. Treasury holdings and reduces the potential for further tensions between the world’s largest two economies.
In other currency news the Aussie was the best performer today, rising 0.9% against the USD after the economy added 60,900 jobs in March up from 2,800 the previous month. This was triple the market’s expectations for 20,000. More importantly, 74,500 full-time jobs were added while part-time jobs continued to fall, suggesting that interest rates in Australia may have only one direction to go, which is up.
Gold is approaching the key $1,300. The precious metal is benefiting from three main factors at the moment – the dollar’s weakness, ongoing geopolitical tensions, and breaking above key resistant points on the charts. I think that investors don’t want to dump equities aggressively as we enter the earning season. Instead, they are keeping holding equities and adding some safe havens on the side, which is likely to keep gold supported.
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