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Currency Market Sub-Plots Lift Greenback

The dollar is creeping upward as conflicting cross-currents in the foreign exchange markets contrive to keep most majors tightly rangebound. Yields are broadly flat, and equity futures are setting up for a slightly weaker open. Mexico’s Banxico yesterday became the second central bank—after the Reserve Bank of Australia—to defy increasingly-dovish policy expectations, sending the peso soaring by raising rates by half a percentage point in a move that surprised virtually every observer. In a statement accompanying the decision, policymakers said “Given the dynamics of core inflation, on this occasion it is necessary to continue with the magnitude of the reference...

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Bulls Stay in the Ascendant after ‘Goldilocks’ Jobs Report

Financial markets are very happy with their porridge this morning. Equities are up, yields are soft, and the dollar is trading near a seven-month low. Friday’s just-right non-farm payrolls report, in which unemployment fell and wage gains were surprisingly muted, had a profound impact on investor psychology, convincing many that the Federal Reserve’s much-vaunted “soft landing” scenario is being borne out in the data. The jobs numbers look incredibly positive: 223,000 positions were added in December, the unemployment rate fell back to a 53-year low at 3.5 percent, and revisions showed average hourly earnings growth subsiding to 4.1 percent year-over-year....

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Market Briefing: Traders Turn Cautious Ahead of Action-Packed Week

The greenback is climbing and the risk-sensitive Canadian dollar is slipping ahead of a week that could prove pivotal in currency markets. Central banks in Australia, the US and the UK will deliver rate decisions and a slew of data releases including non-farm payrolls will be published in the coming days, helping to set market positioning into year end. Traders are buying the Brazilian real after former president Lula da Silva triumphed over Jair Bolsonaro in a closely-fought election. The currency had traded with a persistent risk discount in recent months as Mr. Bolsonaro cast aspersions on the electoral process,...

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Market Briefing: Markets Tiptoe Into October

With traders and investors suffering from a kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome after a brutal September, markets are cautiously edging higher this morning. North American equity indices are pointing to a stronger open, commodity benchmarks are finding their feet, and economically-sensitive currencies like the Canadian dollar are climbing back from Friday’s selloff. The dollar is slightly softer, but remains strong after the Federal Reserve’s favoured inflation measure showed no evidence of deceleration. According to data released on Friday, the core personal consumption expenditures deflator climbed 0.6 percent in August, suggesting that underlying price pressures continue to grow even as gasoline...

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Market Briefing: Japanese Intervention and Fed Aftershocks Pummel Currency Markets

Global asset prices plunged and yield differentials tilted violently in the dollar’s favour yesterday after the Federal Reserve turned more hawkish than expected. The central bank hiked by 75 basis points for a third time, but the “dot plot” forecasts inflicted more damage on markets, showing that a solid majority of members expect to raise rates above 4.5 percent next year – even if this risks an economic downturn. Market-implied pricing shot up during the announcement and press conference, with the Federal Funds rate now expected to end the year around 4.4 percent, up from 4.2 percent yesterday morning. The...

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