Forex Today: Trade wars keep recoveries in check, yen continues to outperform the dollar

  • Forex today was centred around US-China trade tensions.
  • Chinese delegation returned to the US to attend tough talks following the recent escalation of frustrations on the U.S.'s part due to what has been described by the U.S. as the Chinese's backtracking on almost all aspects of the deal. 

Initially, it was all risk off and European markets were following in the footsteps of the Asian session's gloom and doom price action. However, there was a recovery in risk and subsequent bids related currencies that had suffered the worst the week's downside.

Touching on US data, US producer prices were a disappointment, rising a less than expected 0.2% in April while the US trade deficit matched expectations in March, gapping by $0.7bn to -$50bn. Initial jobless claims were largely unchanged into late-April at 230k, fifty-year lows.

Trade talks

"News that China Mobile is barred from the US market on espionage concerns only added to negative sentiment. But comments from President Trump early this morning saw markets pare some losses," analysts at ANZ Bank explained, adding, "Trump noted that he had received a “beautiful letter” from Xi and that the two may speak on the phone. Tariffs on US imports of USD200bn of Chinese goods were due to rise from 10% to 25% imminently, but Trump noted that a deal this week is still possible. We’ll find out shortly whether these words turn into tangible results."

Currency action

Analysts at Westpac summarised the relevant currencies for Asia and price action as follows:

  • EUR/USD spiked from 1.1195 to 1.1250 in late London trade, without obvious catalyst, then edged back to 1.1215 in NY. 
  • GBP/USD was choppy but eventually unchanged at 1.3015. 
  • USD/JPY reflected the deterioration in risk sentiment, falling from 110.10 in the Sydney morning to 109.47 – a three-month low – before grinding back to 109.70 as US equities trimmed losses.
  • AUD/USD found a base at 0.6965, recovering to 0.6990. 
  • NZD similarly based at 0.6570, rising slightly to 0.6595.
  • AUD/NZD ranged sideways between 1.0590 and 1.0615.

Key notes from overnight:

Wall Street supported on Trump's optimism, but DJIA dropped below 61.8% Fibo

Key events ahead:

When is the RBA Statement on Monetary Policy and how might it affect AUD/USD?

  • The RBA releases its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy.
  • UK Q1 GDP and US Apr CPI.
  • Fedspeak involves Williams at a banking event, Daly in a Syracuse, Bostic in Mississippi and Brainard at a community event.
     
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