Currency markets remain sleepless in Seattle

It was another sideways day for currency markets overnight, as the pre-Non-Farm Payrolls holding pattern continued. Despite US yields easing slightly overnight, the dollar index still eked out a slight gain, rising from 0.08% to 91.89. The majors were mostly unchanged except for AUD/USD and NZD/USD, which eased around 0.35% as risk sentiment wavered globally of delta-variant pandemic concerns. Both being proxies for Asian risk-sentiment.


The risk-averse tone has continued this morning in Asia, though as virus-disquiet grows. As a result, EUR/USD and GBP/USD have eased 0.10% to 1.1915 and 1.3870, with GBP/USD falling at 1.3900 again overnight. USD/JPY is moribund at 110.60. Overall, the DM space remains in range-trading mode, with the Antipodeans looking the most vulnerable to deteriorating virus sentiment.


The People’s Bank of China set a neutral USD/CNY fix today but added liquidity via the repo market. That has seen USD/CNY unchanged from yesterday at 6.4610 today. It is hard to see 6.4500 giving way until the data prints later this week. Stability will be the name of the game this week over the Communist Party’s 100th birthday.


In the USD/Asia space, The Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah remain under pressure and will likely remain so throughout the week. The deteriorating Covid-19 situations in each country is sapping sentiment. USD/MYR is trading at 4.1500 today and could retest 4.1650 this week. USD/THB has rallied back through 32.000, targeting 31.100. Meanwhile, the virus situation in Indonesia, arguably the most potentially problematic of all, see USD/IDR continue testing resistance near 14,500.00 today. The country looks like it will be heading into a two-week lockdown from tomorrow. A move towards 14,600.00 will almost certainly provoke a response from Bank Indonesia.


USD/Asia will remain under pressure this week, and only a massive downside miss by Friday’s US employment data, leading to a softer greenback, is likely to reverse that course.