Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Dollar falls for a third day on rate pause bets

The Dow rallied following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that there was no “preset path” toward raising interest rates The Dow rallied following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that there was no “preset path” toward raising interest rates
Laurie Berry | 10 January, 2019, 14:54

The American central bank chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the Federal Reserve could put a pause on the interest rate hikes if the United States economy would weaken and even pledged that he will stay despite the pressure from Trump to resign.

European shares edged lower following a strong session in Asia on Monday, after USA stocks surged in the previous session on fresh signs of economic strength and the Federal Reserve said it would be flexible with its interest-rate policy.

"The Fed is listening to the market and has acknowledged flashing market signs", said Sim Moh Siong, currency strategist at Bank of Singapore. S&P 500 futures were 0.4% higher.

The upbeat mood gave a lift to high-yielding currencies, with South Korea's won and the Indonesian rupiah soaring against the dollar, while there were also healthy gains for Australia's dollar.

He warned, however, that there is continued uncertainty about global growth, trade talks between the United States and China and US monetary policy.

But Saxo Bank's Hansen said demand for gold as a safe haven would remain because "a dovish Fed is more of a potential worry that the US economy is not as strong as the market expects".

The dollar outperformed other currencies in 2018 due to the Fed being the only major central bank to hike rates. This, along with a 100 basis point cut in China's bank reserve requirement ratios and comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the US central bank would be flexible in its approach in 2019, has been the main driver for the recovery. If the Fed holds rates in 2019, analysts see slim chances of further greenback appreciation.

Palladium, meanwhile, slipped 0.6 percent to $1,292.90 an ounce after touching a record high of $1,313.24 earlier in the session.

Total lunar eclipse happening January 20
Since the first full moon of January is called "wolf moon"; many are calling this event a "Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse". It's an event that will be best viewed from the eastern U.S., Central America, and South America.

After a slew of weaker-than-expected manufacturing data, Chinese authorities on Friday cut reserve requirements for all banks by 100 basis points.

But market expectations for further Fed tightening this year have shifted markedly in the last few months, with some traders now expecting even a rate cut this year. It rallied 2.1% Friday ahead of a well-flagged move by the People's Bank of China to add a net 800 billion yuan ($116.48 billion) of liquidity into the banking system by cutting banks' reserve requirements.

Dealers started the week on the front foot following a surge on Wall Street Friday that came after figures showed more than 300,000 USA jobs were created in December, tempering recent concerns about growth.

Analysts expect further monetary stimulus from Beijing in 2019.

Financial markets are also optimistic about US officials meeting with their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping on December 1 agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war.

February gold futures were up 0.59% to $1,293.40 by 09:32 AM ET (14:32 GMT) on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $1,296.50 earlier.

The two sides have until March 1 to make a deal, after which Trump has pledged to ramp up tariffs to 25 percent, from 10 percent, on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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