FX Stalls as Holiday Doldrums Near

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Market Drivers December 18, 2019
Markets on hold
IFO bit better
Nikkei -0.55% Dax -0.25%
UST 10Y 1.869%
Oil $60/bbl
Gold $1478/oz
BTCUSD $6669

Europe and Asia:
EUR IFO 96.3 vs. 95.6
GBP UK CPI 1.5% vs. 1.4%

North America:
CAD CPI 8:30

Markets were very quiet in Asian and early London trade today with a slight risk-off bent and almost palpable feeling that most traders are starting to leave their desks for the holiday season.

On the eco front, the market saw IFO data out of Germany which beat expectations slightly by printing at 96.3 versus 95.6 eyed. According to IFO, “In manufacturing, the index recovered somewhat. This was due to companies’ considerably less pessimistic expectations. In contrast, their assessment of the current situation worsened a little. Planning still foresees production cutbacks. In addition, it is currently harder for companies to access credit. In the service sector, the indicator rose to its highest level of the past six months. Service providers were clearly more satisfied with their current situation. Meanwhile, cautious optimism returned concerning their business expectations. In trade, the business climate fell back. Traders were slightly more satisfied with the current situation. However, their expectations for the coming months deteriorated.”

The news provided no support for EURUSD which drifted to session lows at 1.1125 in the aftermath of the release. The pair continues to essentially bounce between 1.1000 and 1.1200 in a broad state of equilibrium as traders await fresh policy initiatives on the monetary or fiscal front. One ominous sign for the region is the increased rumblings on trade coming out of the White House which appears to have chosen the Eurozone as its next target after the battle with China.

Elsewhere the calendar is quiet today and FX flows are likely to be driven by equity movement which after six straight days of gains are showing some signs of exhaustion so the risk-off flows may continue for the rest of the day as traders try to lock in the recent rally gains.

Boris Schlossberg
Managing Director

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