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Japanese Yen Mar '19 (J6H19)

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Japanese Yen Futures Market News and Commentary

Dollar Retreats to a 1-Week Low on Escalation of China Trade Tensions

The dollar index (DXY00) on Friday fell by -0.516 (-0.53%). Sep euro-fx futures (E6U9) closed up +0.0060 (+0.54%), and EUR/USD (^EURUSD) rose +0.0069 (+0.62%). Sep yen futures (J6U9) closed up by +0.0099 (+1.05%), and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) fell -1.10 (-1.03%). The dollar index fell back from a 3-week high Friday and posted to a 1-week low after China said it will levy retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. China's Ministry of Commerce said Friday that it will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods with some of the tariffs starting Sep 1 and the rest on Dec 15. The dollar's losses accelerated Friday after President Trump said he announce a response to the Chinese tariffs on Friday afternoon, which sparked speculation he may move to weaken the dollar after the yuan which fell to a new 11-1/4 year low of 7.1017 yuan/USD on Friday. Dovish Fed comments also undercut the dollar after Fed Chair Powell on Friday said the U.S. economy is in a favorable place but faces "significant risks" and "we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion." Also, St. Louis Fed President Bullard on Friday said, "we are willing to take all actions we need to continue the expansion" and that he expects a "robust debate" on a 50 bp rate cut by the Fed next month. Friday's U.S. economic data was dollar negative after Jul new home sales unexpectedly fell -12.8% to 635,000, weaker than expectations of +0.2% to 647,000. USD/JPY retreated from a 1-week high Friday and dropped to a 1-1/2 week low after escalation of the U.S./China trade war sparked a sell-off in stocks and boosted the safe-haven demand for the yen. USD/JPY had posted a 1-week high in overnight trade after Japan Jul national CPI rose +0.5% y/y, weaker than expectations of +0.6% y/y, which is dovish for BOJ policy. Big Picture Dollar Factors: Bullish factors for the dollar index include (1) the Fed's go-slow approach to cutting interest rates, (2) relative strength in the U.S. economy, and (3) the repatriation of U.S. corporate overseas cash under the 2018 tax law. Bearish factors include (1) market expectations for four Fed rate cuts through the end of 2020, (2) trade tensions and Washington political uncertainty, and (3) the wide U.S. budget and current account deficits. Bearish factors for EUR/USD include (1) expectations for the ECB to cut interest rates by -10 bp at its September meeting and to restart its QE program, (2) weak Eurozone economic growth, (3) the extremely low 10-year bund yield of -0.727%, which illustrates the euro's poor interest rate differentials, and (4) Brexit risks.
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