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Russian Ruble Dec '19 (R6Z19)

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Russian Ruble Futures Market News and Commentary

Dollar Drops to a 2-Week low on Strength in GBP/USD and EUR/USD

The dollar index (DXY00) on Friday fell by -0.109 (-0.11%). Dec euro-fx futures (E6Z9) closed down by -0.0001 (-0.01%), and EUR/USD (^EURUSD) rose +0.0011 (+0.10%). Dec yen futures (J6Z9) closed down by -0.00005 (-0.01%), and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) rose by +0.02 (+0.02%). The dollar index slid to a 2-week low Friday as Brexit optimism boosted GBP/USD and EUR/USD gained on news that some ECB members resisted Thursday's easing measures by the ECB. GBP/USD soared +1.30% to a 7-week high Friday on renewed optimism about a Brexit deal after the Times reported Friday that the UK's Democratic Unionist Party, a coalition ally of the ruling Conservative Party, would accept a new agreement to replace the Irish backstop. GBP/USD also found support on an increase in the 10-year UK gilt yield to a 1-3/4 month high Friday of 0.769%, which improves the interest rate differentials of the British pound. EUR/USD rallied to a 2-week high Friday on carry-over from Thursday when ECB President Draghi said there is a "low" probability of a recession in the Eurozone, suggesting a low probability of any further ECB stimulus. EUR/USD also found support on reports that some ECB policy makers have doubts about Thursday's easing measures. ECB Governing Council member Holzmann said Friday that the ECB's latest easing package was a mistake and can be changed after incoming ECB President Christine Lagarde takes over from Mario Draghi on Nov 1. Th ECB on Thursday cut the deposit rate by -10 bp to -0.5% from -0.4% and restarted QE with 20 billion euros ($22 billion) per month of government bond purchases starting Nov 1. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China eased further after China's Commerce Ministry announced Friday that it is encouraging companies to buy U.S. farm products including soybeans and pork and will exclude those commodities from additional tariffs. President Trump on Thursday night said he would be open to an interim trade deal with China but would prefer a long-term deal. Yuan trading was limited Friday with Chinese markets closed for a holiday. The yuan has climbed to a 3-week high of 7.0641 yuan/USD on Thursday. USD/JPY posted a fresh 6-week high Friday on reduced U.S./China trade tensions. Friday's U.S. economic data was mostly supportive the dollar. Aug retail sales rose +0.4%, stronger than expectations of +0.2%. Also, the University of Michigan U.S. Sep consumer sentiment rose +2.2 to 92.0, stronger than expectations of +1.0 to 90.8. On the negative side, Aug import prices fell -2.0% y/y, right on expectations but still the biggest year-on-year decline in three years. Big Picture Dollar Factors: Bullish factors for the dollar index include (1) the influx of capital from overseas fleeing from about $17 trillion worth of debt with negative interest rates, (2) the Fed's go-slow approach to cutting interest rates, (3) relative strength in the U.S. economy, and (4) 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) the action by the ECB at its Sep meeting to cut interest rates by -10 bp and to restart QE with 20 billion euros ($22 billion) per month of government bond purchases starting Nov 1, (2) weak Eurozone economic growth, (3) the extremely low 10-year bund yield of -0.728%, which illustrates the euro's poor interest rate differentials, and (4) Brexit risks.
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