South African Rand Futures Market News and Commentary
The dollar index (DXY00) on Friday fell by -0.387 (-0.39%). Dec euro-fx futures (E6Z9) closed up +0.0034 (+0.31%), and EUR/USD (^EURUSD) rose by +0.0032 (+0.29%). Dec yen futures (J6Z9) closed down by -0.053 (-0.56%), and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) rose by +0.53 (+0.49%). The dollar index moved lower for a third day Friday and posted a 3-week low on dovish comments by a Fed official and on strength in GBP/USD on Brexit optimism. Comments Friday from Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari weighed on the dollar when said he is concerned that the labor market is showing signs of softening and that he would probably favor an interest rate cut at the Oct 29-30 FOMC meeting. GBP/USD rallied sharply Friday by +1.72% and posted a 3-1/4 month high as no-deal Brexit concerns diminished on positive comments from European Council President Tusk that he received "promising signals" that a Brexit deal is possible. UK Prime Minister Johnson met with Irish premier Varadkar Thursday and they issued a joint statement saying that "they agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal." Prime Minister Johnson has only eight days left until the Oct 19 deadline for a Brexit deal, after which UK Parliament's Benn act requires him to ask the EU for an extension of the Oct 31 Brexit deadline. EUR/USD climbed to a 3-week high Friday on dollar weakness. Also, comments from ECB President Draghi supported EUR/USD when he said that more active fiscal policy from European governments could speed up ECB interest rate adjustments. EUR/USD also found support on a jump in the 10-year bund yield to a 2-1/4 month high Friday of -0.429%, which boosts the euro's interest rate differentials. USD/JPY surged to a 2-1/4 month low Friday as the sharp rally today in global equity markets reduced the safe-haven demand for the yen. Friday's U.S. economic data was supportive for the dollar after the U.S. Sep import price index of +0.2% m/m and -1.6% y/y was stronger than expectations of unch m/m and -2.1% y/y. Also, the University of Michigan's Oct U.S. consumer sentiment index unexpectedly rose +2.8 to 96.0, stronger than expectations of -1.2 to 92.0. 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 forecast by FOMC members in the September Fed-dot plot for no more rate cuts in 2019-2020 and then a +25 bp rate hike in 2021 and a second rate hike in 2022, (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) trade tensions and Washington political uncertainty, and (2) 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, which illustrates the euro's poor interest rate differentials, and (4) Brexit risks.