This has been a busy week for foreign exchange traders with the USD trading on both sides of the ledger and in wide ranges. With the inauguration of Donald Trump later today, investors appear to be taking defensive positions against the US Dollar. Earlier in the week, Mr Trump was quoted as saying that he thought the USD was too strong and was at a level which hampered US exporters.
Not surprisingly, the USD Index dropped over 150 points on that news flash and is now sitting on support just below 101.00.
Since then, senior Trump advisors have been downplaying those comments by saying they were meant to be directed specifically toward the Chinese Yuan, and not as a general view of the Greenback.
With respect to comments from Donald Trump, the investment community will have to grapple with how to take these seemingly spirited and personal views. Clearly, some of his more strident positions taken during the campaign have been softened, but the market will be subjected to these unannounced twitter and press comments throughout his Presidency.
In the larger picture, of the numerous and complex factors that impact foreign exchange rates, the wishes and desires of elected officials don’t often seem to be particularly important. Our longer-term bullish view for the US Dollar is based on the divergence of monetary policy , the relative health of the US financial system, the domestic interest rate trajectory and the uncertainty of the European election results.
On balance, and in simple terms, we would like to be positioned into the US inauguration with a “Risk-Off” posture. This means looking at long USD positions against the all other G-7 currencies except the JPY, a long bias toward the US Treasuries (lower yields) and short US equities.
The AUD/USD traded about 1% higher on the week as Chinese Inflation and Retail Sales data gave the Aussie a lift. The pair is now pushing against a key resistance level near .7620, which will likely find selling pressure.