The US Dollar may not find strength in upbeat Consumer Confidence data despite a rosy outcome’s supportive implications for Fed rate hike expectations.
- Japanese Yen Higher on Haven Flows as Stocks Decline in Asian Trade
- US Dollar May Not Find Strength in Upbeat Consumer Confidence Data
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The Japanese Yen outperformed in overnight trade, rising as much as 0.3 percent on average against its leading counterparts. The move mirrored losses on Asian stock exchanges, pointing to haven demand as the catalyst behind the safety-linked currency’s advance. The MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark equity index fell 0.1 percent.
Looking ahead, a quiet economic calendar in European trading hours is likely to see investors focusing on December’s US Consumer Confidence reading. Expectations point to a print at 94.0, putting the index within a hair of the seven-year high at 94.1 recorded in October.
US economic news-flow has markedly improved over recent weeks, with realized outcomes outperforming expectations by the largest margin close to four months (according to data from Citigroup). That hints analysts are underestimating the vigor of the world’s largest economy and opens the door for an upside surprise.
At surface level, an upbeat result might be expected to fuel Federal Reserve interest rate hike speculation, boosting the US Dollar. Seasonal considerations may interfere with this dynamic however. On one hand, the holiday liquidity drain has meant that directional conviction is hard to come by. On the other, worries about the negative impact of Fed tightening on risk appetite may trigger profit-taking on sensitive positions. If this triggers a sizable USDJPY decline, the move may spill over into broader weakness for the benchmark unit.
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