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Forex Major Currencies Outlook (Mar 22, 2018)

USD

The US dollar started sliding ahead of the FOMC statement and, save for a brief spike higher, resumed its drop until the end of the session.

Although the Fed hiked interest rates by 0.25% as expected in their latest policy statement, dollar bulls seemed disappointed over the lack of changes in the dot plot. GDP forecasts for this year and the next were upgraded and a couple of CPI estimates also revised higher, but policymakers are still projecting three hikes this year versus expectations of four. Only medium-tier reports are due from the US next, namely the flash manufacturing and services PMIs. 

EUR

The euro had a mixed run as it took advantage of dollar strength but caved to the pound and commodity currencies. There were no major reports out of the region then, which explains why the shared currency simply took its cues from its counterparts. Flash manufacturing and services PMIs are due next, and dips are eyed.

GBP

The pound continued to advance against most of its peers as positive Brexit developments are keeping the currency afloat. The UK jobs report printed mixed results as the claimant count change came in at 9.2K vs. -3.1K and the earlier reading was downgraded to show a smaller drop in joblessness. However, the average earnings index came in better than expected at 2.8% versus 2.6% and the previous reading enjoyed an upgrade. The unemployment rate beat expectations and landed at 4.3% as well. UK retail sales and the BOE decision are lined up next.

CHF

The franc had a mixed run as it also reacted mostly to its counterparts on the lack of top-tier data. The SNB Quarterly Bulletin contained some concerns on franc strength, which kept the currency's gains in check. There are no reports due from Switzerland today.

JPY

The yen gained ground as it took safe-haven flows from the dollar but was mostly weaker to the higher-yielders. There were no reports out of Japan yesterday while today's flash manufacturing PMI came in weaker than expected. The reading fell from 54.1 to 53.2 instead of improving to the estimated 54.3 figure. 

Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)

The Loonie drew some support from positive NAFTA updates as PM Trudeau and US negotiator Lighthizer expressed optimism about a deal. The RBNZ kept rates unchanged as expected and refrained from jawboning the Kiwi. Australia's jobs report disappointed as employment change stood at 17.5K vs. 19.8K while the jobless rate rose to 5.6%. There are no other major reports due from the comdoll economies today.

By Kate Curtis from Trader's Way

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