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Forex Major Currencies Outlook (February 21, 2018)


The dollar was able to score another winning day thanks to higher yields during the debt auction.

A bit of risk aversion was also present as commodities and stocks closed in the red. Flash manufacturing and services PMI are due from the US today, but the attention could be on the FOMC minutes.


The euro gave up some ground to most of its peers as confidence in the region ticked down. The German ZEW economic sentiment index fell from 20.4 to 17.8 versus the estimated drop to 16.0 while the region's index dipped from 31.8 to 29.3 versus the estimated 28.4 figure. PMI readings from the manufacturing and services sectors of Germany and France are due. Small dips are eyed as well, which could bring the region's overall readings down. 


The pound was able to stay mostly resilient despite resurfacing Brexit concerns. MPs have drafted a letter to PM May to set their requirements for a post-Brexit deal with the EU. UK CBI industrial order expectations fell from 14 to 10 versus the consensus at 12. UK jobs data is due today and a smaller increase in claimants is eyed. No change in the average earnings index of 2.5% is expected.


The franc gave up a bit of ground to its peers as risk-taking was present during the London session. The Swiss trade balance was also smaller than expected at a surplus of 2.09 billion CHF. There are no reports due from the Swiss economy today so sentiment could push franc pairs around.


The yen managed to trim its losses even though the dollar regained safe-haven appeal. There were no reports out of Japan yesterday while today has the flash manufacturing PMI and all industries activity index. Still, yen pairs could take their cue from dollar action, especially when the FOMC minutes are released.

Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)

The comdolls chalked up losses to the dollar as risk aversion was present in the markets. Canada reported weaker wholesale sales while New Zealand's GDT auction yielded a 0.5% dip in dairy prices. Meanwhile, data from Australia was mixed but saw more upside surprises. Construction work done for the previous quarter sank 19.4% versus the estimated 9.8% drop while the MI leading index fell 0.2%. On the flip side, the wage price index grew by 0.6% versus the estimated 0.5% uptick.

By Kate Curtis from Trader's Way

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