The US dollar took advantage of the run in risk aversion in recent trading sessions, after the Chinese central bank announced a devaluation of its currency. Aside from that, data from the US economy came in stronger than expected, with the preliminary unit labor costs showing a 0.5% uptick for the previous quarter and preliminary non-farm productivity rising by 1.3%. JOLTS job openings data is lined up today, along with a speech by FOMC member Lockhart.
The euro staged a strong rally in yesterday’s trading sessions when the Greek government finally struck a deal for the third bailout. This can give the debt-ridden nation enough funds to avert a default on its next loan obligation to the ECB by August 20. Data from the euro zone was mixed, as the German ZEW economic sentiment figure showed a drop from 29.7 to 25.0 while the region’s index jumped from 42.7 to 47.6. There are no major reports lined up from the euro zone today.
The pound was unable to make any headway against the dollar but it managed to chalk up some gains against the commodity currencies. Medium-tier data from the UK showed a bit of a slowdown, particularly in the BRC retail sales monitor and the CB leading index. The jobs report is lined up for today and the claimant count change could show a 1.4K increase in joblessness while the unemployment rate could hold steady at 5.6%. The average earnings index is slated to fall back to 2.8% after rising to 3.2% in June.
The franc continued to tread lower against the euro and the dollar but managed to score wins against the comdolls. There have been no major reports out of Switzerland yesterday and none are due today, leaving euro zone events and risk sentiment as main drivers of franc price action.
The yen gave up more ground to the dollar as USDJPY is closing in on its previous year highs at 125.80. Only medium-tier reports have been released from Japan recently and these didn’t show any surprises. With that, the eyen could continue to react to risk sentiment and currency-specific data in the coming sessions.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls gave up a lot of ground when the PBOC announced that it is devaluing the yuan. While the central bank said that it’s just a one-time move, market watchers believe that more depreciation efforts could be in store since the PBOC seems to be worried about the weak export activity in China. In Australia, the NAB business confidence index slumped from 8 to 4 while the Westpac consumer sentiment reading showed a 7.8% gain. Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures are still up for release later today.
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