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FX Update

Dollar drifts higher ahead of Fed meeting and UK election

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The dollar drifted higher as traders await today’s FOMC announcement, where nothing of consequence is expected, and tomorrow’s UK election, where recent opinion polls suggest a tighter race than expected just a few days ago. New tariffs on China are scheduled for December 15. Equities are steady and bond yields off slightly.

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  • FX Rates
    December 11, 2019

    Rates are not real time. Rates are today's indicative mid-market rates as of time of publishing, which may vary. Please contact SVB for a current quote.

  • USD

    The dollar is slightly higher ahead of today’s FOMC meeting, tomorrow’s UK election, and Sunday’s potential Chinese tariffs. Traders do not seem to have built any bad news into their positioning, and are in a wait-and-see mode.


    The UK pound fell overnight as opinion polls show the Conservative Party’s margin of victory over the Labor Party narrowing substantially. If the Conservatives win the most seats in Parliament, but don’t win a majority, the resulting “hung parliament” will lead to continued uncertainty in the UK. Polling stations close 10pm Thursday night in the UK, votes will then be counted and the winner announced in the early hours Friday morning (late Thursday night in the US).


    In a relatively quiet day of trading, the euro drifted lower, but remains within striking distance of a critical range of resistance between $1.11 and $1.12. Traders await tomorrow’s European Central Bank meeting, the first with Christine Lagarde as president.


    The Canadian dollar moved little overnight. Traders await a speech tomorrow by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.


    The Chinese yuan was stable overnight, despite heightened tensions surrounding Sunday’s planned 15% tariffs on about $160 billion of Chinese imports. Rumors are circulating that Trump may postpone them, as both parties seek completion of the ‘phase one’ part of a US-China trade deal.

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About the Author

Scott Petruska is Chief Currency Strategist and senior advisor for Silicon Valley Bank’s global financial services group, and is based in Boston, MA. He advises clients on currency and interest rate hedging strategies, and helps them with other aspects of global banking. He regularly writes blogs on topics covering the global financial markets, conducts client seminars and webinars, and speaks at regional financial conferences.

Petruska has more than 30 years experience in the currency and interest rate markets, and has lived and worked in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Singapore and Tokyo. Prior to joining SVB in 2009, he worked at several large international financial institutions, including National Westminster Bank, Irving Trust, Bank of New York, State Street Bank and Commerce Bank. He has been an institutional trader, product developer, analyst, salesperson and advisor.

Petruska has been awarded several professional designations, including the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), FRM (Financial Risk Manager) and CMT (Certified Market Technician). He earned his undergraduate degree in Finance & Banking from the University of Wisconsin.

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