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Dollar higher on virus concerns and strong US labor data

The dollar gained overnight as the focus returned to the spreading coronavirus, and then got a further boost this morning after release of strong US labor data. US equity futures are opening lower as traders take profits ahead of potentially more bad virus news over the weekend. German industrial output shocked on the downside. Presidents Trump and China’s Xi reaffirmed their commitment to implementation of the phase-one trade deal.

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  • FX Rates
    February 7, 2020

    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

    US Non-Farm Payroll for January increased by 225,000, exceeding expectations of 165k. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from 3.5%, and Wage Growth climbed 3.1% with expectations of 3.0%. The dollar jumped in reaction to the news, building on an overnight rally. The dollar index’s gain stands at about 0.15%, and trades at its highest level since November.

    GBP

    The UK pound is slightly lower in-line with overall US dollar strength. It remains on its back foot, however, with increasing concern that the UK/EU trade negotiations will be difficult at best, and could easily end in a ‘hard’ Brexit, which may not benefit either side.

    EUR

    The euro was sold on unexpectedly weak German economic data – Industrial Production in December showed its biggest drop in nearly 10 years. This follows yesterday’s release in Germany of unexpectedly weak factory orders. Analysts note this data undermines comments made recently by ECB President Lagarde that eurozone economic growth is stabilizing. The euro is trading below $1.10 and near is lowest levels since last September.

    CAD

    The USD/CAD currency pair is up over 1.33 for the first time since last November. Canada’s upbeat labor data released this morning was largely in line with expectations, but some analysts are highlighting soft productivity in Canada as having a more negative impact on economic growth going forward.

    ASIA/PACIFIC

    The Chinese yuan weakened overnight and trades near 7 per dollar. Traders focus on the spreading coronavirus ahead of the weekend, and the virus’s potential impact on China’s economic growth.

    The USD/JPY spiked to 110 following the strong US labor data. However, it quickly traded lower, as uncertainty related to the coronavirus is a tail wind for the Japanese yen as a destination for safe-haven flows.

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For more analysis on FX markets or information regarding SVB's FX services:

Contact your respective SVB FX Advisor or the SVB FX Advisory Team at fxadvisors@svb.com.
See all of SVB's latest FX information and commentary at www.svb.com/foreign-exchange

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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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