Dollar mixed, Germany in recession, no Brexit progress hurts UK pound

The dollar is mixed against its peer currencies following negative economic news in Europe and after learning that little progress is being made in the ongoing UK-EU Brexit talks. The dollar erased earlier gains immediately following dismal US Retail Sales released this morning. Pressure on the US-China relationship and the CNY increased after the US announced they may restrict China’s Huawei access to global semiconductor suppliers. Global equity and bond markets are mixed, the S&P is poised to open lower by about 1%. Gold and oil are higher.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen
  • FX Rates
    May 15, 2020

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  • USD

    US Retail Sales for April declined by -16.4%, much worse than expectations of -12.0% and lower than March’s revised -8.3%. The US Empire State Manufacturing Index fell to -48.5, the second worst ever. The dollar proceeded to give back earlier gains made off of weak German and Italian economic data and the sell-off in the UK pound.

    GBP

    The third round of UK-EU discussions ended and made “very little progress”, according to UK chief negotiator David Frost, and affirmed by EU’s Michael Barnier. Talks are focusing on trade, governance, and other aspects of the relationship with a goal to establish a ‘level playing field’. The fourth round of talks is scheduled to begin on June 1. The UK pound dropped to its lowest level since mid-March when the UK pound collapsed to below $1.15.

    EUR

    The euro declined in the European time zone based on Germany falling into recession and Italian Industrial Sales collapsing. This morning, the euro reversed and moved higher in light Friday trading, after US Retail Sales tumbled by the most on record.

    CAD

    The Canadian dollar traded in narrow range overnight, weakening slightly after Canada’s benchmark Home Price index fell in April. International securities transaction data showed that Canadian investors sold foreign securities (mostly US equities) at a record pace in March.

    ASIA/PACIFIC

    The Chinese yuan fell to its weakest level in two weeks on news that the US is moving to restrict China’s Huawei from access to its global semiconductor suppliers, and from mixed Chinese economic data – Industrial Output rose, but Retail Sales fell more than expected.

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Scott Petruska, CFA
WRITTEN BY
Scott Petruska, CFA

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