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FX Update

British pound hits 2-year low while the market looks to Fed Chair testimony

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The US dollar continues its bullish move since last Friday’s employment report surprise.  Markets now await Fed Chair Powell’s testimony before congress tomorrow and Thursday.  The British pound lost ground on a poor retail sales indicator and increased probability of a hard Brexit.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
Benjamin Disraeli
  • FX Rates
    July 9, 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 stronger again today as markets anticipate the Fed will refrain from a series of rate cuts following a better than expected jobs report last Friday.  The US economy continues to be one of the strongest in the world while US Treasury bonds have some of the highest yields in the developed world.  Both factors lead to demand for US dollars. 


    The pound sank to its lowest levels vs. the US dollar since April 2017 on economic and Brexit concerns.  An industry retail sales indicator showed negative growth for June increasing speculation the UK economy shrank in the second quarter. There is a plan to require parliament to be in session for a specific time frame thereby ensuring that the next PM cannot suspend Parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit.


    The euro lost ground to the US dollar for a third consecutive day despite Italian retail sales coming in stronger than expected. ECB committee member Benoit Coeure said in remarks broadcast yesterday that loose policy is needed now “more than ever” and interest-rate cuts and quantitative easing are both on the table; nothing has yet been confirmed.


    The loonie is weaker today despite a slightly higher oil price.  The Bank of Canada meets tomorrow and markets are not expecting any change to monetary policy. 


    The Japanese yen hit the weakest levels in 5 weeks vs. the US dollar before rebounding some this morning.  The markets liked the yen’s safe-haven status when trade talks between the US and China were not going well.  There is now hope in the markets that a trade settlement is possible thereby weakening the yen.
    The Aussie dollar is lower this morning as commodity prices opened weaker.

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About the Author

Peter Compton is a senior foreign exchange advisor for Silicon Valley Bank’s global financial services group, and has been with SVB since 2007. He helps clients design and implement hedging strategies for foreign currency exposures. Compton has over 20 years experience in global financial markets.

Before joining Silicon Valley Bank, Compton spent seven years working in the European equity markets. Based in Germany, he spent four years with HSBC and three years as Head of Equity Sales for ABN-AMRO in Frankfurt. Prior to his work overseas, Compton spent seven years with Bank of America in San Francisco as an equity and fixed income derivative specialist.

Compton holds a bachelor's degree in business and management from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's of Business Administration from San Francisco State University.
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