Increase in demand for haven assets pushes commodity currencies lower

  • May 17, 2021

Increase in demand for haven assets pushes commodity currencies lower

Data out of China showed Retail Spending grew slower than expected in April. Its release boosted demand for haven assets supporting the US dollar. USD reversed initial gains and trades largely unchanged from Friday's close. The Japanese yen is trading higher supported by this shift in risk sentiment. Commodity currencies are lower across the board with the New Zealand kiwi leading losses.

Economic data/events


NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Index (May), Empire State Manufacturing Survey (May), Canada Housing Starts (Apr)


US Housing Starts (Apr), Eurozone Employment, GDP (Q1)


FOMC minutes (April 28 meeting), Canada CPI (Apr), Eurozone CPI (Apr)


Initial Jobless Claims (May 15), Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook (May), Leading Economic Indicators


Canada Retail Sales (Mar)

  • FX Rates
    May 17, 2021

    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

    Traders shifted towards risk-off trading following weak data out of China which showed slow growth for retail sales. The Bloomberg dollar index strengthened slightly trading about 0.1% higher before reversing gains and trading largely unchanged.

    Sterling is holding above $1.41 as the currency strengthens amidst relaxed virus restrictions in the nation. The pound erased losses from the Asia trading session as traders are optimistic on the news of looser restrictions.

    The EUR/USD remains largely unchanged, trading within a tight 45 pip range.


    USD/CAD hit a six-year low last week at 1.2050. Earlier in the session the currency pair traded higher as oil prices stabilized and demand for haven assets increased. The loonie is currently trading stronger, maintaining its hold below the 1.21 level.


    The US dollar is about 0.1% weaker than the JPY as lower risk appetite supports the yen. NZD/USD had its biggest lost since Wednesday, dropping 0.5% as the Australian dollar fell 0.2%.


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