High tensions on the Russian-Ukraine border remain, as the US claims an imminent invasion and Russia denies it. A risk-off mood in markets has stock markets declining and safe haven bonds in demand. The UST 10Yr yield has dropped below 2.0% to 1.97%. Most European stock markets are lower, US stocks opened slightly lower. The US dollar is mixed, the safe havens Japanese yen, Swiss franc and gold are outperformers. Oil is steady. US economic data releases this morning were generally worse than expected.
February 17, 2022
EUR/USD 1.1357 GBP/USD 1.3623 USD/CAD 1.2699 AUD/USD 0.7204 USD/JPY 114.92 USD/CNH 6.3373 USD/ILS 3.1953 USD/MXN 20.3338 USD/CHF 0.9206 USD/INR 75.11 USD/BRL 5.1686 USD/SGD 1.3438 USD/DKK 6.5508 USD/SEK 9.3577 USD/NOK 8.9021
The dollar is broadly mixed against peers and EM currencies. Safe havens JPY and CHF are outperformers, the Russian ruble is lower versus the USD by 1.2%. Economic data released this morning was worse than expected: Initial Jobless Claims for the week of February 12 was 248K actual vs. 218K expected, and Housing Starts for January was 1,638K actual vs. 1,695K expected. On the bright side, Building Permits for January was 1,899K vs 1,750K expected and December’s 1,873K. Yesterday’s release of the Fed minutes from its January meeting reinforced the hawkish pivot.GBP
The UK pound is higher on the day versus USD as well as the EUR. It trades near the upper end of the $1.35 to $1.3650 range in place so far this February. There were no economic data releases today. Traders have slightly pared back expectations for hikes by the Bank of England in 2022, but odds still favor at least five rates hikes and +150 bps by year-end.EUR
The euro is flat on they day after giving back earlier gains. Tensions with Ukraine-Russia are putting pressure on the euro. The rally in the euro, following the ECB’s hawkish change of heart, has seen little follow through.CAD
The Canadian dollar is slightly lower on the back of soft oil prices and despite hawkish comments by a Bank of Canada (BoC) official. Traders expect a 25 bps hike at the BoC’s March 2 meeting.ASIA/PACIFIC
The Japanese yen is an outperformer today from its role as a safe haven currency. USD/JPY broke below ¥115 for the first time in a week. Japan’s CPI will be released later today, expectations are for little if any inflation in January.
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