Dollar rally eases after Fed minutes, UK service sector slows

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6 July 2017

Matthew Ryan

Senior Market Analyst at Ebury. Providing expert currency analysis so small and mid-sized businesses can effectively navigate international markets.

This week’s rally in the US Dollar was stopped in its tracks yesterday evening after the release of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting minutes which showed some members were concerned that progress on inflation may have slowed.

esterday’s minutes showed that eight of the nine voting members on the FOMC called for an immediate hike at last month’s meeting. However, several “indicated they were less comfortable” with the Fed’s long term plan on interest rate rises, while members also appeared divided over when to start a reduction in the central bank’s massive balance sheet. Dollar bulls were unimpressed by the announcement, and the Dollar came off modestly against its major peers during US trading.

With mostly second tier economic data out of the US today, US Dollar traders will shift their attention to Friday’s crucial nonfarm payrolls report. Any news out of Donald Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin tomorrow could also shift the markets this week.

Pound loses steam as UK services activity slows

Sterling lost ground for the third straight session against the US Dollar on Wednesday, with another unimpressive PMI from Markit compounding concerns of a possible economic slowdown in the UK. The UK’s dominant services sector, of which accounts for around 75% of the country’s overall GDP, grew again in June, although the index dipped slightly to 53.4 from 53.8. Uncertainty surrounding the result of the election and pending Brexit process are likely to be the main culprits in last month’s slowdown, which saw the index slip to its lowest level since February.

Announcements out of the UK are fairly light on the ground today and we’re likely to see the Pound driven largely by events elsewhere. Next up will be the monthly industrial and manufacturing production numbers for May on Friday which are expected to show a modest uptick on previous.

Euro traders ignore strong data ahead of meeting accounts

Euro traders almost completely overlooked yesterday’s overwhelmingly positive macroeconomic news out of the currency bloc, with the single currency ending London trading around half a percent lower on broad Dollar strength for another day.

First up we had the release of the composite PMI, which once again exceeded expectations. The index, of which represents a weighted average of activity in the manufacturing and services industries, rose to an above consensus 56.3 from the original flash estimate of 55.7. The upward revision followed an impressive performance in the services sector in both Germany and France.

On an equally encouraging note, retail sales in the Euro-area increased for the fifth straight month in May, with a strong uptick in the consumption of food, drinks and tobacco causing overall sales to jump by 2.6% on a year previous. Yesterday’s data provides further incentive for the European Central Bank to soon announce its stimulus programme is drawing to a close. Investors will now look to the release of this afternoon’s ECB meeting accounts for any clues as to the timing of possible winding down in asset purchases.