Dollar Reverses Drop as Corporate Issuance Pushes Yields Higher

  • Flows muted as focus turns to Friday jobs data after ECB meets
  • Buying dollar on dips remains traders’ preferred strategy

Deutsche Bank's Huynh Sees U.S. Dollar Strengthening

The dollar rose to a fresh high for the session, adding to early gains versus a majority of G-10 peers as a surge in corporate bond issuance pushed up Treasury yields.

FX trading flows were quite modest in the session as traders searched for equilibrium levels in major pairs, juggling rate-hike expectations from the Federal Reserve against uncertainties in euro-area politics and lack of clarity on U.S. fiscal-stimulus timing and structure. At the same time, missile launches by North Korea and Iran rattled nerves, introducing a slight tone of risk aversion that weighed on equities.

Market focus is mostly on February U.S. employment data due Friday, though the ECB meeting is also set to draw scrutiny as traders try to determine if improved euro-area economic activity will tip the Governing Council’s hand on QE. Within the U.S. employment report, special focus will be on the wages component to see if wage pressures are increasing, as the Fed expects.

A Friday dollar selloff that began after Yellen spoke continued into Asian and European trading Monday as traders unwound stale longs set before Yellen’s speech; dollar losses were attributed to the chair’s reassurances that the Fed wasn’t looking to step up its pace of hiking in 2017 from the three increases envisaged in December.

Despite the sell-off, traders say they prefer to be long USD on a selective basis, and will reset positions at better levels. That’s especially versus the euro given the still-clouded political outlook as voters in the Netherlands go to the polls next week and as Juppe ruled out tossing his hat into the ring as a substitute candidate for the embattled Fillon.

  • EUR/USD orbited 1.0600 before dropping to near its low in afternoon trading; pair rose as high as 1.0640 after stop-loss buy orders were tripped above 1.0620 in European trading and euro was capped by offers above 1.0650, traders said
  • EUR may find buyers at 1.0570, the traders said
  • USD/JPY is trading near 114.00, reversing losses as the Treasury yield rose to its high of the session; overnight, the yen gained on haven considerations after North Korean missile launches rattled regional nerves
  • USD/JPY may find buyers near 113.50, traders say, while offers are in place above 114.15 and near 114.50
  • At the same time, USD is trading below the base of the cloud on Ichimoku chart, which may raise concern among Japanese investors who favor that analysis; support may be at the base line 113.38 on that chart
  • JPY traders will also be alert for repatriation flows during the month from Japanese businesses ahead of fiscal year-end March 31
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