Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Forex- US Dollar Rises as Trade Deal Progresses

A financial trader works at their desk at CMC Markets in the City of London US dollar rises as trade deal progresses
Russell Knight | 10 November, 2019, 19:38

"The market's attitude towards the euro is just plain negative right now", he said, adding that he expects the risk sentiment to wind down "unless or until the USA administration chimes in with some confirmation" that the tariffs will be rolled back.

The progress in resolving the 16-month-long trade war also supported the China's yuan.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars - proxies for risk which had been weakening due to uncertainty surrounding the possible trade deal - also gained on the comments with the Aussie up 0.3% versus the dollar at US$0.6902.

"The elevation of discussion from a trade truce to a possible tariff rollback is important and suggests both China and the United States have come under pressure to seal a deal", National Australia Bank's Tapas Strickland said in a note to clients Friday.

Muddying the waters further, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Fox News Channel on Thursday that the United States is "very, very optimistic" about reaching a trade deal with China soon.

However, a report said there was some opposition within the administration to such a move. "The Chinese news has already been factored in and markets are very tentative pricing in headlines that don't necessarily add much", said Simon Harvey, FX market strategist, at Monex Europe in London.

No timetable was indicated, but a "phase one" deal is widely expected to include a USA pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cellphones, laptop computers and toys. "Usual story - mixed reports really all just noise".

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong closed down 0.7 percent following a six-day advance, while dealers in the city were bracing for a fresh weekend of protests after the death of a student who sustained head injuries when he fell during clashes with police. "The rising likelihood of a trade deal between the US and China is believed to be beneficial to the USA economy as it reduces the headwinds facing American companies", said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist, at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

His comments came a day after USA and Chinese officials reportedly agreed to roll back tariffs on each others' goods in a "phase one" trade deal if it is completed. The proportion of tariffs canceled for both sides to reach a "phase one" deal must be the same, but the number to be canceled can be negotiated, he said.

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Caution appeared to be the order of the day across world markets.

Germany's DAX, a gauge of investors' sentiment on trade, moved in synchronicity with the rest of the market and eased 0.4 per cent.

The euro fell 0.2% to $1.1028, its lowest since October 15. Still, it is up 19 basis points this week and set for its biggest weekly rise in a month.

Benchmark 10-year note yields rose as high as 1.973% on Thursday on optimism a deal would be reached, the highest since August 1.

Oil prices fell more than 1%.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 56 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $US61.73 a barrel.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was 0.2% higher at 98.128.

The greenback was a touch firmer at 109.40 yen, nearing a five-month high of 109.49 set the previous day. There was no immediate confirmation of Gao's comments from the USA side on Thursday, although it was consistent with recent US media reports, but that didn't stop the offshore Chinese yuan rate hitting a three-month high against the dollar.

A Reuters poll found that the dollar's persistent strength would continue well into next year.

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