The dollar takes the initiative
Positive macroeconomic data allowed the dollar to finally recoup from a prolonged fall caused by panic sell-offs in stock markets.
Against the euro, the dollar fell below the psychological level of 1.24, the reason was the increased demand for the dollar after unexpectedly positive data on the housing market for January. The number of new buildings grew by 9.7%, experts expected growth of only 3.4%, and also by 7.4% the number of building permits increased with a forecast of 3.5%. Growth in activity in the construction sector may lead to a slowdown in housing prices.
The University of Michigan's report on consumer confidence turned positive, the sentiment index rose to 99.9 against 95.7 in December, apparently, the mood of the taxation was positively influenced by the start of the tax reform, with a deterioration in sentiment rather than growth. The peak that was formed - the second since 2004 - indicates that in the American society, the perception of reforms is assessed positively.
In addition, the rise in prices for imports and exports were above forecasts, which will affect inflation, and we will get quite a confident growth in the dollar, even despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.
The forecast for GDP growth in the first quarter from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta improved slightly and amounts to 3.2% on Monday evening. The negative from the weak data on retail sales and consumer inflation is somewhat stable, the threat to the selling of the dollar has decreased significantly.
Markets can not yet understand how the tax reform will affect the US economy. In pre-election promises, Trump focused on the fact that he would begin to reduce the budget deficit and the huge debt, but in reality so far everything is developing in the opposite scenario. The budget deficit will significantly increase this year, as well as the level of public debt. As for the corporate sector, there is still no desire to reduce borrowing, on the contrary, the benefits of tax cuts can cause not a decrease in debt, but its growth - companies intend to issue more bonds this year than in 2017. This trend , if it is implemented, can completely reverse the intent of the tax reform on its head.
The key event of the upcoming week is the publication of the minutes of the FOMC meeting on January 31. The test of the statement slightly changed in regards to the meeting in December, but it was impossible to understand what estimate the members of the Cabinet gave to the launched tax reform. A detailed alignment can again lead to an increase in volatility, since the forecast for the number of rate hikes this year will directly depend on it. While the markets are confident of two increases in March and June, further opinions vary, and the protocol can greatly affect market sentiment. Business activity indexes from Markit will also be released on Wednesday.
At the moment, the dynamics of the indices is opposite, the production PMI rose in January to 55.5p compared to 55.1p in December, which indicates the strongest growth in the manufacturing industry since March 2015. Regional data show continued growth, the ISM index rose more than expected , so on Wednesday, most likely, there will be a confirmation of growth in business activity.
At the same time, in the service sector, activity slowed for several months in a row, which quite distorted the overall picture. It is expected that against the backdrop of growing consumer confidence and confident labor market data, the PMI index in the services sector will also show growth, which will provide additional support to the dollar.
Thus, by the end of the week, the dollar managed to survive the blow and has good chances to stay on the achieved levels.
Monday is a holiday in the US, so strong movements due to lack of objective data are not expected. The likelihood against commodity currencies appears to be at its highest, however, the yen will not enjoy less demand, the growth of usdjpy is unlikely. It is also possible to resume demand for gold and the Swiss franc.
Analysis are provided by InstaForex