USD/INR – The Indian rupee opened higher against the dollar at 71.2225. However, traders eyed crude oil prices and other Asian currencies for further cues. Asian equities and currencies were mostly lower on Monday after U.S. equity index futures suggested a pullback on Wall Street when traders return after yesterday’s holiday. The focus of investors was back on the global growth outlook after the International Monetary Fund cut its world growth forecasts for the current year and 2020 and warned that trade tensions may further hurt the economic outlook. This was the second time in three months that the IMF downgraded its assessment of global growth.
EUR/USD – The euro was flat at $1.1365. The single currency is likely to remain under pressure as growth in Europe’s economic powerhouses such as Germany and France is languishing and inflation remains weak. Later in the week, investors will keep a close eye on Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting to see if policymakers will react to worsening global economic prospects, yet analysts suggested it may be too early for a change in policy direction. The European Central Bank is widely expected to maintain an accommodative mode for this year.
GBP/USD – Sterling firmed up after British Prime Minister Theresa May promised to be more open with parliament in negotiating the country’s future relationship with the European Union. She did not offer a clear roadmap on how she would address concerns over a commitment to ensure there is no return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She also refused to rule out leaving the EU without a deal, but the pound edged higher on hopes that May might be pressured into a compromise on her stance. The pound, which initially dipped after Prime Minister May made her opening comments, rebounded and hit the $1.29. It had been trading around $1.2860 before she spoke. GBP/USD was last trading at 1.2890.
USD/JPY – The yen, a safe-haven currency, was steady against the dollar, fetching 109.45 in early trade. A growing number of Tokyo players see USD/JPY trading higher following recent gains in conjunction with improved risk appetite and steady to firmer U.S. yields. Japanese exporters and other players with decent offers from around 110.00 continue to hamper moves higher, but there is a sense that these offers will eventually be absorbed. Offers from exporters will likely trail higher, and there are also a number of technical resistances levels to contend with. The post-flash crash high has so far been limited to 109.89 on Jan 18. A break above here and the psychologically important 110.00 level should initially see moves toward 110.50; 110.47 was the high on Dec 31. A break above there should spur gains to 111.00 and the 111.00-50 window, an area which saw multiple highs on the way down and includes the 200-DMA, today at 111.22.
Currency Range for today
Important data releases today
|22-Jan-19||3:00 PM||GBP||Average Earnings Index + Bonus (Nov)||3.3%||3.3%|
|22-Jan-19||3:00 PM||GBP||Claimant Count Change (Dec)||20.0K||21.9K|
|22-Jan-19||3:30 PM||EUR||German ZEW Economic Sentiment (Jan)||-18.4||-17.5|
|22-Jan-19||8:30 PM||USD||Existing Home Sales (Dec)||5.25M||5.32M|