Dollar Firm; Focus on Lower Risk Assets

The U.S. Dollar is trading firm overnight against all major currencies. Without any major economic reports today, the focus will be on demand for higher yielding assets and the Greek financial situation.

The U.S. Dollar is trading firm overnight against all major currencies. Without any major economic reports today, the focus will be on demand for higher yielding assets and the Greek financial situation.

The Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly raised borrowing costs on March 19th. This helped support the Dollar as investors boosted demand for safe investments. Traders fear that the hike in India means that China will soon do the same. This news should pressure demand for higher yielding assets, fueling a rise in the Dollar. The early action suggests the markets are a little risk negative this morning which should benefit the Dollar.

Traders are expected to continue to pressure the Euro on expectations the European Union will fail to agree on an aid package for Greece. Pressure is on the British Pound after a report said the U.K. recovery will be “slow and sluggish”.

The passing of the biggest health system overhaul in 40 years could pressure U.S. stock markets today. Overnight the stock indices are trading lower, but so far there has been little reaction by the Forex markets to the news. This could change once U.S. equity markets open. There still appears to be some debate as to how much if anything this new bill will increase the U.S. deficit. Lower equity markets will send money into the lower yielding U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen.

Euro traders are bracing for a down day ahead of the start of this week’s EU summit. Traders are being told by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that they shouldn’t expect any agreement to be reached on a financial aid package for Greece. If Greece doesn’t get any aid, then look for it to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help. This isn’t sitting well with market because it makes Europe appear weak and makes it look as if Europe cannot afford to help its own members.

The GBP USD is expected to face another round of selling pressure on the heels of the news that the Confederation of British Industry sees a “bumpy” road ahead for the U.K. economy. The report sees a weaker economy because it expects to see consumers save more and spend less. Traders also feel that there are too many negatives to support the British Pound at this time. These negative issues include political uncertainty and a possible credit rating cut.

The weaker Euro is helping to drive up the USD CHF. Traders fear that the Swiss National Bank will continue to intervene to protect its currency and economy from the falling Euro. Gains may be limited because of the threat of higher interest rates. Watch for a breakout over 1.0646 with 1.0701 the next upside target.

The USD JPY is trading better in limited action. Traders appear to be taking a tentative approach to the market while waiting to see how U.S. stock markets will fare in the face of the passage of the healthcare reform bill. The charts indicate that a trade over 91.08 will turn the main trend up. Bullish traders are being less aggressive before the opening of the U.S. markets. Aggressive selling in the stock indices could lead to increased demand for the lower yielding Japanese Yen.

The USD CAD is up after confirming last Friday’s closing price reversal bottom at 1.0060. The market bottomed late last week after the release of better than expected Canadian Inflation Data. The report suggests that the Canadian economy is growing at a faster pace than previously thought, thereby increasing the chance of a rate hike by the Bank of Canada before the Fed. The steep decline in the Dollar/CAD has lead to oversold conditions which is helping to fuel the developing short-covering rally.

Weaker higher yielding assets are helping to pressure the AUD USD. Based on the range of .8577 to .9241, look for a possible retracement to .8914 to .8834. The daily chart indicates that a break to .8914 could happen by March 25th. This is likely to occur if equity markets sell off hard.

The NZD USD is down overnight. Lower demand for higher yielding assets is helping to pressure the Kiwi. The charts indicate a move to .6992 to .6948 is likely over the near-term.