The U.S. dollar has resumed its rally after starting the first week of July on the back foot when it was hit by profit-taking following a three-month winning streak. Now that the Dollar Index has turned positive on the month could it finish the month of July higher, too? Investors have been piling in on the dollar because of higher interest rates in the United States and expectations that monetary conditions will tighten further in the coming months.
The U.S. dollar ended higher for the third consecutive month in June and made a positive start to the new month and quarter on Monday. However, today it has given up Monday’s gains and was, therefore, trading flat on the week at the time of writing.
Gold faces an important few days as three major central banks announce their respective policy decisions. All bar one is expected to make a rate change and that’s the Federal Reserve today. According to the to the CME’s FedWatch tool the probability of a 25 basis point rate increase is 96%, which means it is more or less already priced in. That may help explain why the dollar has stopped going up since the end of May.
This has certainly been a rollercoaster trading week for financial markets thanks to geopolitical uncertainty and renewed trade war fears. Easing political tensions in Italy have rekindled risk appetite, ultimately resulting in global equity markets venturing higher.
Gold has managed to hold onto a significant chunk of its gains made yesterday despite the U.S. trading conciliatory messages with North Korea again, something which has boosted the global stock markets and the U.S. dollar. This comes after Donald Trump yesterday canceled the June 12 meeting with Kim Jong Un, which triggered a risk-off response in the markets.
U.S stocks ended mixed on the news while oil prices fluctuated in each direction, as investors considered the potential negative ramifications of Trump’s decision. The U.S President adopted a very aggressive rhetoric during the announcement and failed to hold back from his view that the 2015 agreement was “defective” at its core.
Crude oil prices surged closing at above $70 a barrel for the first time in three-and-a-half years, only to have a nuclear meltdown in aftermarket trading. WTI further set a record 2.7 million contracts of open interest but fell hard after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, 2 p.m. Eastern.
Today’s main event risk for the dollar, and potential market shaker will be the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting, which is widely expected to conclude with monetary policy left unchanged. Although May’s FOMC meeting will not include a press conference or fresh economic projections, investors should not be quick to expect the meeting to be a “non-event.”