Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate

Kevin Jin
July 18, 2013

THE TAKEAWAY: UK June Retail Sales beat expectations > US Initial Jobless Claims are 334K for week of July 13, better than the 345K expected > Bernanke reiterates yesterday’s statements in today’s testimony to Senate

Several positive economic data releases helped fuel optimistic global sentiment today. First in Europe, the UK released retail sales numbers that largely beat expectations: +2.1% June y/y actual; +1.6% Bloomberg News survey expected; +2.3% prior (revised up from +2.1%). This marks a second consecutive month of above +2.0% retail sales growth. Note that these retail sales numbers were aided by department store discounts.

On the US side, there were multiple positive data releases. The first was the weekly Initial Jobless Claims data, which came in at +334K, well below the +345K Bloomberg News survey expected. The next piece of data was the Philadelphia Fed survey: 19.8 July actual; 8.0 Bloomberg News survey expected. This marks the highest Philadelphia Fed reading since March 2011.

Additionally in the US, Bernanke delivered his policy report to the Senate. Many of his comments were reiterations of his statements yesterday to the House. Bernanke did interestingly say that the jobless rate may be too optimistic a gauge for the economy.

Equities continue to lead the way as most markets trade bullish. The S&P is notably reaching record highs, currently at 1690.56 at the time of writing. Market fears are also mostly dissipating as the implied volatility in the market, measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), drops -1.02% to 13.64 at the time of writing – significantly below its 20+ levels during mid-June. Developed and emerging markets both share the gains today with China lagging: S&P +0.57%; Euro Stoxx +1.35%; FTSE +0.95%; Nikkei +1.32%; Hang Seng -0.12%; Bovespa +0.64%; Sensex +0.90% at the time of writing.

Bond markets are also trading mostly stronger, most noticeably in the Eurozone and in EM. 10YR government bond yields trade as follows: US +3.2bps (+1.28%) to 2.521%; Singapore -8.9bps (-3.56%) to 2.405%; Brazil -6.9bps (-1.72%) to 3.929%; Germany -2.4bps (-1.55%) to 1.517%; Portugal -18.5bps (-2.64%) to 6.817% at the time of writing.

Commodities continue to trade the most mixed with WTI rallying and base metals mostly falling: WTI +1.32%; Brent -0.04%; LME Copper -1.54%; COMEX Copper -0.03%; Shanghai Copper -1.43% at the time of writing. The Brent-WTI spread continues to narrow and is at $0.86 at the time of writing.

In FX markets, dollar strength continues. The Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR) gains +55 (+0.50%) to $108862 at the time of writing.

AUDUSD 15-minute Chart: July 18, 2013

Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_4.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate
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Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_4.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate

Charts Created using Marketscopeprepared by Kevin Jin

The AUDUSD is sharply lower by -0.94% today at the time of writing. After a bounce to $0.9250 earlier this week, the pair has decided to continue its evident momentum lower. The pair currently trades right around .9150, where it previously met support near London Open.

GBPUSD 15-minute Chart: July 18, 2013

Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_3.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate
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Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_3.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate

Charts Created using Marketscopeprepared by Kevin Jin

The sterling is mixed on the day, trading lower by -0.10% at the time of writing. The sharp appreciation of the sterling coincided with the aforementioned positive retail sales figures. However, dollar strength eventually pushed the cable lower to where it currently hovers around $1.5200.

EURUSD 15-minute Chart: July 18, 2013

Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_2.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate
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Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_2.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate

Charts Created using Marketscopeprepared by Kevin Jin

The EURUSD is trading -0.36% weaker at the time of writing, marking a second straight day of EURUSD declines. The pair made a small bounce after hitting $1.3100 support early in the London session but was eventually overcome by USD bulls near NY Open.

USDJPY 15-minute Chart: July 18, 2013

Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_1.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate
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Dollar_Strength_Continues_as_Aussie_and_Yen_Tumble_Bernanke_Testifies_To_Senate_body_Picture_1.png, Dollar Strength Continues as Aussie and Yen Tumble; Bernanke Testifies To Senate

Charts Created using Marketscopeprepared by Kevin Jin

The USDJPY is strong higher by +0.92% at the time of writing, breaching the psychologically important ¥100.00 level. The pair did consolidate near that 100.00 level early in the London session but dollar bulls were able to push the pair higher shortly after New York Open.

--- Written by Kevin Jin, DailyFX Research

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