EUR / USD
The Euro-zone manufacturing PMI index was revised marginally lower to 58.6 for September from the flash reading of 58.7 with a stronger than expected reading for the Italian index offset by a slightly weaker than expected reading for Spain. There were further reservations over the impact of escalating energy costs.
The headline Euro-Zone CPI inflation rate increased to 3.4% for September from 3.0% the previous month and slightly above consensus forecasts of 3.3%. The underlying rate increased to 1.9% from 1.6% previously and in line with market expectations.
The US core PCE prices index increased 0.3% for August, slightly above consensus forecasts of 0.2% but the year-on-year increase met market expectations of 3.6% and was unchanged from the previous month which provided some relief. Personal income increased 0.2% on the month with a 0.8% increase in spending.
The ISM manufacturing index strengthened slightly to 61.1 for September from 59.9 the previous month and above consensus forecasts of 59.6. New Orders increased at the same rapid pace recorded in August while the rate of production growth slowed slightly. Employment posted a slight increase on the month after contracting last month while supply-side issues remained severe. Prices also increased at a slightly faster rate, although below the peaks recorded earlier in the year.
The dollar was unable to make further headway on Friday, especially with gains in commodity currencies and the Euro secured a limited net gain to the 1.1600 area before settling just below this level. CFTC data recorded a further decline in long Euro positions to just under 1,000 contracts in the latest week from 12,000 previously and the smallest long Euro position since March 2020. The further slide in positioning will limit the potential for further short-term selling on the single currency.
Narrow ranges prevailed on Monday with the focus starting to turn towards Friday’s non-farm payrolls report and the Euro traded just below the 1.1600 level.
US Treasuries rallied on Friday with the 10-year yield dipping to lows below 1.48% which limited US dollar support. Wall Street equites posted gains which limited potential defensive demand, but the dollar dipped to lows below 111.00 against the yen before stabilising around this level.
Philadelphia Fed President Harker stated that he is pencilling in the risk of a significant risk of higher inflation. He also wants to taper bond purchases sooner rather than later. Cleveland head Mester stated that inflation is likely to be above 2.0% in 2022 and 2023 and that inflation risks are to the upside.
Chinese markets were closed for a holiday on Monday and will not re-open until Friday which dampened activity to some extent. There were, however, further concerns surrounding Evergrande with reports that trading in the shares had been suspended in Hong Kong while a further dollar bond payment was due on Monday.
Media reports indicated that new Japanese Prime Minister will call an election for October 31st with little impact on the yen.
The dollar continued to find some support below 111.00 against the yen, but traded only just above this level in early Europe with the Euro below 129.0.
The final reading for the UK PMI manufacturing index was revised higher to 57.1 from the flash reading of 56.3. There was a slowdown in new orders growth while there were labour-market shortages and further difficulties in supply chains. The data provided an element of currency support.
Sterling overall was able to recover further ground on Friday with a dip in global yields helping to underpin demand for the currency while overall risk conditions held firm. Overall, there were net gains to above 1.3550 against the dollar while the Euro retreated sharply to just below 0.8550.
CFTC data recorded a small net long Sterling position after a slight short position the previous week with a lack of underlying conviction.
There were further net concerns surrounding the Brexit situation with Cabinet Minister Frost set to call for a change in the EU stance and threaten a unilateral decision to end the Northern Ireland protocol. Comments from Chancellor Sunak will also be monitored closely with inflation pressures and supply issues also key factors. Sterling was little changed on Monday and traded just below 1.3550 against the dollar with the Euro around 0.8560.
The Swiss PMI manufacturing index strengthened to 68.1 for September from 67.7 the previous month and above consensus forecasts of 65.5 which underpinned confidence. The franc was resilient during the day with the Euro settling below the 1.0800 level while the dollar retreated to test support below the 0.9300 level with markets monitoring shifts in risk appetite. Markets will monitor the latest data on sight deposits with no evidence in recent weeks that the National Bank has been intervening significantly to weaken the Swiss currency. The Euro continued to trade just below 1.0800 on Monday with the dollar close to 0.9300.