On Wednesday we see first signs of easing bearish grip on equities after the two-day violent selling. European markets are trading in positive area, US equity futures show some signs of distress ahead of the April US CPI release.

The foreign exchange market looks calm today, the slump in US equities offered temporary reprieve to USD. However, greenback fundamentals continue evolve towards more bearish pressure on the currency. One of the key reasons to sell is deteriorating real interest rate outlook in the US. The Fed’s policy tightening hopes were shattered after dismal April NFP release, while the fears of high inflation in the US, even temporary one, continue to mount. The sources of inflationary pressures are rising wages and the strong uptrend in raw materials. Recall that MoM US wage growth in April surged to 0.7% (0% expected), which is a really strong print, likely pointing to some labor shortage issues, while the Bloomberg commodity price index began to grow in early April at worrying pace:

Most likely, a correction in commodity markets will soon follow, which will primarily catch on significantly strengthened commodity currencies, such as AUD and CAD. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect their growth peaking in the near future. Particularly interesting in terms of the prospects for a rebound is the USDCAD pair, which is now at its lowest level since September 2017, which also coincides with the psychologically important area of 1.20:

US inflation is expected to accelerate to 3.6% y/y in April, but given stock markets reaction to inflation fears this week, some upside surprise, like 4% print can be already priced in. Inflation growth above forecasts is likely to keep the pressure on USD, given Fed’s Vice Chair Clarida speech today confirms the commitment to keep rates low despite inflation threat. Nevertheless, the dynamics in the stock market and geopolitics (exacerbating conflict in the Gaza Strip) should be the primary drivers of USD till the end of the week.

The move in USD in the Wednesday morning has barely affected low-yielding currencies, including the euro. Despite a significant improvement in the EU’s virus situation and progress in vaccinations, which creates a strong support in EUR, short-term dynamics will depend on USD moves. The same can be said for GBPUSD, where the recent rally requires both a profit-taking pullback and more data on the British economy. The signal from the Bank of England that policy tightening may start earlier than planned has been priced in by the GBPUSD during the recent strengthening to 1.42. Nevertheless, both the pound and the euro retain prospects for further strengthening against USD, in particular after there are signs that equity markets correction is done and risk-on dominates again.

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