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Comments from Ben Bernanke were largely the same as we’ve heard him echo in the past as he basically reiterated a dovish stance. Additionally, Bernanke sees interest rates remaining low long after asset purchases end. These dovish remarks were in addition to comments we had already received from Charles Evans and Janet Yellen.
Charles Evans spoke again and maintained his usual dovish stance, saying the benefits of QE far outweigh the costs. Meanwhile Yellen defended QE in letters to the Senate. At the same time, the developments on the China front are certainly helping risk along particularly for the high beta currencies.
Spike short lived with stops the likely cause
EUR/USD spiked to 1.358, with large funds blaming stops for the sharp reaction. The pair has since pulled back into 1.355 and is now more aligned to the performance of other risk currencies. There were a few other issues for the euro to contend with as the OECD warned of the risks of deflation for the region. The OECD added the ECB might have to consider some unconventional measures to alleviate the deflation issue. The ZEW survey also showed a drop in economic conditions for Germany and the region.
There isn’t much on the European economic calendar today but the way the pair is trending at the moment suggests buying dips into the 1.35 region is a reasonable near-term strategy. Any disappointment on the US economic data front should continue to underpin the no-taper theme and lift risk currencies against the greenback. On the US economic calendar we have CPI, retail sales, existing home sales and business inventories due out.
Pound in focus ahead of minutes
GBP/USD is testing Monday’s highs in the 1.613 region ahead of a fairly busy day on the economic calendar. Minutes from the last BoE MPC meeting will be released at 20.30 AEDT. The minutes might shed more light on the hawkish turn we are seeing for the pound. Additionally, MPC member Dale will be speaking, and judging by recent rhetoric from other officials, there is room for further upside in GBP/USD.
The BoE’s Weale recently said there has been an upturn in CPI expectations. This cemented some of the comments we had heard from Mark Carney last week and reinforced the idea that a rate cut in 2015 is on the cards.