The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine approved for UK use from next week.

Risk appetite strengthened again on Tuesday with renewed optimism US fiscal stimulus and expectations of a strong global recovery next year.

After a correction on Monday, equities drew further strong buying support amid expectations of sustained monetary policy backing. The dollar overall remained on the defensive despite higher yields and dipped to 31-month lows. EUR/USD also posted 31-month highs above 1.2000 and a peak around 1.2080.

GBP/USD posted 3-month highs on hopes for a trade talks EU/UK tunnel, but EUR/GBP strengthened. Commodity currencies secured net gains, but underperformed relative to the Euro.

German labour-market data beat expectations for the second successive month with a 39,000 unemployment decline for November and compared with consensus forecasts of a small increase. There was a small upward revision to the Euro-zone manufacturing PMI index to 53.8 from the flash reading of 53.6.

The Euro-zone CPI inflation rate was held at -0.3% for November and slightly weaker than market expectations of -0.2%. The core rate was unchanged at 0.2% and in line with consensus forecasts. The data maintained expectations of further ECB monetary easing at next week’s policy meeting.

The Euro held steady ahead of the New York open with net gains on the crosses and there was a sharp increase in Euro-zone bond yields on the day.

The US ISM manufacturing index retreated to 57.5 for November from 59.3 previously and slightly below consensus forecasts. The growth in new orders and production also slowed, the figures were still robust while prices continued to increase sharply. There was, however, a fresh contraction in employment after a gain last month.

In testimony to Congress, Fed Chair Powell stated that the central bank wanted to do as much as it can to get back to a strong economy. It would be premature to withdraw support for the economy and the Fed would not pre-emptively raise rates until we see actual inflation.

The Euro pushed sharply higher towards the European close with reports of positive Brexit talks helping to trigger a EUR/USD break above 1.2000 which also generated stop-loss buying. The Euro continued to gain momentum later in the day with a EUR/USD peak around 1.2070, the highest level since May 2018. The dollar remained on the defensive on Wednesday to trade at 31-month lows amid global reflation expectations with the Euro at 31-month highs around 1.2080.

Equities secured strong gains on Tuesday with fresh buying at the beginning of the new month amid optimism over sustained monetary policy support.

There was fresh optimism over a potential US fiscal stimulus with reports that a bipartisan group of Senators was proposing a $908bn support package. There were still important reservations whether there would be progress in the short term and the two early-January Senate run-offs in Georgia will be crucial for the prospects of a substantial stimulus package next year.  US yields moved significantly higher on the day which helped undermine potential demand for the Japanese yen.

USD/JPY strengthened to highs just above 104.50 while the yen retreated sharply on the main crosses.

Bank of Japan deputy Governor Amamiya stated that the bank will not hesitate to add easing if necessary with risks still on the downside. The yen continued to drift lower despite a slight retreat in US futures and USD/JPY edged higher to just below 104.50 with EUR/JPY at 10-week highs above 126.0.

UK housing data remained strong with Nationwide reporting an increase in house prices of 6.5% in the year to November, the strongest reading since January 2015. The final reading for the UK manufacturing index was revised to 55.6 from the flash reading of 55.2 and 53.7 in October.

Sterling was unable to make any headway ahead of the New York open and lost ground amid a cautious tone surrounding UK/EU trade talks. GBP/EUR tested support just above 1.1100, although GBP/USD did find support above 1.3300. The UK currency struggled to gain support from the robust trend in risk appetite and hopes for a strong global economic recovery next year. Vaccine hopes also failed to boost the UK currency.

Just ahead of the European close there were reports that the trade talks had entered the “tunnel” phase of very intensive talks which usually means that talks are in the final phase. There was no official confirmation and there is usually a media blackout during a tunnel.

Sterling jumped higher with GBP/USD above 1.3400, but failed to hold the best levels amid doubts whether the talks were in a tunnel. There were also still concerns that talks could fail. GBP/USD held just above 1.3400 on Wednesday with GBP/EUR still close to 1.1100 amid reports that Barnier will brief EU Ambassadors early in European trading. The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was also approved for UK use from next week.

Economic Calendar

07:00EUR German Retail Sales (M/M)(OCT)1.20%-1.90%
07:00EUR German Retail Sales (Y/Y)(OCT)5.90%7.00%
07:30CHF CPI (M/M)(NOV)0.00%
07:30CHF CPI (Y/Y)(NOV)-0.60%-0.60%
09:00Unemployment Rate(OCT)10.10%9.60%
10:00Euro-Zone Unemployment Rate(OCT)8.30%
10:00Euro-Zone PPI (M/M)(OCT)0.30%0.30%
10:00Euro-Zone PPI (Y/Y)(OCT)-2.40%-2.40%
12:00USD MBA Mortgage Applications3.90%
13:15USD ADP Employment Change(NOV)650K365K
14:00FOMC Governor Keith Randal Quarles Speech
14:00ECB Lane speech
15:00USD Factory Orders(OCT)1.10%
15:00Fed's Chair Powell Testifies
15:00FOMC Harker Speech
18:00FOMC member John C. Williams speech
18:00Bank of England (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Member Jonathan Haskel Speaks

*All rates shown are indicative of interbank rates and should only be used for indication purposes only. It is important to note that foreign exchange rates fluctuate and that rates may vary depending on the amount and the base currency that is purchased or sold. Rates are correct as of 8:00am UK time. CentralFX are not responsible for the rates shown.