US and global bond yields declined sharply on Wednesday with evidence of a position squeeze.

US and global bond yields declined sharply on Wednesday with evidence of a position squeeze. There were still underlying concerns over US and global inflation trends.

Wall Street equities struggled for direction with limited net losses. Asian markets also lost ground as underlying growth and inflation concerns persisted.

The dollar overall was mixed with a lack of clear direction ahead of next week’s Fed meeting. EURUSD settled just above 1.1600 ahead of Thursday’s ECB policy meeting. Sterling lost ground as UK yields moved lower following the budget speech.

The Australian dollar was broadly resilient before a limited retreat on Thursday. The Canadian dollar strengthened sharply after a more hawkish than expected Bank of Canada statement but failed to hold intra-day highs with USD/CAD support at 1.2300.

Euro-zone M3 money supply growth slowed to 7.4% in the year to September from 7.9% previously and slightly below consensus forecasts.  The Euro was unable to make any headway into the New York open with a further EUR/USD test of support below 1.1600, although narrow ranges prevailed.

US durable goods orders declined 0.4% for September after a 1.3% gain the previous month, although this was significantly stronger than consensus forecasts. Underlying orders increased 0.4% on the month which was in line with expectations.

The goods trade deficit increased to a record $96.2bn for September from $88.2bn the previous month and well above consensus forecasts of $88.5bn. Exports declined sharply on the month as supply issued had a significant impact while there was a small increase in imports for the month.

There was no significant reaction from the data with the dollar unable to gain sustained support. In particular, expectations of tighter monetary policies underpinned commodity currencies and EUR/USD was able to trade just above 1.1600 despite weak underlying sentiment. US trade issues could pose a medium-term dollar threat.

The ECB policy meeting will be monitored closely on Thursday with expectations that the bank would push back against higher yields, although the December policy meeting is likely to be more important for policy decisions. Narrow ranges prevailed on Thursday with EUR/USD just above 1.1600.

During Wednesday, there were further concerns over the Chinese real-estate sector with reports that several developers were proposing debt maturity extensions and restructuring to ease short-term debt difficulties. There were also some concerns over US-China geo-political developments with further tensions over Taiwan.

Wall Street equities overall fluctuated around the unchanged level into the European close, but the main focus was on bond markets with a substantial decline in yields on the day. The 10-year yield dipped to below 1.55% which had a significant impact in curbing US dollar support and triggering a covering in short yen positions. In this environment, USD/JPY dipped to lows below 113.50.

Markets monitored US fiscal developments with House Democrats set for a key meeting on Thursday, although the GDP data is likely to have a larger immediate impact.

The Bank of Japan made no changes to monetary policy, in line with market expectations. Near-term GDP and inflation forecasts were lowered, although there was limited market reaction. The yen was resilient with USD/JPY held close to 113.50 while EUR/JPY weakened to 131.75.

Sterling moved significantly lower ahead of Wednesday’s UK budget speech with a GBP/USD slide to lows just above 1.3700 while GBP/EUR rallied to around 1.1870. There were some concerns over the Brexit situation with Prime Minister Johnson warning that conditions for invoking article 16 would be met if there was not rapid progress over the Northern Ireland protocol, although economic developments dominated.

Chancellor Sunak pledged increased spending in the autumn budget statement with revised growth and borrowing forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility giving increased room for manoeuvre. The 2021 GDP growth forecast was revised higher, although below the most recent Bank of England estimate. The overall tax burden will increase to over 50-year highs, but departmental spending levels were notably higher than expected.

There was a significant reduction in estimates of bond issuance which was a significant factor pulling yields lower and this was important in curbing near-term Sterling support. The 10-year yield retreated to below 1.05% while markets estimated that the chances of a Bank of England rate hike next week had fallen to near 60%.

The UK currency regained some support after the Bank of Canada policy decision with the more hawkish than expected tone triggering fresh expectations that the Bank of England could focus on inflation concerns.

Economic Calendar

Expected Previous
08:55 German Unemployment Rate(M/M)(OCT) 5.40% 5.50%
08:55 German Unemployment Change(M/M)(OCT) -33K -30K
09:00 Consumer Confidence(OCT) 119.6
09:00 Business Confidence(OCT) 113
10:00 Euro-Zone Consumer Confidence(OCT) -4 -4
12:45 Deposit Facility Rate(OCT 01) -0.5 -0.5
12:45 ECB Rate Decision(OCT)
13:00 Germany CPI (Y/Y)(OCT) 4.40% 4.10%
13:00 Germany CPI (M/M)(OCT) 0.50% 0.00%
13:00 Germany Harmonised CPI (M/M)(OCT) 0.40% 0.30%
13:00 Germany Harmonised CPI (Y/Y)(OCT) 4.50% 4.10%
13:30 USD Initial Jobless Claims 290K 290K
13:30 USD Continuing Jobless Claims 2415K 2481K
13:30 USD GDP (Annualized) 2.70% 6.70%
13:30 USD GDP Price Index (Q/Q) 5.50% 6.20%
13:30 ECB Press Conference
15:00 USD Pending Home Sales (M/M)(SEP) 8.10%
15:00 USD Pending Home Sales (Y/Y)(SEP, 2020) 119.50%

*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.