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We have recently highlighted our view that USD weakness may be abating, see here, and while it hit a near 15mth low last Fri as bearish momentum shaped mth-end flows, Fed Fischer commented that political uncertainty is hurting US econ growth and more White House debacle, our conviction in the call for a steadying USD is starting to grow.

This is down to the o/n price action, where the USD briefly dipped after yet more soft US data but then rejected the downside move and bounced to eke out mild intraday gains.

  • Jun personal income 0.0% m/m vs f/c 0.4% m/m and a downward revised 0.3% m/m for May
  • Jun personal spending dipped as expected to 0.1% m/m
  • Jun core PCE unch at 0.1% m/m and 1.4% y/y
  • Jul ISM mfg PMI dipped to 56.3 vs f/ 56.4 and 57.8 prev
  • Jun construction spending -1.3% m/m vs f/c 0.5% m/m and an upward revised 0.3% m/m prev).

UST yields diverges by falling hard o/n

UST yields saw a counterintuitive uptick post-data before sliding aggressively into the close as expectations of a 3rd Fed hike for 2017 fades.

The catalyst came from a drop in oil prices, soft US data and plunging auto sales in Jul that raises questions about broader consumer spending/a possible dip in durable goods orders/Q3 US growth weakness.

  • Yields on 2s fell -0.8bps to 1.341%, 5s -3.6bps to 1.799%, 10s -4.1bps to 2.253%.

We still hold the viewpoint of a divergence reversal btwn UST yields and the USD

Note too that for USTs, beyond sluggish US data and the implication of a pause in Fed tightening, the lack of legislative success (another failed Obamacare repeal, no traction on tax/fiscal policies), the turmoil within the Trump administration, there's also the overhang of a looming debt ceiling negotiation and how it could descend into a disorderly govt shutdown.

  • See here for our Viewpoint: US debt ceiling negotiations an increasing concern.
  • In this scenario, the market is also rotating out of s/t bills into long-term debt, resulting in a flattening of the yield curve

That said, we continue to see limited downside for the USD, in what would be a reversal of the divergence seen recently.

One could pose the question of evidence of a capitulation of short-sellers to pinpoint a momentum change in the USD?

  • While we would typically look for such evidence, we would argue that there may not be a clear capitulation point in this instance given we have the Trump political mess, Fed caution, debt ceiling overhang that could prevent the formation of a bullish hammer for example
  • Rather, we see this as a sleepy steadying/recovery move that most will only start to realize well after the trend has started


Note that while the USD will continue to trade soft against the Euro (ECB tapering speculation) and Yen (tracking UST yields), and it's still facing drag from the commodity rally, we still can't shake off a niggling feeling that market volatility, a stock market correction and general risk aversion is around the corner, which could place the brakes on the rally in risk ccies and correspondingly support the USD. JH

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