A “sell the fact” mood hit markets last week after Biden's big stimulus and Friday's retail sales report was a reminder of how much heavy lifting governments are doing, says Adam Button of ForexLive.com.
The pound was the top performer last week while the kiwi lagged. CFTC positioning data shows that USD shorts aren't losing their nerve despite the recent bounce as we turn to Yellen's Senate hearings. Below is the net short positioning of DXY.
The main event this week is Biden's inauguration but barring something unforeseen like the Capitol riot, it won't be a market mover.
The holiday on Monday gave us a chance to digest the huge stimulus proposal and the market's reaction. The political reaction has been relatively positive but with Trump's impeachment on the agenda, clear signals have yet to emerge.
What did emerge on Friday was a poor retail sales report, down 1.4% in December compared to a flat reading expected. Worse yet, the prior was revised lower to -1.4% from -1.1%. There was an even larger miss and negative revision in the key “control group” measure.
Two soft months from the US consumer at the most-critical time of the year suggest that stimulus is a bigger part of the equation than many market participants would like to admit.
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Early in the week, we will continue to evaluate the mood in the market. Treasury yields have retraced but the dollar has remained strong but that may be due to soft softness in equities and US-China friction. This week should offer a clearer picture on the underlying trends.
Aside from comments from Biden, Treasury Secretary-nominee Yellen will appear in the Senate today. She will testify that the US won't seek a weaker dollar, leaving it to the market.
CFTC Commitments of Traders
Speculative net futures trader positions as of the close on Tuesday. Net short denoted by - long by +.
EUR +156K vs +143K prior GBP +13K vs +4K prior JPY +50K vs +50K prior CHF +12K vs +9K prior CAD +12K vs +14K prior AUD +5K vs -4K prior NZD +15K vs +12K prior
US dollar shorts are edging higher this week with AUD flipping back to a net long, meaning futures speculators in every major currency are short the dollar.
Learn more about Adam Button by visiting ForexLive.com.