FX Commentary


FX Commentary

The dollar held near a two-week high on Monday, shrugging off concerns about weakening global growth and data that showed China's economy slowed sharply in 2018. Going into 2019, weakness in the dollar was a consensus view among currency market traders. The bet was that the U.S. central bank would stop raising interest rates and the economy would slow after a fiscal boost last year. The dollar index, which measures its strength against a group of six major currencies, on Monday was steady at 96.388 after climbing to 96.394 percent on Friday, its strongest since Jan. 4.

U.S.-China trade friction has put pressure on China's economy, with the latest data showing the world's second-biggest economy slowing further in the last quarter of 2018. Markets appeared to take the outcome, largely in line with expectations, in their stride.

The euro nudged up 0.2 percent to $1.1376 but remained in close reach of a two-week low of $1.1353 brushed on Friday.

Later in the week, investors will keep a close eye on Thursday's European Central Bank meeting to see if policymakers will react to worsening global economic prospects, yet analysts suggested it may be too early for a change in policy direction.

The pound was steady at $1.2873.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday put forward a motion on her proposed next steps regarding Brexit. Over the following week, lawmakers will be able to propose alternatives.

The Australian dollar was steady at $0.7155 after ending Friday on a loss of 0.3 percent.

U.S. financial markets remained closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.