Aug 21: ahead of the FOMC minutes

August 21, 2013

US dollar rose versus its Asia-Pacific counterparts as investors await the release today of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting (18:00 GMT) for signals on when it may curtail monetary stimulus. Also pay attention to the existing home sales release at 14:00 GMT.  

EUR/USD is consolidating above $1.3400 after having soared to $1.3452 on Tuesday (highest since February). There are no data releases scheduled in euro zone for today. GBP/USD is trading quietly in the $1.5650/70 range. Yesterday the pair reached a 2-month high of $1.5695. Today UK is scheduled to release public sector net borrowing data (8:30 GMT) and CBI industrial order expectations (10:00 GMT).

USD/JPY rose to resistance at 97.65 after hitting 96.90 yesterday. There was a jump in yen after Japan’s nuclear regulator raised the threat level for an August 19 storage tank leak at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant. Then, however, the pair turned up again as Nikkei 225 turned into positive in the final hours of the Asian trading session. USD/CHF closed yesterday at the minimum level since February at 0.9170 breaking below an important support line. Watch Swiss monthly Statistical Bulletin at 07:00 GMT and then focus on the FOMC minutes for further clues.

AUD/USD slid to $0.9018. NZD/USD hit $0.7907. Aussie and kiwi are declining versus the greenback for the third day in a row. Today the currencies were dented by weakness in Asian equities. USD/CAD holds around the daily highs of 1.0425.

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