Interbank market scan: Foreign exchange and Central banks …

Follow the links …

There is no doubt that the recent central bank reaction is expected given the exigency of the suffocating situation of the Nigeria economy as it struggles to keep its head above water in the devastating environment of the ravaging pandemic. The Central Bank of Nigeria recently harvested wide-ranging criticism following its sudden directives to deposit money banks to sever all dealings with account holders certified to have any dealings in digital currency. THE BAN ON DIGITAL CURRENCY | THISDAYLIVE

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z want to make Bitcoin the “internet’s currency.” The two are putting their digital money where their mouths are by forming a blind trust to work on the mission. Jay Z and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey want to make Bitcoin the ‘internet’s currency’ – CNET

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said they are analyzing and reviewing the currency denominational structure as the country transitions into a cash-lite and non-coin society. BSP reviews currency for cash-lite, coinless society – Manila Bulletin (mb.com.ph)

London was overtaken by Amsterdam as the main European market centre in January, as more shares were traded in the Dutch capital. London dominating EU with almost half of world’s currency trading despite Amsterdam surge (msn.com)

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 4:15 pm 8 February 2021(1) As of 10:09 pm EST Exchange Rate as of 14 February 2021(2)
AUD/USD0.7656 0.7768
USD/CAD1.2781 1.2678
USD/CNY6.4664 6.4542
EUR/USD1.2035 1.2128
USD/INR72.8500 72.5700
GBP/USD1.3714 1.3868
USD/JPY105.4400 105.0400
USD/MXN20.1300 19.9154
USD/DKK6.1785 6.1338
USD/NOK8.5428 8.4263
Sources: Federal Reserve (1) ; Reuters (2)

Interbank market news scan as of 1:00 pm AST: Ahead of the Fed

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is expected to release their federal funds target rate today at 2:15 pm. No deviation is expected from its earlier announced strategy to keep the financial system running over two percent inflation through 2023 in order to meet any shortfalls on the central bank’s journey to get the US on a consistent two percent path. No change in tactic or strategy.

Currency pairsExchange Rate Before EventEventPost EventExchange Rate Post Event
AUD/USD0.7666Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/CAD1.2774Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/CNY6.4822Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
EUR/USD1.2075Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/INR73.0065Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
GBP/USD1.3689Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/JPY104.0000Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/MXN20.1832Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/DKK6.1554Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/NOK8.6452Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
Sources: Federal Reserve, Reuters

In other news ….

China's yuan inched higher
against the dollar on Tuesday, underpinned by tighter cash
conditions in domestic money markets following a spike in
short-term borrowing costs. Yuan inches higher on tighter liquidity conditions | Reuters

Focus is zeroing in when various Libor rates will expire, something ICE Benchmark Administration Ltd. is expected to clarify in the weeks ahead. Pivotal dollar Libor rates will likely live on until mid-2023, yet other Libors around the world may well expire at year-end. Libor Marks ‘Important Day’ With Partial Fix for Derivative Risk - Bloomberg 

There are other crucial factors driving the price of copper higher — and grains, too — but China is a big one. China has been using its exceptionally strong currency, the yuan, to stockpile copper and grains. China is Using its Currency to Stockpile Copper and Grains | Nasdaq 


Interbank market news scan: Latest central bank, cryptocurrency, forex news links.

Bitcoin could be at risk of a further drop unless the digital coin climbs back above $40,000 soon. JPMorgan Strategists Say $40,000 Is Key Test for Bitcoin Boom – Bloomberg

Janet Yellen is expected to affirm the U.S.’s commitment to market-determined dollar value and give assurances that the U.S. won’t seek a weaker dollar for competitive trade advantage, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Biden transition officials familiar with her preparation for her confirmation hearing. Yellen to Affirm Commitment to Market-Determined Dollar: WSJ – Bloomberg

Asian stocks dipped along with U.S. equity futures as investors greeted the week with a lack of risk appetite and traders looked ahead to data on the progress in China’s economic recovery. The dollar edged up. Stock Market Today: Dow, S&P Live Updates for Jan. 18, 2020 – Bloomberg

A stronger U.S. dollar is proving to be an early test for emerging-market currencies on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Emerging Markets Tested by Rising Dollar Ahead of Biden’s Return – Bloomberg

Oil extended losses in Asia on a stronger dollar and a still-surging coronavirus after slumping the most in almost four weeks on Friday following the release of disappointing U.S. economic data. Oil Extends Losses on Stronger Dollar and Still-Surging Virus – Bloomberg

The results of the first of the 24 forward foreign exchange auctions scheduled by the Bank of Ghana for 2021 indicate that the local forex market remains confident that the cedi will hold its own against the United States dollar at least through to the end of the first quarter of the year. Forex market expects stable 1st Quarter exchange rate (ghanaweb.com)

It has always been about speculation …

To understand the trade of currency is to understand the need for speculation. Speculation has always been about managing the future, managing fear. Speculation is about ramping up the future value of currency in order to protect yourself, your knowledge, your property. You make bets that your value will grow. What we produce is merely manifestation of how well we protect ourselves going forward, and the more secure we are in the yield from our labor and the infrastructure on which we exchange value, the greater our currency.

It’s not a gamble when we speculate. It’s not a fool’s errand. It is a natural outgrowth of the prism of fear through which man views his world. Until we get rid of the fear, we will always speculate….

US waits for Senate election results from Georgia; strength of US dollar against European, African currencies a mixed bag …

PairsOANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 6 January 2021Notes
USD/KES108.391108.461Dollar flat
USD/NGN384.938381.690Dollar weakening
USD/GHS5.85245.85693Dollar flat
USD/CDF1950.611950.01Dollar flat
USD/AOA648.310649.149Dollar flat
USD/ZAR14.630914.8552Dollar strengthening
Source: OANDA

Meanwhile, as the count in Georgia comes to a close, yields on longer term notes begin to increase as the Senate gets closer to a 50-50 split and the likelihood of more spending under a Biden administration ….

RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 6 January 2021 10:30 am AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.08
2-year Treasury0.110.13
10-year Treasury0.931.02
30-year Treasury1.661.78
Source: Federal Reserve, OANDA

And the buzz phrase again mid-week is dollar weakening as exchange rates for a number of foreign exchange pairs continues to fall. This in light of disappointing jobs numbers from ADP where the payroll company determined that 123,000 jobs were lost in December 2020.

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 6 January 2021 10:45 am AST
GBP/USD1.36621.36331.35967
USD/CAD1.27531.27261.27269
USD/CNH6.52506.45526.43929
USD/DKK6.08396.06576.05823
EUR/USD1.22301.22641.22774
USD/INR73.010072.936773.0696
USD/MXN19.892019.838219.9091
USD/JPY103.1900103.02102.36
USD/NOK8.57578.53008.50760
USD/SEK8.20958.20918.20299
USD/CHF0.88410.88150.87959
Source: OANDA

As of 9:59 an AST, foreign exchange in holding pattern as the United States watches the U.S. senate run-offs in Georgia

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 5 January 2021
GBP/USD1.36621.36331.36329
USD/CAD1.27531.27261.27260
USD/CNH6.52506.45526.45524
USD/DKK6.08396.06576.06566
EUR/USD1.22301.22641.22636
USD/INR73.010072.936772.9367
USD/MXN19.892019.838219.8382
USD/JPY103.1900103.02103.02
USD/NOK8.57578.53008.53002
USD/SEK8.20958.20918.20912
USD/CHF0.88410.88150.88150
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, OANDA

Regulatory news impacting foreign exchange

None at this time…

As of 9:57 am AST, foreign exchange rates show dollar weakness for certain currencies over last eight days.

PairsFederal Reserve as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 31 December 2020
GBP/USD1.35101.34491.35772
USD/CAD1.28411.28721.27812
USD/CNH6.54006.53236.50832
USD/DKK6.09896.10316.05598
EUR/USD1.21941.21851.22824
USD/INR73.770073.731673.1525
USD/MXN20.080020.087819.8843
USD/JPY103.5200103.50103.24
USD/NOK8.63078.68868.56439
USD/SEK8.28418.30368.18564
USD/CHF.8882.8886.88284
Source: OANDA, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Legal Events Impacting Pricing of or Ability to Enter Foreign Exchange Markets

No events to report

As of 3:24 pm AST, foreign exchange rate movement in a wait and see pandemic relief environment of the US Senate

PairsFederal Reserve as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 29 December 2020
GBP/USD1.35101.34491.35070
USD/CAD1.28411.28721.28431
USD/CNH6.54006.53236.52721
USD/DKK6.09896.10316.08792
EUR/USD1.21941.21851.22140
USD/INR73.770073.731673.4425
USD/MXN20.080020.087819.9413
USD/JPY103.5200103.50103.64
USD/NOK8.63078.68868.63352
USD/SEK8.28418.30368.26356
USD/CHF.8882.8886.88947
Source: OANDA

Legal/Political Events Impacting Foreign Exchange

US Senate ponder Covid relief bill during rare holiday time in Washington

As of this writing, the U.S. Senate is in session debating the COVID-19 pandemic relief bill. One core issue: whether $600 in taxpayer aid should be increased to $2,000. Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, reiterated that the additional aid is needed immediately and that these funds won’t be put away for a rainy day but will be injected immediately into jump starting the economy. As of 3:30 pm AST, the Senate was still making its quorum call and waiting for additional senators to speak. President Donald Trump threw a wrench into the relief discussions when he expressed support for $2,000 per eligible taxpayer.

Two Republicans in the Senate, brought additional attention to themselves by joining the President in support of increasing monetary support. Senator Kelly Loeffler and Senator David Perdue, both of Georgia, are facing tough run-off elections scheduled for 5 January 2021.

As of 11:34 pm AST, the US dollar in terms of Caribbean currencies is flat to strengthening with some volatility …

Pairs OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 Notes 
USD/BBD 2.00 2.00 Pegged to the US dollar 
USD/TTD 6.6719 6.68062 Dollar strengthening 
USD/JMD 141.803 141.973 Over the last 30 days, exchange rate fell from 145.825 
USD/XCD 2.70 2.70 Pegged to the US dollar 
USD/GYD 205.239 205.570 Although risen from 204.934 on 23 November, the rise has been accompanied by volatility. 

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political events impacting US-Caribbean foreign exchange

President Trump modifies Harmonized Tariff System to reflect extension of Caribbean Basin Initiative

On 22 December 2020, President Donald J Trump announced a modification of the Harmonized Tariff System for the purpose of including the extension of the Caribbean Basin Initiative signed into law last October. The proclamation read as follows:

“The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, as amended (the “CBERA”), (title II of Public Law 98-67, 97 Stat. 384 (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.)), instituted a duty preference program that applies to a product of a Caribbean Basin country that has been designated by the President as a beneficiary country. On October 10, 2020, the President signed into law the Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 116-164, 134 Stat. 758), which extends certain preferential tariff treatment accorded under the CBERA to September 30, 2030. I have determined, pursuant to section 604 of the Trade Act, that it is necessary to modify the HTS to reflect the extension of the CBERA.”

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule is made up of a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes.

Sources: Executive Office of the President; U.S. International Trade Commission

As of 6:01 am AST, the American dollar shows signs of strength even as Trump hints of relief bill veto …

Pairs Federal Reserve as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 
GBP/USD 1.3497 1.3520 1.33917 
USD/CAD 1.2776 1.2760 1.28855 
USD/CNH 6.5395 6.5197 6.53796 
USD/DKK 6.0798 6.0731 6.09361 
EUR/USD 1.2236 1.2248 1.22053 
USD/INR 73.5300 73.4139 73.8348 
USD/MXN 19.9813 19.8978 20.0804 
USD/JPY 103.3500 103.35 103.49 
USD/NOK 8.5959 8.5878 8.68615 
USD/SEK 8.2786 8.2747 8.28832 
USD/CHF .8850 .8844 .88724 

Legal/Political events impacting foreign currencies

Trump wants more money for taxpayer households

Bloomberg reporting today President Donald J. Trump’s concerns that the pandemic relief package approved by Congress does not go far enough in providing aid to households. The President would like the current proposed amount of $600 relief for an individual increased to $2,000. Mr Trump has not definitively said that he will veto the $900 billion package which is due for his signature by 28 December.