Interbank market news scan: Foreign exchange rates as the markets enter Easter weekend and the American capitol sees another attack …

Politics. A motorist rammed a vehicle into U.S. Capitol police on Friday and brandished a knife, killing one officer and injuring another and forcing the Capitol complex to lock down in an attack that police said did not immediately appear to be terrorism-related. Police officer killed in vehicle attack on U.S. Capitol | Reuters

Currency PairsRates as of 4:11pm 2 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1762
AUD/USD0.7602
GBP/USD1.3821
USD/JPY110.6800
NZD/USD0.7018
USD/CHF0.9421
USD/NOK8.5278
USD/SEK8.7239
USD/CAD1.2568
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.19
10-yr Treasury1.72
30-yr2.36
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters

Interbank market news scan: The equity markets in the US may be closed, but foreign exchange markets are not resting in light of an improving employment picture …

The U,S, Department of Labor today reported that non-farm payrolls increased in March by 916,000 employees while the unemployment rate fell to 6.0%. Employment gains were led buy the leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction sectors. THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2021 (dol.gov)

Currency PairsRates as of 9:19am 2 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1768
AUD/USD0.7614
GBP/USD1.3837
USD/JPY110.5800
NZD/USD0.7032
USD/CHF0.9409
USD/NOK8.5335
USD/SEK8.7131
USD/CAD1.2548
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.18
10-yr Treasury1.71
30-yr2.36
Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach commercial real estate market feels heat …

The National Association of Realtors in its Commercial Real Estate Metro Market Report for Q4 2020 determined that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach, Florida commercial real estate market is weak. The apartment sector is experiencing faster rent growth than nationally. There is a loss in office occupancy and office rent growth is weaker than nationally. There is a loss in office occupancy and office rent growth is weaker than nationally. In the industrial sector, the industrial vacancy rate is higher than nationally and more construction is underway than nationally. Its retail trade jobs are not growing as fast than nationally. In the hotel/lodging sector, leisure and hospitality jobs are shrinking. There is a lower share of of businesses openings than nationally. In 2019, the area experienced net out-migration.

Commercial transactions are likely to pick up in the second half of 2021 and in 2022 as more people get vaccinated and more businesses open. Higher fiscal spending and monetary accommodation will boost growth nationally and in the area.

Selected statistics

Currency PairsRates as of 4:11pm 1 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1770
AUD/USD0.7614
GBP/USD1.3829
USD/JPY110.5900
NZD/USD0.7021
USD/CHF0.9418
USD/NOK8.5275
USD/SEK8.7131
USD/CAD1.2551
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.16
10-yr Treasury1.67
30-yr2.33
Economic IndicatorQ4 2020Q3 2020Q4 2019
Apartment rent$1,515$1,489$1,521
Office asking rent per square foot$38.7$37.7$37.0
Multifamily rental vacancy rate5.8%4.7%7.3%
Industrial asking rent per square foot$9.3$9.3$8.7
Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Federal Reserve

Interbank market news scan: Foreign exchange and selected interest rates at 9:03 am EST 1 April 2021

Currency PairsRates as of 9:01am 1 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1745
AUD/USD0.7567
GBP/USD1.3786
USD/JPY110.7500
NZD/USD0.6988
USD/CHF0.9456
USD/NOK8.5446
USD/SEK8.7355
USD/CAD1.2590
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.16
10-yr Treasury1.70
30-yr2.36
Sources: Bloomberg, Federal Reserve, Reuters

Interbank market news scan: Foreign exchange and selected interest rates as of 9:18 am EST

Currency PairsRates as of 9:18am 31 March 2021
EUR/USD1.1725
AUD/USD0.7610
GBP/USD1.3769
USD/JPY110.7400
NZD/USD0.6995
USD/CHF0.9429
USD/NOK8.5181
USD/SEK8.7293
USD/CAD1.2607
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.14
10-yr Treasury1.73
30-yr2.43
Source: Reuters, Federal Reserve

Interbank market news scan: Foreign exchange rates, Fed Funds rate, and Treasurys as of 9:00 am EST

Currency PairsRates as of 9:00am 30 March 2021
EUR/USD1.1734
AUD/USD0.7615
GBP/USD1.3738
USD/JPY110.3600
NZD/USD0.6986
USD/CHF0.9919
USD/NOK8.5728
USD/SEK8.6901
USD/CAD1.2617
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.14
10-yr Treasury1.67
30-yr2.37
Source: Reuters, Federal Reserve

Interbank market scan: The US House today begins voting on Biden American Rescue Plan; central banks, foreign exchange, cryptocurrency …

The Takeaway

Across seven of ten major currency pairs the dollar exhibited continued weakness after two pandemic related events. First, there was the meeting between President Joe Biden and ten Republican senators. The President released a statement that signaled that he preferred the Democratic-controlled Congress pursue the reconciliation, a stream-lined process for getting approval of $1.9 trillion in spending on Mr Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.” The GOP senators wanted a package price tagged at $618 billion.

The second event will be actual voting on rules that provide instruction in the House on determining how revenue and spending targets be reconciled with appropriate changes in existing legislation. That vote begins today around 6:30 EST.

The main takeaway at this juncture is that the US government will have to borrow funds to finance Mr Biden’s plans and there is conjecture that Treasury will have to borrow more than the $1.9 trillion that Mr Biden is requesting. Central banks from emerging and commodity-driven economies are preparing to ramp up their reserves of the US dollar in order to buy up Treasurys when the debt is issued for purchase. Interest rates on the debt and yields are expected to inch up which theoretically should be accompanied by increased demand for the dollar. The Federal Reserve’s $120 billion per month of debt combined with other central purchases of US debt may work to create a supply of dollars to tamp down the dollar price.

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 4:45 pm EST 1 February 2021The eventPost Event-Exchange Rate as of 2:00 pm EST 2 February 2021Impact
AUD/USD0.7641Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus0.7585USD strengthening
USD/CAD1.2776Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus1.2811CAD strengthening
USD/CNY6.4267Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus6.4551USD weakening
EUR/USD1.2135Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus1.2019USD strengthening
USD/INR72.8760Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus72.9415INR weakening
GBP/USD1.3699Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus1.3654USD strengthening
USD/JPY104.6400Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus105.0700USD strengthening
USD/MXN20.5641Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus20.1798USD weakening
USD/DKK6.1262Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus6.1874USD strengthening
USD/NOK8.5474Biden signals preference for reconciliation; Congressional Democrats prepare to vote on stimulus8.6173USD strengthening
Source: Federal Reserve and Reuters

The news scan

Both houses of Congress were preparing to take the first steps forward on U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, with initial votes on Tuesday launching efforts to fast-track passage. U.S. Congress readies first steps toward $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill | Reuters

Several central banks have ventured into unusual territory in the opening weeks of this year, announcing currency sales in advance as they tread a delicate line between dulling the impact of a sliding dollar and dodging the ire of the US Treasury. Central banks take rare step of flagging currency sales in advance | Financial Times (ft.com) https://www.ft.com/content/0383f3a4-41a0-464a-b831-fd1a09a6b1b0

As the Treasury Department holds its largest auctions on record, global central banks could play a familiar role in helping to sop up the deluge of debt supply set to hit markets this year. Here’s why foreign central banks are set to reprise role as big buyer of U.S. government debt (msn.com)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced its current estimates of privately-held net marketable borrowing[1] for the January – March 2021 and April – June 2021 quarters[2]. TREASURY ANNOUNCES MARKETABLE BORROWING ESTIMATES | U.S. Department of the Treasury

Interbank market news scan as of 3:32 pm AST: Peso, Indian rupee, and Japanese yen weaken against the dollar

Currency pairsExchange Rate Before Event 1:00pm ASTEventPost EventExchange Rate Post Event
AUD/USD0.7666Federal Reserve announcement0.7681Dollar weakens vs AUD
USD/CAD1.2774Federal Reserve announcement1.2759Canadian dollar strengthens vs US dollar
USD/CNY6.4822Federal Reserve announcement6.4822No change
EUR/USD1.2075Federal Reserve announcement1.2118Dollar weakens vs the euro
USD/INR73.0065Federal Reserve announcement73.0500Indian rupee continues weakness vs US dollar
GBP/USD1.3689Federal Reserve announcement1.3715US dollar weakens vs British pound
USD/JPY104.0000Federal Reserve announcement104.0600Japanese yen showing weakness vs US dollar
USD/MXN20.1832Federal Reserve announcement20.7000Mexican peso weakens against US dollar
USD/DKK6.1554Federal Reserve announcement6.1554No change
USD/NOK8.6452Federal Reserve announcement8.6242Norwegian Krona strengthens vs US dollar
Sources: Federal Reserve, Reuters

Today, Jerome Powell, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve issued the following statement:

“The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. The pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic. Weaker demand and earlier declines in oil prices have been holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations. The ongoing public health crisis continues to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook.

The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer‑term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time. In addition, the Federal Reserve will continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals. These asset purchases help foster smooth market functioning and accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.

In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.”

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Charles L. Evans; Randal K. Quarles; and Christopher J. Waller.

Strategic takeaways:

  1. Traders should take a strategic position in the flow of Federal Reserve decision making on rates with the expectation of continued dollar weakness for some time as the Federal Reserve maintains its flexible average inflation rate policy for the net one to two years.
  2. The Federal Reserve may be growing weary of noting the need for fiscal action on the part of the U.S. Congress or sees no need for making such calls given the gravity of the virus and a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress that appear intent on providing another fiscal injection into the economy.
  3. Traders should expect Congress to authorize additional borrowing to finance additional stimulus. Additional fiscal demand may come at a higher interest rate price for taxpayers. Depending on how government structures the stimulus spending, monies directed to infrastructure and the ensuing contracts entered into to bring about infrastructure spending may attract additional domestic and foreign capital.
  4. The Mexican peso, Indian rupee, and Japanese yen weakened after the announcement. The dollar continued its weakness in its more popular currency pairs: the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD. The Chinese yuan remained unchanged expectedly given the People’s Bank of China’s recent announcement on their currency’s value.