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USD In Focus Ahead Of Nonfarm Payrolls

USD In Focus Ahead Of Nonfarm Payrolls

Weekly FX Outlook – Markets spent much of the week treading water before Yellen sparked a short-lived spurt of USD strength, with all eyes remaining on Fed speak next week as well as US nonfarm payrolls.

The August lull continued for much of this week, with volatility particularly muted, accompanied by light newsflow. Much of the session was spent awaiting comments from Fed’s Yellen, with recent rhetoric from the likes of Fischer and Dudley striking a more hawkish tone and market participants speculating as to whether Yellen may follow suit.

Rhetoric from Yellen saw a fast money move higher in the USD after she stated that the rate hike case has strengthened in recent months and the economy is nearing the Fed’s inflation and employment objectives. However, the USD strength was short-lived given the lack of a specific mention of September, combined with the quantity of data still due from the US ahead of the next FOMC meeting on September 21st.

Elsewhere, one of the more notable movers this week saw significant upside in USD/ZAR amid uncertainty over the future of the Finance Minister after reports stating that the police have summoned him over an investigation into a suspected rogue spy unit in the tax service. NZD has also seen focus this week, with NZD/USD trading higher by around a point Friday after RBNZ governor Wheeler warned against rapid rate cuts and stated immediate easing is unnecessary.

Looking ahead to next week, it appears USD is set to remain in focus, with a host of Fed speakers scheduled as well as the latest nonfarm payroll report. Given Yellen’s tone, the upcoming data and rhetoric will take on a heightened significance as the legitimacy of a possible September rate hike is tested. Elsewhere, next week also sees CPI readings from Germany and the Eurozone, as well as manufacturing PMIs from across the globe.

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