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August: Fasten Your FX Seatbelt

By Kathy Lien, Managing Director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management.

  • Will August be Another Great Month for the Dollar?
  • Euro: No Syriza Party Referendum this Weekend
  • GBP: Historic Week Ahead for UK – Super Thursday
  • No Love for NZD and AUD
  • NZD Drops 1%
  • CAD Hit Hard by Persistent Oil Decline

Will August be Another Great Month for the Dollar?

July was a great month for the U.S. dollar and a tough month for other major currencies. The greenback increased in value against many of its global counterparts, hitting multi-year highs in the process. At month's end as investors look forward to August, everyone is wondering whether the dollar will have enough momentum to charge ahead. August is traditionally one of quietest months in the financial markets with traders around the world taking off for their summer holidays. Volume declines and liquidity decreases, which in some cases can mean consolidation and in others, continuation. For the forex market, August is not always a month of consolidation. In 2014, for example, EUR/USD hit year-to-date lows on a weekly basis in August while in 2012, it reversed violently, rising close to 400 pips. 2013 and 2011 were years of consolidation. For 2015, we expect lower liquidity to translate into greater volatility for the currency market, starting….next week.

With three monetary policy meetings, three employment reports, Chinese Data, PMI/ISMs and a Dairy Auction on the calendar, Forex will be the market to trade next week. The dollar dictated the direction for all currencies this past week, but going forward, relative growth and monetary-policy divergence will return to focus. We anticipate an extremely active and volatile week with developments that could set the trend for days to weeks to come. The action heats up with the official Chinese PMI reports followed by revisions to Eurozone PMIs, the RBA rate decision, Bank of England meeting and US non-farm payrolls. Of course there’s a long list of other important economic reports that are also due for release but these are the most important events on the calendar and we’ll discuss the other reports later in this note.

Given how far the dollar has run in the past few weeks, unambiguously positive data is needed to drive the greenback higher...