Dollar Starts Week Lower; All Eyes on President’s Health

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Dollar Starts Week Lower; All Eyes on President’s Health

The U.S. dollar is under pressure this morning, and stocks look to open in the green. 

Overview

Most analysts point to a favorable prognosis for President Trump, who was airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center after markets closed on Friday.  The White House has said that the President could be discharged as early as today, but several conflicting reports on the President’s health over the weekend makes the outlook cloudy.

While most eyes will remain on the President’s health, we will also need to pay attention to potential progress on Capitol Hill.  The President’s COVID diagnosis may have changed the calculus and make a deal more likely.

At 9:45 a.m., we will see the release of the final reading of U.S. service and composite PMI’s for September. And ISM service data is due out at 10:00 a.m.  There is also a slew of Federal Reserve speakers today.   Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will address the NABE conference tomorrow.

What to Watch Today…

  • Service PMIs at 9:45 and 10:00 am

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EUR 

The Euro popped higher on a combination of modestly strong data, an uptick in the risk sentiment, and a general weakening dollar.  Euro-zone PMI showed minimal improvement in September. The IHS Markit’s composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for the whole block fell to 50.4 in September.  50 is the demarcation between growth and contraction.  However, the print is significantly less than the 51.9 reading in August. Further breakdown of the data showed that Germany was the only major economy to clock solid growth.

Coronavirus cases are also increasing in Europe, and new restrictions are expected to be announced for Ireland and Italy this week.  France shut down bars near Paris.  Nevertheless, European stocks are up today with the Stoxx 600 adding 0.6% of value.

GBP 

The British pound is slightly stronger today and Brexit negotiations will remain the major risk event.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President von der Leyen were in contact over the weekend, but no major progress was reported.  Negotiators enter an intense two-week stretch ahead of the EU summit which has been seen as a deadline for a deal.  GBP/USD will remain at the mercy of Brexit headlines.

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