The dollar posted additional gains for the former part of the day in yesterday’s session as investors sought for safety on the back of escalating geopolitical tensions, that continues to waver sentiment. Although it was later seen giving up some of its gains in the latter part of the day, following Jerome Powell’s testimony, suggesting a hawkish stance. The currency was further pressured by the ADP employment data coming in lower at 475k than its previous print of 509k. The dollar index closed the day softer at 97.3850 after reaching a high of 97.8290.
The euro continued its losing streak on the day, weighed down by ongoing concerns surrounding the Russia-Ukraine invasion, together with inflationary concerns, that has led the market lean towards bets of an interest rate hike before year end. The euro closed the session at $1.1120 and reached a low of $1.1062.
The pound was an outlier in yesterday’s session. It made an impressive recovery and made up for some lost ground from the previous session, finding support from risk aversion sparked by interest rates bets, by major central banks. The pound closed the session at $1.3405 after reaching a low of $1.3275.
The rand broke its two day losing streak yesterday, fighting back to retrace its losses from earlier in the week. Lifted by strong commodity prices, the local currency shrugged off persistent risk aversion and safe haven demand on the day, demonstrating some resilience once again. The rand touched a high of R15.5626/$, but rallied intraday to a low of R15.2825/$ before ending the session at R15.3071/$ .
Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain top of mind as the feuding nations unresolved conflict continues to place pressure on riskier assets including the rand.
We have another busy day on the international economic events calendar today, with data due from Germany, the Eurozone , the UK as well as the US. On the local front we have PMI data for the month of February out this morning. Expect these data releases as well as global headlines to steer markets.
Expected ranges for the day:
- USDZAR: R15.2000/$ – R15.5000/$
- EURUSD: $ 1.1075 – $1.1145
- GBPUSD: $ 1.3375 – $1.3450