EUR/USD has edged higher in the Friday session, after losing ground on Thursday. On the release front, it’s a quiet end to the week. German PPI improved to 0.2%, beating the estimate of 0.0%. Euro zone current account disappointed, as the surplus narrowed to EUR 21.2 billion, well off the estimate of EUR 27.3 billion. This marked the smallest current account surplus since July 2016. In the US, there was one key event, as UoM Consumer Sentiment improved to 97.6, beating the estimate of 94.0 points.
Geopolitical events continue to have a strong impact on the currency markets. Earlier in August, it was the crisis between the US and North Korea. On Thursday, it was yet another terror attack in Western Europe, this time in Barcelona, Spain. The car-ramming attack killed 12 and wounded dozens, and the euro responded with losses, as the currency touched 3-week lows. Investors are understandably on edge, but the euro has steadied on Friday, and things should return to normal next week, barring another attack in Western Europe. On the inflation front, there was positive news as German PPI improved to 0.2%, marking a 3-month high.
The euro remains at high levels, as growing political risk in the United States has weighed on the US dollar. President Trump’s administration continues to spend most of its focus and energy on damage control, and the latest fiasco for Trump has been the alt-right protest in Charlottesville, where one protester was killed by a suspected white supremacist. Trump’s belated condemnation of white supremacists and his insistence on blaming the violence on both the white supremacists and the counter-protesters has drawn wall-to-wall criticism from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. Trump remains defiant and continues to attack his critics, but the events around Charlottesville have only served to tarnish his image and raised growing concerns about his presidency.