Currency markets are moving in a relative tight range early Tuesday, as traders prefer to sit on the sidelines andrefrain from taking any big bets ahead of the U.S. President’s Congressional address later today in what seems to be the key market driver for the week.
Whether the risk play which sent U.S. stocks to record highs and the U.S. dollar to a 14-year high early in January will resume depends mostly on his tax agenda.
Trump’s promise of a ‘phenomenal’ tax plan on February 9 should be translated into more details for markets not to be disappointed. For equity traders, proposed corporatetax cuts to 20% from the current 35% will be key for stocks to continue moving higher.Meanwhile,the dollar will likely move more on signals of implementing border-adjustment tax. Although border-adjustment tax seems protectionist by nature and many fear it may lead to a trade war; it remains to be the biggest source of government revenues if implemented, and thus the dollar will benefit from it.
Expectations are very high on delivering some concrete plans this timeand if President Trumpfailsto do so, many investors will beready to push the sell button.
From the monetary perspective, fed officials seem to be achieving what they’re aiming for, which ismaking markets accept the fact that a rate hike might come as soon as March. According to Bloomberg’s interest rate probability tool, chances of a rate hike increased to 50% from 34% a week ago, however CME’s Fedwatch tool is indicating only a 31% chance of a rate increase and this explains why the dollar didn’t respond strongly.
On the data front, U.S. Q4 GDP is expected to be revised slightly higher to 2.1% from the previous reading of 1.9%, while trade deficit is expected to widen to $66 billion. Chicago’s PMI and the Consumer Sentiment Index are also scheduled for release today but given the big event later today, expect economic datato have little or no impact on markets.