Currency markets range trade overnight

With the exceptions of the British pound, which continues to defy gravity on hopes of a Brexit agreement, currency markets contented themselves with directionless range trading. The US dollar index eased 0.14% to 93.40 in a non-descript session.

The story is much the same with regional Asian currencies, which are mostly unchanged this morning after the PBOC USD/CNY fix passed without incident. Protests and arrests in Bangkok have seen the THB fall by 0.14% versus the US dollar to 31.171, but a baht sell-off does not appear imminent.

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Indonesia’s Balance of Trade at 1200 SGT should be rupiah support, with the surplus expected to rise to USD2.35 billion. Gains by the IDR will be limited though, as the Balance of Trade headline masks falling imports caused by very weak domestic demand.

Currency traders will need more patience yet, as a lack of concrete drivers for direction leave markets becalmed in range-trading mode.

The lack of activity in Asia is in sharp contrast to the situation in Europe, with the markets focusing on the Brexit talks. There has been a lot of noise about the UK’s self-imposed deadline for an agreement, which expires today. However, it seems that the British government will continue talking to the Europeans after today as well, as there is simply too much at stake for both sides. The markets are optimistic that a deal will be reached, even if it is a “slim” agreement which will have to be filled in next year. There are serious gaps between the positions put forward by London and Brussels, notably fishing rights and state aid programmes. However, both sides realize that an agreement is in their interest, so there is pressure on both sides of the Channel to finalize a divorce deal and move on.



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