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Uneasy Situation Makes Compromise Advisable

USD: As the weekend neared there was much excitement about achieving - or failing to achieve - a rehash of NAFTA before the Sunday night deadline.  Investors paid passing attention to the US Economic data: they were not overly enthusiastic about the stalled core personal consumption expenditure index or the mark-downs for the Chicago purchasing managers' index and Michigan consumer sentiment index. But their thoughts were mostly on the trade deal and whether it would or wouldn't fly. It eventually got into the air at the last minute, to sighs of relief all round. Even the USD benefited from the deal, edging higher in the Far East this morning for a 0.2% net gain against the EUR.

EUR: The euro continued to feel the pain of Italy's coalition government and its deficit budget plan. Fears of contagion spreading to other Southern European states might have been premature but a 30-basis-point jump in Italian government bond yields and an accompanying 3.7% fall for shares on the Milan stock exchange revealed just how jumpy investors had become about the situation. Share and bond prices recovered a little this morning, as did the EUR. That is more likely to represent a correction than the resignation of investors to the coalition's fiscal policy.

CAD: In Washington, Mexico City and Ottawa the countries' leaders are taking credit for the United States Mexico Canada Agreement that was signed last night. Although parliamentary and congressional approval is still necessary before it comes into force, the treaty has that hallmark of all the best deals - it leaves everyone slightly dissatisfied - and the compromise is likely to be grudgingly accepted. The CAD is 1.6% higher on the day and the MXN is 1.4% firmer against the USD.

GBP: Like the EUR, sterling had nothing to crow about on Friday and it, too, was little lower on the day against the USD. The stumbling block for the GBP was the revised data for UK gross domestic product. Second quarter growth  was unchanged as it annualizes at 1.6% but growth in Q1 was revised down from 1.6% to 0.4%. Add to that a widening of the current account deficit and a 0.7% fall in business investment and investors were left with a much less pretty economic picture than the one they had been expecting. 

JPY: If the USMCA story left the EUR and GPB out of the action so, also, were the JPY and CHF stuck on the bench. The JPY was unchanged against the other three as it was left behind by the North Americans. There were no Japanese economic statistics on this morning's list other than the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey of business confidence and capital expenditure. On balance the five readings were less bullish in Q3 than they had been three months earlier.

USD gains a little help from USMCA deal

USD gains a little help from USMCA deal

EUR frets about Italy's fiscal position

EUR frets about Italy's fiscal position

CAD embarrassed by White House comments

CAD celebrates USMCA breakthrough

GBP sulks following GDP downgrades

GBP sulks following GDP downgrades

JPY ignores softer business sentiment

JPY ignores softer business sentiment

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