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Going nowhere

USD: It was another day of no-change for the dollar against the EUR and GBP. The tariff-bashers had taken the day off and there was an almost complete lack of US economic data. Housing starts (up 9.2% in August) and building permits (down 5.7%) cancelled one another out. The only statistic of note was a fourth consecutive weekly decline in EIA oil stocks, but its impact was on oil prices rather than the USD. Today holds no greater promise: weekly jobless claims, existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey are the only statistical guidance investors will receive.

EUR: The ecostat drought extended to the euro. Construction output fell by 0.3% in July and the seasonally-adjust current account surplus widened from €28.8bn to €31.9bn. With the best will in the world investors were never going to make anything out of trivia like that. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's speech brought nothing new to the debate.  He simply reiterated his oft-repeated call for greater fiscal and regulatory integration within the euro zone. 

CAD: Investors with an eye on the CAD were no better served by the economic data: not a single Canadian ecostat was forthcoming. What the Loonie did have in its favour, however, was the rising price of oil, and the CAD tracked it quite closely. In USD terms WTI went up by 0.8% while the CAD strengthened by 0.3%. Although yet another NAFTA deadline is probably about to be missed, investors remain optimistic that Ottawa and Washington will eventually reach an agreement.

GBP: Sterling had a busier day than its peers, even though in the end it was unchanged against the USD and EUR. Consumer price index readings showed UK headline inflation accelerating from 2.5% to 2.7% in August. It had been forecast to slow to 2.4% so there was much head-scratching. The immediate consensus was to mark up the GBP, on the basis that faster-rising prices would add to the upward pressure on interest rates. A couple hours later it was on its way down again, after a report that the prime minister had rejected the latest EU proposal for the post-Brexit internal Irish border.  

JPY: Hard on the heels of the non-event that was Wednesday's Bank of Japan rate decision came another one this morning: the re-election of Shinzo Abe as leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. His victory, with 69% of the vote, means he will continue as prime minister and it sets him up to become the longest-serving leader of the country. The JPY was not precisely unchanged against the USD, EUR and GBP but it was almost so, strengthening by a random quarter of a yen.

USD steady against EUR and GBP

USD steady against EUR and GBP

EUR unmoved by Draghi speech

EUR unmoved by Draghi speech

CAD gets more help from higher oil prices

CAD gets more help from higher oil prices

GBP inflation rally offset by Brexit fall

GBP inflation rally offset by Brexit fall

JPY minutely firmer against its peers

JPY minutely firmer against its peers

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