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USD: The Fed said it would increase the federal funds rate in September, it went ahead and did so yesterday and it indicated more increases in the future; one in December, three in 2019 and a couple more the following year. The president , who is "basically not a low-interest-tare person" was "not happy about that" but everyone else took it in their stride. As long as the Fed sees low unemployment, strong growth, near-record equity prices and upward pressure on inflation it is likely to deliver more of the same.

EUR: Until early this morning the euro was pottering long minding its own business, and going nowhere. The European Central Bank tightening story had come and gone and, other than this morning's low-importance EC confidence measures, there were no Euroland economic statistics on Wednesday. This morning, though, there was a minor panic when Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported an intra-coalition tiff about the budget. The suggestion was that Italy might break the EU deficit rules by spending too much and taxing too little, precipitating another political crisis in Europe. The EUR lost a swift half-cent to the USD, leaving it half a cent lower on the day.

CAD: It was not a total surprise when the US administration said it was going ahead with a bilateral Mexican trade deal to kick off NAFTA 2.0. The timing was forced by the imminent retirement of Mexico's president. But investors were unnerved by the White House's refusal to meet with the Canadian premier and its observation that "we don't like their representative very much". It all sounded rather confrontational and investors marked down the CAD. It fell 1.0% on the day, losing more than one US cent.

GBP: Sterling did not achieve much. After leading the field on Monday and Tuesday it ran out of steam and dropped out of contention. The Confederation of British Industry, a trade group, reported stronger-than-expected retail sales in September but it was not enough to re-energize GBP buyers. At the opposition Labour party's annual convention, leader Jeremy Corbyn came up with nothing overtly GBP-positive. The pound was down by an insignificant dozen ticks.

JPY: Since its risk-off win last Friday the JPY has retreated back into its shell. It lost a dozen ticks to the USD on Wednesday but there was no purpose to its movements. Tonight brings a dozen or more Japanese data for inflation, employment, industrial production and retail sales. However, if investors pay them as little attention as usual they are unlikely to get the JPY moving. 

USD takes Fed rate hike in its stride

USD takes Fed rate hike in its stride

EUR worried by possible Italian budget rebellion

EUR worried by possible Italian budget rebellion

CAD embarrassed by White House comments

CAD embarrassed by White House comments

GBP loses momentum

GBP loses momentum

JPY steady, awaiting tonight's data

JPY steady, awaiting tonight's data

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