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Strong dollar semantics

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • The ECB's Draghi, ever a man to find reasons to ease, downplayed inflation in the Euro area (the rise in German inflation, the doubling of Euro area inflation, etc. does not matter). Of course, Italian inflation is very benign; if you only look at Italian data then there is no problem.
  • Film actor and US Treasury Secretary aspirant Mnuchin said he would brand China a currency manipulator "if warranted." Investors want to know whether China will be branded a currency manipulator when it is not warranted. Mnuchin also reiterated the traditional "strong dollar is in US interests" mantra, in defiance of his boss.
  • In spite of Draghi's addiction to easing and Mnuchin's strong dollar stance, the dollar has not strengthened (Fed Chair Yellen did sound a more dovish overnight, it is true). The dollar's struggle to strengthen underscores the problem of a deficit currency when international investors want to "wait and see" what happens next.
  • Chinese data showed further gains for the consumer sector, but was generally predictable. German producer price inflation data is due (no doubt Draghi has an excuse ready to explain why its increase does not matter). The UK offers retail sales figures; consumer concerns are a focus.