Forex Today: Soft UK inflation weighs on Pound Sterling, focus shifts to US data

Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, December 20:

The US Dollar continued to weaken against its rivals on Tuesday as global bond yields retreated following the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) inaction. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for December and Existing Home Sales data for November will be featured in the US economic docket later in the day. Investors will also continue to pay close attention to comments from central bank officials.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield declined toward 3.9% on Tuesday and Wall Street’s main indexes closed in positive territory. US stock index futures trade flat early Wednesday and the 10-year yield stays near 3.9%. Meanwhile, the US Dollar Index holds steady above 102.00 after losing nearly 0.4% in the previous day.

Inflation in the UK, as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), declined to 3.9% in November from 4.6% in October, the UK’s Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday. On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.2%. The Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 5.1%, down sharply from the 5.7% increase recorded in October. Pound Sterling came under bearish pressure following softer-than-forecast inflation readings. At the time of press, GBP/USD was trading deep in negative territory below 1.2700.

Pound Sterling price today

The table below shows the percentage change of Pound Sterling (GBP) against listed major currencies today. Pound Sterling was the weakest against the Japanese Yen.

USD   0.24% 0.43% 0.08% -0.12% -0.25% -0.16% 0.05%
EUR -0.24%   0.20% -0.15% -0.36% -0.46% -0.38% -0.21%
GBP -0.43% -0.18%   -0.34% -0.55% -0.67% -0.58% -0.38%
CAD -0.08% 0.15% 0.35%   -0.19% -0.31% -0.23% -0.08%
AUD 0.12% 0.34% 0.54% 0.20%   -0.11% -0.03% 0.15%
JPY 0.24% 0.49% 0.66% 0.31% 0.09%   0.10% 0.24%
NZD 0.14% 0.38% 0.57% 0.23% 0.02% -0.07%   0.19%
CHF -0.01% 0.21% 0.40% 0.06% -0.14% -0.25% -0.17%  

The heat map shows percentage changes of major currencies against each other. The base currency is picked from the left column, while the quote currency is picked from the top row. For example, if you pick the Euro from the left column and move along the horizontal line to the Japanese Yen, the percentage change displayed in the box will represent EUR (base)/JPY (quote).

USD/CAD fell sharply and touched its weakest level since early August below 1.3350 on Tuesday. The data published by Statistics Canada showed that the annual CPI rose 3.1% in November, coming in higher than the market expectation of 2.9% and matching the October reading. Early Wednesday, the pair stays in a consolidation phase and trades in a narrow channel at around 1.3350.

Hawkish comments from European Central Bank (ECB) officials helped the Euro stay resilient against its peers. EUR/USD registered gains for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and came within a touching distance of 1.1000 before correcting toward 1.0950 early Wednesday. 

USD/JPY surged to 145.00 during the European trading hours on Tuesday after the BoJ disappointed markets by refraining from hinting at an exit from negative rate policy. After a downward correction in the second half of the day, the pair went into a consolidation phase below 144.00 mid-week.

Gold benefited from falling global bond yields on Tuesday and advanced toward $2,050. Although XAU/USD has lost its bullish momentum, it seems to have stabilized at around $2,040.

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