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Forex Today: Hawkish FOMC Minutes Sends Stocks, Bonds Sharply Lower

on January 06, 2022
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Forex Today: Hawkish FOMC Minutes Sends Stocks, Bonds Sharply Lower
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US stock markets pull back from record highs while the Japanese yen weakens further.

Yesterday saw the FOMC release the minutes of its latest meeting. The minutes showed inflation was no longer described as “transitory”, and that the members thought the Fed could begin to shrink its balance sheets and begin to hike rates earlier than had been expected. This hawkish surprise sent the S&P 500 Index sharply lower by almost 100 points, and the NASDAQ 100 Index to near 2-month lows. The USD is a little higher and the Japanese yen has strengthened on this blow to risk sentiment.
In the Forex market, latent strength remains in the US dollar as it may be boosted by the more hawkish FOMC meeting minutes, but we see most strength right now in the euro and the greatest weakness in the Australian dollar. This puts a bearish AUD/JPY at the center of the Forex market right now on worsening risk sentiment.

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Yesterday’s ADP non-farm employment change forecast was made much higher than had been expected, forecasting that Friday will see an announcement of a net new 807k jobs, well above the 405k which had been the consensus forecast. If this forecast is correct, it will likely boost the US dollar.
Today brings a release of US ISM Services PMI data.
Daily new coronavirus cases soar to new all-time records, with more than 2.5 million new cases recorded globally yesterday for the first time ever.
Data suggests that the globally rampant omicron coronavirus variant, while considerably more infectious, has notably milder effects than previous coronavirus strains, with an estimated 70% reduction in the probability of hospitalization. This is potentially very good news for both health and economy, and this has helped to drive recent bullishness in stock markets.
It is estimated that 58.6% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.
Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 298.3 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.84%.
The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Niger, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, Uruguay, and the USA.

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