US debt ceiling woes are forecast to greatly affect risk sentiment.
IG Markets Singapore noted:
We still remain range bound on USD/SGD, with the greenback trading towards the lower end of that range, currently at 1.2250.
1.2240 seems to have been a key level in recent months. After acting as resistance at the end of 2012, so far this week it seems to be a support level from which the market keeps moving higher.
US debt ceiling woes are expected to greatly affect risk sentiment, particularly as we move closer to the deadline at the end of February. That said, it is already starting to take centre stage as rating agency Fitch warns of a US downgrade in an event of political stalemate, if the latest issue is not resolved swiftly.
“An ineffective and potentially dangerous mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline” is how Fitch described the debt ceiling, as it doesn’t prevent tax or spending decisions which could lead to debt levels in excess of the ceiling. Although it is highly unlikely the US may default on its sovereign debt, a downgrade from the cherished AAA status would definitely erode investor’s confidence.
More encouragingly, at 0.5% the US Retail Sales figure beat the estimates of 0.2%, indicating that the world’s largest economy is more willing to spend, and to drive the global economy forward.
The euro was firmly in focus again as it snapped its three-day advance. This was due to top European official Jean-Claude Juncker’s comments that the euro is running dangerously high. The immediate effect was to send the euro tumbling against all of its peers, however some poise returned to the single currency as the dust settled on the comments.
OCBC Treasury Research meanwhile reported:
On the SGD front, we also note that the NEER has not been demonstrating any inclination to veer towards the extreme strong end of it fluctuation band in recent sessions.
The index is currently around +0.72% above its estimated mid-point (1.2365) and the extreme strong end of the fluctuation band (1.2180) is expected to form a potential base for the USD-SGD intra-day.
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