The dollar is at a 10-month low — here’s what’s happening in FX

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Good morning!

The US dollar index trades at its weakest level since June following Tuesday’s disappointing housing data.

The dollar is slightly stronger by 0.3% at 94.29 as of 12:44 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 20.

“As a result we saw a number of currencies make year-to-date highs yesterday (including Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) while the move in the Dollar also helped to continue the positive tone to the start of the week” with stocks stronger again, wrote Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid and Craig Nicol in a note to clients.

The buck has fallen by about 5% since the start of the year, making it one of the biggest stories of 2016.

As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard:

  • The Japanese yen is weaker by 0.4% at 109.66 per dollar after Japan announced a trade surplus of 755 billion yen in March, the largest since October 2010. Still, the internals of the report weren’t super great, as exports fell for a sixth straight month, down 6.8% compared to a year ago.
  • The British pound is little changed after the latest data showed that unemployment in the UK went up for the first time in seven months. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK unemployment grew by 21,000 between December 2015 and February 2016, bringing the total number of unemployed people to 1.7 million. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1%.
  • The Turkish lira is stronger by 0.7% at 2.8108 per dollar after Turkey’s central bank cut its overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to 10%. Notably, this is the first monetary policy meeting headed by the new central bank governor, Murat Cetinkaya.
  • The South Africa rand is up 0.6% at 14.1994 per dollar after the latest figures from Statistics South Africa showed that inflation fell to 6.3% in March, in line with the Bloomberg consensus. “Today’s lower inflation figure provides some welcome relief for South African consumers, but we doubt that this is the sign of things to come,” argued Capital Economics’ John Ashbourne in a note to clients.

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