Today the US Congress will vote on whether to repeal Obamacare, which is President Trump’s first bill proposal since taking office. President Trump has warned Republicans that, if the healthcare reform bill fails to pass, they will lose their seats. However, if the new healthcare bill passes, that means many Americans pay a much higher amount of money on medical spending.
For the markets the concern is, that if the bill fails to pass, President Trump’s other policies, such as tax-cuts and regulation reform would also encounter hurdles. These concerns weigh on USD and US equities. USD continued falling on Wednesday. The dollar index broke a significant support line at 99.50 and hitting a 7-week low of 99.32. USD bulls attempted to recover the level early this morning. The next significant support is at 99.00; if this level is broken we will likely see a further USD sell-off.
Fed Chair Yellen is scheduled to make a speech at 12:45 GMT today, Thursday March 23rd, at the Community Development Research, which is the major focus amongst this week’s Fed speeches.
The latest French presidential election polls show a tight race between the three candidates: Macron, Le Pen and Fillon. Even with Fillon being charged with creating fake jobs and being put under formal investigation. The right-wing candidate, Le Pen, has stated her attempt to take France out of the EU following Brexit.
Market concerns, over President Trump’s policies and the French presidential election, are resulting in Investors turning to safe havens. The weakening of USD has also pushed gold prices up. Spot gold hit a 3-week high of 1251.20, testing a significant resistance level at 1250 on Wednesday evening.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) kept rates unchanged at 1.75% which was in line with expectations. NZD/USD remains unchanged as the RBNZ stated that “monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period because the global economic uncertainties remain substantial and there is no hurry to alter policies”.
Today will see the release of UK retail sales for February at 09:30 GMT. This is followed by US initial jobless claims (for the week ending March 10) at 12:30 GMT, Yellen’s speech at 12:45 GMT and US new home sales for February at 14:00 GMT.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (a FOMC voting member) will make a speech at 16:30 GMT followed by Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan (a FOMC voting member) at 23:00 GMT.