Daily Afternoon Report 28.12.2015

The dollar held steady against the other major currencies on Monday, as trading volumes remained thin after Christmas and ahead of the New Year holiday.

Global financial markets closed early on Thursday, Christmas Eve, and remained shut for Christmas Day on Friday.

Heading into the final week of the year, trading volumes are expected to remain light as many traders already closed books due to the holiday period, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing volatility.

EUR/USD was little changed at 1.0965.

With the first U.S. rate hike since 2006 out of the way, investors were now focusing on the pace of future rate increases. The Federal Reserve, from its forecasts, is anticipating four rate hikes next year.

However, the Fed funds futures currently suggests there will be just two rate increases, one in June and one in December. Mixed U.S. economic reports released last week failed to offer clues as to how fast the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates next year.

USD/JPY edged up 0.14% to 120.45.

Data earlier showed that Japan’s industrial production declined 1.0% in November, compared to expectations for a 0.6% fall and after an increase of 1.4%.

A separate report showed that Japan’s retail sales declined by an annual rate of 1.0% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.6% slip and after a 1.8% rise.

Elsewhere, the dollar was higher against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD down 0.10% at 1.4905 and with USD/CHF rising 0.20% to 0.9886.

The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7266, while NZD/USD added 0.21% to 0.6842.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.13% to trade at 1.3870.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 98.00, the lowest level since December 16.