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The Greenback Stalls after Yesterday’s Surge as US Negotiators Move Closer to Last-Minute Deal

 Overview: Yesterday’s dollar surge has stalled. It is
consolidating its gains and is softer against all the G10 currencies. After
popping above JPY140…



Overview: Yesterday's dollar surge has stalled. It is consolidating its gains and is softer against all the G10 currencies. After popping above JPY140 yesterday, there were no follow-through greenback buying in Tokyo. Most emerging market currencies are also firmer, including the South African rand, which plummeted by 2.8% yesterday on the back of the central bank's warning of downside currency risks as it delivered a 50 bp hike. The Chinese yuan is also firmer to snap a four-day fall.

Reports suggest that the partisan forces in the US are negotiating a two-year debt ceiling/spending deal. This is part of the drama, and a last-minute agreement remains the most likely scenario. Most of the large equity markets in the Asia Pacific advanced, though Hong Kong was closed. Europe's Stoxx 600 is steady to slightly higher. It has fallen for the past three sessions. US equity futures are narrowly mixed. European 10-year bond yields are 1-2 bp softer, including Gilts yields, which had risen by more than 30 bp this week coming into today. The 10-eyar US Treasury yield is off four basis points to about 3.78%. Gold was sold through support at $1950 yesterday and briefly slipped through $1937 today before catching a bid to recovery back to $1957. A move above $1960 would help lift the tone. July WTI is also stabilizing after plummeting nearly 3.4% yesterday. It dipped below $71.00 yesterday and is in almost a dollar range above $71.50 today. It settled near $71.70 last week. 

Asia Pacific

Pressure continues to mount on the Bank of Japan to act. Yesterday, the Japanese government revised higher its economic assessment for the first time in ten months. It was upbeat consumption, production, and exports. Earlier today, Tokyo's May CPI was reported. The headline and core (excluding fresh food) rates slowed to a 3.2% year-over-year pace from 3.5%, which is slightly less than expected. The underlying rate that excludes fresh food and energy ticked up to 3.9%, a new cyclical high. The yen has been trending lower and fell to new lows for the year yesterday before steadying today. The yen has declined for seven of the past eight weeks. The yield on the 10-year JGB, which approached 0.35% last week and set a new high for the month earlier todays (0.45%) to draw near the 0.50% cap. At the same time, the 10-year breakeven (the spread between the inflation-linked security and conventional bond) has shot up from below 60 bp in the middle of last month to almost 100 bp now. Meanwhile, there is still speculation that Prime Minister Kishida is considering snap elections to take advantage of his bump in the polls. A new wrinkle has emerged, though in Tokyo. The problem arises because of the population shift toward the cities from the rural areas has led to re-drawing of districts. The junior partner in the national coalition (Komeito) and the LDP are fighting over which should run new candidates in the new districts in Tokyo. An agreement remains elusive and Komeito will not cooperate with the LDP in Tokyo, but the national coalition remains intact.

Australia's April retail sales were flat, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% increase. Australian retail sales rose by an average of 0.6% last year and averaged 0.2% in the three months through April. The squeeze on Australian households may intensify in the coming months as mortgages issued during the early days of the pandemic will begin floating. The highlight next week is the April CPI figures. The newly minted monthly series has been moderating this year after peaking last December at 8.4%. It was at 6.3% in March and may have slipped below 6% for the first time since April 2022. The central bank meets on June 6 and the market sees little chance of a hike. However, it is not convinced that the RBA is finished either.

The dollar kept knocking on JPY140 yesterday until it gave late in the session. Stops appeared to have been triggered, which may have also been related to the $1 bln of options expiring there today. The jump in US 10-year yields, above 3.80% for the first time in two-months helped spur the greenback's gains. Still, there were no further yen sales in Tokyo today and the dollar is consolidating and found support in early European turnover near JPY139.50. On the top side, the next important chart area is around JPY142.50. That said, the dollar's run-up has stretched the momentum indicators. Also, given the one-way nature of the recent move, words of warning from Japanese officials are increasingly possible. Our base case is that US yields are also near the end of their recovery and softer economic data next week (jobs and auto sales) will help cap both. The Australian dollar was sold through $0.6550, was the (61.8%) retracement of the dollar from the multi-year low set in the middle of last October near $0.6170. Follow-through selling pushed it briefly below $0.6500 earlier today before recovering to almost $0.6530. There appears to be little chart support ahead of $0.6400. Momentum indicators are stretched here too. Of course, they can remain oversold for some time, but it suggests the bulk of the move is over. PBOC officials cautioned banks about the exchange rate movement at the end of last week. Still, the yuan fell in the first four sessions this week and extended its losses into today before recovering. The dollar reached almost CNY7.08 before reversing and falling to nearly CNY7.0450. State-owned banks reportedly were the featured dollar sellers in the offshore market and when they pulled back, the greenback recovered toward CNY7.0650. The dollar's weekly gain of around 0.75% matches the gains seen in each of the past two weeks. It is the sixth weekly advance in the past seven weeks. The PBOC set the dollar's reference rate at CNY7.0760 (CNY7.0756 median projection in Bloomberg's survey). The dollar has entered our target band of CNY7.07-CNY7.11.


UK retail sales improved in May after falling a revised 1.2% in March (initially -0.9%). The 0.5% gain in May was a little better than expected. Excluding gasoline, retail sales rose by 0.8%. The UK reports its retail sales in volume terms. Investors are still reeling from the stronger than expected April inflation report. The 10-year Gilt yield may snap a seven-day increase today. During this run, the 10-year yield has by about 50 bp. The swaps market sees the year-end policy rate a little over 5.50%. It is a little softer today after rising consistently for the past seven sessions.

The eurozone highlight next week is the preliminary May CPI. The base effect suggests the pace will likely slow from April's 7.0% year-over-year rate. Last May (and June) eurozone CPI rose by 0.8% month-over-month. These will drop out of the 12-month comparison. Consumer prices are expected to have risen by 0.3% this month. This would see the year-over-year rate slow to around 6.4%, which would be the lowest since February 2022. The core rate is stickier. It slowed in April (to 5.6% from the cyclical high of 5.7% in March). It was the first decline since last June. A small decline in May is expected, which would be the first back-to-back slowing of the core rate since June-July 2021. The ECB meets on June 15 and the market is highly confident of a quarter point hike (to 3.50%) and sees the terminal rate closer to 3.75%.

A convincing break of $1.07 could spur a euro move toward March low near $1.0515. The year’s low was set on January 6 close to $1.0485. It has already come off almost four cents from its high and the downside risk may be another two cents. Momentum indicators are stretched, and the euro has settled near session lows in recent days. At this point, it may take a close back above $1.08 lift the tone. The euro has been confined to a narrow range of about a quarter-of-a-cent below $1.0745. There are some large month-end options expires at $1.0675 and $1.0750. Two-and-a-half weeks ago, sterling was approaching $1.2700, its best level since last June. The outside down day on Wednesday from a high near $1.2470 took it to about $1.2360, and yesterday's follow-through selling brough it to almost $1.2300. The break of our $1.2345 target opens the door to around $1.2240. If that is violated, it could spur another cent move. As one might expect with nine losses in the past 11 sessions coming into today, the momentum indicators are oversold. Sterling held yesterday's low so far today but may stall in front of $1.2380.


The US debt ceiling morass continues and Fitch's threat to downgrade its credit rate had little impact. There are reports today suggesting a two-year deal may be in the works. US yields through the curve are softer today. The dollar extended its three-week rally that carried it to new highs for the year against the yen, yuan, and the Australian and New Zealand dollars yesterday. It reached its best level against the euro in two months and US markets are closed on Monday and its best level against sterling since early April. The Dollar Index rose above 104.00 for the first time since St. Patrick's Day, surpassing the (61.8%) retracement of the bank-stress induced slide that saw it fray the 101.00 area.

The market's outlook for the June 14 FOMC meeting is fluid. The odds of a hike were more than halved to less than 20% after Fed Chair Powell spoke at the end of last week. The odds gradually rebuild this week and is back around 40% chance of a quarter-point hike. When the bank stress peaked in mid-March, the implied policy rate at the end of Q3 briefly fell by 4%. By the end of last week, it was a little above 5.0% and it reached 5.30% yesterday before easing back to around 5.22%. In addition, the Fed funds futures imply year-end effective Fed funds rate of about 4.90%. Coming into today, it has risen in 13 of the past 15 sessions. It began the advance with an implied yield of 4.11% on May 4. We suspect the interest rate adjustment is nearly over, and weaker jobs growth and auto sales due next week may persuade others.

A bevy of US data will be released today. Personal income is expected to have increased by 0.4% in April, matching the Q1 average. Personal consumption expenditures were flat in March after the 2% surge in January and a 0.1% gain in February. The median forecast in Bloomberg's survey projects a 0.5% increase. The Fed targets the headline deflator at 2% on average. A 0.3% increased that is expected translates into a nearly 4% annualized pace through the first four months of the year. (vs. ~3.3% in the previous four months. The year-over-year rate is expected to edge up to 4.3% from 4.2%. The core deflator may have held steady at 4.6% year-over-year. The advanced estimate of goods deficit in April is expected to have edged slightly higher to near $86 bln from $84.6 bln in March. It was around $106.3 bln in April 2022 and $86.3 bln in April 2021. A drop in Boeing orders in April (from 60 in March to 34 in April) can be expected to weigh on durable goods orders. Still, when defense and aircraft (and parts) are excluded, durable goods orders are expected to have fallen for the third consecutive month. A bright spot could be that core durable goods shipments may have risen for the first time since January. The final University of Michigan survey is also due. Market participants pay more attention to the inflation expectations than to the consumer confidence. Recall that the preliminary results showed the 5-10-year inflation expected rose to 3.2% (from 3.0%), which represented a new cyclical high. Note that the Atlanta Fed's GDP tracker will be updated after the data dump. The last iteration saw the US economy tracking about 2.9% annualized growth in Q2. This may be the best it gets for the next several quarters.

The US dollar reached CAD1.3655 earlier today, its best level this month but a little below the high seen at the end of April (~CAD1.3670). There are options for about $360 mln that expire today at CAD1.3665. The greenback retreated to around CAD1.3615 in the European morning. Support is seen in the CAD1.3580-CAD1.3600 area. The US dollar is trading within yesterday's range against the Mexican peso (~MXN17.7530-MXN17.8790). It has found a base over the last couple of sessions near MXN17.75. It may take a break of this week's low (~MXN17.7250) to boost confidence that the shake-out is over. The greenback closed near MXN17.7860 last week.


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DNAmFitAge: Biological age indicator incorporating physical fitness

“We expect DNAmFitAge will be a useful biomarker for quantifying fitness benefits at an epigenetic level and can be used to evaluate exercise-based interventions.”…



“We expect DNAmFitAge will be a useful biomarker for quantifying fitness benefits at an epigenetic level and can be used to evaluate exercise-based interventions.”

Credit: 2023 McGreevy et al.

“We expect DNAmFitAge will be a useful biomarker for quantifying fitness benefits at an epigenetic level and can be used to evaluate exercise-based interventions.”

BUFFALO, NY- June 7, 2023 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as “Aging (Albany NY)” and “Aging-US” by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 10, entitled, “DNAmFitAge: biological age indicator incorporating physical fitness.”

Physical fitness is a well-known correlate of health and the aging process and DNA methylation (DNAm) data can capture aging via epigenetic clocks. However, current epigenetic clocks did not yet use measures of mobility, strength, lung, or endurance fitness in their construction. 

In this new study, researchers Kristen M. McGreevy, Zsolt Radak, Ferenc Torma, Matyas Jokai, Ake T. Lu, Daniel W. Belsky, Alexandra Binder, Riccardo E. Marioni, Luigi Ferrucci, Ewelina Pośpiech, Wojciech Branicki, Andrzej Ossowski, Aneta Sitek, Magdalena Spólnicka, Laura M. Raffield, Alex P. Reiner, Simon Cox, Michael Kobor, David L. Corcoran, and Steve Horvath from the University of California Los Angeles, University of Physical Education, Altos Labs, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, University of Hawaii, University of Edinburgh, National Institute on Aging, Jagiellonian University, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, University of Łódź, Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police in Warsaw, Poland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Washington, and University of British Columbia develop blood-based DNAm biomarkers for fitness parameters including gait speed (walking speed), maximum handgrip strength, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) which have modest correlation with fitness parameters in five large-scale validation datasets (average r between 0.16–0.48). 

“These parameters were chosen because handgrip strength and VO2max provide insight into the two main categories of fitness: strength and endurance [23], and gait speed and FEV1 provide insight into fitness-related organ function: mobility and lung function [8, 24].”

The researchers then used these DNAm fitness parameter biomarkers with DNAmGrimAge, a DNAm mortality risk estimate, to construct DNAmFitAge, a new biological age indicator that incorporates physical fitness. DNAmFitAge was associated with low-intermediate physical activity levels across validation datasets (p = 6.4E-13), and younger/fitter DNAmFitAge corresponds to stronger DNAm fitness parameters in both males and females. 

DNAmFitAge was lower (p = 0.046) and DNAmVO2max is higher (p = 0.023) in male body builders compared to controls. Physically fit people had a younger DNAmFitAge and experienced better age-related outcomes: lower mortality risk (p = 7.2E-51), coronary heart disease risk (p = 2.6E-8), and increased disease-free status (p = 1.1E-7). These new DNAm biomarkers provide researchers a new method to incorporate physical fitness into epigenetic clocks.

“Our newly constructed DNAm biomarkers and DNAmFitAge provide researchers and physicians a new method to incorporate physical fitness into epigenetic clocks and emphasizes the effect lifestyle has on the aging methylome.”

Read the full study: DOI: 

Corresponding Authors: Kristen M. McGreevy, Zsolt Radak, Steve Horvath

Corresponding Emails:,, 

Keywords: epigenetics, aging, physical fitness, biological age, DNA methylation

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About Aging-US:

Launched in 2009, Aging publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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Spread & Containment

Martha Stewart Has a Spicy Take on Americans Who Want to Work From Home

This half-baked take might need to stay in the oven a little longer.



Lifestyle icon Martha Stewart has been on a roll when it comes to representing vivacious women over 60. Whether she's teaming up to charm audiences alongside her BFF Snoop Dogg, poking fun at Elon Musk, or starring as Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue cover model, Martha stays busy. 

Her most recent publicity moment, however, doesn't have the same wholesome feeling Stewart brings to the table. In an interview with Footwear News, the DIY-queen had some choice words about Americans who want to continue working from home after covid-19 lockdown shut down offices.

“You can’t possibly get everything done working three days a week in the office and two days remotely," the cozy-home guru said. "Look at the success of France with their stupid … you know, off for August, blah blah blah. That’s not a very thriving country. Should America go down the drain because people don’t want to go back to work?”

Well, that's certainly a viewpoint. A lot to unpack there. Many online were confused--after all, didn't Stewart basically make her career by "working from home?"

Sitting down with The Today Show, Stewart elaborated on her controversial stance. It seems she's confusing "work from home" with a three-day workweek. 

"I'm having this argument with so many people these days. It's just that my kind of work is very creative and is very collaborative. And I cannot really stomach another zoom. [...But] I hate going to an office, it's empty. During COVID I took every precaution. We [...] set up an office at [...] my home[...] Now we're our offices and our three day work week, I just don't agree with it," Stewart tells viewers. 

"It's frightening because if you read the economic news and look at what's happening everywhere in the world, a three-day workweek doesn't get the work done, doesn't get the productivity up. It doesn't help with the economy and I think that's very important."

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How cashless societies can boost financial inclusion — with the right safeguards

The UK could learn a lot from developing economies about using digital payments to boost financial inclusion.




Accepting digital payments. WESTOCK PRODUCTIONS/Shutterstock

Cashless societies, where transactions are entirely digital, are gaining traction in many parts of the world, particularly after a pandemic-era boom in demand for online banking.

Improvements in digital payment infrastructure such as mobile payments, digital currencies and online banking, make it more convenient for people and businesses to buy and sell things without using cash. Even the Bank of England is looking into how a digital pound might work, showing the potential for a significant shift from physical cash to digital payments in the UK.

Read more: How a digital pound could work alongside cryptocurrencies

Fintech companies have accelerated the transition towards cashless payments with innovations including mobile payment apps, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies and online banking services. The COVID pandemic was also a tipping point that created unprecedented appetite for digital transactions. Fintechs emerged as a life line for many during lockdowns, particularly vulnerable populations that needed emergency lines of credit and ways to make and receive payments.

By 2021, approximately 71% of adults in developing countries had bank accounts. But this leaves nearly 30% of the population still needing access to essential financial products and services. Fintechs can provide more affordable and accessible financial services and products. This helps boost financial inclusion, particularly for the “unbanked”, or those without a bank account.

In the UK, around 1.3 million people, roughly 4% of the population, lack access to banking services. The government and financial institutions have worked together to promote the adoption of digital payments, and the UK’s Request to Pay service allows people and businesses to request and make payments using digital channels such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

But other countries are moving faster towards a cashless society. In Sweden, only about 10% of all payments were made in cash in 2020. This move towards cashless payments in the country has been facilitated by mobile payment solutions like Swish, which people can use to send and receive money via mobile phone.

Boosting financial inclusion

India has gone even further. In less than a decade, the country has become a digital finance leader. It has also made significant progress in promoting digital financial inclusion, mainly through the government’s flagship programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

India’s banks also participate in mobile payment solutions like Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which can connect multiple accounts via one app. India’s digital infrastructure, known as the India Stack also aims to expand financial inclusion by encouraging companies to develop fintech solutions.

Many developing economies are using digitalisation to boost financial inclusion in this way. Kenya introduced its M-Pesa mobile money service in 2007. While microfinance institutions that provide small loans to low-income individuals and small businesses were first introduced in Bangladesh in the 1970s via the Grameen Bank project.

Digital lending has also grown in India in recent years. Its fintechs use algorithms and data analytics to assess creditworthiness and provide loans quickly and at a lower cost than traditional banks.

These innovative platforms have helped to bridge the gap between the formal financial system and underserved populations – those with low or no income – providing fast access to financial services. By removing barriers such as high transaction costs, lack of physical branches and some credit history requirements, fintech companies can reach a wider range of customers and provide financial services that are tailored to their needs.

It’s the tech behind these systems that helps fintechs connect with their customers. The increased use of digital payment methods generates a wealth of data to gain insights into consumer behaviour, spending patterns and other relevant information that can be used to further support a cashless society.

Helping the UK’s unbanked

Countries like the UK could also promote digital financial inclusion to help unbanked people. But this would require a combination of government support, innovation and the widespread adoption of mobile payment solutions.

There are some significant challenges to overcome to create a true – and truly fair – cashless economy. For example, a cashless system could exclude people who do not have access to digital payment methods, such as the elderly or low-income populations. According to a recent study by Age UK, 75% of over 65s with a bank account said they wanted to conduct at least one banking task in person at a bank branch, building society or post office.

Providing more cashless options could also increase the risk of cybercrime, digital fraud such as phishing scams and data breaches – particularly among people that aren’t as financially literate.

There is a dark side to fintech: algorithm biases and predatory lending practices negatively affect vulnerable and minority groups as well as women. Even major financial firms such as Equifax, Visa and Mastercard can get compromised by data breaches, creating valid concerns about data security for many people.

Cross-border transfer of personal data by fintech companies also concerns regulators, but there is still a lack of internationally recognised data protection standards. This should be addressed as the trend towards cashless societies continues.

Two hands hold a fan of GBP banknotes: £5, £10, £20, £50.
Paying with cash. Nieves Mares/Shutterstock

Building guardrails

Regulations affect how fintech companies can provide financial services but ensure they operate within the law. Since fintech companies generally aim to disrupt markets, however, this can create a complex relationship with regulators.

Collaboration between regulators and fintech companies will boost understanding of these innovative business models and help shape future regulatory frameworks. Countries like India have shown the way in this respect. An innovation hub run by UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority is a good start. It supports product and service launches and offers access to synthetic data sets for testing and development.

Fintech can help finance become more inclusive. But it needs policies and regulations that support innovation, promote competition, ensure financial stability and – most importantly – to help protect the citizens of these new cashless societies.

Thankom Arun does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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