USD: With the president busy offering his opinions of 9/11 and Hurricane Maria there was no new word from the White House on import tariffs or NAFTA. US economic statistics were in equally short supply. The only one of note was the NFIB's monthly survey, which put confidence among small businesses at 108.8, beating the 108.0 peak of July 1983 and creating a 45-year high. Not all was sweetness and light on the global scale though: emerging market equities remained under pressure as a result of the trade war and oil prices headed higher in anticipation of the disruption of supply by Hurricane Florence. Oil producers Norway and Canada benefited from those rising prices: the CAD and NOK were Tuesday's joint leaders.
The USD was close to the middle of the bunch, strengthening fractionally, on average, against the other majors.
EUR: The euro was close behind the USD, missing the mark by only a dozen ticks. In the euro zone, as in the States, useful political comment was hard to find and statistics were few. ZEW's surveys of investor sentiment in Euroland and Germany found them to be more upbeat in September than they had been the previous month. The euro zone statistical agency, Eurostat, reported that in the second quarter of 2018 there were 1.5% more people in work than in the same three months last year.
CAD: Although it was true that oil prices and the CAD both went up on Tuesday, the timing of their respective moves was not at all coordinated. Oil had been on the way higher for several hours before the Loonie lurched higher. It eventually clocked a quarter-cent advantage over the USD. Some of the CAD's support was apparently the result of rumours that a NAFTA agreement was at hand, though the stories this morning suggest otherwise.
GBP: Having led the way on Monday sterling ran out of steam, falling towards the back of the field. The pound lost a third of a US cent and logged an average loss of 0.3%. The setback was probably a technical reaction to GBP's earlier gains. It was certainly nothing to do with the UK employment data: jobless claims were fewer than forecast, unemployment was steady at 4.0% and average basic earnings were up by an annual 2.9%, moving further ahead of the 2.3% inflation rate.
JPY: The yen moved in close formation with the EUR, both of them narrowly ahead of GBP and just behind USD. Demand for safe-havens was muted for a second day and there were no Japanese economic data to influence investors.