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FX Markets Weekly Wrap

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

Dollar falters on continued risk-on rally

The US dollar continued to struggle this week as equity markets extended their rebound and commodity prices also rallied: the currencies of commodity exporters and other economies most exposed to global growth generally fared well. Wednesday’s lower-than-expected US CPI data provided the latest catalyst: the S&P 500 rose around 2% following the CPI report, and the DXY index registered one of its worst days in recent years, falling by more than 1%. Nonetheless, further hawkish comments from FOMC members, weak credit data out of China and today’s strong US consumer confidence survey have provided some support for the greenback. Our sense remains that the dollar rally will resume before too long. It will take a lot more good news on inflation before the Fed changes tack. The minutes from the last FOMC meeting, released next week, and the Jackson Hole conference the week after may well push back further against the notion that the Fed is “pivoting”.

12 August 2022

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

Dollar rallies as hope for a Fed pivot proves short-lived

The huge upside surprise in US payrolls data pushed the greenback higher against most major currencies today in an otherwise quiet week for FX markets. The continued strength of the labour market in the US adds to our conviction that the Fed remains some way off from taking its foot off the brakes, a message echoed by several Fed officials earlier in the week. By contrast, many other central banks face more difficult trade-offs: the latest labour market data from New Zealand and Canada showed falls in employment; the BoE and RBA both hiked by 50bp but revised their forecasts to reflect higher inflation and lower growth; and some emerging market central banks appear to be at or near the end of their tightening cycles. Next week’s US CPI data, which we expect will show continued strong core price pressures even if headline inflation slows, could put another nail in the coffin of the ‘pivot’ narrative. Even in the absence of further divergence in monetary policy, we expect slowing global activity and worsening risk sentiment to, underpin further strength in the greenback over the rest of the year.

5 August 2022

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

Dollar struggles on market’s hope of a Powell pivot

The dollar looks set to lose further ground this week after the FOMC’s 75bp hike was, somewhat strangely, interpreted as the start of a dovish pivot and US Q2 GDP disappointed. However, the greenback has rebounded a bit today after income and spending data proved more robust and indicated continued strong price pressures. Our sense is that the risk-on response to the FOMC is largely down to a combination of wishful thinking and stretched positioning. In our view, there was little in Chair Powell’s remarks to suggest policymakers will abandon aggressive rate hikes while inflation remains so far above target. Indeed, he emphasised that policymakers anticipate that bringing inflation back to target will involve ”a period of below-trend growth and some softening of labour market conditions” – an unusual admission from a central bank governor. If we are right that markets have misread the Fed’s intention, the dollar will probably resume its rally before too long.

29 July 2022
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FX Markets Weekly Wrap

The rally in the US dollar pauses ahead of the Fed

After a series of strong weeks left it at two-decade highs, the US dollar seems set to end this week lower against most major currencies. Despite weaker-than-expected activity data out of the US, UK, and euro-zone this week, cyclically sensitive (i.e., “high-beta”) developed market currencies strengthened the most against the dollar. This coincided with a rally in “risky” assets and a fall in government bond yields; this appears to reflect a view that weakening economic activity will reduce the need for additional monetary tightening. But we doubt slowing economic growth in the US and other major economies – or recessions in the cases of the UK and euro-zone – will bring inflation down to target in the absence of more interest rate hikes by central banks. Indeed, we expect the Fed to deliver another 75bp hike next week and raise rates into 2023. Amid a backdrop of a hawkish Fed and slowing global growth, we think the dollar will resume its broad-based strength before long. Australia Drop-In (15:00 SGT, 27th July): Join our 20-minute briefing on why we think Australian inflation is heading higher than the consensus expects, how the RBA will have to raise rates by more than most appreciate to tame it, and what it all means for Aussie asset prices. Register now

22 July 2022

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

Will the ECB & BoJ fight back against depreciation?

Although it has dropped back a little today, the US dollar is on track for another strong week, rising further against all other major currencies and hitting a new 20-year high. At the time of writing, the greenback was at or around our end-2022 forecasts against most major currencies. As we discussed here and here, while we are sticking to our existing forecasts for now, the risks are increasingly skewed towards further dollar strength.

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

The dollar breaks through; more to come?

The US dollar has continued to surge this week, with the key EUR/USD rate breaching a two-decade low and approaching the symbolic parity level as fears around Europe’s energy supply worsened. Solid US data, in particular today’s stronger-than-expected payrolls, and continued hawkish rhetoric from FOMC officials reinforced the growing divergence between the increasingly bleak outlook in Europe and the more resilient US economy. With little relief on the horizon for Europe, and next week’s US inflation data likely to mark a new high for the year and keep the Fed hiking aggressively in the near term, we think the risks remain skewed in favour of the greenback. Indeed, as we discussed yesterday, we think the EUR/USD rate will break through parity before long, and may well trade some way through that level.

8 July 2022

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

Safe-haven flows drive the dollar higher

The US dollar looks set to end the week stronger against most major currencies, nearing its strongest level since 2002 as “risky” assets remained under pressure. A key reason for the dollar’s rally is that weak activity data out of the US, including the ISM survey data released today, added to growing concerns about global growth. What’s more, policymakers largely shrugged off such concerns at the ECB’s Sintra Conference earlier this week, reiterating their commitment to taming inflation even at the cost of weaker growth. Next week’s minutes from the last FOMC meeting may well add to that picture. All in all, we think this backdrop will continue to favour the dollar. EM Drop-In (Thurs, 7th July): Join our economists for their regular monthly briefing on the hot stories in EMs – and those that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. In this 20-minute session, topics will include the outlook for EM FX markets after the recent sell-offs. Register now.

1 July 2022

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

We think the dollar rally has paused, not ended

Amid mounting concerns about the global growth outlook as more central banks raised policy rates, the US dollar looks set to end the week broadly unchanged against most major currencies. Although we suspect the greenback may struggle to make new highs in the near-term, we think the backdrop will remain favourable for the dollar over the coming quarters. If, as we anticipate, the US (and global) economy slows, but avoids recession, we think the US will remain relatively well-placed to weather tighter financial conditions. And if downside risks to economic activity materialise, then the dollar would probably benefit from “safe-haven” demand, as has been the case for much of this year. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

24 June 2022
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