Marc Chandler

Marc Chandler

He has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for more than 30 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. After 14 years as the global head of currency strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman, Chandler joined Bannockburn Global Forex, as a managing partner and chief markets strategist as of October 1, 2018.

Articles by Marc Chandler

FX Daily, April 23: Oil Extends Gains While Markets Await Fresh Incentives

Overview: Financial centers that have been closed for the extended holiday have re-opened, but the news stream is light and market participants are digesting developments and positioning for this week’s central bank meetings and the first look at Q1 US GDP. The US decision to end exemptions to the embargo against Iran led to a surge in oil prices, which are extending gains to new six-highs today.

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Cool Video: Discussion of the Deflationary Risks in Japan and Brexit

I joined CNBC Asia’s Amanda Drury and Sri Jegarajah via Skype earlier today as the new week was beginning in Asia. In this three minute clip, we discuss the outlook for the BOJ and sterling. Most of the rise in Japan’s inflation is due to food and energy prices. Despite an aggressive balance-sheet expansion effort, the BOJ has missed its target by a long shot.

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FX Daily, April 22: Surge in Oil Punctures Holiday Markets

Overview: With many centers closed for the extended holiday, the calm in the global capital markets has been punctuated by reports that the US is considering ending its exemption for eight countries to have bought Iranian oil over the past six months.  The waivers were to end on May 2, but previously it was thought that a couple of waivers, like for China and India, would be extended.

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FX Weekly Preview: Six Events to Watch

The divergence thesis that drives our constructive outlook for the dollar received more support last week than we expected. A few hours after investors learned that Japan’s flash PMI remained below the 50 boom/bust level, Europe reported disappointing PMI data as well. And a few hours after that the US reported that retail sales surged in March by the most in a year and a half (1.6%).

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FX Daily, April 19: Holiday Note

Many financial centers are closed today. These include Australia, India, most European markets, and the US. In Asia, equity markets that were open moved higher. The Nikkei, which gapped higher on Monday, rose 0.5% today for a 1.5% gain on the week. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.6%, lifting the weekly increase to 2.6%.

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FX Daily, April 18: EMU Disappointment Lifts the Dollar

Overview: A bout of profit-taking in equities began in the US yesterday and has carried through Asia and Europe today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the first time in five days, while the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is snapping a six-day advance.  The Nikkei gapped higher to start the week and a gap low tomorrow would undermine the technical outlook.

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Cool Video: Trump Ahead in 2020?

Marc Chandler

First, I tried playing down the significance of Goldman’s call. The markets have anticipated this. redictIt.Org has shown the President to be an easy favorite since the start of the year. Charles Payne, the host, dismissed these results because he said they reflect professional gambler. I don’t know if that is true or even relevant (ad hominem?).

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FX Daily, April 16: The Dollar and Stocks Catch a Bid

Amid light news, global equities are moving higher In Asia, the Nikkei rose to a new high since early December, while the Shanghai Composite rose 2.3% and posted its highest close since March 2018. European equities are solid, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 moving higher for the fifth consecutive session.

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FX Daily, April 15: Redemption Monday

The holiday-shortened week is off to a slow, tentative start. The surge of the S&P 500 before the weekend failed to inspire today. Asia markets were mostly firmer, led by Japan, while China, Hong Kong, and Singapore moved lower.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Super Cycle Revisited

In the big picture, we argue that the dollar’s appreciation is part of the third significant dollar rally since the end of Bretton Woods. The first was the Reagan-Volcker dollar rally, spurred by a policy mix of tight monetary and loose fiscal policies.

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FX Daily, April 12: Euro Bid Above $1.13 for the First Time this Month

Overview:  The consolidative week in the capital markets is drawing to a close.  Equity markets are narrowly mixed.  In Asia, most indices outside of the greater China (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) edged higher, leaving the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slightly lower on the week.  The MSCI Emerging Markets Index snapped a ten-day rally yesterday and is little changed so far today. 

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FX Daily, April 11: Market Yawns at Latest Brexit Extension

The S&P 500 closed higher yesterday for the ninth session in the past ten, but the coattails are short and global equities are trading with a heavier bias today. A firm CPI reading in China took a toll local shares with the Shanghai Composite, shedding 1.6%, the most in more than two weeks. European bourses are mostly in the red.

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FX Daily, April 10: Be Careful What You Wish For

There were only a few formal disputes under NAFTA 1.0. It says more about the adjudication process than the underlying issues. It was not binding. The Democrats want stronger enforcement provisions in what the NAFTA 2.0. It is understandable. Still, without opening up the agreement, which had been already agreed to by three heads of state, it is difficult to see how this will happen.

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FX Daily, April 09: Is the USMCA Dead?

The heads of state may have agreed on the modernization of NAFTA, but the necessary legislative approval may not be forthcoming this year. The US legislative process has been complicated by the fact that the Democrats secured a majority in the House of Representatives last year.

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FX Daily, April 8: Brexit, the EU-China, and the Abandonment of the Open Door

(I am in Mexico at the World Trade Center General Assembly, participating on a panel about USMCA–NAFTA2.0–for which approval remains elusive.  It is possible that the US threatens to pull out of NAFTA 1.0 to force action by the US Congress.  Mexico is due to pass legislation this week that may meet demands by the some in the US and Canada for stronger labor protections.

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FX Weekly Preview: Important Steps Away from the Abyss

It seems to be well appreciated among by policymakers and investors that the system is ill-prepared to cope with another financial crisis. It is understandable that so many are concerned that the end of the business cycle could trigger a financial crisis. In practice, it seems like it has worked the other way around. The financial crisis triggered the Great Recession.

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FX Daily, April 03: Optimism Sweeps Through the Capital Markets

Overview: Japan announced the name of the new era that begins May 1 and a new emperor.  The connotation is of beautiful harmony.  And investors have taken the bit and run with it.  Optimism that the US and China near reaching an agreement on trade. China and Europe have reported better than expected PMIs today. 

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FX Daily, April 02: Herding Cats

After surging yesterday, equities are struggling to maintain the momentum that carried that S&P 500 to its best level since last October. Most Asia Pacific equity markets advanced. Japan’s small losses were a notable exception. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has advanced in four of the last five sessions and is little changed, while US shares are trading with a heavier bias.

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April Monthly Currency Outlook

Poor economic data and soft inflation saw several central banks, including the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, take a dovish turn in March. Contrary to expectations that interest rates would rise as the G3 central banks were no longer adding to their balance sheets on a combined basis.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Green Shoots of Spring

Investors have worked themselves into a lather. Equities crashed in Q4 last year amid on corporate earnings and concerns about growth. The Fed’s tightening decision in December was made unanimously. The above-trend growth, the preferred inflation measure was near target, unemployment was the lowest in a generation and real rates were historically low.

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FX Daily, March 28: Brexit Uncertainty Deepens as Parliament is Divided, while Turkey’s Short Squeeze Falters

The lurch lower in global interest rates continue. The US 10-year yield is at new 15-month lows, five basis points through the average effective Fed funds rate. Late yesterday, it appeared that 10-year German Bund yields slipped below similar Japanese government bond yields for the first time since Q4 16, but when the JGB market opened, it the 10-year JGB yield fell a couple more basis points to minus 10, the most negative since August 2016.

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FX Daily, March 27: Global Bond Rally Continues, Greenback Remains Firm

Overview: The US 10-year yield is trading below the Fed funds target. The two-year yield is trading below the lower end of the Fed funds target range. A warning by New Zealand that the next rate move could be a cut sent New Zealand and Australian yields to new record lows. In Japan, the 10-year yield slipped below the overnight unsecured call rate.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg–Sterling and the Euro

I joined Shey Ann and Amanda Lang on the Bloomberg set to talk about sterling and the euro. The media makes it sound like there was a coup in the UK and Parliament has taken control of Brexit. This is an exaggeration. The House of Commons did secure tomorrow to have “indicative votes” on the different alternatives. These votes are not binding on the Prime Minister who as already indicated some alternatives that she will not accept.

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FX Daily, March 26: Semblance of Stability Re-Emerging

Overview:  The sell-off in equities seemed to peak yesterday, and US indices were narrowly mixed. Traders found comfort in that performance, even though the S&P 500 finished a little below 2800, and took the markets in the Asia-Pacific region higher, except in China, where the Shanghai Composite fell 1.5%. 

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Europe and China

The US-China trade talks look like they may very well continue through most of the second quarter, despite how much progress is being claimed.  Meanwhile, the tariffs remain in effect, but the market’s sensitivity to developments has slackened since it was clear the Trump and Xi were not going to meet at the end of this month.

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FX Daily, March 25: Monday Blues: Equities Pare Quarterly Gains

Overview:  Global equities have soured after the US shares dropped the most since very early in the year before the weekend.  Asia’s sell-off was led by the 3% decline in Nikkei, while Malaysia fared among the best, surrendering 1%.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off for a fourth session. It lost 1.2% at the end of last week and gapped lower today but stabilizing after the better than expected German IFO survey.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead

The combination of the dovish hold by the Federal Reserve and the eurozone’s miserable flash Purchasing Managers Index casts a pall over the economic outlook.  Japan’s flash PMI remained stuck at February’s 48.9, while core inflation unexpectedly eased.  Three months after the European Central Bank stopped buying bonds, the German 10-year Bund yield fell below zero for the first time since 2016.

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FOMC: Above Trend Growth Requires Continued Monetary Support

The Federal Reserve sounded more dovish than many expected and this prompted a 5-7 bp drop in US rates, and the dollar fell to new lows for the week against many of the major currencies.  The median Fed forecast now anticipates no hike this year but one next year.  The Fed will also taper the roll-off of its balance sheet and completing it by the end of September.

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FX Daily, March 20: Brexit Drama Continues but Fed Moves to Center Stage

Overview: US stocks were not able to hold onto early gains yesterday, and this has helped set the stage for today’s heavier bias. Asia Pacific markets were narrowly mixed, with Japan and Korea eking out small gains while China and Taiwan slipped a little. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is threatening to snap a five-day advance as materials, healthcare, and energy leads the profit-taking while communication and real estate are proving a bit more resilient.

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FX Daily, March 19: Third Vote on Withdrawal Bill Scuppered Until after EU Summit

Overview:  The capital markets remain subdued.  Many Asian equity markets eased after a strong two-day advance.  European equities are slightly firmer.  The S&P 500 closed at new five-month highs yesterday.  Benchmark 10-year yields are mostly a little softer.  Australian 10-year bond yield fell five basis points, and the discount to the US widened to a new high since the early 1980s. 

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Highlights in the Week Ahead

Three events next week will shape the investment climate. The Federal Reserve meets and will update its forecasts and guidance. The British House of Commons may vote for a third time on the Withdrawal Bill before Prime Minister May heads of the EU Summit to ask for an extension of the UK leaving the EU. The eurozone sees the flash March PMI, with great hope that the green shoots of spring will be evident.

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There at the Beginning

Sometimes it is difficult to gain perspective. That is why it may be difficult to see the forest for the trees. It is as we spend most of our time climbing a mountain: One handhold and foothold at a time. Immediacy and urgency limit our peripheral and forward visions.

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FX Daily, March 14: Another UK Vote, but No Closure

Overview:  The Brexit drama continues to play out, and the Withdrawal Bill that has been twice defeated is ironically not dead yet. Today’s vote, in fact, is predicated on another “meaningful vote” before seeking an extension.  Sterling remains firm near yesterday’s highs, which were the best levels since last June.

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FX Daily, March 13: Still Waiting for Brexit Climax

The Brexit drama continues to command attention. A vote on leaving without an agreement will be held today, and if that fails, there will be a vote tomorrow on an extension. Meanwhile, the first increase in headline US CPI in four months failed to impress as the year-over-year pace fell to 18-month lows.

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FX Daily, March 12: Wave of Optimism Sweeps through the Capital Markets

Last minutes statements meant to clarify what many MPs find to be the most odious part of the Withdrawal Bill, the backstop for the Irish border is goosed global equity markets even though it does not seem as if the Withdrawal Bill has changed one iota. And after the big rally in US shares yesterday, there might have been follow-through buying in any case today. Asian markets did not disappoint.

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FX Daily, March 11: Greenback Starts New Week Decidedly Mixed, with Brexit Anxiety Weighing on Sterling

Overview:  Asian shares recovered from opening losses to finish mostly higher, with the Shanghai Composite up nearly 2% and India tacking on 1% after the election was called, starting April 11.  European markets, led by energy, communication, and materials sectors, is up about 0.5% through midday. The S&P 500, which closed lower every day last week is looking a little firmer. 

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FX Daily, March 07: EMU Looks to ECB

The ECB meeting is today’s highlight. A dovish signal is expected. The euro remains pinned near its lows ahead it. The global equity market rally in January and February is faltering this week. Asian equities were mixed, but the Nikkei eased for the third consecutive session.

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Thoughts about the ECB and Euro

draghi

Mario Draghi’s term at the helm of the ECB is winding down. He will step down in October. It has not been an easy job. The light at the end of the tunnel in 2017 turned out to be another train in 2018. The eurozone enjoyed 0.7% quarterly growth every quarter in 2017. The ECB was able to outline an exit from its asset purchases. The debate began over sequencing and when the first rate hike could be delivered.

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CNBC Clip: February 24 Brexit

We tried a CNBC hook-up in Asia via Skype on February 25.  I did not think there would be a clip, but I stumbled on it looking for something else.  Click here for the roughly 2.5-minute interview done from my apartment in NYC.  The discussion is on Brexit and sterling. 

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead

After a dismal end of 2018, investors are faring better through the first two- thirds of the Q1 19. Equity markets have recouped a good part of the late-2018 decline. Bond yields, however, have not returned to where they previously were. The tightening of financial conditions, which was both cause and effect of heightened anxiety among investors, and spooked some central bank have eased considerably.

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FX Daily, February 22: Markets Ending Week with A Whimper

Overview:  The global capital markets are winding down what appears to be an inconclusive week quietly and on a mixed note.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is poised to snap a four-day advance but held on to a nearly 2% gain for the week.  European bourses are mostly higher, and although the weekly advance of around 0.5% may not be that impressive, Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has only fallen in one of the first eight weeks of the year for a 9.5% year-to-date gain.  Benchmark yields are mostly one-two basis points lower, with Australia and Italy the notable exceptions.  The US dollar is confined to its well-worn ranges and is narrowly mixed.  The Australian dollar has pared yesterday’s losses amid efforts by officials to play down the disruption of coal exports to China.  Sterling

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Cool Video: Fox Business–Stocks and the US Consumer

Marc Chandler Fox Business TV

I joined Varney and Company on Fox Business TV earlier today. Varney had liked by bullish call on stocks from the end of last year, but seemed dismayed that I have turned cautious. I suggested that the S&P are approaching a key area a little above 2800 that has capped in Q4 18.

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FX Daily, February 20: US-China Trade and Brexit Dominate Ahead of FOMC Minutes

Overview:  The US dollar is narrowly mixed against the major currencies, but the strongest currency today is the Chinese yuan, following reports that US wants China to keep the yuan stable and not offset US tariffs with currency depreciation.  The second monthly decline in Japanese exports weighted on the yen.  In the UK, another Labour MP left, while there is speculation that a few Conservatives may defect today. 

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FX Daily, February 19: Investors Need Fresh Incentives

Overview: Activity in the global capital markets is subdued as investors await fresh developments. New wording for the Irish backstop apparently is being drafted. US-China trade talks resume. No decision has been made on US auto tariffs, but European and Japanese officials seem to be playing down the threat. 

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FX Daily, February 18: Dollar Drifts Lower

Overview:  In quiet turnover, the US dollar slipped lower against most of the major currencies to start the new week.  The news stream is light and the US markets are closed today.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up five of the past six weeks and extended its gains today.  Nearly all the equity markets in the region rose but India.

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FX Weekly Preview: Drivers, While Marking Time

The main issues for investors have not changed. There are three dominant ones: Trade, growth, and Brexit. Unfortunately, there won’t be any closure in the week ahead, and that may make short-term participants reluctant to turn more aggressive.

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FX Daily, February 15: Equities Stall While Greenback Remains Firm

Overview:  The S&P 500 snapped a four-day advance yesterday, and equities in the Asia Pacific followed suit.  All the markets in the region were lower but in Australia.  MSCI’s regional benchmark stalled after reached a four-month high in the middle of the week.  European markets were mostly higher in the morning session after slipping yesterday. 

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Socialism, Keynesianism, and Fascism

The American political discourse has changed since the 2018 midterm election. Enthusiasm and passion were to be found on the left-wing of the Democratic Party. A new sense of hope and mission replaced the defeatism and cynicism seen in 2016. Some identified with democratic socialism, but in the political rhetoric the broad brush of “socialism” has been used to paint the entire party

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FX Daily, February 13: QT is not the Opposite of QE

silence

The Federal Reserve has long been clear on the sequence of events as it innovated the playbook during the Great Financial Crisis. There would be a considerable period between when the Fed would finish its credit easing operations that involved purchasing Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and its first-rate hike.

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FX Daily, February 12: Dollar Buying Pressure Subsides

The Dollar Index’s eight-day advance is in jeopardy. Although the greenback recorded new highs against some major currencies, the momentum appears to be stalling. The news stream is constructive as a compromise seems to have been reached to avoid another US government shutdown, and there is some optimism that the US and China will strike a deal even if not by March 1.

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FX Weekly Preview: Little Resolution in the Week Ahead

According to legend, the person who unraveled the Gordian Knot would rule the world. No one succeeded until Alexandar the Great took his mighty sword and sliced the knot in half. A young boy saw him afterward, crying on the steps of the Temple of Apollo. “Why are you crying?” the boy asked, “you just conquered the world. “Yes'” Alexander wept, ” now there is nothing else for me to do.”

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Cool Video: Noise or Signal?

From the second half of last week through the first half of this week, the S&P 500 rallied.  It surpassed our target of 2700 and made it to almost 2740, retracing more nearly 2/3 of the decline from the record high set last September. It stalled ahead of the 200-day moving average, which had previously offered support declines. 

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FX Daily, February 07: Dollar’s Gains Extended

The five-day advance of the S&P 500 stalled yesterday and global equities are mixed today. Most Asian centers remain closed, Japan and some small markets were lower, while Taiwan, Australia, and India moved higher. The seven-day rally in Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is under threat today.

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FX Daily, February 06: Dollar Gains by Default

Overview: The rally in equities is threatening to pause today, even though the few markets open in Asia edged higher.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600, which has advanced in eight of the past ten sessions and six in a row, is seeing some profit-taking pressures.  US shares are also trading heavier in Europe.  The S&P 500 has a five-day rally in tow but looks poised for some backing and filling action. 

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FX Daily, February 05: Greenback Remains Firm

Overview: The US dollar is little firmer against most of the major currencies.  Despite some disappointing data (retail sales, trade, PMI), the Australian dollar has recovered from initial losses below $0.7200 on the back of the central bank’s reluctance to adopt an easing bias.  A small upward revision in the eurozone’s flash service and composite PMIs help steady the euro after it neared $1.14.

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FX Daily, February 04: Subdued Start to Quiet Week

Overview: The Lunar New Year celebration made for a quiet Asian session while a light diary in Europe saw subdued turnover. Equity markets are narrowly mixed. Among the three large markets open in Asia Pacific, Australia and Japanese equities rose while India slipped. European bourses are little changed, putting the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 four-day advance at risk.

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Short Note on Jobs Report

The January employment report was mixed.  It is unlikely to have a material impact on expectations for Fed policy.  However, it does suggest the downside risks may not materialize. The US economy grew 304k jobs, well above expectation.  It is marred by a 70k net downward revision of the past two months, and notably a 90k cut in December’s estimate, which brings it to 222k (from 312k). 

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Two Brinkmanship Games and a Possible Third

Some historians give Adlai Stevenson credit for inventing the word “brinkmanship” as part of his criticism of US foreign policy under Dulles, who said that “if you are scared of going to the brink, you lost.” But surely we can agree that the tactic is as old as civilization. The idea is you take the issue to the very edge, risking a significant confrontation, to force a deal, is the way it may seem.

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FX Daily, February 01: Did the Fed Steal the Jobs Data Thunder?

Overview:  Weak manufacturing PMI readings are curbing risk appetites ahead of the US jobs report.  Growth concerns are top and center after dovish Fed and the Bundesbank’s Weidmann warning that Germany may undershoot 1.5% growth this year, though the ink is barely dry on the central bank’s forecast for 1.6% growth this year and next.

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FX Daily, January 31: Did Powell Toss in the Towel or was it a Tactical Retreat?

Overview: The Fed’s dovish tone and earnings news are the main drivers of the capital markets today, helping lift stocks, bonds, and currencies.  Large equity markets in Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, China’s CSI 300, India, and Indonesia, all rose more than 1%, putting the MSCI Asia Pacific Index in a good position to extend its rally for a fourth consecutive week. 

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FX Daily, January 30: She Can’t Accept No

Overview: The UK Prime Minister has two weeks to strike a new deal with the EC over the Irish backstop or return to Parliament in mid-February to consider alternatives, six weeks before Brexit. Sterling has recovered about half of yesterday’s drop. The Australian dollar jump back to $0.7200 was aided by the nearly 10% jump in iron ore price after Vale announced a sharp reduction in output.

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FX Daily, January 29: Fragile Tone Persists

The positive impulse in the capital markets seen last week has faded. The gap higher opening ahead of the weekend by the S&P 500 was follow by a gap lower opening yesterday. The US threatened crackdown on Huawei disrupted equities in that sector, with as many as two dozen companies on the Shenzhen exchange that were limit down (10%).

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Clip US Growth in Relative Terms

Marc Chandler

With a jam-packed week for investors, and several high profile earnings reports, first look at Q4 GDP, the resumption of US-China trade talks, the FOMC meeting, and US jobs, it was a good time to be invited on the set of Bloomberg TV, with David Westin and Lisa Abramowicz. The clip here is with Matt Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus.

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FX Daily, January 28: Getting Ducks Lined Up for Later in the Week

Overview: The global capital markets are consolidating ahead of this week’s big events, which include the FOMC meeting, US jobs, an important Brexit vote in the UK parliament and the first look at Q4 EMU and US GDP. The US dollar is narrowly mixed. Equities are mostly lower. European benchmark 10-year yields have edged up, though the US 10-year yield is struggling to hold above 2.75%.

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FX Weekly Preview: Divergence Reinvigorated

Last week the focus was on Europe. Prospects of a delay in Brexit helped extend sterling’s gains to 11-week highs. Disappointing flash PMI for the eurozone and a dovish Draghi pushed the euro below $1.13 for the first time since mid-December.

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Summary of Fox Biz Talk

I had a brief talk on the set with of Fox Business with Varney & Co today, but there is no video available. We began by talking about stocks. For several weeks, I have been suggesting to viewers that the S&P 500 could recover to 2700. Last Friday, the S&P 500 gapped higher and reached 2675. I did not like the gap and thought it would be quickly filled.

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ECB Preview: Worries Increase but Not Quite Ready to Act

Draghi Conductor

The ECB meets Thursday, and it may be best conceived as a transition meeting. It will lay the rhetorical groundwork for two things: a likely downgrade to the staff’s growth forecasts and moving toward a new round of long-term loans (targeted long-term refinance operations).

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FX Daily, January 21: Chinese Data and UK Brexit Start New Week

Overview: Mixed data from China and the anticipation of Prime Minister May’s “Plan B” are the main talking points, while US stock and bond markets are closed today.  Asia Pacific equities were higher, while European markets have failed to follow suit.  Benchmark 10-year bond yields are mostly softer, with the on-the-run Japanese Government Bond yield dipping back into negative territory.

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FX Weekly Preview: Things to Watch in the Week Ahead

“The sky is falling. The sky is falling,” they cried, as equities plunged in December. It is signaling a recession, we were told. Instead, global equities have begun the year with a strong advance. The S&P 500 gapped higher ahead of the weekend, extending this year’s rally to about 14%.

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FX Daily, January 18: Markets Finishing Week on Positive Note

Sentiment has improved since the volatility last month spooked investors and, perhaps, some policymakers. Global equities are rallying. The Shanghai Composite and the Nikkei are at their best levels in almost a month, while the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is at its best level since early December, gapping above a downtrend in place since late last September.

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The Death of a Business Cycle

How do business cycles end? In the US, conventional wisdom is that they are murdered by the Federal Reserve. It is too slow to raise rates and then goes too quickly. This view is espoused by numerous well-respected economists and policymakers. President Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve is anchored by such views.

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FX Daily, January 16: Markets are Eerily Calm

Overview: There is an eerie calm over in the capital market through the European morning today despite some ostensibly worrisome developments.  While many, like ourselves, expect UK Prime Minister May to survive a vote of confidence, it hardly clarifies the outlook. 

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Cool Video: Brexit–Now What?

Marc Chandler CNBC

I joined Wilf Frost, and Sara Eisen on the CNBC set at the NYSE shortly after the House of Commons delivered an unprecedented defeat to UK Prime Minister May. Catherine Mann (Citi) and Christopher Smart (Barings). The guests generally agreed that a delay in Brexit was likely.

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FX Daily, January 14: Dismal Chinese Trade Data Sets Tone

Overview:  China’s exports and imports were weaker than expected, though the trade surplus swelled to its widest in a couple of years. The implications have undermined equities and weighed on risk appetites more broadly. Nearly all the Asia-Pacific markets were lower except Japan and the Dow Jones Stoxx 60o in Europe is off 0.5% near midday to snap a four-day advance.

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FX Weekly Preview: Europe Moves to the Center Ring

In recent weeks, the macro story focused on the shifting outlook for Fed policy and the Sino-American trade relationship. There is unlikely to be further progress on either issue in the week ahead. The Fed won’t raise interest rates until toward the middle of the year at the earliest.

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Two Takeaways from ECB Record

The record of the ECB’s December meeting was released, and there are two takeaways. The first is that officials may have been more concerned with the deteriorating situation than they let on at the time. Apparently, paring near-term growth forecasts was seen as a sufficient signal that risks were increasing. This allowed Draghi to maintain the “broadly balanced” risk assessment.

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FX Daily, January 09: Equities Continue Recovery, Greenback Remains Heavy

Overview:  Global equities have extended the New Year rally. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced for the fifth consecutive session and the 10th in the past 11.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 in Europe is rising for the second consecutive session, something it has managed to do only one other time in the past month.  The S&P 500 is off to one of its best starts in years. 

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Keep Fitch’s Warning in Perspective

meh

The global head of Fitch’s sovereign ratings warned that the continued US government shutdown could jeopardize the AAA-status the rating agency grants America. It spurred little market reaction (and for good reason).

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FX Daily, January 8: Dollar Steadies, but Weakly for Turn-Around Tuesday

Overview: The global capital markets remain calm after the surge in volatility seen over the last couple of weeks. Asian equities were mixed, with the Japanese, Australia and Indian shares gaining, but other large regional markets, like China, South Korea, and Taiwan fell. European equities are firmer. Benchmark bond have edged higher. 

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FX Daily, January 07: Recovery Falters in Europe

Overview:  The combination of robust US jobs and wage growth, more comforting words from Powell and a strong rally US stocks before the weekend helped lift Asian markets today and underpinned risk-taking appetites.  However, renewed protests in France (and Hungary) coupled with weak German factory orders have prevented European bourses from fully participating in the equity recovery. 

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FX Weekly Preview: For the Millionth Time, Markets Exaggerate

The S&P 500 fell more than 12% in a few weeks. The 10-year Treasury yield fell nearly 40 bp. There were cries that the sky was falling. A recession is imminent, we are warned by prognosticators. The Fed went ahead and raised interest rates on March 21, 2018, and the S&P 500 proceeded to gap lower the next day and continued to sell-off the following day. Investors did not like the unanimous decision.

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Apple, China, Yen, and US Jobs: Welcome to 2019

The New Year is off to an auspicious start.  The Japanese yen, the third most actively traded currency behind the dollar and euro, got caught in a vortex of a retail short squeeze, algos, and who knows what else.  The US dollar plunged from around JPY109 to a slightly below JPY105 in a few minutes a little more than an hour after US markets closed yesterday.  

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A Word on Q3 COFER-It Might not be What You Think

Foreign Exchange Reserves by Currency, Q1 2016 - Q3 2018

The IMF offers the most authoritative report on central bank reserves on a quarterly basis with a quarter lag.  The report, the Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER), covering Q318 has been released.  It may be have been overlooked during the holidays, but if and when the pundits see it, the leading takeaway is that the dollar’s share of global reserves fell below 62% for the first time five years.

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Technical Musings about the Euro and Dollar Anchored by Macro

Tunafish

The $1.1475-$1.1550 is an important area for the euro.  Many bulls see a rounded bottom being carved and a break above it would be embraced as a confirmation. The lower-end corresponds to the 100-day moving average. Such a bottom pattern, if confirmed, would project toward $1.1800 the high in H2 18. On the downside, the low from H2 18 was near $1.1200.  This is just above a key (61.8%) retracement of the January 2017-February 2018 rally. 

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Week Winding Down on Firm Note, but Wild Ride may Not Be Over

The biggest reversal in the S&P 500 since 2010, allowing it to string the biggest two-day rally in three years helped lift Asian and European shares today. All the Asia-Pacific equity markets advanced today but Japan, where the strength of the yen saw the Nikkei and Topix buck the move. European equities.

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Some Thoughts on What is Happening

Elephant

People do not just disagree on what should and will happen, but they disagree on what has happened. As William Faulkner instructed: “The past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. This is clear in the narratives about the sharp drop in equity markets.

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Forex Forensics: The Case of the Yen

Over the past five sessions, the yen is the strongest of the major currencies, appreciating about 1.7% against the US dollar, eclipsing the Swedish krona, which rallied strongly today after the Riksbank’s surprise rate hike.  Given the sell-off in equities and the decline in markets, the yen’s strength is not surprising. 

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FX Daily, December 21: Markets Stumble into the Weekend

Overview: There is little reprieve from the equity meltdown ahead of the weekend. Major markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, China, India, and Australia pushed lower. The MSCI index of the region is near 15-month lows. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.6% near midday in London to make new two-year lows. US shares are also trading lower in Europe.

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FX Daily, December 18: Stock Rout Deepens, Casts Shadow over Holiday Spirit

Overview: The 2% slide in the S&P 500 to new lows for the year yesterday hit Asian and European equities today. Bond yields are lower, and the dollar is softer against most major currencies. The dramatic equity losses and some disappointing data sparked doubts about the ability of the Fed to raise rates tomorrow at the conclusion of its last meeting of the year.

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FX Weekly Preview: FOMC Dominates Week Ahead Calendar

The last FOMC meeting of 2018 is at hand. After hiking rates three times in 2017, the Fed signaled that four hikes were likely this year and with a widely expected move on December 20, it would have fully delivered, though many steps along the way, skeptical investors had to be led by the nose, as it were, to minimize the element of surprise.

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FX Daily, December 14: Week Closing on a Disappointing Note

Overview:  A string of disappointing economic is spurring risk-off sentiment today.  Global shares prices are being punished and core bonds are being snapped up.  The US dollar is trading higher against most major and emerging market currencies.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was flat on the week coming into today’s session.

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FX Daily, December 13: May Survives but its Draghi’s Day

Overview: There is a sense of optimism among investors today that may be tested as the session progresses. News that China may reconsider its “Made in China 2025” initiative as an apparent concession to the US while reports suggest it has bought 1.5-2.0 mln tons of soy is easing trade tension fears. 

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FX Daily, December 11: Fragile Calm Threatens to Break Out

Indications that US and Chinese trade talks are proceeding, coupled with a dramatic reversal in the S&P 500 yesterday is helping stabilize the capital markets today. Asian equities were mixed, but the Greater China (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan markets) alongside India and Australia posted modest gains.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Economic Discussion

Marc Chandler and Chris Wolfe on set of Bloomberg's Daybreak

I joined Chris Wolfe from First Republic Wealth Management on the set of Bloomberg’s Daybreak to discuss market developments and the outlook for the US economy. We generally agreed that while the economy is slowing it is doing so from unsustainably strong levels.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead: Don’t Skip Steps on Escalation Ladders

The drop in US yields and disappointing economic data weighed on sentiment and the dollar last week. Even weakness in equities, which had seemed to lend the greenback support, failed to do so at the end of last week. With the real Fed funds rate (adjusted for inflation) below zero, employment at 50-year lows, and some fiscal stimulus still in the pipeline, the doom and gloom cant of a recession next year seems misplaced.

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FX Daily, December 06: New Spanner in US-China Relations Weighs on Risk Appetites

Overview: The global capital markets were fragile amid trade uncertainty and economic slowdown fears. News that Canada arrested the CFO of Huawei on behalf of the US, ostensibly for violating the embargo against Iran triggered an almost immediate risk-off wave that has extended the equity markets losses, sending core bond yields lower, with the US 10-year slipping below 2.9%, and underpinning the dollar against most currencies, with the notable exception of the Japanese yen and Swiss franc.

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The Dollar and Its Rivals

I was in graduate school, studying American foreign policy when I stumbled on Riccardo Parboni’s “The Dollar and Its Rivals.” This thin volume showed how the foreign exchange market was the arena in which capitalist rivalries were expressed. More than any single book, it set me on a more than 30-year path.

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Great Graphic: The Dollar Index Climbs a Wall of Worry

To be sure, the Dollar Index is not the dollar. It is not even a trade-weighted measure of the dollar. Two of America’s largest trading partners, China and Mexico, are not represented. It is heavily weighted to the euro and currencies that move in its orbit, like the Swiss franc Swedish krona, and arguably the British pound.

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FX Daily, December 03: G20 Fan Animal Spirits

The US and China kept their trade guns cocked at each other but offered the last opportunity for a negotiated settlement before escalation. What is billed as a 90-day freeze on tariff increases is really only 60 days beyond January 1 when Trump had threatened to increase the 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods to 25%.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dramatic Week Ends with Whimper?

There is an eerie calm in the capital markets today as the G20 meeting gets underway. There is much uncertainty, and the event calendar is chock full next week, with the Brexit debate getting underway in the UK Parliament, the CDU picks a new leader to replace Merkel, possible partial US government closure, Powell’s testimony before Congress, OPEC+ meeting, and US employment data.

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Cool Video: Santa Claus Rally and Trade

Marc Chandler in Fox Business

I was on Fox Business today. Stuart Varney introduced me by asking me about my forecast for a Santa Claus rally–a year-end recovery in equities. From a technical perspective, I liked the fact that the S&P 500 successfully retested last month’s lows last week. I liked that the price action made last Friday’s price action into an island bottom, with a gap lower opening followed by Monday’s gap higher opening.

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Great Graphic: Weekly Jobless Claims and the S&P 500

S&P and Weekly Jobless Claims

The softer than expected PCE deflator today plays into the dovish market mood. There may be little that can resist it until next Friday’s employment data, which should be another robust report with hourly earnings holding above 3% year-over-year.  Last November, average hourly earnings rose by 0.3%. As this drops out of the year-over-year comparison, even a healthy bounce back from the 0.2% drop skewed by the hurricane will be needed just to hold the rate at 3.1%.

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FX Daily, November 29: Reluctant to Extend Dollar Losses

Overview: The biggest US equity advance since Q1 has helped lift global markets today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fourth session, and nearly all the bourses in the region rallied with the notable exception of China and Hong Kong. Almost all the sectors in Europe are rallying but energy and real estate. US oil inventories rose three times more than expected and Putin expressed little support for fresh output cuts.

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FX Daily, November 28: Powell Awaited

Overview:  Global capital markets are relatively calm as investors gird for drama.  The Bank of England reports its assessment of the impact of Brexit and the stress tests a little before Fed Chair Powell speaks at midday in NY.  The G20 meeting begins Friday, and several bilateral meetings are taking the spotlight from the larger gathering. 

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FX Daily, November 27: Market Shrugs Off Latest US Tariff Provocation

The global capital markets have taken the US latest tariff threats in stride.  Most of the Asian equity markets advanced, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India, and Australia. China and Hong Kong were exceptions with marginal losses. European markets are trying to extend their recovery for a third session, but the industry performance is mixed with energy and materials lower, and utilities, consumer staples, and information technology/communication advancing. 

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Near-term Outlook

There are three key scheduled events between now and the end of the year.  In chronological order, this weekend G20 meeting is first.  It will shape expectations for trade tensions between the US and China, with extensive secondary impact. Saudi Arabia and Russia’s meeting may help shape expectations for the price of oil, which has collapsed here in Q4 18.

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FX Weekly Preview: Powell and Draghi, Xi and Trump

The investment climate will be shaped by three events next week.  ECB President Draghi’s testimony before the European Parliament to kick-off the week.  Fed Chairman Powell speaks to the NY Economic Club in the middle of the week.  Presidents Trump and Xi are to meet at the G20 meeting to end the week in hopes of dialing back the escalating trade conflict.  Also at the G20 summit, the NAFTA2.0 is expected to be signed, and the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico may be modified (turned into quotas?) shortly.

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FX Daily, November 23: Friday

The US dollar is firmer against most of the major currencies. Japanese and Indian markets were closed for holidays and a weaker than expected flash EMU PMI helped keep the euro pinned near this week’s lows. Although the EU seemed to thrown UK’s embattled May a lifeline with some compromise wording in a draft declaration, the challenge remains the same–Parliament’s approval.

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Cool Video: CNBC Squawk Box

I was part of the “Trading Block” on CNBC earlier today. The sharp fall in stocks and oil would have led many, like Joe, to anticipate dollar weakness. Instead, the dollar rallied. Perhaps, I suggested, the dollar was acting like a safe haven. Bill yields are high enough to make cash a reasonable alternative to park one’s savings.

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FX Daily, November 21: A Semblance of Stability Returns

Yesterday’s frenzy has burnt itself out for the moment. Equities began recovering in Asia after early losses. China, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand closed higher and European markets are recouping some of yesterday’s decline. The Dow Jones Stoxx is trying to snap a five-day decline and is up a little more than 0.5% near midday.

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FX Daily, November 20: Equity Slide Continues

Yesterday’s 3% drop in the NASDAQ is setting the tone for today. The US stock market advance had been led by a narrow group of equities, and those have come under strong pressure amid slower consumer demand and stricter export control. Asian equities were a sea of red today. Chinese markets led the sell-off with more than a 2% drop. In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is for a fifth session. 

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Cheat Sheet

biking

The market always has taken the Fed’s forecast for three rate hikes next year with a large dose of skepticism. The fed funds futures strip implies growing expectations that the Fed pauses after a hike in December and Q1 19. It is still unclear the direction of fiscal policy next year. It may be difficult for the Democrats to oppose making middle-class tax cuts permanent and an infrastructure initiative cannot be ruled out.

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FX Weekly Preview: Unfinished Business

Often, and apparently wrongly attributed to Mark Twain is the observation that it is not what we know that gets into trouble, but “what we know that just ain’t so.” Now though, investors suffer from a different problem. Several processes are in motion, and there is little confidence in their outcomes. Among these are Brexit, US-China trade, the trajectory of Fed policy, and the EC’s efforts to enforce the agreed-upon budget rules.

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FX Daily, November 16: Turning Brexit into a Dog’s Breakfast

Overview: It is the height of irony or tragedy that what was offered as a non-binding referendum on UK’s membership in the European Union to bring the country, or at least the Tory Party, together is the most destabilizing event since the UK unceremoniously quit the European Exchange Rate Mechanism more than a quarter of a century ago. 

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FX Daily, November 15: UK Political Drama Roils Sterling

Overview: The resignation of the UK’s Brexit negotiator after Prime Minister May had secured support from a majority of the cabinet sent sterling sharply lower.  Raab’s resignation underscores the difficulty the Brexit agreement faces in the UK Parliament.  Sterling was hammered nearly 2.5 cents on the news and trade below $1.28.

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FX Daily, November 14: Dollar Comes Back After Yesterday’s Profit-Taking

Overview:  Investors are on pins and needles today.  Oil prices are trying to stabilize after WTI’s outsized 7% fall yesterday, its largest in three years.  Global equities are heavier, dragged down by energy, but also larger than expected Q3 contractions in Japan and Germany, and a mixed bag of Chinese data that showed possible stabilization of the industrial sector though weaker consumption. 

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Cool Video: Euro Pressured Lower

As a long-term dollar bull, I was happy to accept Bloomberg TV’s invite to come to the set on the day that the Dollar Index made new highs for the year and the euro punched through the $1.1300 support that has held since mid-August.  

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FX Daily, November 13: Weak Turn-Around Tuesday

Overview:  The US dollar has a heavier bias against most of the major and emerging markets currencies, but the pullback is shallow, and the greenback’s underlying strength is still evident.  Asian equities were mixed.  Concern that Apple may be reducing orders weighed on suppliers, but news that China and US trade talks are resuming boosted sentiment, allowing Chinese stocks to recover helped lift the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

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Cool Video: Fox Biz TV Broad Economic Discussion

I joined Charles Payne on Fox Business TV for a broad economic discussion today.  Payne, like many, are concerned that the Fed continues to tighten and worries this is going to end the business cycle.  He also argued that the strong dollar was a significant threat of US multinational earnings.

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FX Daily, November 12: Sterling’s Losses Lead Dollar Rally

Overview: The US dollar is enjoying broad gains against most major and emerging market currencies. Sterling, dragged down by Brexit concerns, is leading the way. With today’s losses, sterling has shed nearly 3.7 cents over the last four sessions. The euro, for its part, is at a new 17-month low (~$1.1250). 

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FX Weekly Preview: DOTS in the Week Ahead: Divergence, Oil, Trade and Stocks

The Federal Reserve’s confidence in the economy and its need to continue to gradually increase interest rates stands in sharp contrast to most of the other major central banks. The European Central Bank will finish its asset purchases at the end of the year, but it is in no position to begin to normalize interest rates. Indeed, the risk is that it may feel compelled to off another Targeted Long-Term Repo, which would, in effect, allow the borrowers to extend the maturities of existing funds.

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Fed Sticks To Script, Enjoys the Sweet Spot

The Federal Reserve kept policy on hold, and its sparse statement gave little clue as to what it makes of the pressures in the money markets or the weakness in the housing market.  The effective Fed funds rate is bumping against the cap provided by the interest rate on reserves.  Some repo rates, like SOFR (the intended replacement for LIBOR), have on occasion poked above what should be the ceiling.

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FX Daily, November 09: Greenback Stabilizes at Higher Levels

The US dollar’s gains scored in the wake of the Fed’s signal that will continue on course to gradually hike rates have been extended. Most emerging market currencies are lower as well.  Equity markets are heavy.  Bond yields in Europe and US are a little lower, with the exception of Italian bonds. 

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FX Daily, November 07: Equities and Bonds Jump While the Dollar Slumps

The dollar has fallen against nearly every currency. It had been moving lower at the start of the week, but what seems like a correction broadened and deepened following the US midterm election. The outcome was largely in line with expectations for the Republicans to hold the Senate and the Democrats to take a majority of the House for the first time since 2010.

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Euro and Yen Outlook

Broadly speaking, the risk is that the dollar’s cyclical advance is not complete. The drivers will likely remain in place through at least the middle of next year. Additional gradual interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and a favorable policy mix underpin the dollar.

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FX Daily, November 6: US Goes to the Polls

Overview: The US dollar is narrowly mixed against the major currencies today, largely consolidating its recent losses. Equities are mixed.  In Asia, Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong equities gained around 1%, while most other bourses were softer.  In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is little changed in late morning turnover.

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Talking Turkey

Turkey’s economic challenges arise from the imbalances created during the economic boom that saw poverty halved between 2002 and 2011, extensive urbanization, and integration in the world economy through trade and capital flows. The dramatic economic changes saw the rise of Erdogan, who was re-elected as President for a second term in June. His party (AKP) is joined by the Nationalists (MHP).

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FX Weekly Preview: Stocks, Trade, and the Fed in the Week Ahead

Last month’s downdraft in equities spooked investors. The fear that is often expressed is that the end of the business cycle may coincide with the end of a credit cycle and a return to 2008-2009 crisis. It seems like an increasing number of economists agree with the sentiment expressed by President Trump that the Fed is too aggressive.

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Cheat Sheet

Jobs data ahead of the weekend should recover after a storm depressed the September jobs growth. The base effect will allow earnings to show a strong year-over-year gain. The FOMC meets next week. A 25 bp rate hike in December remains the most likely scenario despite the heightened volatility in the stock market.

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FX Daily, October 31: No Fright on This Halloween

After sliding hard this month, equities continue to stabilize into month-end. All of the equity markets in Asia-Pacific rallied with the help of a solid close in the US. European bourses are higher too as the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 tries to extend the recovery for a third consecutive session, led by energy, materials, and information technology.

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FX Daily, October 30: Another Attempt to Put a Bottom in Stocks

Overview: First, reports suggested that if China refused to make any trade concessions, the Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G20 meeting next month would not take the issue up.  Fair enough.  Then, new reports indicated that the White was prepared to take additional trade measures if there was no agreement between Trump and Xi. 

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FX Daily, October 29: Market Awaits US Leadership

The Dollar index is trading within last Friday’s trading ranges. The year’s high, set on August 15, was just shy of 97.00. The euro continues to straddle the $1.14 level but is spending more time in Europe below there. There is a 1.5 bln euro option expiring today at $1.1350 and an almost 600 mln euro option at $1.1400 that will be cut.

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FX Weekly Preview: Thumbnail Sketch of Six Things to Monitor This Week

Global equities have sold off hard. The magnitude of the recent loss is similar to what happened earlier this year. The MSCI World Index of developed countries fell 10.5% in January-February carnage and are now off about 11% this month. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has matched the 11% loss back at the start of the year, but never truly recovering in between.

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FX Daily, October 25: ECB Overshadowed by Equity Market Drama

The Dollar Index broke above 96.00 yesterday and is consolidating today. Provided the 96.00 area holds, the next target is the year’s high near 97.00. The euro has been confined to a little more than a quarter of a cent. Players seem reluctant to sell it below $1.14 and note there is a 570 mln euro option at $1.1420 that expires today.

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FX Daily, October 24: Disappointing Flash PMI Weighs on Euro

The US dollar is firmer against the major currencies and most emerging market currencies.  While the seemingly fragile equity markets are still the center of investors’ attention, the weakness of the eurozone flash PMI is disconcerting and has sent the euro closer to $1.14.  China’s officials continue to unveil initiatives to minimize the disruption of the equity and debt markets while seemingly adding to moral hazard risks. 

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Europe Challenged

Europe is in an untenable position. It is being challenged on many fronts. A weaker euro need not result, but it is the path of least resistance. The economy has lost its momentum. What was first written off as a soft patch, now looks a bit more serious.

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FX Daily, October 23: Stock Slump Pushes Yields Lower and Buoys Yen

There is one main story today, and that is the resumption of the slide in equities. It is having a ripple effect through the capital markets. Bond yields are tumbling. Gold is firm. The dollar is narrowly mixed, though the yen stands out with almost a 0.5% gain. Most of the large equity markets in Asia, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan were off mostly 2%-3%.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Discussion of Late US Cycle

An assessment of the US economy is an important input into the expectations of the dollar’s behavior in the foreign exchange market. As a currency strategist, my views of the US economy are often subsumed in discussions or talked about indirectly by talking about Fed policy.  However, in this clip with Alix Steel and David Westin, I have an opportunity to sketch outlook for the US economy.

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FX Daily, October 22: Collective Sigh of Relief?

After a slow start in Asia, the US dollar has turned better bid. The euro recovered from $1.1430 before the weekend to $1.1550 today, where an option for almost 525 mln euros expires today. There is another option (1.6 bln euros) at $1.1500 that also expires today.

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FX Weekly Preview: What Can Bite You This Week?

Several major central banks will meet next week, including the European Central Bank, but it is only the Bank of Canada that is expected to hike rates. The flash PMIs and the first official estimate of Q3 US GDP are among the data highlights. Beyond the events and data, the volatility from global equity markets from Shanghai to New York will continue to have a strong influence on other capital markets.

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FX Daily, October 18: China’s Angst Stays Local

Asian equities were lower, led by a nearly 3% drop in Shanghai, while European shares shrugged it off and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up about 0.4% in late morning turnover. The S&P 500 is off by about 0.25%. Global bond yields were dragged higher by US Treasuries where the 10-year yield is straddling 3.20% after rising four basis points yesterday.

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Brexit: Five FAQs

Brexit

The UK voted in s referendum to leave the EU in June 2016. It will happen at the end of March 2019. What is the status of the negotiations? It had been hoped that the two sides would be close enough to allow a special summit to be called next month to finalize an agreement.

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Great Graphic: What is Happening to Global Equities?

The decline in the global equity market is the most serious since the February and March spill. In this Great Graphic, the white line is the S&P 500. With the setback, it is up a little more than 8% for the year. It managed to recover fully from the sell-off earlier in the year.

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FX Daily, October 16: Semblance of Stability Returns

Overview:  Although the S&P 500 was unable to sustain early gains yesterday, the largely consolidative session was part of the stabilization of equities after last week’s jump in volatility.  Asia and European stocks are also cautiously steadying.  Most Asia equity markets advanced with the Nikkei’s 1.25% advance most bourses higher.  China was a notable exception, The Shanghai Composite recorded new lows for the year and finished uninspiringly on its lows.  Europe equities are mostly firmer, led by Italy and Spain.

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Macro Cheat Sheet

Fred

The dollar’s recovery ahead of the weekend was aided by the stabilization of the stock market, where the S&P 500 managed to close back above the psychologically important 200-day moving average.
Interpolating from prices, the market does not expect the President’s criticism to alter the Fed’s course.

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FX Daily, October 15: Monday Blues

Despite the pre-weekend gains that lifted the S&P 500 above its 200-day moving average, global equities are moving lower today. The main news over the weekend included the US renewing its threat to impose more tariffs on China and Saudi Arabia threatening retaliation for any sanctions relating to the disappearance of the journalist Khashoggi, and the lack of a breakthrough in UK-EU negotiations.

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FX Weekly Preview: Forces of Movement

There are three broad forces of movement in the week ahead: the equity market performance, political developments, and economic data. It was a tumultuous week for equities, and there was not clear or obvious trigger.  With US bond yields and equities trending higher this year, there does not seem to a reason why it ended last week. 

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FX Daily, October 12: Market Fever is Burning Itself Out Ahead of the Weekend

 Equity markets are stabilizing today as Asian and European markets shrug off the failure to get traction in the US yesterday.   As everything and nothing was behind the dramatic sell-off in recent days, the same could be said about today’s recovery.  Most accounts seem to be emphasizing two developments:  a report indicating that despite the talk earlier in the week, there is a recognition by the US Treasury staff that China’s actions do not reach the threshold of manipulation, and signs that the US tariffs were not having much impact on Chinese trade through last month.

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Macro Cheat Sheet

clouods

Rising US rates in absolute terms and relative to other countries, coupled with the policy-mix and US tax reform are the main drivers. The market has nearly completely discounted three more Fed hikes by the end of next year, while the Fed has signaled that four hikes may be appropriate.

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FX Daily, October 10: US Dollar Pullback may Continue in North America

The euro bottomed yesterday near $1.1430 and reached $1.1515 in Asia. Support is seen near $1.1480 and should hold if the euro’s upside correction is to continue. There are options struck $1.1500-$1.1510 for nearly 1.4 bln euros that expire today. For the third consecutive session, the dollar found bids a little below JPY113.00. There is a $1 bln JPY113 option that will be cut today.

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FX Daily, October 09: A (Short) Reprieve For China while the Dollar Stays Firm

The small gains in China’s Shanghai Composite and the yuan is helping sentiment today. News that Italy’s budget watchdog may reject the government’s fiscal plans has helped stabilize Italian assets initially, but renewed pressure quickly materialized. Most Asian equities retreated while Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is struggling to snap a three-day slide. US shares are trading heavily in Europe.

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Cool Video: Clip from CNBC Squawk Box

Marc Chandler

The combination of divergence and the US policy mix is underpinning the dollar and I was invited to share my views on CNBC’s Squawk Box earlier today. It dovetailed nicely Matthew Diczok (from Merrill Lynch) views on Fed policy and US interest rates.

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FX Daily, October 08: China and European Woes Weigh on Equities but Buoy the Dollar

Overview:  The markets are having a rough adjustment to the return of the Chinese markets are the week-long holiday.  The cut in the required reserves failed to lift investor sentiment.  The Shanghai and Shenzhen Composites fell almost 4%, and the yuan slid nearly 0.8%.  It is an unusually large decline for the closely managed currency.  The offshore yuan fell by a little more than 0.5%. 

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Great Graphic: The Dollar’s Role

Currency's Share of the Category in the International Monetary System Q4 2017

This Great Graphic comes from Peter Coy and team’s article in Business Week. It succinctly shows three metrics for the internationalization of domestic currencies: global payments, international bonds, and foreign exchange reserves. It does not strike me as surprising, and the role of the euro as a payments currency reflects its role in intra-European trade.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Clip from Discussion on Emerging Markets

In my first television appearance since joining Bannockburn Global Forex, I joined Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua on the Bloomberg set. In this nearly 2.5 min clip, we talk about the Indonesia rupiah and the dollar’s move above the IDR15000 level for the first time since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

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FX Daily, October 02: Greenback Advances

The US dollar is rising against most of the major and emerging market currencies. The Swiss franc and the Japanese yen are the exceptions and are holding their own. Global equities are mixed. Asia, excluding Japan, was mostly lower, with 1.2% losses in Taiwan and South Korea and 2.5% drop in Hong Kong and in the H-shares that trade there.

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A Word About the Q2 COFER Report

US Dollars in Billions, Q2 2017 - Q2 2018

The IMF reports the most authoritative currency allocation of global reserves at the end of every quarter with a quarter delay. Invariably, an economist, strategist, or journalist is inspired to write why some data nugget confirms the demise of the dollar as the dominant currency.

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Fed Delivers, Market Yawns

The Federal Reserve did what it was widely to do. The fed funds target range was lifted 25 bp to 2.00-2.25%. Three-quarters of Fed officials anticipate a hike in December. The market had discounted around an 80% chance. The Fed sticks with the three rate hikes in 2019 and one in 2020. The year-end rate in 2021 is the same as in 2020.

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FX Daily, September 28: Dollar Remains Firm While Italy is Punished

The US dollar’s post-Fed gains have been extended, though the upside momentum appears to be stalling. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.35% on the back of the yen’s declines and reached its highest level since 1991. Chinese shares (A and H) rallied amid reports that MSCI and FTSE-Russell are boosting Chinese shares in their benchmarks.

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FX Daily, September 26: The Dollar Index has Fallen Four of the Five Times the FOMC met this Year

The US dollar is trading with a softer bias in tight ranges. The euro and sterling have been confined to yesterday’s ranges, while the greenback briefly traded above JPY113.00 for the first time in two months. The South African rand and Turkish lira are leading the most emerging market currencies higher. Asian equities moved higher, led by Hong Kong, which returned from yesterday’s holiday.

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FX Daily, September 25: Greenback Remains at the Fulcrum

The major currencies are mixed in quiet turnover. Most of the European currencies are firmer, while the dollar-bloc currencies, yen and Swiss franc are softer. Emerging market currencies are steady to higher, though there are a few exceptions in Asia, where the Indonesian rupiah and the Chinese yuan are off about 0.3%, while the Indian rupee and Malaysian ringgit are around 0.2% lower.

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FX Weekly Preview: Next Week’s Drivers

It is a testament to the Federal Reserves communication and the evolution of investors’ understanding that we can say that the rate hike that the central bank will deliver is not as important as what it says. A rate hike is a foregone conclusion. According to the CME’s model, there is about an 85% chance of December hike discounted as well.

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Portfolio Re-Balancing and the Dollar

Boosted by tax reform, deregulation, and strong earnings growth, US equities have motored ahead, leaving other benchmarks far behind. As the Great Graphic here shows, most of the other benchmarks are lower on the year. The S&P 500 (yellow line) is up 8.8% for the year before the new record highs seeing seen now, while the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 from Europe (purple line) is still off 1.7%.

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FX Daily, September 19: Dollar Trades Heavily as Emerging Markets Follow China

One would not have a clue looking at global equities that there has been a sharp escalation in trade tensions in the past 36 hours. As was well tipped the US imposed a 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods and indicated that the tariff will rise to 25% at the start of next year. President Trump also threatened to quickly follow up with another tariff on $267 bln of Chinese goods it retaliated.

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Dollar Slips, though Emerging Markets Trade Heavily

The US dollar is beginning the new week on a soft note, as China threatens not to accept the invitation for trade talks in Washington if the US imposes new tariffs on $200 bln of its goods, which the Wall Street Journal reports could come as early as today. Meanwhile, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is giving back half of the 2.5% rally seen in the second half of last week.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Pullbacks Remain Shallow as Rate Differentials Widen

The trajectory of monetary policy in the US and Europe has been fairly clear. There is practically no doubt that the Fed will hike rates on September 26. Despite softer than expected PPI and CPI figures, the market has become more confident of another move in December. The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet unwind reaches its maximum velocity of $50 bln a month in Q4.

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FX Daily, September 14: Dollar Losses Extended

The US dollar remains on the defensive after retreating yesterday.  Its losses against the most of the major and emerging market currencies are being extended today.  The combination of softer US inflation coupled with a less dovish than expected ECB, a Bank of England lifting growth forecasts, while warning that a Brexit without an agreement could spur higher mortgage rates, and a more aggressive rate hike by Turkey conspired to force the dollar lower. 

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FX Daily, September 13: Vulnerable To Disappointment

There is an eerie calm in the markets ahead of the highlight for the day and week. The central banks of the eurozone, UK, and Turkey hold policy meetings, and the US reports August CPI. The greenback is a mostly firmer, with the Australian dollar as the notable exception. On the one hand, we would note that is it higher for the fourth consecutive sessions, after finding some support near $0.7100 earlier in the week. 

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FX Daily, September 12: Dollar Chops in Narrow Ranges

Eurostat confirmed that EMU industrial output fell for a second consecutive month in July. The 0.8% decline was larger than expected and is the third decline of such a magnitude in four months and weighed on the euro. German and Spanish industrial output had surprised on the downside last week, and Italy matched suit today with a report showing a 1.8% contraction, much larger than expected, and bringing the year-over-year rate to -1.3% (workday adjusted).

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Great Graphic: Did the CRB Bottom?

The CRB index has been trending lower since late May. It fell nearly 10% to retrace 50% of the rally come June 2017. This Great Graphic shows the 4 1/2 month trendline. It had been violated in late August but fell back under it at the end of last week.  

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FX Daily, September 11: Dollar May Prove Resilient if it is Turn Around Tuesday

The euro and sterling extended their recovery from the US hourly earnings lows seen before the weekend. However, the move stalled in the European morning, after the UK reported better than expected earnings itself. Sterling approached the 61.8% retracement of the decline from the July high (~$1.3365) found just below $1.31. It has been correcting higher since reaching almost $1.2660 on August 15.

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Cool Video: What Earth Really Looks Like

Here is the challenge:  Representing a three-dimensional object in two-dimensions.  It is impossible to do without distortions.  Those distortions can reflect cultural biases as well as the function of the map, such as for navigation purposes.  

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FX Daily, September 10: Initial Extension of Euro and Sterling Losses Stall

The US dollar’s pre-weekend gains were extended against most the major currencies, but the euro, sterling, and Australian dollar have recovered in the European morning.  Emerging markets currencies are mixed. The Indian rupee is the weakest(of the emerging market currencies (~-0.8%) following the widening of the Q2 current account deficit at the end of last week and ahead of the August trade deficit which is expected to show the impact of rising oil prices and the past currency depreciation. 

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Great Graphic: Is that a Head and Shoulders Bottom in the Euro?

EUR Curncy, 6 month chart

The euro recorded the low for the year so far on August 15 near $1.13. We had been anticipating a corrective phase for a couple days before the low was recorded. Recall that the previous Friday, August 10, all the major currencies, but the Japanese yen and Canadian dollar were beyond their Bollinger Bands. The euro recovered toward $1.1735 on August 28, stopping shy of our initial objective of $1.1750.

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Jump in Hourly Earnings is Key to US Jobs, while Canada adds 40k Full-Time Positions

The 201k rise in US non-farm payrolls edged above the median forecasts, but the 50k downward revision to the past two-months removes the gloss.   It is the first August report in seven years that the initial estimate was above the Bloomberg median.  The most important part of the report was the 0.4% jump in hourly earnings, lifting the year-over-year rate to a new cyclical high of 2.9%.

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FX Daily, September 7: Emerging Markets Stabilize While Euro Shrugs Off Disappointing Data

The global capital markets are finishing the week on a more stable note than it began.  Indeed, since the middle of the week, many of the besieged emerging market currencies, like the South African rand, Turkish lira,  and Argentine peso have posted some corrective upticks.  Today, the MSCI Emerging Market Index is snapping a seven-day slide register a modest gain, ahead of the Latam session.  

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FX Daily, September 6: Fragile Calm Weighs on Greenback

The global capital markets are calmer today.  This is not preventing the MSCI Emerging Market Index from extending its drop into the seventh consecutive session, but there has been a respite in the sell-off of emerging market currencies, where the Mexican peso, South African rand, Turkish lira, and Indonesian rupiah are modest, modest gains.  At the same time, the Philippine peso, Korean won, and Indian rupee continued to weaken.  

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FX Daily, September 05: Continuing EM Pain Helps the Dollar, but does Little for Yen

The dollar is posting gains against most of the emerging market and major currencies. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is off 1.6% and extending the drop to a sixth consecutive session. Indonesia’s bourse saw the largest decline (~3.75%) in the region. In part, it reflects concern that the rupiah’s weakness (falling now nine of the past 10 sessions) will boost corporate debt servicing costs.

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Cool Video: Emerging Markets Continue to Sell-Off

Marc Chandler

I had the privilege of being on the Bloomberg set with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua earlier today. Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of ECRI also joined us for the discussion. This 6.5 min video clip captures the essence of the discussion. The US dollar was rallying against all the major and most EM currencies.

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FX Daily, September 04: Dollar Gains Broadly

The US dollar is rising against all the major and emerging market currencies today. The signals from the White House suggest strong pressure will be exerted on Canada to sign on to NAFTA 2.0 or risk losing part of its auto sector, which of course is primarily the production of US brands. At the same time, the US is in no mood to negotiate with Europe or China.

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The Big Picture 18-24-Month Outlook: Some Preliminary Projections

The winding down of the North’s summer provides a suitable time to consider not the near-term outlook, which many investors do on a daily basis, but to reflect on where we are heading down the road a bit. What will the next 18-24 months hold? Of course, we harbor no illusions of prescient vision and accept the hazards of the assignment and so should the reader.

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FX Daily, August 31: Month-End Adjustments and Tentative Stabilization in Emerging Markets Ease Demand for Dollars but Not Yen

The dramatic price action seen yesterday among several emerging market currencies is eased today, but here at month-end, demand for risk-assets is tentative at best. The macro backdrop, including the increase in US core inflation, expectations for continued hikes by the Federal Reserve, and unambiguous signals that trade tensions will increase in the coming weeks dampens the risk appetite.

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FX Daily, August 30: Brexit Optimism Underpins Sterling

The US dollar is mostly firmer, while global equities are softer and bonds little changed.  The Turkish lira and South African rand remain under pressures.  However, there does not appear to be an overall theme in today’s markets.  

Disappointing data from Australia and New Zealand has seen the Antipodean currencies move lower.  New Zealand’s business confidence fell to a ten-year low, and this sent the Kiwi tumbling.  Its nearly 0.9% fall leads the majors.  It is followed by the Australian’s dollar’s 0.25% loss in the wake of building approval (-5.2% vs. the median forecast of -2.0%) and capex (-2.5% vs. the median forecast of a 0.6% increase)  misses.  The Aussie held yesterday’s low near $0.7275.  Last week’s low was near $0.7240.  

Japan reported that July

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FX Daily, August 29: Dollar Finds Support, but Downside Correction May Not be Over

The US dollar has steadied after pulling back in recent days, but the downside correction does not appear complete, and month-end flows are still a risk to picking a dollar-bottom. The Australian dollar is the weakest of the majors. The main drag is paradoxically Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks, raised the variable rate mortgage by 14 bp to 5.38%. Others are expected to follow.

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FX Daily, August 28: Greenback Remains On Defensive

Corrective forces continue to weigh on the US dollar. Sometimes the narratives drive the price action and sometimes the price action drives the narratives. Currently the latter appears to hold sway. The dollar’s downside correction began around the middle of the month, well before Powell’s August 24 Jackson Hole speech.

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FX Daily, August 27: A Dog Day of Summer

Last week’s dollar losses were initially extended in Asia before it came back bid. The euro briefly poked through $1.1650 for the first time in three weeks. However, the gains were sold into, and the euro finished the Asian session near $1.16, where there is a 782 mln euro option expiring, and 2.4 bln euros struck at $1.1625.

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FX Weekly Preview: Macroeconomic Considerations

The force that had pushed the US 10-year Treasury yield to 3% and the dollar above JPY113 at the start of the month, and the euro to $1.13 a couple of weeks ago has dissipated. The 10-year yield is near 2.80%. The dollar was near two-month lows against the yen a week ago, and the euro was back toward the middle of its previous $1.15-$1.18 trading range.

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5 Things Investors Should Know About US Strategic Petroleum Reserves

US Department of Energy announced yesterday offered for delivery between October 1 and November 30, 11 mln barrels of sour crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. The move has nothing to do with operationalizing President Trump’s complaint that oil prices were too high. Instead, the sales are part of the fiscal compromise in 2015 budget legislation and the health care act of 2016.

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Merkel, European Autonomy, and the ECB

Merkel has again shown herself to be more wily than most. While pundits, investors, and politicians anticipated she would push hard for a German to replace Draghi as ECB President when his term ends next October. After all, it is German’s turn at the helm, and its interests were ridden roughshod over by the extraordinary and prolonged monetary policy.

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FX Daily, August 24: Greenback Marks Time Ahead of Powell

The US dollar is paring some of yesterday’s gains in quiet turnover ahead of Fed Chief Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole, the week’s last highlight. The euro and sterling are trading inside yesterday’s ranges, which the dollar has extended its gains against the yen to reach a two-week high near JPY111.50.

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FX Daily, August 23: Dollar Rebounds

After correcting lower since the middle of last week, and pushed faster if not further by President Trump’s comments, the US dollar is rebounding against most of the major and emerging market currencies today. After an initial wobble on the back of the FOMC minutes, the greenback’s recovery began in earnest.

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Three Things that may Disappoint Investors

There are three areas that we suspect that many investors are vulnerable to disappointment. NAFTA, trade talks with China, and Powell speech at Jackson Hole on Friday. With problems elsewhere, the Trump Administration has been playing up the likelihood of an agreement as early as today with Mexico, which would be used, apparently to deliver a fait accompli to Canada.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg TV Clip-Dollar Developments

Bloomberg Cool Video

The US dollar was sliding as I joined Vonnie Quinn and Shery Ahn on the Bloomberg Markets show. I tried making the case, as I have in recent posts, that the dollar’s rally in the first half of the month had left it over-extended. Most of the major currencies were outside of their Bollinger Bands a week ago and had begun correcting since August 15.

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Great Graphic: Head and Shoulders Top in Dollar Index

This Great Graphic depicts what appears to be a head and shoulders top in the hourly bar chart of the Dollar Index. The neckline is found near 96.00 and rotating the pattern along it produces a measuring objective near 95.00. The bearish pattern was formed in the last few days, and the Dollar Index was resting near the neckline before Trump’s comments gave it the push.

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FX Daily, August 21: Trump Comments Hit Dollar, Little Impact on Rates

The US dollar is broadly lower following President Trump’s comments yesterday, criticising Fed policy and reiterating his previously made claim that China and the EU are manipulating their currencies. We suggested that last week’s presidential tweet that identified strong capital inflows into the US may not have been written by President Trump.

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FX Daily, August 20: Greenback Consolidates Pre-Weekend Pullback in Quiet Turnover

The US dollar is slightly firmer against most of the major currencies, as the light participation and lack of fresh news see a consolidative tone emerge after the pullback at the end of last week. Although markets in Turkey are closed for a nearly week-long holiday, it has not prevented the lira from weakening. After closing a little below TRY6.02 before the weekend, the greenback has moved to TRY6.15 in the European morning.

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Capital Flocks to the US

The US policy mix gets a privileged place in our understanding of what is the dollar. Tighter monetary policy and looser fiscal policy could be the closest thing to an elixir for currencies.  It is the policy mix that the US is pursuing.  

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FX Daily, August 17: Dollar Limps into the Weekend

The US dollar is trading heavily against most of the world’s currencies today.  The main exceptions come from the emerging markets where the Turkish lira, Russian ruble, and Mexican peso are the chief exceptions, and their losses are modest.  This week’s dollar gains are being pared in largely corrective activity and amid a light news stream. 

The threat of more sanctions on Turkey if it does not release the American pastor is helping the dollar recoup yesterday’s losses and puts it back near TRY6.0.  Turkey has adjusted its policies to make it harder to short the lira, and Qatar signaled it would invest $15 bln.  However, the unorthodox policies have not been addressed, and even if the lira were to stabilize here, the effect of the dramatic slide would work its way

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Great Graphic JPY Struggles at Trendline

This Great Graphic is a weekly bar chart of the dollar-yen exchange rate.  It shows a three-year downtrend line (white line).  The US dollar had popped above it last month, but this proved premature and has not closed about it for a month.  The trendline is found near JPY111.55 now.

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FX Daily, August 15: Lira Rallies on Cut in Swaps, but Fails to Dent Dollar Demand

The Turkish lira is extending yesterday’s recovery today on the back of actions by officials that are aimed at limiting foreign access to the lira to short. Without introducing new capital controls, regulators halved the amount of swap transactions banks can do to 25% of shareholder equity. This is meant to make it more difficult to access lira in the offshore swaps market, which is an important channel.

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Cool Video: CNBC Discussion on Turkey

I had the opportunity to join Professor Hanke to discuss the crisis in Turkey. The professor sketched out his view expressed in a recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, arguing that Turkey is best served by adopting a currency board, anchoring the lira to hard currency, like the euro or dollar, or gold. 

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FX Daily, August 14: Brief Respite but Little Relief

Corrective pressures grip the capital markets today, helped by the easing of the selling pressure on Turkey, but its more a respite than a relief as no new policy initiatives are behind the lira’s upticks. The implication of this is that it is unlikely to last. In fact, the dollar’s low in early Europe a just above TRY6.41 after trading a little above TRY7.23 yesterday may be about the most that can reasonably be expected.

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Great Graphic: Possible Head and Shoulders Top in Euro

Euro BGN Currency

The euro appears to have carved out head and shoulder top. As this Great Graphic depicts, the euro was sold through the neckline at the end of last week and is 1% below it today. It is not unusual for the neckline to be retested. It is found near $1.15. It also dovetails with our near-term caution given that the euro is likely to close below its Bollinger Band for the second consecutive session (~$1.1440).

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FX Daily, August 13: Turkey Drives Risk-Off, but Pressure Abating

The failure of Turkey to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and come to grips with the situation saw the dollar soar above TRY7.23(from TRY6.43 at the end of last week) and to ZAR15.55 (from ZAR14.09). The Mexican peso, the strongest currency this year, and which has been partially protected by prospects of a new NAFTA agreement has suffered as well.

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FX Weekly Preview: Testing the Dollar’s Breakout

The US dollar surged last week, with the Dollar Index rising 1.25%, the most since April. The dollar is being boosted by two drivers. The first is the policy mix and interest rate divergence. The other is the intensification of pressure on emerging market. Turkey has a disastrous combination of more fundamentals, large short-term foreign currency debt obligations, unorthodox policies, and the lack of credibility.

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The Yin and Yang of the US-China Relationship

Chimerica always seemed like an oversimplification of a complex and dialectic relationship between the US and China.  However, it did express an underlying truth, that China’s rise over the last 40 years has been predicated on Deng Xiaoping’s political and economic reforms and, importantly, the world of free-trade (a reduction in tariff barriers to trade) promoted by the United States.  

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FX Daily, August 10: The Dollar Muscles Higher as Turkey Melts Down

The US dollar has surged. The main impetus comes from the dramatic slide in the Turkish lira. After moving above TRY5.0 yesterday, it reached TRY6.30 today before stabilizing a little below TRY6.0 as the European morning progressed. The trigger seemed to be the lack of credibility of the government’s response as investors await officials to elaborate on the outline of the “new economic model” provided yesterday.

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US-Japan Trade Talks

The withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement lift it exposed on two fronts. First, the TPP was going to modernize the NAFTA. Without, the US remains locked in protracted negotiations. A breakthrough in talks with Mexico has been reportedly imminent for weeks.

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Some Initial Consequences of Trade Tensions

The Trump Administration argues that other countries have been taking unfair advantage of the US on trade for years, and what many are calling a trade war is really only the US finally saying enough. The US has taken many several countries, including China, to the WTO for trade violations and wins the vast majority of cases it has brought.

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FX Daily, August 07: Turn Around Tuesday for the Greenback

The US dollar is pulling back today after yesterday’s advance. All the major currencies are higher and even the Turkish lira, which plunged nearly 5% yesterday to cap a six-day slide, is trading firmer today (~@TRY5.25). The dollar’s losses are modest and appear corrective in nature.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dog Days of August Begin

With most of the major central bank meetings and important economic data out of the way, the dog days of August are upon us. In terms of drivers, it means that players will have to look elsewhere for inspiration and it means that market liquidy is likely not at its best.

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Great Graphic: Is Something Important Happening to Oil Prices?

Oil prices are weaker for the third straight day and are off in four of the past five sessions, the poorest run in two months. Supply considerations may threaten a year-old trend line. OPEC and non-OPEC, essentially Saudi Arabia and Russia are making good on their commitment to boost output, and US oil inventories unexpectedly rose.

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Fed Looks to September

There was little doubt in the market’s collective mind that the Federal Reserve, which hiked rates in July, would stand pat today. It did not disappoint. The statement itself was almost identical. Growth was said to be “strong” instead of “solid,” for example, a nuance to be lost on most observers. It recognized that the unemployment rate stabilized after falling.

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FX Daily, August 01: Trade and Japan Drive Markets Ahead of Stand Pat Fed

Investors recognize the risks to growth posed by the tariffs and counter-tariffs being imposed, but the way the US is going about it is also disconcerting. Within a few hours of signals that the US and China were looking to re-engage in high-level talks, which have not taken place for two months according to reports, the US signaled that the 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods could now face a 25% tariff instead.

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Tensions Beyond Trade

Chinese officials do not seem to appreciate the extent of its isolation. The disruption from the US as Trump positions the US as a revisionist power-one that wants to alter the world order, which it was instrumental in constructing, may have obscured the fact that China’s practices are a source of frustration and animosity broadly and widely.

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FX Daily, July 31: BOJ Prepares for QE Infinity

The Japanese yen has been sold following the adjustments to policy and outlook by the BOJ that will allow the unconventional policies continue for an “extended period of time.” Cross rate pressure and month-end demand have lifted the euro and sterling through yesterday’s highs.

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Great Graphic: USD Pushes Below CAD1.30

For the first time since mid-June, the US dollar has traded below CAD1.30. The greenback is weaker against all the major currencies. However, for the most part, it is still in well-worn ranges, which makes the breakdown against the Canadian dollar even more notable. It is not clear that today’s break will be sustained. Indeed, we lean against it.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Central Bank Meetings and US Jobs data

The week ahead sees three major central bank meetings and the US employment report. It will likely be the most important work before a hiatus that runs through the end of August. Of course, and perhaps more than ever, market participants are well aware that the US President’s communication and penchant for disruption is a bit of a wild card.

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FX Daily, July 27: Greenback Remains Firm Ahead of Q2 GDP

The US dollar is trading firmly in Europe after consolidating yesterday’s gains during the Asian session and ahead of the first look at Q2 GDP. Yesterday’s economic reports, including durable goods orders and inventory data, saw the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker lower its forecast to 3.8% from 4.5%.

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FX Daily, July 26: Equities like EU-US Trade Truce more than the Euro

The markets generated a collective sigh when Juncker and Trump announced that there would be no new tariffs while new trade negotiations took place.  This was particularly important because Trump reportedly wanted to press ahead with a 25% tariff on car imports.  It was also announced that the EU would buy more soy and liquid natural gas from the US. 

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Great Graphic: US 2-year Premium Grows and Outlook for G3 Central Banks

Two-year differential between the US and Japan

A cry was heard last week when President Trump expressed displeasure with the Fed’s rate hikes. Some, like former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, claimed that this was another step toward becoming a “banana republic.” Jeffrey Sachs, another noted economist, claimed that “American democracy is probably one more war away from collapsing into tyranny.”

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FX Daily, July 25: Narrow Ranges Prevail

The US dollar is trapped in narrow trading ranges. That itself is news. At the end of last week ago, the US President seemed to have opened another front in his campaign to re-orient US relationships by appearing to talk the dollar down. Contrary to fears, and media headlines of a currency war, the dollar is fairly stable.

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Great Graphic: Is the Euro’s Consolidation a Base?

EUR/BGN, daily

Speculators in the futures market are still net long the euro. They have not been net short since May 2017. In the spot market, the euro approached $1.15 in late-May and again in mid-June. Last week’s it dipped below $1.16 for the first time in July and Trump’s criticism of Fed policy saw it recover. Yesterday it reached $1.1750 before retreating. On the pullback, it held the 61.8% retracement of the recovery (~$1.1640).

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Television–Dollar Outlook

The issue is the dollar’s outlook. The greenback had looked to be on the verge of breaking out higher before the US President expressed disapproval with the Fed rate hikes and, then the following day, aggressively accused the EU and China of manipulating their currencies.

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FX Weekly Preview: It was Supposed to be a Quiet Week

It was supposed to be a quiet week. The economic data and event calendar was light. There were three features, and none would likely disrupt the markets much. The first two are in Europe. The eurozone flash PMI for July, the first insight into how Q3 has begun. The PMI is expected to paint a mostly steady economic activity.

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Euro, Yen, and Equities: Reviewed

US equities and the dollar appear to be moving higher together.  The greenback is near its best level this year against most of the major and emerging market currencies.  The Chinese yuan is not an exception to this generalization.  At the same time, the S&P 500 is at its best levels since the downdraft February, and the NASDAQ set a new record high earlier in the week. 

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FX Daily, July 20: Dollar Consolidates after Trump Wades In

The US dollar is little changed but mostly softer as the week draws to a close. The market is digesting the implications of yesterday’s comments by President Trump about interest rates and foreign exchange, and without fresh economic data, are content to go into the weekend. Since Trump’s comments yesterday, the euro has not been below $1.1625 nor above $1.1680.

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FX Daily, July 19: Greenback Extends Gains

The US dollar is extending its recent gains against most of the world’s currencies.   We continue to see the most compelling case for the macro driver being the diverging policy mixes.  There are also more immediate factors too.  The surprisingly poor UK retail sales report, for example, managed to do what the Brexit chaos and softer than expected CPI fail to do. 

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FX Daily, July 18: Greenback Extends Gains-For Now

After softening in Europe yesterday, the dollar recovered in the North American session with the help of assurances by Fed Chair Powell who reaffirmed the path gradual path despite clear recognition that tariffs threaten wages and growth.  The greenback has extended those gains today and is higher against all the emerging market currencies, expected the Turkish lira, which is slightly firmer.

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Great Graphic: Fed Raising Rates, but Yields Still Negative

3-month US Treasury

The yield on the 3-month US Treasury bill is pushing above 2% today for the first time since 2008. The yield had briefly dipped below zero as recently as late 2015. Although today’s yield seems high, this Great Graphic shows the nominal generic three-month yield going back to 1990. Then the three-month bill yielded 8%. The peak in the last cycle (2006-2007) was a little above 5%.

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FX Daily, July 17: Dollar on Back Foot Ahead of Powell

The US dollar eased in Asia session and the European morning. The greenback had appeared technically vulnerable, and the economic news stream is light. Sterling, unlike most of the other major currencies, remains within yesterday’s range. Yesterday’s high, a little above $1.3290, maybe reinforced a little today by the GBP245 mln $1.33 option that is expiring. Brexit concerns may also be acting as a drag.

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Great Graphic: Two-year Rate Differentials

Two-year interest rate differential between the US and four countries

Given that some of the retail sales that were expected in June were actually booked in May is unlikely to lead to a large revision of expectations for Q2 US GDP, the first estimate of which is due in 11 days.  Before the data, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow projects the world’s biggest economy expanded at an annualized pace of 3.9% in Q2. 

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FX Daily, July 16: Dollar Softens a Little as Market Awaits Developments

The US dollar is slightly softer against most of the major currencies but is in narrow ranges ahead of today’s key events, which include US retail sales and the debate in the UK parliament over Brexit.  The yen is the main exception.  The local markets are closed for a public holiday, and the yen did initially strengthen (the dollar eased to ~JPY112.10) but surrendered those gains and consolidating its biggest loss last week in 10 months.

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Great Graphic: Two Stories for Two Trend Lines

The Dollar Index made a marginal new high for the year at the end of June a touch below 95.55. It fell through the start of this week when it reached nearly 93.70. With the earlier gains, the Dollar Index briefly traded above the 61.8% retracement of the pullback (~94.85). A move now below 94.20 would be disappointing.

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Great Graphic: Is Mr Market Thinking About the First Fed Cut?

EDZ0 Comdty - EDZ9 Comdty, Jan 2017-Jul 2018

The US economy is among the strongest among the large economies. Goosed by the never-fail elixir of tax cuts and spending increases, the US economy is accelerating. Nevertheless, we continue to see the fiscal boost as short-lived, and a recent Fed paper suggested that fiscal stimulus in an upswing may not have the same multiplier as during a downturn.

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FX Daily, July 13: Trump Trips Sterling, but Greenback Enjoys Broad Gains

President Trump weighed in on Brexit and spurred the largest drop in sterling in more than two weeks.  Trump encouraged Brexit, but he indicated he “would have done it much differently” and that he “actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she did not listen.”  Trump cautioned that May’s plan would mean it would still be too close to the EU and this would “kill” a free-trade deal with the US.  In effect, Trump backed the harder Brexit camp position.

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FX Daily, July 12: Dollar Remains Firm as Risk Returns

The US dollar rallied yesterday as the escalating trade tensions between the world’s top two economies choked off the animal spirits and a marked down in equities and risk assets.  It remains firm today even as risk has come back.  Equities are mostly higher today and bonds lower.  Emerging market currencies, from Turkey to South Africa are firmer, as is the Chinese yuan. 

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FX Daily, July 11: Escalating Trade Tensions Set Tone for Capital Markets

The US took the first step in making good its threat to put a 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods in response to the PRC retaliating for the 25% tariff on $34 bln of its exports. The US provided a list of products that will get the new tariffs after the public comment period is completed at the end of next month. This time the list included numerous consumer goods, like digital cameras, baseball gloves, but have left off popular products, like cell phones, tablets, and personal computers. 

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FX Daily, July 10: May Survives to Fight Another Day, but Sterling’s Recovery Falters

The political obituary of UK’s May, who many see as an “accidental” Prime Minister, has been written many times in the past year and a half only to be withdrawn.  Again, it looked like the resignation of two ministers, and a couple of junior ministers was going to spur a leadership challenge. While this still may come to pass, the hard Brexit camp, which has huffed and puffed, simply does not appear to represent a majority of the Tory Party, and possibly the broader electorate. 

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Central Bank Investment Strategies

A survey of central banks and sovereign wealth funds by Invesco sheds light on their investment plans. The traditional separation of markets and the state may be helpful for ideological arguments, but the real situation is more complicated.  Central banks and their investment vehicles (sovereign wealth funds) are market participants.  In some activities, such as custodian, central banks compete with the private sector.

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FX Daily, July 09: Possibility of a Soft Brexit Excites Sterling (too Early?)

After a little wobble, sterling has responded favorably to the resignation of the UK Brexit team led by David Davis. The idea is that a path to a softer Brexit is good for sterling.  In fairness, it is a bit early to reach this conclusion, and the softer dollar tone puts wind in sterling’s sale. There is a GBP244 mln sterling option at $1.3375 that expires today. The June highs were set in the $1.3450-$1.3470 area.  

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FX Weekly Preview: Macro Considerations for the Capital Markets

The triumphalism that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly three decades ago has evaporated.  The Great Financial Crisis and inexorable widening of income and wealth inequalities within countries undermined claims of moral and economic superiority.  Liberal democracies are fighting a rearguard action and the rise of illiberal regimes. 

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FX Daily, July 06: Dollar Slips After Tariffs and Before Jobs Data

The first set of US tariffs aims specifically at China were implemented, and the retaliatory actions were also launched. The tariffs cover hundreds of goods, though the initial amount of trade covered is relatively small at $34 bln. Tariffs on another $16 bln are in the pipeline and could be put into effect in a few weeks. The US is threatening to ramp up its response by imposing a tariff on another $200 bln of Chinese goods, though the details have not been announced.

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FX Daily, July 05: Dollar is Mixed on Eve of US Jobs and Tariffs

The US dollar is softer against most of the major currencies and mixed against the emerging market currencies.  European currencies firmer, with the continued recovery of the Swedish krona on the back of a more hawkish central bank, and the euro poking through $1.17 for the first time in over a week with the help of strong factory orders report from Germany.  Central and East European currencies are leading among emerging markets.  Asian equities continued to move south while European bourses are moving higher. 

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FX Daily, July 03: Markets Trying to Stabilize

The global capital markets are trying to stabilize. US equities recovered from early losses yesterday but this was not enough to stop Asian equities from extending recent losses. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2% for the sixth decline in the past seven sessions, However, several local markets, including China, Australia, and Korea advanced.

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FX Daily, July 02: Third Quarter Begins With a Thump

The window dressing ahead of the end of Q2 failed to signal a turn in sentiment. Equity markets have taken back those gains and more. The US dollar is broadly firmer, though it was coming off its best levels near midday in Europe, and the three-basis-point slippage puts the US 10-year yield at 2.83%, its lowest in more than a month.

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FX Weekly Preview: Trade and Data Driving Markets

US President Trump is intent on disrupting the post-WWII arrangement that prioritized and ideological conflict over economic rivalries. Last week, it was reported that Trump told his counterparts at the G7 summit that NATO was as bad as NAFTA. NATO’s annual meeting is July 12.

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FX Weekly Preview: Trade Tensions and EU Summit Highlight Q2’s Last Week

We argue there are three major disruptive forces that are shaping the investment climate: the US policy mix in relative and absolute terms, the escalation of trade tensions, and immigration. In the week ahead, trade issues may eclipse the US policy mix, and immigration will compete with the economic and financial agenda at the European heads of state summit at the end of the week.

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FX Daily, June 22: BOE Spurs Dollar Pullback

The Bank of England’s hawkish hold yesterday, spurred by three dissents in favor of an immediate hike, changed the near-term dynamics in the foreign exchange market.  Both the euro and sterling fell to new lows for the year before reversing higher.  Yesterday’s gains are being extended today. 

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FX Daily, June 21: Dollar Driven Higher

The half-hearted and shallow attempts by the currencies to recover appear to be emboldening the dollar bulls today,  The greenback is higher against all major and emerging market currencies today.  Demand for dollars is strong enough to offset the broader risk-off environment that is pulling stocks and core yields lower that is usually supportive of the yen. 

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FX Daily, June 20: Fragile Stability

The day began out with equity losses in Asia before a sharp recovery, perhaps initiated in China. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up a little more than 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite fell more than 1% before closing 0.25% better.

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FX Daily, June 19: America First Clashes With Made in China 2025

The escalation of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies is scaring investors, who are liquidating equities and buying core bonds.  The dollar and yen are the strongest of the major currencies.  The Swiss franc is mostly steady as it too is benefiting from the unwinding of risk trades.

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FX Daily, June 15: Dollar Slips While Escalating Trade Tensions may Roil Markets

The Dollar Index edged higher to its best level this year before turning down as market attention shifts from central banks to trade tensions. Reports confirm that the US will go ahead with the 25% tariff on $50 bln of Chinese goods and provide some specificity today. The final list is expected to be similar to the goods that had been identified in the preliminary list, with an emphasis on electronic goods, apparently on ideas that they may have the largest multiplier effect and the US can challenge some of the areas China has targeted under Made in China 2025.  

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FX Daily, June 14: Dollar Punished Ahead of ECB

The US dollar is slumping against all the major currencies in the aftermath of the hawkish Federal Reserve. In fact, the inability of the greenback to hold on to the gains scored in the initial reaction to the Fed’s hike, optimism on the economy, and the signal of hikes in September and December, foretold today’s push lower.

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FX Weekly Preview: Busy Week Ahead

The week ahead is eventful. The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan hold policy meetings. This would make for a busy week by themselves, but there is more. Trade tensions are likely to escalate further, if the US, as scheduled provides a list of $50 bln of Chinese goods that will face another 25% tariff for intellectual property violations.

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Dollar and Yen Rise Amid Heightened Anxiety

With what promises to be an acrimonious G7 meeting, from which the isolated US President will depart early, and a broadening pressure in emerging markets, the US dollar turned better bid late yesterday and is recovering further today.

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Europe’s Woes Multiply

The Markit group that provides many of the PMI surveys noted with today’s reports that the eurozone outlook has “darkened dramatically.” This makes for a poor backdrop for the ECB, which meets next week. However, with price pressures recovering from the Easter-related distortions, the ECB is still on track to finish its asset purchases at the end of the year. This seems largely taken for granted.

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Greenback Corrects Lower

The consensus narrative is that with rising inflation it is understandable that next week’s meeting is live and that the confirmation of such has lifted the euro to ten-day highs, dragging the dollar broadly.  However, to accept this is to accept the debasement of language.  Until now, we dubbed central bank meeting that could result in action as “live.”  For example, given that the Fed has not changed interest rates since the hiking cycle began in December 2015 outside of a meeting with a pre-scheduled press conference. 

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More Color on Japanese Capital Flows and the Euro

The euro put in a low on May 29 a little above $1.15. That is nearly a 10.5 cent decline since the three-year high was set in mid-February. The thing that is difficult for investors and analysts to get their head around is that the speculators in the futures market, who as seen as proxies for trend-followers and momentum traders, continue to carry large euro exposure.

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FX Daily, June 5: Sterling Jumps Ahead, While US Equities Have Small Coattails

The British pound is benefiting from the stronger than expected service and composite PMI readings, which among other things are serving as a distraction from the government’s seemingly tortured approach to Brexit and the sales of part of its stake in RBS for a GBP2 bln loss.  Financials are a drag on the FTSE 100 today (~-0.5% while other major bourses are higher).

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FX Weekly Preview: Macro Matters Now, Just Not the Data

The main concerns of investors do not arise from the high-frequency data that are due in the coming days. Last week, the somewhat firmer than expected preliminary May CPI for the EMU failed to bolster the euro. The stronger than expected US jobs data, even if tipped by the President of the United States, and the pendulum of market sentiment swinging back in favor of two more Fed rate hikes this year did not trigger new dollar gains.

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What Happened Monday?

Italian politics dominated Monday’s activity. Initially, the euro reacted positively in Asia to news that the Italian President had blocked the proposed finance minister. A technocrat government would be appointed to prepare for new elections.

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FX Daily, May 25: US Dollar Loses Momentum Ahead of the Weekend

The euro and sterling were sold through yesterday’s lows in Asia, but rebounded in Europe, with the help of mildly constructive data in the form of the German IFO and details of UK Q1 GDP. The IFO climate measure matched the April reading and thereby snapped a five-month slide. The expectations component slipped, but the current assessment improved.

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FX Daily, May 24: Greenback Pushes Lower

The US dollar is pulling back after recording new highs for the year against the euro and sterling. The greenback is lower against nearly all the major currencies, but the Canadian dollar. It is also softer against most of the emerging market currencies. The chief exception is the Turkish lira. Yesterday’s 300 bp rate hike could only stem the rot momentarily and the lira’s 2.3% decline today, wipes out 2/3 of the annual rate increase.

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Great Graphic: Euro-Swiss Shows Elevated Systemic Risk

The Swiss National Bank’s decision in January 2015 to remove the cap on the Swiss franc (floor on the euro) that it has set at CHF1.20 is seared into the memory of a generation of foreign exchange participants. It is not exactly clear where the euro bottomed in the frenzied activity that followed the SNB’s surprise move. Bloomberg records the euro’s low near CHF0.8520.

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Italy Defies Gravity and Risk to Fiscal Rectitude

Italian asset markets continue to fare better than many expected. The political uncertainty following the March election has been followed by confidence that the Five Star Movement and the (Northern) League will be able to put together a government in the coming days. If so, Italy would have taken half the time Germany did to cobble a government together after inconclusive elections.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Power

There are several trends in the capital markets at a high-level. The euro and yen’s decline has coincided with sustained rallies in European and Japanese equity benchmarks. Emerging market equities and currencies have been trending lower.

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FX Daily, May 18: EUR/CHF Continues the Collapse

The US dollar is mostly firmer. US yields have stabilized. Asian equities were mostly higher, while European bourses are struggling. Oil prices are steady. There have been a number of sustained trends in the markets that we have been monitoring. The euro, for example, has fallen each day this week. It recorded its low for the year on Wednesday near $1.1765.

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FX Daily, May 17: US Rates Edge Higher, while Dollar Turns Mixed

The Britsh pound was a cent from yesterday’s lows on a press report that claimed the UK cabinet had agreed on seeking to stay in the customs union with the EU beyond the two-year transition period. The report suggested that the UK wanted to still negotiate other trade deals, which would seem to be a Trojan Horse.

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FX Daily, May 16: US Yields Soften After Yesterday’s Surge

The US dollar is mixed today after the Dollar Index rose to new 2018 highs yesterday.  It is being driven by rising US rates, which also punishes short dollar positions. The US 10-year yield rose seven basis points yesterday to nearly 3.10%.  It is consolidating near 3.06% now.  Many see the yield rising toward 3.20%, which would match the mid-2011 high.

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FX Daily, May 15: Firm US Rates Underpin Greenback

US 10-year rates are again probing the air above 3%, and this is encouraging a push back toward JPY110, with the euro slipping toward $1.19.  Asian equities fell, with the MSCI Asia Pacific shedding 0.8%, the most in nearly a month, snapping a three-day advance. China and India were able to buck the regional move. China’s economic data was mostly softer than expected and is consistent with a gradual turn in the cycle as the Lunar New effect fades.

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FX Daily, May 14: US Dollar Slips in Quiet Turnover

The US dollar is sporting a softer profile against most of the major and emerging market currencies to start the new week. It already seemed to be tiring in the second half of last week. With today’s mild losses, Dollar Index is off for a fourth consecutive session, the longest losing streak in over a month. The US and China appear to have taken measure to diffuse the trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

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FX Daily, May 11: Dollar Momentum Sapped, Near-Term Pullback Likely

The US dollar pulled back following yesterday’s slightly softer than expected CPI report and this likely marks the beginning of a new phase, with the dollar moving lower. Investors have learned over the past two weeks that neither wages nor consumer prices are accelerating. There is little reason in the recent string of data or official comments to suggest a more hawkish path for monetary policy (e.g., four rate hikes this year).

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FX Daily, May 10: Kiwi Tumbles on Dovish RBNZ, While Sterling Goes Nowhere Ahead of BOE

The US dollar is consolidating in narrow trading against most of the major currencies as participants digest several developments ahead of what was expected to be the highlight today, the BOE meeting and US April CPI. The greenback’s consolidation is giving it a heavier bias against most of the major currencies. The recently strong upside momentum has stalled, but the losses are modest and the euro and sterling are inside yesterday’s ranges.

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FX Daily, May 09: Oil Prices Surge and Dollar Gains Extended Post Withdrawal Announcement

The US dollar is broadly higher as the 10-year yield probes above 3.0%. Disappointing French industrial production and manufacturing data for March provided additional incentive, as if it were needed, to extend the euro’s losses. The euro dipped below $1.1825. The single currency is off a cent this week after falling nearly two last week. A 38.2% retracement of the euro’s gains since the beginning of last year is found a little above $1.1700 and represents the next important target.

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FX Daily, May 08: Dollar Races Ahead

The US dollar’s surge continues. The Dollar Index is testing the space above 93.00. A month ago it was below 90. It does not appear to require fresh developments. The market continues to trade as if there are short dollar positions that are trapped at higher levels and the briefest and shallow pullbacks are new opportunities to adjust positions.

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FX Daily, May 07: Greenback Starts Week on Firm Note

The US dollar recovered from a softer tone in early Asia and is higher against nearly all the major and emerging market currencies as North American market prepare to start the new week. The news stream is light and investors remain on edge geopolitical concerns remain elevated. Oil prices are extending gains, and WTI is above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014. Alongside an inverse yield curve, a jump in oil prices typically proceeds economic downturns.

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FX Weekly Preview: Geopolitics Becomes More Salient as Monetary Policy Plays for Time

Say what one will, US President Trump is vigorously projecting what he believes are American interests. There is virtually no sign of the isolationism that many observers had anticipated. Indeed, as we have argued, the America First rejection of the League of Nations that Trump harkens back to was not isolationist as much as unilateralist. And the same is true of the Trump Administration.

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Look Past Disappointing Jobs Data, Luke

The US jobs report was broadly disappointing. However, the Federal Reserve will look through it and investors should too. A June hike is still by far the most likely scenario. The US created 164k net new jobs in April, and when coupled with the 32k upward revision in March, it was near expectations.

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FX Daily, May 04: US Jobs-Not the Driver it Once Was

The US dollar fell last month in response to the disappointing non-farm payroll report. However, in general, the jobs report is not the market mover that it was in the past. With unemployment is at cyclical lows of 4.1% and poised to fall further. Weekly jobless claims and continuing claims at or near lows in a generation, though over qualification is more difficult than previously.

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FX Daily, May 03: Respite to Dollar Short Squeeze

The Australian dollar is higher for a second session. It has been helped today by stronger than expected data in the form of a larger than expected March trade surplus (A$1.57 bln vs. expectations for A$865 mln) and building permits up more than twice as expected (2.6% vs. 1.0%). Today is the first session since April 19 that the Australian dollar has risen above the previous day’s high. Initial resistance is seen near $0.7550 and then $0.7580.

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FX Daily, May 02: Confident Fed Key to New Found Respect for the Dollar

There is a brief respite in the powerful short squeeze that has fueled the dollar’s dramatic recovery. The greenback which was nearly friendless a month ago now has many suitors. It is higher on the year against all the major currencies but the yen (~2.6%), the Norwegian krone (~1.6%) and sterling ~0.9%). It is virtually flat against the euro.

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FX Daily, May 01: Little Help on May Day

Most of the world’s financial centers are closed for the May Day holiday, but the lack of participation has not prevented the extension of the US dollar’s recovery. The Dollar Index has traded above its 200-day moving average for the first time in a year.

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FX Daily, April 30: Merger Monday

Three large corporate deals were announced. T-Mobile appears to have finally figured a way to secure Sprint. It is a $26.5 bln equity tie-up. Marathon Petroleum is reportedly taking Andeavor for $20 bln in cash and stock. Sainsbury is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Walmart’s Asda chain for GBP7.3 bln (~$10 bln) in an equity and cash transaction.

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FX Weekly Preview: Next Week in Context

A year ago, the Dutch and French elections signaled that UK referendum to leave the EU and the US election of Trump did not usher in a populist-nationalist epoch, such as the one that proceeded the last great financial crisis. The euro gapped higher and did not look back.

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FX Daily, April 27: Dollar Puts Finishing Touches on Best Week Since November 2016

The US dollar’s recent gains have been extended, and it is having one of its best weeks since November 2016. The Dollar Index is up 1.7% for the week, as US session is about to start. Though it took this week’s gains to change market’s narrative, the fact of the matter, as we have pointed out is that April is the third consecutive month in which the Dollar Index fell in only one week. That translates into rising 10 of the past 13 weeks.

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FX Daily, April 26: Euro Remains Soft Ahead of Draghi

The euro made a marginal new low early in European turnover and held barely above the spike low on March 1 to $1.2155. So far, today is the first session since January 11 that the euro has not traded above $1.22. The euro stabilized as the European morning progressed, but there seems to be little real buying interest it ahead of Draghi’s press conference following the ECB decision.

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Oil: Supply and Demand Drivers

Oil prices have recovered more than 50% of the decline since the mid-September peak. The next retracement objectives are found near $82 a barrel for Brent and $76.5 for WTI basis the continuation futures contract. The immediate consideration is that supplies have tightened.

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FX Daily, April 24: Stalled US Rates Steal Greenback’s Thunder

The US dollar looked set to launch a new leg higher, but rates stalled, which in turn is unleashing some mild corrective pressures. The US two-year yield has been unable to extend its increase beyond 2.50%, while the 10-year rate has stalled within a whisker of the 3% psychological threshold. The greenback’s momentum did indeed carry it, but by late morning on the Continent, a consolidative tone was evident.

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Great Graphic: Aussie Tests Trendline

It is not that the Australian dollar is the weakest currency this month. Its 0.4% decline puts it among the better performers against the US dollar. However, it has fallen to a new low for the year today. The losses have carried to a trendline drawn off of the early 2016 low near $0.6800.

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FX Daily, April 23: Rising Rates Help Extend Dollar Gains

The new week has begun much like last week ended, with rising rates helping to extend the dollar’s recent gains. The US 10-year yield is flirting with the 3.0% threshold. The two-year yield is firmer, and, like in the second half of last week, the US curve is becoming a little less flat. The market, as we had anticipated, was not so impressed with North Korea’s measures, and Korea’s Kospi edged lowed, and the region-leading KOSDAQ fell a little more than 1% (still up 10% year-to-date).

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FX Weekly Preview: Markets and Macro

Worries about a trade war appear to have eased, at least for the moment, but that does not make investors worry-free. The concerns have shifted toward rising US interest rates, perhaps more than anything else, but general anxiety seems elevated.

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FX Daily, April 20: The Greenback is Alive

The US dollar is set to finish the week on a firm note. It reflects rising US yields, where the 10-year is above 2.90% for the first time since February and the widening two-year different between the US and Germany, which is holding just below 300 bp. It is the fourth consecutive advancing session for the Dollar Index, which is near a two-week high.

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FX Daily, April 19: Markets Calm But Lack Immediate Focus

A light news stream and less trade rhetoric lend the equity markets a positive impulse amid a strong US earnings season while leaving the dollar narrowly mixed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5% and is up 1% for the week with one session left. It would be the second consecutive weekly advance. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has edged higher for a third consecutive session. It is up about 0.7% for the week, and if sustained, would extend the advance for a fourth consecutive session.

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FX Daily, April 17: Dollar Recovers from Further Selling as Turnaround Tuesday Unfolds

After the retreating in the North American session yesterday, despite a rebound in retail sales after three-months of declines, the greenback has been sold further in Europe and Asia. The euro edged through last week’s high near $1.24, and sterling rose through the January high to reach its best level since the mid-2016 referendum. Sterling rose through $1.4375 before the easing after the employment report.

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FX Daily,April 16: Market Struggles for Direction

The Syrian strike over the weekend, and the official indication that “mission accomplished” and that was a limited one-off strike has spurred little market reaction. There is one more loose end, as it were, and that is that the US has indicated it will announce additional sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Syria’s chemical weapon use. The ruble is volatile but slightly firmer to start the week, and while dollar-bond yields are firmer, the ruble benchmark is steady.

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FX Weekly Preview: Still Looking for Terra Firma

The weekend strike by the US, British and French forces against Syria appear to have been conducted in ways that minimize the risks of escalation by Russia. The limited nature of the strike and objectives suggest that the impact on the constellation of forces in Syria will be minimal. There is unlikely to be much of an impact in the global capital markets, though thin markets in early Asia could see a knee-jerk effect.

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Great Graphic: Loonie Takes Big Step toward Technical Objective

For a little more than two weeks, we have been monitoring the formation of a possible head and shoulders top in the US dollar against the Canadian dollar. The neckline broke a week ago. It is not uncommon for the neckline to be retested after the break. That was what happened yesterday. The US dollar recorded an outside down day yesterday.

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FX Daily, April 13: Markets Struggle to Find Footing while News Stream Improves

It had looked to many investors that world was headed for a trade war and an escalating risk war in Syria. But now it seems less clear. US President Trump’s rhetoric on trade took a more constructive tone, and a divided Administration leaves Syria in a bit of a limbo. US equities rallied yesterday, and Asia and European bourses are advancing today, but the conviction may not be particularly strong.

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Great Graphic: Aussie-Kiwi Approaches Trendline

Today is the fifth consecutive session that the Australian dollar has weakened against the New Zealand dollar. It has now fallen to test a three-year old trendline that we show on the Great Graphic, composed on Bloomberg. The last leg down in the Aussie actually began last October, and through today’s low, it is off by a little more than 7%.

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FX Daily, April 11: Mr Market Waits for Other Shoe to Drop

Between Syria, trade tensions, and the US special investigator into Russia’s attempt to influence the US election, market participants are cautious as they wait for another shoe to drop. The US equity market recovery yesterday has short coattails as markets in Asia and Europe struggle. Bond yields are mostly softer, and the US 10-year note yield is dipping back below 1.80%.

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Understanding the Latest International Reserve Figures

At the end of every quarter, the IMF publishes the most authoritative reserve data with a three-month lag. On Good Friday, the IMF published Q4 17 reserve holdings. A recent article on Bloomberg played up an economist’s forecast that euro reserves would increase by $500 bln over the next couple of years. A review of the reserve data may help us evaluate such a claim, which if true, could have important implications for international investors.

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FX Daily, April 10: XI’s Day, but Not So Good for Putin

It did not look so good. The S&P 500 fell about 1.65% in the last couple hours of trading yesterday paring its gains. Press reports indicated that President Trump’s lawyer’s office, house and hotel were the subject of search warrants. A Bloomberg report citing people who knew said that China would consider devaluing the yuan.

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US Jobs Data Optics Disappoint, but Signal Unchanged

The US jobs growth slowed in March more than expected, but the details of the report suggest investors and policymakers will look through it. The poor weather seemed to have played a role. Construction jobs fell (15k) for the first time since last July, and the hours worked by production employees and non-supervisory worker slipped.

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FX Daily, April 09: Asian and European Equities Shrug Off US Decline

US shares slumped before the weekend amid concern that Trump Administration was prepared to escalate the trade tensions with China. However, cooler heads are prevailing, and there is a recognition that the conflict is still in the posturing phase. No sanctions have gone to into effect. As the Economist points out, nearly 100 of the Chinese products the US proposed slap a tariff on are not currently being exported to the US. The US has a 60-day public comment period, and China has not given a date for implementations, but will take its cues from the US.

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Great Graphic: Has the Dollar Bottomed Against the Yen?

The US dollar appears to be carving a low against the yen. After a significant fall, investor ought to be sensitive to bottoming patterns. The first tell was the key reversal on March 26. In this case, the key reversal was when the dollar made a new low for the move (~JPY104.55) and then rallied to close above the previous session high.

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FX Daily, April 06: Trade Trumps Jobs

Trade and equity market volatility, which are not completely separate, continue to dominate investors’ interest. Many had come around to accept that while trade tensions were running high, it was likely to be mostly posturing. This conclusion may have helped lift the S&P 500 around 3% over the past three sessions.

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FX Daily, April 05: Investors Find Comfort in Brinkmanship Blinks

Global equity markets are higher, following the stunning recovery in the US yesterday, where the S&P 500 rallied 76 points or 3% from its lows to it highs, near where it finished. The outside up day is seeing following through today. Without China and Hong Kong, which are on holiday, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a three-day down draft and closed 0.55% higher.

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FX Daily, April 04: Trade Specificities Rattle Markets

Late yesterday, the US announced that specific tariffs and goods that would be targeted for intellectual property violations. China had warned of a commensurate response and earlier today made its announcement. This sent reverberations through the capital markets, driving down equities, corn and soybean prices (subject to Chinese tariffs). The US dollar was sold, especially against the yen, euro, and sterling.

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FX Daily, April 03: Markets in Search of Footing

The sell-off in US tech shares dragged the market lower. The S&P 500 fell for the sixth session of the past eight and closed below the 200-day moving average for the first time in a couple of years. The sell-off in Asia and Europe is more muted. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped less than 0.1%. The Hang Seng, an index of H-shares, and Korea’s KOSDAQ managed post gains.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Double Feature

BBG Video

Many are still celebrating the Easter holiday today, but not Tom Keene and Lisa Abramowicz and the Bloomberg team. They hosted me on Bloomberg TV today. As is often the case, the discussion was broad, covering the pressing economic and financial issues.

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FX Daily, April 02: Monday Blues

The US dollar drifted a little lower in Asia to start the week while equities had a slightly heavier bias. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1%. European bourses are mostly closed for the extended Easter holiday, while the S&P is set to start the new quarter about 0.3% lower. Although the subdued price action may not reflect it, there have been several new economic reports and developments.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Start of Q2

The chief uncertainty has shifted from monetary policy and macroeconomics to the increase of volatility in the stock markets and the prospects of a trade war. Some of the major benchmarks, including the S&P 500, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and Shanghai Composite held above the February lows in the retreat during the second half of March.

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Great Graphic: EMU Inflation Not Making it Easy for ECB

Germany, Italy, Fance and Spain HICP, March 2012 - 2018

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is credited with being the first central bank to adopt a formal inflation target. Following last year’s election, the central bank’s mandate has been modified to include full employment. To be sure this was a political decision, and one that initially saw the New Zealand dollar retreat.

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FX Daily, March 28: Three Developments Shaping Month-End

Today may be the last day of full liquidity until next Tuesday, after the Easter holidays. We identify three developments that are characterizing the end of the month, quarter, and for some countries and companies, the fiscal year. Equity market sell-off, bond market rally, and the continued rise in LIBOR.

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FX Daily, March 27: Global Equities Follow US Lead, Dollar Steadies

We argued that the talk of trade war was exaggerated. The confrontation, strong demands and a climb down is the Art of the Deal, and is part of the way the Trump Administration negotiates. We see striking parallels between the policymakers and tactics with the Reagan Administration’s attempt to pry open Japanese markets.

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FX Daily, March 26: Equity Meltdown Aborted, Dollar Eases

After a poor start in Asia, equities recovered. The MSCI Asia Pacific initially extended last week’s losses and fell to its lowest level since February 12 before recovering to finish near its highs, 0.4% above last week’s close. European markets followed suit. They did not have to take out last week’s lows. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up about 0.4% in late morning turnover.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Investment Climate

The investment meme of a synchronized global upturn has been undermined by the recent string of US and European economic data. The flash March eurozone composite reading fell to 55.3, the lowest reading since January 2017. Although Q4 17 US GDP may be revised higher (toward 2.8% from 2.5%) mostly due to greater inventory accumulation, the curse of weak Q1 GDP appears to be showing its hand again, with forecasts now coming in below 2%.

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Cool Video: Let’s Not Declare Trade War Yet

Trade tensions have risen. No doubt about it, but to consider this a trade war is premature. We should not pretend that this is the first time that the US adopted protectionist measures that ensnarled are military allies. We have been to this dance before.

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FX Daily, March 22: Dollar Trades Off

The US dollar has not recovered from the judgment that yesterday’s that Fed was not as hawkish as many had anticipated. There was no indication that officials thought they were behind the curve or prepared to accelerate the pace of hikes. Powell is comfortable with the broad policy framework that has been established but seemed to have little time for the summing up of the individual forecasts (dot plot).

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FX Weekly Preview: The Fed and More

The most significant event in the coming week is the first FOMC meeting under the Chair Powell. At ECB President Draghi’s first meeting he cut interest rates. He cuts rates at his second meeting as well, underwinding the two hikes the ECB approved under Trichet. At BOJ Governor Kuroda’s first meeting, an aggressive monetary policy was announced that was notable not only in its size, but also in the range of assets to be purchased under the Qualitative and Quantitative Easing (QQE).

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Great Graphic: Potential Topping Pattern for Euro

EUR/BGN Currency Oct 2017 - Apr 2018

The euro appears to be potentially carving out a topping pattern. Recall that after correcting lower last September and October, the euro rallied for three months through January before weakening 1.75% in February. That was its biggest decline since February 2017. The euro’s high print was actually on February 16 near $1.2555, when it posted a key reversal, which is when it makes a new high for the move and then closes below the previous day’s low.

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FX Daily, March 13: Non-Economic Developments Dominate Ahead of US CPI

Many see the eruption of the scandal that threatens senior government officials as yen positive because it weakens those that ostensibly want to depreciate the yen through monetary policy. The scandal involves falsifying documents to conceal a sweetheart deal. The government sold of state-owned land to a school-operator, reportedly with connections to Prime Minister Abe’s wife at an incredibly low price.

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FX Weekly Preview: Another Goldilocks Moment

Spring is around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it, a sense of a Goldilocks moment. Growth is sufficiently strong to see employment grow and absorb the economic slack. In the US, the participation rate of the key 25-54 aged demographic group has risen and now stands at 89.3%, the highest since 2010.

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FX Daily, March 09: Today is about Jobs, but Not Really

The US Administration has softened its initial hardline position of no exemptions for the new steel and aluminum tariffs. There is little doubt that the actions will be challenged at the World Trade Organization and the idea that national security includes the protection of jobs for trade purposes will be tested. At the same time, US President Trump has agreed to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

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FX Daily, March 08: Euro Slips Ahead of the ECB Meeting

Expectations that the European Central Bank would change its forward guidance in a substantive way had been one of the factors behind the euro’s appreciation. However, more recently, the anticipation has slackened. The last meeting took place around the same time that many perceived US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin as having abandoned the strong dollar policy.

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FX Daily, March 06: Resiliency Demonstrated

The resiliency of the status quo is again on display. After much chin wagging and finger pointing after the Italian elections and the modest decline in Italian assets, they have bounced back today. Italian bonds and stocks are participating in today’s advance. Italian equities were off 0.5% yesterday and are up a 1.1% near midday in Milan. Italy’s 10-year yield rose three basis points yesterday is off five today.

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Great Graphic: Is the Canadian Dollar a Buy Soon against the Mexican Peso?

This Great Graphic composed on Bloomberg shows the Canadian dollar against the Mexican peso since the start of last year. There have been three big moves. The Canadian dollar trended lower against the peso as it corrected from the sharp sell-off induced in great measure to the candidate Trump’s rhetoric against Mexico. However, shortly before the inauguration, the peso began recovering continued through H1 17.

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FX Daily, March 05: Italian Election Weighs on Italian Assets, but Little Systemic Risk Seen

The US dollar is narrowly mixed. The Japanese yen remains firm. The dollar appears stuck in a narrow range. Near JPY105.20 the seems to be some short-covering pressure in front of JPY105. On the top side, the greenback is encountering offers in front of JPY105.80. Sterling is firm against the dollar as it recovers against the euro. Before the weekend, the euro reached GBP0.8950, its best levels since last November. The euro is testing GBP0.8900 that was previously resistance. The dollar-bloc currencies continue to trade heavily.

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FX Weekly Preview: Thumbnail Sketch Four Central Bank Meetings and US Jobs Data

The German Social Democrats have endorsed the Grand Coalition, ending the period of political uncertainty and paralysis in Germany since the last September’s election. The polls have suggested nearly 60% of the SPD would support joining the government and the actual outcome looks to be closer to 66%. In 2013, when the SPD had a similar vote, three-quarters favored a Grand Coalition. Among the differences is that the SPD public support has waned, and now, according to some polls, is at risk of slipping into third place behind the AfD.

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FX Daily, March 02: Markets Unanchored?

The announcement of the US intention to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum on national security grounds has sent ripples through the capital markets. Yet there is certainly more going on here than that. The tariffs, justification, and magnitude have indicated and expected. After reversing lower on Tuesday and selling off on Wednesday, equity investors hardly needed a fresh reason to sell on Thursday.

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FX Daily, March 01: USD Snaps 3-Month Slide, Firm Ahead of Powell Part II

The US dollar rebounded last September and October before the downtrend resumed in November, and lasted through January. The dollar gained broadly last month, except against the yen, which rose almost 2.4% in February. This pattern is evident today, the first trading day of March. The dollar is extending its gains against most currencies but is only managing to consolidate in a narrow range against the yen.

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FX Daily, February 27: Markets Tread Water; Powell is Awaited

The capital markets seem unusually subdued. The US dollar is mostly slightly firmer, except against the euro and Swiss franc among the majors. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index managed to eke out a small gain (0.2%), for a third advancing session, without the help of China, Taiwan, Korea or India. It was really a Japanese story. The Nikkei rallied 1.1%, while excluding Japan the MSCI benchmark was off 0.25%.

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FX Daily, February 26: Dollar Slides as Equities Extend Recovery

The US dollar has begun the new week on heavy footing. It is being sold against virtually all the currencies, major and emerging market currencies. There is one exception, and although the local market is not open, the Mexican peso is under some pressure that could be linked to a dispute between the President of Mexico and the US that prompted the former to cancel a visit to the latter.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Drivers in the Week Ahead: Data, Speeches, Politics

There are three distinct classes of drivers in the week ahead. The first is high frequency data. The most important of the economic reports include the preliminary estimate of the February inflation in the euro area, the US January income, and consumption data alongside the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the core PCE deflator, and Japanese retail sales and industrial production figures.

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FX Daily, February 23: Dollar Firms; VIX Set to Close Lower for Second Week

A light economic schedule in North America may help the markets close the week on a quiet note. Perhaps if there is one number that captures this sense, it may be the VIX. It is soft and barring a new disruption today, it is poised to close lower for the second consecutive week, for the first time this year. The US dollar is steady to higher today and barring a reversal, will close stronger on the week against the major currencies.

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FX Daily, February 22: All Eyes on Equities

The dramatic reversal of US shares yesterday in the last hour of trading has once again pulled the proverbial rug beneath the feet of investors. The turn down, moreover, occurred near important technical levels, seemingly adding to the significance. Global equities have followed suit.

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FX Daily, February 21: Markets Mark Time

The economic data stream is picking up, but there is an uneasy calm in the markets. It is almost as if the dramatic drop in stocks has left many with a sense of incompleteness, like waiting for another shoe to drop. The price action has not clarified the situation very much. The equity markets are stalling in front of important chart points as are yields and the dollar.

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Great Graphic: S&P 500 vs Euro Stoxx 600 and Exchange Rates

SPX Index, Nov 2016 - Feb 2018

Today is an important day for equities. After a sharp sell-off earlier this month, stocks staged a recovery last week. The recovery has stalled near retracement objectives, which could be a potential turning point in the market. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 peaked on January 23 and dropped about 9% through February 9. Through yesterday, it recovered 38.2% of its decline, poking a little above 381.00.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Interview-Rates, Dollar, and Equites

Bloomberg Tv

In large gatherings of people, from airplanes to theater to conferences, we are often told to know the closest exit. The same is true for investing. No matter one’s confidence when they buy a security, someone is just as convinced on the other side who is selling the security. Well into this 4.5-minute interview (click here for the link) on Bloomberg’s “What’d You Miss” show, Lisa Abramowicz asks the always important question. How will I know I am wrong?

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FX Daily, February 20: Dollar Trades Higher, but Stocks Challenged at Key Chart Point

The dollar is finding better traction today, building on the upside reversal seen before the weekend. The news stream has been light and it seems like primarily an issue of positioning rather than a change in sentiment or the consensus narrative. The focus has shifted from monetary policy and idea that the ECB and BOJ are exiting their extraordinary monetary policy to return of the twin deficit problem in the US.

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FX Daily, February 19: Monday Market Update

The US dollar is narrowly mixed in uneventful turnover. Of note, the dollar selling seen in Asia last week slacken today and the greenback moved above the pre-weekend highs seen in the US. It is the first time in eight sessions, the dollar has risen above the previous day’s high against the yen. Europe seems to be losing interest though, with the dollar near JPY106.60.

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FX Weekly Preview: Four Key Numbers in the Week Ahead

The US markets are closed on Monday, and many parts of Asia will continue to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The economic schedule is fairly light, and market psychology appears fragile after the dramatic activity in equities and what appears to be shifting macro-relationships. To help navigate the challenging investment climate, we identify four “numbers” that can illuminate the path ahead.

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FX Daily, February 16: Worst Week for the Dollar since 2015-2016, While Stocks Continue to Recover

Nearly all the major currencies have risen at least two percent against the US dollar this week. The Canadian dollar is an exception. It has risen one percent this week ahead of today’s local session. Sterling is becoming another exception after disappointing retail sales. It is up just shy of two percent. The Dollar Index is off 2.3% on the week, which would be the biggest weekly loss since 2015.

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Great Graphic: Bears Very Short US 10-Year Ahead of CPI

The US reports January CPI figures tomorrow. The market seems especially sensitive to it. The main narrative is that it is an inflation scare spurred by the jump in January average hourly earnings that pushed yields higher and unhinged the stock market. This Great Graphic comes from Bloomberg and is derived from data issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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FX Daily, February 14: Investors Remain Uneasy even as Equities Stabilize

There is an unease that continues to hang over the market. It is as if a shoe fell last week, and most investors seem to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is hard to imagine the kind of body blow that the equities took last week without some kind of follow through and knock-on effects. Moreover, the focus today on US CPI may prove for nought.

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Great Graphic: Stocks and Bonds

The relationship between stocks and bonds does not appear to have changed much. It is difficult to eyeball correlations. Question the meaning of a chart that has two time series and two scales and.

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FX Daily, February 13: Tuesday’s Two Developments

There are two important developments today. First, the recovery in the global equity markets is being challenged. Second, the yen has strengthened across the board, and is now at its best levels against the dollar since last September’s low. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended Monday’s recovery with another 0.5% gain. However, looking closer, the momentum faltered.

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FX Weekly Preview: Recovering from Too Much of a Good Thing?

Too much of a good thing is bad. That, in a nutshell, is an important insight that Hyman Minsky offered about the financial sector, but has broader application. The low volatility that has been a characteristic of the capital markets for the past few years spurred financial innovation to profit from it.

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FX Daily, February 09: Equity Sell-Off Extends to Asia, but More Muted in Europe

The 100-point slide in the S&P 500 and the 1000-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrials yesterday spurred more bloodletting in Asia. The 1.8% drop in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (for a 6.7% loss for the week) may conceal the magnitude of the regional losses. At one point the CSI 300 of the large Chinese mainland shares was off more than 6% before closing off 4.3% (and 10% for the week). The H-shares index was down 3.9% and 12% for the week.

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Great Graphic: FX Vol Elevated, but Still Modest

With the substantial swings in the volatility of equities that have captured the imagination of journalists and punished investors who bought financial derivatives that profited from the low vol environment, we thought it would be helped to look at the implied volatility of the leading currencies against the US dollar. The Great Graphic looks at the three-month implied volatility for the euro (white line), the yen (yellow line), and sterling (green line) over the past year.

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FX Daily, February 08: Dollar Firms, While Equities Search for Stability

The swings in the equity markets are subsiding, bond yields are firm and the US dollar is extending its recovery. Although US equities closed lower, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day drop by posting a 0.25% gain. However, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is off nearly as much, though the range was modest. European markets are also lower, and the range for the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is the smallest in more than a week.

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Great Graphic: Major Currencies Year-to-Date

This Great Graphic was created on Bloomberg. It shows five major currencies against the US dollar this year. To avoid giving a misleading impression, the currencies are index to start this year at 100 and all the currencies are quoted in the European style of how many dollars the currency purchases. These kinds of charts are not so much for trading, but they help illustrate the relative moves that can be masked by nominal price changes.

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FX Daily, February 07: Guns and Butter May Resolve US Legislative Logjam

After a volatile session in North America, the major equity indices closed higher. In fact, the 1.75% rise in the S&P 500 was the best since November 2016. Asian equities stabilized, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was able to eke out a small gain. The European markets are moving higher is also posting early gains and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is about 0.45%, which threatens to snap the seven-day slide. However, the main challenge now is that the S&P 500 are trading nearly 1% lower.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Double Feature–BOE Meeting and the Yield Curve

Chandler

The Bank of England meets tomorrow. Although no one expects a move, it has little to do with the recent market volatility. The FTSE 100 is poised to snap a six-day 7%+ slide. The FTSE 250 fell for seven consecutive sessions through yesterday, shedding 5.75% in the process. The UK’s 2-year yield slipped about seven basis points from last week’s close to58 bp before recovering to 63 bp today, around the middle of this week’s range.

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US Trade Balance is Deteriorating, Despite Record Exports

The US trade deficit swelled in December, and the $53.1 bln shortfall was a bit larger than expected. It was the largest deficit since October 2008. For the 2017, the US recorded a trade deficit of goods and services of $566 bln, the largest since 2008. The deterioration of the trade balance may be worse than it appears. There has been significant improvement in the oil trade balance. In 2017, the real petroleum balance was just shy of $96 bln, the smallest in 14 years.

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FX Daily, February 06: Recovering US Equities Puts Floor Under Europe after Asia Tanks

After the dramatic fall in US equities, Asian equities followed suit. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 3.4% following Monday’s slide of 1.7%. European bourses gapped lower and spent most of the morning moving higher, though large gaps remain. At its worst, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was off about 3.3%, and at the time of this writing, it is half as much. US equities initially extended yesterday’s losses, but the S&P 500 has turned higher in the European morning in very volatile activity.

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FX Daily, February 05: Dollar Consolidates while Equity Rout may be Ebbing

Asian equity markets were weighed down by losses in the US markets ahead of the weekend. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was off 1.4% after the 1.0% pre-weekend loss. The Nikkei gapped lower and shed 2.5% and has fallen in eight of the past nine sessions. The notable exception in Asia was the Shanghai Composite. The 0.75% was led by the financial sector amid talk that a report later this week will show a strong jump in yuan lending from banks, which are pushing in as the shadow banking is squeezed out.

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FX Daily, February 02: A Note Ahead of US Jobs Report

The US dollar is sporting a firmer profile against all the major currencies after weakening yesterday. Frequently, it seems the Australian dollar leads the other currencies, and we note that it is making a new low for the week today. Briefly, in Europe, it slipped below its 20-day moving (~$0.7985) average for the first time since December 13.

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FX Daily, February 01: Fed’s Hawkish Hold Keeps Dollar Consolidation Intact

The Yellen Fed ended on a high note. She took over the reins the of Federal Reserve an implemented a strategic normalization process monetary policy, and helped engineer not only the first post-crisis rate hikes but also the beginning of unwinding its balance sheet. Most reckon she has done an admirable job at the Federal Reserve, not only in terms of the economic performance on her watch but also the nimble execution policy.

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FX Daily, January 30: Dollar and Bonds Stabilize; Equities not Yet

The US dollar is paring yesterday’s gains, and the 10-year Treasury yield has slipped back below the 2.70% level after pushing 2.73% briefly. European bonds have also eased, with yields one-two basis points lower. It is thus far a mild Turn Around Tuesday but suggests that the market psychology that has driven the dollar lower and yields higher persistently since mid-December have not been broken.

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FX Daily, January 29: A Brief Word

The US dollar is modestly firmer, but nothing to suggest a outright correction rather than consolidation. However, have a dramatic drop over the past month, much more than we think is justified by macroeconomic developments and interest rates, we think the dollar may have overshot.

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FX Weekly Preview: Market Confusion and New Inputs

Many investors are confused, and the official communication only fanned the confusion. Before turning to next week’s key events and data, let’s first spend some time, working through some of the confusion. There was no change in policy last week. The US did not suddenly become protectionist. It did put tariffs on solar panels and washing machines.

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Initial Thoughts on Draghi

ECB President Draghi was unable to arrest the US dollar’s slide and euro’s surge. But he did not try particularly hard. While many investors are a bit stumped by the pace and magnitude of the dollar’s slump, Draghi seemed to imply that it was perfectly understandable given the recovery of the eurozone economy.

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Did Mnuchin Signal a Policy Shift Today?

Did US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin signal a change in the US dollar policy? Probably not. As Mnuchin and President Trump have done before, a distinction was drawn between short- and longer-term perspectives. In the short-term, a weaker dollar says Mnuchin, is good for US trade and “other opportunities”. In the longer-term, Mnuchin explicitly acknowledged, “the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the US economy.”

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FX Daily, January 26: Trump-Inspired Dollar Short Squeeze Fades Quickly

It was dramatic. Following the BOJ and ECB’s rather mild rebuke of dollar’s depreciation, US President Trump cautioned that his Treasury Secretary comments were taken out of context, and in ant event, he, the President ultimately favored a strong dollar. The dollar, which had continued fall after Draghi’s post-ECB meeting comments, shot higher in the US afternoon in response to Trump’s comments.

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FX Daily, January 25: And Now, a Word from Draghi

With a backdrop of concern about US protectionism and a possible abandonment of the 23-year old strong dollar policy, and among the weakest sentiment toward the dollar in at least a decade, the ECB takes center stage. What a turn of events for Mr. Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank.

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FX Daily, January 24: Dollar Takes Another Leg Lower

North American session sold into the dollar’s upticks and Asia followed suit, taking the greenback to new multi-year lows against the euro and sterling while pushing it below the JPY110 level for the first time since last September. US trade action has become latest element of the narrative the seeks to explain the dollar’s slide and the decoupling of the greenback from interest rates.

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Great Graphic: Is Aussie Cracking?

AUD BGN Currency, Jul 2017 - Jan 2018

The Australian dollar bottomed in early December $0.7500 after having tested $0.8100 a couple of times in September. Since early December, however, the Australian dollar appreciated by nearly 6.5%. As it tested the $0.8000 area, the momentum faded.

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FX Daily, January 23: Dollar Stabilizes Near Recent Lows

The US dollar has come back better bid in late Asian activity. The session highlight was the BOJ meeting. BOJ maintained forecasts and policy. There was a small tweak to the inflation assessment, noting that prices were skewed to the downside, and said there was no change in inflation expectations. Last time it has said expectations were weakening. It also reiterated that there was no policy implication to the bond operations.

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FX Daily, January 22: Dollar Remains Heavy

The US dollar closed last week on a firm note, but it has been unable to build on its gains to start the new week. News that Germany’s SPD agreed to enter formal negotiations with Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance saw the euro open in Asia around a half a cent higher. However, sellers emerged near $1.2275 but seemed to lose their nerve as the pre-weekend low near $1.2215 was approached.

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FX Weekly Preview: ECB and BOJ Meetings Could be Key to Dollar Direction

The US dollar has been marked lower since the middle of last month. It flies in the face strong growth, rising inflation expectations, and greater conviction that the Fed will continue to raise interest rates this year. Moreover, an oft-cited knock on the dollar, the widening current account, may be offset this year by the impact from US corporations repatriating earnings that have been kept offshore.

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FX Daily, January 19: Dollar Crushed as Government Shutdown Looms

The US dollar is broadly lower as the momentum feeds on itself. Asia is leading the way. The Japanese yen, Taiwanese dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, and South Korean won are all around 0.45% higher. Asian shares also managed to shrug off the weakness seen in the US yesterday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.7%. It is the sixth consecutive weekly gain. The dollar’s drop comes as US yields reach levels now seen in year. The 10-year yield is at its highest level seen 2014, while yields from bills to three-year paper are at their highest level since 2008.

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FX Daily, January 18: Currencies Consolidate After Chop Fest

The US dollar rallied in the North American afternoon yesterday and the timing coincided with the release of the Fed’s Beige Book that saw several districts report wage and price pressures. The US 10-year yield moved toward toward 2.60%, and helped by speculation that as US companies repatriate earnings kept abroad that they may have to liquidate the investments, some of which are thought to be in Treasuries.

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China and US Treasuries

The US Treasury market was consolidating yesterday’s 7.5 basis point jump in 10-year yields when Bloomberg’s headline hit. The claim was that Chinese officials are “wary of Treasuries”. Yields rose quickly to test 2.60% and the dollar moved lower. It is difficult to determine the significance of the claim as the Bloomberg story does not quote anyone.

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FX Daily, January 17: Dollar Stabilizes After Marginal New Lows

After a shallow bounce in Asia and Europe yesterday, the dollar slipped lower in North American yesterday. Asia was happy to extend those dollar losses, and the greenback was pushed to marginal new lower in Asia, but has come back in the European session. The next result is a choppy but flattish consolidation compared with last week’s closing prices.

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Great Graphic: Treasury Holdings

Treasury Holdings

The combination of a falling dollar and rising US interest rates has sparked a concern never far from the surface about the foreign demand for US Treasuries. Moreover, as the Fed’s balance sheet shrinks, investors will have to step up their purchases.

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FX Daily, January 16: Dollar Given a Reprieve

After extending its recent slide yesterday, which the US markets were on holiday, the dollar is firmer against all the major currencies and most of the emerging market currencies. There does not seem to be macroeconomic developments behind the dollar’s stabilization, and the gains are quite minor, suggesting a pause in the downtrend rather than a reversal at this juncture.

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FX Weekly Preview: Drivers and Views

It is not easy to recall another week in which there were so many potential changes to the broad investment climate. The relatively light economic calendar in the week ahead may allow investors to continue to ruminate about some of those developments. Here we provide thumbnail assessments of the main drivers.

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Great Graphic: Euro Monthly

EUR/BGN Currency, 2002 - 2018

The euro peaked in July 2008 near $1.6040. It was a record. The euro has trended choppily lower through the end of 2016 as this Great Graphic, created on Bloomberg, illustrates. We drew in the downtrend line on the month bar chart. The trend line comes in a little below $1.27 now and is falling at about a quarter cent a week, and comes in near $1.26 at the end of February.

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FX Daily, January 12: Euro Jumps Higher

There is one main story today and it is the euro’s surge. The euro began the week consolidating it recent gains a heavier bias, but the record of last month’s ECB meeting surprised the market with its seeming willingness to change the forward guidance early this year in a more hawkish direction. This spurred a 0.7% gain in the euro back above $1.20. The euro stayed bid in Asia, but took another leg up (~0.75%) in response to reports that a preliminary deal was struck between the CDU/CSU and the SPD in Germany to begin negotiations on another grand coalition.

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Is the BOJ Tapering?

The G3 central banks are in flux. The Federal Reserve is gradually raising rates and allowing the balance sheet to shrink by not fully reinvesting the maturing proceeds. The ECB will purchase half as many bonds in the first nine months of 2018 as it did in the last nine months of 2017.

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FX Daily, January 11: Capital Markets Calmer, Greenback Consolidates

As market participants were just getting their sea legs back after the start of the year, it was hit by a one-two punch of ideas that BOJ policy was turning less accommodative and that Chinese officials were wary of adding to their Treasury holdings. Then late yesterday, a news wire reported that Canada suspected the US was going to withdraw from NAFTA.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg TV Clip on Central Banks

Bloomberg Video

I joined Alix Steel and David Westin on the Bloomberg set earlier today. Click here for the link. In the roughly 2.5 minute clip, we talk about the US and and the monetary cycle in Europe. In the US, Q4 was another quarter of above trend growth. The Atlanta Fed says the economy is tracking 2.7%, while the NY Fed puts it at 4.0%.

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FX Daily, January 10: Yen Short Squeeze Extended

Sparked by fears that the BOJ took a step toward the monetary exit by reducing the amount of long-term bonds it is buying, there is an apparent scramble to cover previously sold yen positions. The dollar finished last week near JPY113.00. It fell to about JPY112.35 yesterday, near the 50% retracement of the greenback’s bounce from the late-November lows near JPY110.85.

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FX Daily, January 09: Dollar Correction Extended

The US dollar’s upside correction that began before the weekend has been extended in Asia and Europe today. The main exception is the Japanese yen. The yen’s modest gains have been registered despite the firmness in US rates and continued advance in equities; both factors associated with a weaker Japanese currency.

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FX Daily, January 08: Dollar Posts Modest Upticks to Start the New Week

The US dollar is enjoying modest but broad-based gains after trading firmly at the end of last week despite the slightly disappointing jobs report. The dollar’s upticks are understood to be corrective in nature. The Canadian dollar appears to be protected by the increased prospects of a rate hike next week after its stellar employment report.

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Italian Election–Two Months and Counting

italy

Germany does not have a government, though the election was more than three months ago. Spain, Portugal, and Ireland have minority governments. Austria is the first government since the financial crisis to include the populist right. The EU is trying to press the Visegrad group of central European countries to conform to the values of Western European members.

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FX Daily, January 05: Dollar Given Reprieve Ahead of Employment Report

As the US dollar finished last year, so too did it begin the New Year, and after extending its losses, the bears have paused. Technical factors had been stretched, but it appears to have been old-fashioned macroeconomic considerations to have helped the dollar to move off the mat. Quickly summarized, these considerations are a larger than expected Australian trade deficit, slippage in Japan’s service sector PMI, a larger than expected drop in the UK’s BRC price index, and the lack of improvement in the flash eurozone December core CPI.

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Headline US Jobs Disappoint, but Earnings as Expected

The headline US non-farm payrolls disappointed, rising by 148k instead of the consensus of 180k-200k. However, the other details were largely as expected and are unlikely to change views about the trajectory of Fed policy or the general direction of markets. It is a very much steady as she goes story.

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Cool Video: Is the Third Major Dollar Rally Since Bretton Woods Over?

Video Bloomberg

To many, the question about the fate of the third major dollar rally since the end of Bretton Woods was resolved last year. The dollar fell broadly. It marked the end the greenback’s ride higher. However, I remain less convinced that this is really the case. And that is what I discuss in this three-minute clip from Bloomberg’s What’d You Miss.

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FX Daily, January 03: Dollar Stabilizes, but Sees Little Recovery

The US dollar is stabilizing but the tone remains fragile. The euro, which has advanced for five consecutive sessions coming into today is slightly lower. The euro had stalled yesterday as it approached last year’s high set in September near $1.2090. Yesterday was also the third consecutive close above the upper Bollinger Band, which is found today near $1.2060.

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The Past is Not Passed: 2017 Spills into 2018

The New Year may have begun in fact, but in practice, full participation may return only after the release of US employment data on January 5. The macroeconomic and policy tables have been set, though interpolating from the Overnight Index Swaps market, there is 45% chance the Bank of Canada hikes rates at its policy meeting near the middle of the month.

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Great Graphic: Progress

Progress 1990 - 2015

The world looks like a mess. While the economy appears to be doing better, disparity of wealth and income has grown. Debt levels are rising. Protectionism appears on the rise. Global flash points, like Korea, Middle East, Pakistan, Venezuela are unaddressed. At the same time, this Great Graphic tweeted by @DinaPomeranz, with a hat tip to @bill_easterly is a helpful corrective.

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FX Daily, January 2: Dollar Slump Accelerates

The US dollar’s slump seen in the final two weeks of 2017 is carried into today’s activity. The greenback’s sell-off extends to the emerging market currencies as well. The Hungarian forint is the strongest rising nearly 1%, ostensibly helped by the euro approaching last year’s high. However, our sense that fumes and momentum more than fresh news is pushing the dollar down is illustrated by the Korean won. It has gained nearly 0.9% today even though its manufacturing PMI fell below the 50 (49.9) boom/bust level for the first time in six months.

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Petro-Yuan? Really?

The launch of futures on Bitcoins was rushed so quickly through the regulatory channels that the anticipation was short-lived. And as the recent price action amply demonstrates, the existence of a derivative market has not tamed the digital token’s volatility. It is still the early days, but Bitcoin futures do not look likely to change the world.

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FX Daily, December 27: What Happened on Boxing Day?

There were several developments on the day after Christmas, while many markets remained closed and investors sidelined. One of the most important developments was the euro’s complete recovery from the flash crash of nearly three percent on Christmas day in the North American time zone.

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FX Daily, December 19: US Equities Set Pace, While Greenback Consolidates Inside Monday’s Ranges

US tax changes appear to be providing fuel for the year-end advance that has carried the major indices to new record highs. The coattails are a bit short, and while global equity markets are firm, they are unable to match the strength of US. Despite a heavier tone in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index edged higher for the second session but remains around one percent below the record highs set in late November.

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FX Daily, December 18: Trade Tensions with China Set to Escalate

The two main legislative initiatives in the US this year, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the tax changes, are not particularly popular. However, the next items on the agenda appear to enjoy broader support. The infrastructure initiative is likely to be unveiled as early as next month. Before that, the US is poised to ratchet up the tension on China.

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FX Daily, December 15: Premium for Dollar-Funding is not Helping Greenback Very Much

The cross-currency basis swap continues to lurch in the dollar’s direction, especially against the euro, and yet the dollar is not drawing much support from it. The increasing cost reflects pressure for the year-end and does not appear to reflect systemic issues. Dollar auction by the ECB and BOJ do not show any strain. The dollar has a downside bias today against most of the major currencies. And is what is true of the day is true for the week. Without a recovery in North America today, the Dollar Index will snap a two-week advance.

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FX Daily, December 14: US Rates Bounce Back, but Dollar, Hardly

US interest rates have recovered the drop seen after the FOMC yesterday, but the dollar at best has been able to consolidate its losses and at worst, seen its losses extended. The Fed boosted its growth forecasts and lower unemployment forecasts. Yet its interest rate trajectory and inflation forecasts were largely unchanged. Yellen, as her recent predecessors have done, played down the implications of the flattening of the yield curve.

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FX Daily, December 13: Greenback Quiet Ahead of Five Central Bank Meetings

The Federal Reserve gets the balling rolling today with the FOMC meeting, which is most likely to deliver the third hike of the year. Tomorrow, four European central banks meet: Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and the ECB. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose nearly 0.3%, though Japanese and Indian shares were lower. In Europe, the Down Jones Stoxx 600 is paring yesterday’s gains (-0.2%) led by utilities and telecom. Consumer discretion and financials are firmer. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up 0.3% taking back half of yesterday’s loss.

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FX Daily, December 08: Brexit Talks Move to Stage II, While Greenback Remains Firm

Sufficient progress will be judged to have been made, and negotiations of the separation between the UK and EU will be allowed to enter the second stage. The formal decision will be made at next week’s EU summit. To be sure, “sufficient progress,” which the diplomatic-speak that does not mean that any agreement has really been reached, but rather that the UK has made a few concessionary signals.

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FX Daily, December 07: Equities and Oil Stabilize

Global equities are stabilizing today after the recent downside pressure. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped an eight-day slump with a 0.4% gain, led by a rebound in Tokyo and India. European markets are firm, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 up around 0.25% near midday in London. All sectors are higher but telecom and real estate are performing best, while energy and health care are laggards.

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FX Daily, December 05: Sterling Sold on Negotiating Snafu, Aussie Bounces on Retail Sales and RBA

The US dollar is confined to narrow ranges against the euro and yen, straddling unchanged levels in the Asian session and the European morning. The action in elsewhere. The British pound is the weakest of the majors, paring 0.4% against the greenback, though around $1.3425, it can hardly be considered weak. A month ago, sterling was a few cents lower. Still, its gains reflected two things: broader dollar weakness and optimism on Brexit talks.

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FX Daily, December 04: US Dollar Marked Higher After Senate Passes Tax Reform

The US dollar opened higher in Asia and retained those gains through the European morning. The greenback has recouped most of the pre-weekend losses recorded in the wake of the indictment of a fourth former Trump Administration official by the special investigation into Russia’s involvement in last year’s election. However, two weekend developments seemed to blunt the impact of the guilty plea and admission of cooperation.

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Cool Video: Short Take on Bitcoins

I stopped by Bloomberg near midday to talk with Vonnie Quinn and Shery Ahn. We talked about many macro issues, but this clip that Bloomberg provided covers is the one topic that has overshadowed the big rally in US equities, tax reform and Matt Lauer: Bitcoins. In this two minute clip, I mention that despite Bitcoins capturing the headlines, most Americans are not and cannot be involved.

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FX Daily, November 30: US Dollar Comes Back Bid, but Brexit Hopes Underpin Sterling

The US dollar is broadly firmer. The rise in US yields yesterday has seen the greenback extend its recovery against the yen. It briefly pushed through JPY112.40, after dipping below JPY111.00 at the start of the week, for the first time since mid-September. Since the end of last week, been capped at the 200-day moving average against the yen, found near JPY111.70, but yesterday it pushed past. There are nearly $1 bln of options struck between JPY112.20-JPY112.65.

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FX Daily, November 29: Sterling Charges Ahead on Brexit Hopes

Prospects of a deal with the EU has sent sterling to its best level in two months against the dollar. It reached $1.3430 in early European turnover. It had sunk to nearly $1.3220 yesterday as European markets were closing, which was a four-day low. It is the strongest of the major currencies today, gaining about 0.4%. With today’s gains has met our retracement target near $1.3415. The momentum appears to give it potential toward $1.3500 in the near-term.

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FX Daily, November 28: Greenback Ticks Up in Cautious Activity

The US dollar is consolidating its recent losses with a small upside bias. What promises to be an eventful week has begun with the Bank of England stress test and the publication of the Fed’s Powell prepared remarks for his confirmation hearing to succeed Yellen as Chair. Unlike last year, this year’s BOE stress test saw all seven banks pass.

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FX Daily, November 27: Slow Start to Busy Week

The US dollar is narrowly mixed and is largely consolidating last week’s losses as the market waits for this week’s numerous events that may impact the investment climate. These include the likelihood of the US Senate vote on tax reform, preliminary eurozone November CPI, a vote of confidence (or lack thereof) in the deputy PM in Ireland, Powell’s confirmation hearing as Yellen’s successor, the BOE financial stability report, and stress test, and the latest read on Japanese inflation.

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FX Daily Rates, November 24: Euro Continues to Push Higher

The euro is edging higher to trade at its best levels since the middle of last month. It is drawing closer to the $1.1880 area, which if overcome, could point to return to the year’s high seen in early September near $1.2100. There is a combination of factors lifting the euro. The recent data, including yesterday’s flash PMI, suggests that the regional economy is re-accelerating here in Q4.

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German Politics: What’s Next?

Coalition talks will resume in the coming days, and failing this a minority government is more likely than new elections. The is a general agreement among the political elites, and a hubris of small differences. The rate differentials and cross currency swaps show the incentive structure for holding dollars is increasing.

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Cool Video: Bitcoin Discussion on Bloomberg

Bitcoin

I had to be on Bloomberg’s Day Break with David Westin and Alix Steel earlier today. We talked about the collapse of talks to put together a new coalition following the results of the September election. I suggested that the initial reaction was exaggerated, negotiations will likely resume in some fashion, and speculation of Merkel’s demise are premature.

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FX Daily, November 21: Dollar Marks Time

The US dollar has largely been confined to yesterday’s trading ranges against the major currencies amid light news. The North American session does not hold much hope for fresh impetus. The US reports October existing home sales, which are not typically market moving in the best of times. Yellen does not speak until after the markets close, and even then is unlikely to sway expectations, which have priced in a rate hike next month.

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FX Daily, November 20: German Political Impasse Roils Euro…Briefly

News that the attempt to forge a four-party coalition in Germany collapsed Sunday saw the euro marked down in early Asian activity. The euro fell to nearly $1.1720 in the immediate response to the news, stabilized before turning higher in early European turnover. It quickly recovered and poked through $1.1800. The pre-weekend high was seen near $1.1820.

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FX Weekly Preview: Another Week that is Not about the Data

The contours of the investment climate are unlikely to change based on next week’s economic data from the US, Japan, or Europe. The state of the major economies continues to be well understood by investors. Growth in the US, EU, and Japan remains solid, and if anything above trend, as the year winds down.

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Great Graphic: Euro Approaching Key Test

EUR/BGN Currency

Euro is testing trendline and retracement objective and 100-day moving average. Technical indicators on daily bar charts warn of upside risk. Two-year rate differentials make it expensive to be long euros vs. US. Beware of small samples that may exaggerate seasonality.

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FX Daily, November 17: Euro, Yen and Sterling Regain Footing

The US dollar is trading with a heavier bias against the euro, sterling, and yen, but is firmer against the Antipodean currencies and many of the actively traded emerging market currencies. This mixed performance is the story of the week. The US 2-10 yr yield curve is flattening further today with the two-year pushing above 1.70% for the first time since the financial crisis. The 10-year yield is slipping toward the middle of this week’s 2.32%-2.41% trading range.

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FX Daily, November 16: Euro Extends Pullback

After rising to its best level since October 20, the euro reversed direction yesterday and has extended its pullback today. The unexpected tick up in US core CPI and better than expected retail sales may have helped spur the euro losses after three cent run-up over the past several sessions. There bearish candlestick (shooting star) leaves the late euro longs in weak hands.

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FX Daily, November 15: Dollar Slides

The euro and yen are extending their gains, casting a pall over the US dollar. The euro is extending its advance into a sixth consecutive session, which is the longest streak since May. It is approaching last month’s highs in the $1.1860-$1.1880 area. As was the case yesterday, a consolidative tone in Asia was followed by strong buying in the European morning. There does not appear to be a fresh fundamental driver.

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FX Daily, November 14: Euro Rides High After German GDP

Sterling is trading in the lower end of yesterday’s range and has been confined to about a quarter a cent on either side of $1.31. On the other hand, the euro has pushed a bit through GBP0.8950 to reach its best level since October 26. Sweden also reported softer than expected October inflation.

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FX Daily, November 13: Sterling Trounced by Growing Political Challenges

The US dollar has begun the new week on firm footing, without the help of either higher interest rates or increased confidence that Congress will agree on a tax plan. Indeed, over the weekend the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee was explicit that the Senate plan to repeal the federal tax break for state and local taxes will not find support in the House of Representative.

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FX Weekly Preview: Week Ahead Data and Policy

There seems to be a broad consensus on the trajectory of policy in the remaining weeks of the year. Barring a major shock or surprise the Federal Reserve will hike rates next month. The ECB’s course is set until at least the middle of next year when the current policy will begin to be debated in earnest.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg TV on Powell–Heir Apparent

BBG London

In London on business and had the opportunity to go to Bloomberg. In this clip, Francine Lacqua discuss the likely nomination of Fed Governor Powell to succeed Yellen at the helm of the Federal Reserve. I make three points. First, that, like others, I recognize a strong element of continuity between Bernanke, who was first appointed by a Republican, Yellen, and now, presumably Powell.

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FX Daily, November 02: Dollar Pulls Back in Asia

We suggested the market was at crossroads. It is still not clear if the dollar’s breakout, supported by higher yields is real or simply the fraying of ranges. Asia has pushed the dollar broadly lower. While the greenback finished the North American session above JPY114.00 for the first time since July, the fact that the US 10-year yield could not push back above the 2.40% level, does not help confidence.

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FX Daily, November 01: Super 48 Hours

This is it: The next 48 hours will be among the busiest of the year. The Bank of England meets tomorrow, and it not only gives a verdict on interest rates but also provides an update of its economic projections (Quarterly Inflation Report). And, among the innovations, the MPC minutes will be released. Ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting, the market will have the ADP private-sector job estimate.

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FX Daily, October 31: Month-End Leaves Market at Crossroads

Global equity markets are closing another strong month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed on the day, but up 4.3% in October, the 10th consecutive monthly advance. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is also flattish today, but up 1.6% on the month. It is the second monthly advance after a June-August swoon. The benchmark is closing in on the high for the year set in May.

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FX Daily, October 30: Dollar Slips in Consolidative Activity

The markets are mixed, mostly responding to idiosyncratic developments, as the week’s large events loom ahead. These BOJ, BOE, and FOMC meetings, eurozone flash CPI and US jobs reports. In addition, US President Trump is expected to announce his nomination of the next Fed chair, and the initial House tax bill will be unveiled.

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Three Developments in Europe You may have Missed

The focus in Europe has been Catalonia’s push for independence and the attempt by Madrid to prevent it. Tomorrow’s ECB meeting, where more details about next year’s asset purchases, is also awaited. There are three developments that we suspect have been overshadowed but are still instructive. First, the ECB reported that its balance sheet shrank last week. With the ECB set to take another baby step toward the exit, many are seeing convergence, though we argue that divergence of interest rates and balance sheets has not peaked.

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FX Daily, October 27: Greenback Finishing Week on Firm Note

This has been a good week for the US dollar. The Dollar Index’s 1.25% gain this week is the largest of the year. The driver is two-fold: positive developments in the US and negative developments abroad. The positive developments in the US include growing acceptance that the Fed will raise rates in December and that there will be more rate hikes next year. The Fed says three.

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FX Daily, October 26: Draghi’s Day

It is all about the ECB meeting today. The market was hoping for more details last month, but Draghi pointed to today. The broad issue is well known. While growth has been strong, price pressures are still not, according to the ECB, on a durable path toward its “close but lower than 2%” target. The ECB judges that substantial additional stimulus is needed.

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FX Daily, October 25: Sterling and Aussie Interrupt the Waiting Game

Most participants seemed comfortable marking time ahead of tomorrow’s ECB meeting, and an announcement President Trump’s nominations to the Federal Reserve. However, softer than expected Australian Q3 CPI and a stronger than expected UK Q3 GDP injected fresh incentives. Australia reported headline CPI rose 0.6% in Q3.

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FX Daily, October 24: Dollar Treads Water as 10-year Yield Knocks on 2.40percent

The US dollar is narrowly mixed in mostly uneventful turnover in the foreign exchange market. There is a palpable sense of anticipation. Anticipation for the ECB meeting on Thursday, which is expected to see a six or nine-month extension of asset purchases at a pace half of the current 60 bln a month. Anticipation of the new Fed Chair, which President Trump says will be announced: “very, very soon.”

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Canada: Monetary and Fiscal Updates This Week

Divergence between US and Canada’s two-year rates is key for USD-CAD exchange rate. Canada’s 2 hikes in Q3 were not part of a sustained tightening sequence. Policy mix considerations also favor the greenback if US policy becomes more stimulative.

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FX Daily, October 23: US Dollar Starts New Week on Firm Note

The US dollar is enjoying modest gains against most currencies as prospects of both tax reform and additional monetary tightening by the Fed carry over from last week. The strong showing of the Liberal Democrats in Japan, where the governing coalition has maintained its super-majority is seen as confirmation of continuity. This helped lift Japanese shares and weighed on the yen. The Nikkei advanced 1.1%, the most in a month, and extends the advancing streak to a record 15 sessions. The Nikkei is at 20-year highs.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three on a Match: US Tax Reform, ECB and Bank of Canada Meetings

Busy week of economic data and central bank meetings, and reaction to Spanish developments and Japan and Czech elections. Focus below is on the Bank of Canada and ECB meetings and tax reform in the US. The biggest challenge to tax reform is unlikely on the committee level but on the floor votes, especially in the Senate, in a similar way the stymied health care reform. US and German 2-year rates are diverging the most since the late 1990s and US-Canada 2-year spread moving in US favor.

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Abe’s Third Arrow

Abe’s political gamble appears likely to pay off. The third arrow of structural reforms continues. The FSA is continuing to push for shareholder value. Foreign investors have gone on a three-week buying spree that appears to be the largest in years, and the Nikkei is leading G7 bourses higher this month.

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FX Daily, October 19: Kiwi Drop and Sterling Losses Punctuate Subdued FX Market

The 30th anniversary of the 1987 equity market crash the major US benchmarks at record highs. The drop in the market was at least partly a function of the lack of capacity, sufficient instruments, and regulatory regime. Each of these factors has been addressed to some extent. Circuit breakers have been introduced, and have evolved. The financial capacity has grown immensely.

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Great Graphic: The Euro’s Complicated Top

Euro looks like it is carving out a top. The importance also lies in identifying levels that the bearish view may be wrong. Widening rate differentials, a likely later peak in divergence than previously anticipated, and one-sided market positioning lend support to the bearish view.

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Central Bank Chiefs and Currencies

Market opinion on the next Fed chief is very fluid. BOE Governor Carney sticks to view, but short-sterling curve flattens. New Bank of Italy Governor sought. A second term for Kuroda may be more likely after this weekend election.

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Political Focus Shifting in Europe

There was a huge sigh of relief among investors when it became clear that the populist-nationalist wave that ostensibly led to Brexit and Trump’s election was not going to sweep through Europe. The euro gapped higher on April 24, and it has not looked back. We have suggested that with the outcome of the German election, European politics shift from tailwind to headwind.

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Brief Thoughts on the Euro

Euro peaked a month ago. The reversal before the weekend marks the end of the leg lower. ECB meeting is next big focus. ECB may focus on gross rather than net purchases.

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FX Daily, October 13: Sterling Extends Yesterday’s Recovery; US Data Awaited

The EU’s leading negotiator whipsawed sterling yesterday. The net effect was to ease fears that the UK would leave the EU without the agreement Initial concerns that the negotiations had stalled sent sterling to nearly $1.3120. The willingness to discuss a two-year transition period spurred sterling’s recovery. After trading on both sides of Wednesdays, it closed on its highs was a bullish technical signal and there has been follow-through buying today.

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FX Daily, October 12: Discipline Argues Against Consensus Narrative

Following the release of the FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting, the consensus narrative that has emerged says that it was dovish because there is a growing worry the reason inflation fell is not simply due to transitory factors. This explains, according to the narrative the dollar’s losses and the stock market rally.

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FX Daily, October 11: Markets Looking for a New Focus

The US dollar is consolidating after retreating since reversing lower following the US jobs data at the end of last week. While the greenback has largely been confined to yesterday’s ranges against the major currencies, the euro has made a marginal new high, briefly trading through the $1.1830 area noted yesterday.

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FX Daily, October 10: Dollar Pullback Extended

The US dollar’s advance faltered before the weekend after rise average hourly earnings and a new cyclical low in unemployment and underemployment initially fueled greenback buying. There is no doubt the data was skewed by the storms, though the upward revision to the August hourly early cannot be attributed to the weather distortions. The reversal in the dollar before the weekend has carried over into the early trading this week. Even the Turkish lira, which had been battered yesterday amid a diplomatic squabble with the US, is firmer today, though there is no resolution at hand.

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FX Weekly Preview: Forces of Movement

Over the past few weeks, the markets have come to accept the likelihood of a December Fed hike. US interest rates have adjusted. The pricing of December Fed funds futures contract is consistent with around an 80% chance of a hike. The two-year yield is trading at the upper end of what is expected to be the Fed funds target range at the end of the year, after slipping below the current range a month ago. The Dollar Index formed a bottoming pattern.

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Cool Video: Double Feature Courtesy of Bloomberg

Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua gave me a most appreciated opportunity to present my dollar views on Bloomberg TV earlier today. They also let me opine about current events, like Catalonia’s push for independence and May’s troubled speech at the Tory Party Conference. Bloomberg made two clips of the discussion available. The first is about the dollar’s outlook broadly. I suggest a combination of technical and fundamental factors point to a strong Q4 dollar performance.

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US Storm-Skewed Report Means Nothing about Anything

US interest rates and the dollar rose in response to the data. It was firm before the report. The US Dollar Index is up for a fourth consecutive week. It is the longest streak since Q1. US 10-year yields are near 2.40%, an area that has blocked stronger gains for nearly six months.

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FX Daily, October 6: Look Through the US Jobs Report

Traders are putting the final touches on another strong weekly performance for the US dollar. Strong economic data, including the PMIs, auto sales, and factory orders have surprised to the market. The ADP report warns that the storms that flattered some high frequency data will likely skew today’s employment report (both headline and details) to the downside. Of course, investors will quickly look for the number of people who could get to work due to the weather.

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FX Daily, October 04: Consolidative Tone in FX Continues

The US dollar has a softer tone today, and it was that way even for the European PMI. The greenback eased further after the upside momentum faded yesterday. The heavier tone in Asia seemed spurred by a hedge fund manager’s call that Minneapolis Fed President, and among the most dovish members of the FOMC, Kashkari would be the next Fed chair.

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FX Daily, October 03: Dollar Retains Firm Tone, Spanish Markets Stabilize

Firm US interest rates and a strong manufacturing ISM yesterday help support the greenback, while disappointing construction PMI in the UK weighs on sterling. The euro briefly slipped below $1.17 in Asia for the first time in six weeks. It has recovered toward the highs seen in North America yesterday (~$1.1760). There are several euro option strikes that may be in play today. In the euro, between $1.1750 and $1.1775, there are nearly 2.9 bln euros in options that expire today. And there are another nearly 900 mln euros struck at $1.18.

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Another Look at Why the Return to Capital is Low

surplus

(summary of presentation  based on my book, Political Economy of Tomorrow, delivered to Bank Credit Analyst conference yesterday)Alice laughed.   There is no use trying; she said, “one can’t believe impossible things.” I dare say you haven’t had much practice, said the queen.  When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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FX Daily, October 02: Dollar Upbeat to Start Fourth Quarter

The US dollar is broadly higher as the quarter-end positioning losses seen at the end of last week area reversed. Developments in the US are seen as dollar positive, while the Catalonia-Madrid conflict, and slightly softer EMU manufacturing PMI weighs on the euro. The UK also reported a disappointing manufacturing PMI, and more differences with the Tory government are taking a toll on sterling. Japan’s Tankan Survey was stronger than expected, but the rise in US Treasury yields and the LDP’s slippage in the opinion polls has seen the greenback return to JPY113 from a JPY112.20 low before the weekend.

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FX Weekly Preview: Changing Dynamics

We agree with the consensus that the markets are in a transition phase. The consensus sees this transition phase as a new economic convergence. European and Japanese economic growth continues above trend. Large emerging markets, including BRICs, are also expanding. Central banks are gradually moving away from the extreme accommodation.

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Great Graphic: Potential Head and Shoulders Bottom in the Dollar Index

This Great Graphic was composed on Bloomberg. t shows the recent price action of the Dollar Index. There seems to be a head and shoulders bottoming pattern that has been traced out over the last few weeks. The right shoulder was carved last week, and today, the Dollar Index is pushing through the neckline, which is found by connecting the bounces after the shoulders were formed.

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Evolving Thoughts on Inflation

In early 2005, Greenspan said that the fact that long-term rates were lower despite the Fed’s campaign to raise short-term rates was a “conundrum.” Many rushed to offer the Fed Chair an explanation of the conundrum, which given past cycles may not have been such an enigma in the first place.

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FX Daily, September 27: Dollar Builds on Gains

The Federal Reserve may not be on a coordinated campaign to convince the markets of a pending rate hike as it did so effectively in late February and early March. But investors are getting the message. The Bloomberg calculation of the odds of a rate hike before the end of the year has risen to 70% from 53% before last week’s FOMC meeting and 33.5% at the end of last month. The CME puts the odds at 81% up from 37% a month ago.

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FX Daily, September 26: Weekend Election and North Korea Rhetoric Helps Greenback Remain Firm

The US dollar is firmer against most major currencies today. The implications the Jamaica coalition in Germany is understood to be less likely to support a new vision for Europe in the aftermath of Brexit and the Great Financial Crisis. The euro’s low for the year was set at the very start near $1.0340. The first quarter or so was spent consolidating the gains in H2 16. It was trading below $1.06 in early April.

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FX Daily, September 25: Euro and Kiwi Dragged Lower

The end of the Grand Coalition in Germany and the need for a coalition in New Zealand are weighing on the respective currencies. The euro was marked down in Asia and briefly dipped below $1.19 before recovering to $1.1940 by the middle of the Asian session. It was sold to new lows in the European morning after the weaker than expected IFO survey. Today’s survey stands in contrast to the recent PMI and ZEW survey and matches the mood of the market. The euro’s low from last week was near $1.1860. In only one session this month, the euro traded below $1.1850.

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Abe and BOJ

BOJ is unlikely to change policy. A snap election suggests continuity of policy. US 10-year yield remains one of most important drivers of the exchange rate.

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FX Daily, September 22: Markets Limp into the Weekend

The cycle of sanctions, recriminations, and provocative actives continues as the Trump Administration leads a confrontation with North Korea. The US announced yesterday new round of sanctions on North Korea. Reuters reported that the PBOC has instructed its banks not to take on new North Korean clients and to begin unwinding existing relationships.

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FX Daily, September 20: Shrinkage and Beyond

After much anticipation, the FOMC decision day is here. Much of the focus is on the likely decision that the Fed will allow its balance sheet to shrink gradually. No other country who employed quantitative easing has is in a position to begin unwinding the emergency expansion of its balance sheet. The Fed’s experience in QE, communication, and now unwinding, will be part of the information set other central banks can draw upon.

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FX Daily, September 19: Quiet Tuesday, Follow the Leader

Politics seems to dominate the talking points today. Boris Johnson’s weekend op-ed has been rejected by May, and there is talk that Johnson may resign or fired. Sterling is consolidating after pulling back yesterday. Carney said that if the UK does hike it will be gradual and limited. The markets did respond dramatically to the BOE minutes and suggestions by even some of the doves that rates may need to be lifted, but there is still a good reason to be a little skeptical.

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FX Daily, September 18: More Thoughts from Berlin

The unexpected weakness in US retail sales and industrial production reported before the weekend did not prevent US yields and stocks from rising.  Asia followed suit, and with Japanese markets closed, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied a little more than 1%, the largest gain in two months.  Of note, foreigners returned to the Korean stock market, buying about $260 mln today, which cuts the month’s liquidation in half.  The Kospi rallied 1.3% today, the most in four months.

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FX Weekly Preview: FOMC Highlights Big Week

The days ahead are historic. By all reckoning, Merkel will be German Chancellor for a fourth consecutive term. Many observers expect the election to usher in a new era of German-French coordination to continue the European project post-Brexit and in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis.

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FX Daily, September 15: Short Note Ahead of the Weekend

Sporadic updates continue as the first of two-week business trip winds down. North Korea missile launch failed to have much impact in the capital markets. The missile apparently flew the furthest yet, demonstrating its ability to hit Guam. However, there was not an immediate response from the US. South Korea said it had simultaneously conducted its own drill which included firing a missile into the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

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FX Daily, September 14: New Trump Tactics Help Greenback and Rates

In the face of much cynicism and pessimism about the outlook for the Trump Administration’s agenda, we have repeatedly pointed out the resilience of the system of checks and balances. Many of the more extreme positions have been tempered, either on their own accord, such as naming China a currency manipulator or pulling out of NAFTA or KORUS, or the judiciary branch, such as on immigration curbs, or the legislative branch itself, as in limiting the President’s ability to rollback new sanctions on Russia (and Iran and North Korea).

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FX Daily, September 13: Sterling Shines While Euro Stalls in Front of $1.20

The next leg of the business trip takes me to Frankfurt. Sporadic updates will continue. We have been identifying the $1.3430 area is a reasonable technical target for sterling. It represents the 50% retracement of sterling’s losses since the day of the referendum June 2016 when it briefly traded $1.50. Also helping sterling is the unwinding of short cross positions against the euro.

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FX Daily, September 08: US Dollar Tracks Yields Lower

The US dollar has been unable to find any traction as US yields continue to move lower. The US 10-year year is slipping below 2.03% in European turnover, the lowest level in ten months. The risk, as we have noted, is that without prospects of stronger growth and inflation impulses, the yield returns to where was before the US election (~1.85%). The two-year note yield, anchored more by Fed policy than the long-end,  is also soft. It yielded 1.25% today, the same as the upper end of the Fed funds target range, and the rate that the Federal Reserve pays on all bank reserves (not just excess reserves).  

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FX Daily, September 07: ECB Focus for Sure, but not Only Game in Town

The US dollar is trading broadly lower. The ECB meeting looms large. Many, like ourselves, expected that when Draghi said in July that the asset purchases would be revisited in the fall, it to meant after the summer recess, not a legalistic definition of when fall begins. Still, there have been some reports, citing unnamed sources close to the ECB, that have played down such expectations, and warn a decision on next year’s intentions may not be announced until October or even December.

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FX Daily, September 06: Wake Me up when September Ends

The US dollar fell to new lows since mid-2015 against the Canadian dollar yesterday. It is flattish today as the market awaits the central bank’s decision. We are concerned that given the strong performance and market positioning, a rate hike could spur “buy the rumor, sell the fact” activity. Alternatively, a disappointment if the Bank does not hike could also lead to some Canadian dollar sales.

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Great Graphic: Young American Adults Living at Home

Living at home

This Great Graphic caught our eye (h/t to Gregor Samsa @macromon). It comes from the US Census Department, and shows, by state, the percentage of young American adults (18-34 year-olds).The top map is a snap shot of from 2005. A little more than a quarter of this cohort lived at home. A decade later, and on the other side of the Great Financial Crisis, the percentage has risen to a little more than a third.
 

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FX Daily, September 5: Greenback Mixed, North Korea and PMIs in Focus

Reports suggesting that North Korea is moving an ICBM missile toward launch pad in the western part of the country at night to minimize detection, while South Korea is escalating its military preparedness and the US seeks new sanctions, keep investors on edge. Risk assets are mixed. Gold is slightly lower. While the yen is stronger, the Swiss franc is heavier. Asia equities slipped, and European shares are recouping much of yesterday’s 0.5% loss.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Central Banks Dominate the Week Ahead

Following strong Q2 GDP figures, risk is that Bank of Canada’s rate hike anticipated for October is brought forward. ECB’s guidance to that it will have to extend its purchases into next year will continue to evolve. Among Fed officials speaking ahead of the blackout period, Brainard and Dudley’s comments are the most important.

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FX Daily, September 01: Manufacturing PMIs, US Jobs, and Implications of Harvey

As the markets head into the weekend, global equities are firmer, benchmark 10-year yields are mostly lower, and the dollar is consolidating after North American pared the greenback’s gains yesterday. Manufacturing PMIs from China, EMU, and the UK have been reported, while in the US, the August jobs data stand in the way of the long holiday weekend for Americans.

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FX Daily, August 31: US Core PCE Deflator may Challenge the Greenback’s Firmer Tone

The US dollar recovery was marginally extendedin Asia, and while it remains firm, it is lost some of its momentum. The Fed’s target inflation measure, the core PCE deflator, may decline from 1.5% to 1.4%, according to the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey. That would be the lowest read since the end of 2015 and likely spur more speculation against another Fed hike before the end of the year.

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Two Overlooked Takeaways from Draghi at Jackson Hole

The consensus narrative from the Jackson Hole Symposium was the Yellen and Draghi used their speeches to argue against dismantling financial regulation and the drift toward protectionism. Many cast this as a push against US President Trump, but this may be too narrow understanding.

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FX Daily, August 28: Monday’s Dollar Blues

The US dollar’s pre-weekend losses were extended initially in Asia before it recovered sufficiently to give European participant a better selling level. The dollar selling into the shallow bounce reflects the bearish sentiment, which as we see it, was simply fanned by both Yellen and Draghi did not alter the status quo in their Jackson Hole speeches.

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Great Graphic: Small Caps and the Trump Trade

The Russell 2000, which tracks the 2000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000, is threatening to turn positive for the year. It had turned negative in the second half of last week. Many pundits saw its decline and the penetration of the 200-day moving average for the first time in over a year as a sign of an impending down move in the broader equity market.

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FX Daily, August 25: Is the Janet and Mario Show a New Episode or Rerun?

The event that investors have been waiting for and the media frequently linked to whatever price action has taken place has arrived: Yellen and Draghi’s speeches later today. Yellen is first. She will speak at 10:00 am ET. This is toward the end of the European trading week. Draghi speaks late in the North American session–3:00 pm ET.

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How will Yellen Address Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy?

Yellen has identified two challenges regarding the US labor market, the opioid epidemic and women participation in the labor force. The topic of the Jackson Hole gathering lends itself more to a discussion of these issues than the nuances of monetary policy. Dynamic world growth needs a dynamic US economy, and that requires more serious thinking about these socio-economic and political issues.

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FX Daily, August 24: Greenback Firmer in Becalmed Markets

The US dollar is enjoying a firmer tone in quiet. Sterling is stabilizing after grinding down to its lowest level since late June. The Mexican peso, which had dropped in thin trading in Asia and Europe yesterday following Trump’s threat to exit NAFTA and force Congress to fund the Wall or face a government shutdown recovered fully and is now slightly higher on the week.

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FX Weekly Preview: Transitioning to a New Phase

Jackson Hole marks the end of the investors’ summer and a beginning of a challenging several weeks. The abandonment of national business leaders from Trump’s advisory board and strong words by Republican Senator Corker, followed by the dismissal of the controversial Bannon, could be a turning point. Neither Yellen nor Draghi may not even address the current policy stance as they discuss the topic at hand, “Fostering Dynamic Global Economy”, which lends itself to structural issues.

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FX Daily, August 18: Dollar and Equities Trade Heavily Ahead of the Weekend

The second largest drop in US equities this year has spilled over to drag global markets lower. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell nearly 0.5%, snapping a four-day advance and cutting this week’s gain in half. The Dow Jones Stoxx did not completely escape the US carnage yesterday, but losses are accelerating today, with a nearly 1% decline following a 0.6% decline yesterday.

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FX Daily, August 11: Geopolitical Tensions Remain Elevated into the Weekend

There has been no apparent attempt by either North Korea or the United States to ease the rhetorical flourishes that have made global investors nervous. Risk assets were liquidated, and the funding currencies, particularly the Japanese yen and Swiss franc were bought back. The yen gained nearly 1.6% this week, ahead of the US session, while the Swiss franc gained 1.3%.

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FX Daily, August 10: Tensions Remain Elevated, Dollar Firms

It is difficult to walk back the saber-rattling rhetoric. US Secretary of State Tillerson tried to defuse the situation, which had appeared to ease nerves in North America yesterday. However, references to the modernization of US nuclear forces, a multi-year project begun last year, spurred a fresh threat by North Korea to fire four intermediate range missiles near Guam in week’s time.

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FX Daily, August 09: North Korea lets EUR/CHF Collapse

The bellicose rhetoric from the US and North Korean officials is the main driver today. We would qualify that assessment by noting that first, the market moves are rather modest, suggesting a low-level anxiety among investors. Second, pre-existing trends have mostly been extended. Turning to Asia first, the Korea’s equity market fell 1.1%. The Kospi has fallen for the past two weeks (~2.2%).

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FX Daily, August 08: Trade Featured as Dollar Drifts Lower

The US dollar has a slightly lower bias today, but the against most of the major currencies, it is consolidating within the range set at the end of last week. The main exceptions are sterling and the Canadian dollar. They had extended their pre-weekend losses yesterday, and are trading within yesterday’s range today.

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Great Graphic: Unemployment by Education Level

The US reports the monthly jobs data tomorrow.  The unemployment rate stood at 4.4% in June, after finishing last year at 4.7%.  At the end of 2015 was 5.0%.  Some economists expect the unemployment rate to have slipped to 4.3% in July. Recall that this measure (U-3) of unemployment counts those who do not have a job but are looking for one. 

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FX Daily, August 07: Outlaw Mondays

The US dollar is narrowly mixed to start the new week. Two main developments stand out. First, the dollar-bloc currencies are trading heavily. The Australian dollar is pushing lower for the fifth consecutive session. The greenback is advancing against the Canadian dollar for the sixth consecutive session. The New Zealand dollar is weaker for the fifth time in six sessions.

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Bank of England Crushes Sterling

Sterling reached a new 11-month high against the dollar earlier today, but the dovish take away from the Bank of England has seen sterling reverse lower. It has now fallen below the previous day’s low, and a close below there (~$1.3190) would confirm the bearish key reversal pattern. Support near the week’s low just below $1.3100 is holding, and if that goes, the $1.30 level can be tested. A break of $1.2930, the low from the second half of July needs to yield signal a more significant correction.

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Constructive US Jobs, but Where Do the Euro Bulls make a Stand?

The US created 209k jobs in July and jobs growth in June was revised higher (+9k) to 231k. The underemployment rate was unchanged at 8.6%. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, matching the cyclical low set in May. This is all the more impressive because the participation rate also ticked up (62.9% from 62.8%).

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Cool Video: Dollar Drivers on Bloomberg

There were three talking points. First was the observation that while the President took credit for the record stock market, the strength of the economy, the low unemployment rate, and business confidence, there was no mention of the dollar, which poised to close lower for its seventh consecutive month.

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FX Daily, August 02: Euro Climbs Relentlessly, While Greenback is Mixed

The euro’s strength is surely partly a reflection of US dollar weakness, but it is also a reflection of the improved sentiment among investors. The initial dollar losses at the start of the year was largely a correction that is common after a Fed hike. This is more or less what happened at the start of 2016 as well, following the Fed hike in December 2015.

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FX Daily, July 31: Monday Morning Blues

The euro is up by 0.15% to 1.1385 CHF. The US dollar is enjoying a respite from the recent selling, but its gains have been shallow, and will likely prove brief. The upticks have been concentrated in the recently high-flying dollar-bloc currencies, and sterling. The tone appears to be more consolidative than corrective, and month-end adjustment provides an additional wrinkle.

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Great Graphic: CRB Index Hits 2017 Down Trendline

The CRB Index gapped higher today and it follows a gap higher opening on Tuesday, which has not been filled. Today’s gains lift the commodity index to a trendline drawn off the January and February highs and catches the high from late May. It intersects today near 181.35 and the high has been a little over 181.17.

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Dollar View: Discipline or Stubbornness

Fundamental driver, divergence is still intact. The dollar’s losses have barely met the minimum retracements of a bull market. Sentiment may be exaggerating the positive developments in Europe and the negative developments in the US.

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FX Daily, July 28: Dollar and Equities Closing Week on Heavy Note

The US dollar is mostly lower, though one of the features of recent days has been the dramatic slide of the Swiss franc, and that is continuing today. The franc is off another 0.5% today, to bring its weekly loss to a sharp 2.5%. The euro finished last week near CHF1.1030 and is now near CHF1.1370; its highest level since the cap was lifted in mid-January 2015.

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Great Graphic: Surprise-S&P 500 Outperforming the Dow Jones Stoxx 600

Many asset managers have been bullish European shares this year. European and emerging market equities are among the favorite plays this year. Surveys of fund managers find that the allocation to US equities is among the lowest in nearly a decade. The case against the US is based on overvaluation and being a crowded trade. Many are concerned about too hawkish of a Federal Reserve (policy mistake) or the lack of tax reform.

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FX Daily, July 27: Dollar Remains on the Defensive

The US dollar is narrowly mixed after selling off following the FOMC statement. Sometimes the narrative explains the price action, and sometimes the price action explains the narrative. This seems to be the case of the latter. The dollar and interest rates fell, and so the Fed was dovish.

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Progress in St. Petersburg

Expectations going into the OPEC monitoring meeting in St. Petersburg were low. The OPEC agreement to reduce output appeared to be fraying. June output appeared to have increased in several countries, and private sector estimates suggest output rose further in July. Russia expressed reluctance to extend the agreement further.

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FX Daily, July 26: Quiet Fed Day without Yellen

By definition, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting is the highlight of the day. Without a press conference, and following last month’s rate hike, there is practically no chance of a new policy initiative either on the balance sheet or the Fed funds target.

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FX Daily, July 25: Summer Markets Ahead of FOMC

The global capital markets are subdued today; a dearth of fresh news and tomorrow’s FOMC meeting are making for light activity and limited price movement. The US dollar is little changed against most of the major currencies. The net change on the day through most of the European morning is +/- 0.15%. The exception is the Norwegian krone and Swedish krona, which is about 0.25% stronger.

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FX Daily, July 24: Euro Recovers from Softer Flash PMI

The euro made a marginal new high in early Asia, but participants rightly drew cautious ahead of the flash eurozone PMI. The flash PMI was softer than expected, and although the composite fell to six monthly lows, it is more a reflection of how steady it has been at elevated levels.

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FX Daily, July 21: Dollar Licks Wounds as News Stream Doesn’t Improve

The euro has depreciated by 0.13 to 1.1043 CHF. ECB President Draghi did not argue forcefully enough at yesterday’s press conference to dampen the enthusiasm for the euro. The initial dip was quickly bought and the euro chased above last year’s high near $1.1615, and the gains have been extended to nearly $1.1680 today. The next target is the August 2015  near $1.1715 is near.

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FX Daily, July 20: ECB Game Day

The US dollar is enjoying a firmer tone against the major currencies today. It does not appear to be simply position adjustments ahead of the ECB meeting. Consider that Australia reported strong employment data, and after making new highs, reaching almost $0.8000, it has reversed to toy with yesterday’s low. A convincing break of that area (~$0.7910), especially on a closing basis, could be the kind of technical reversal that momentum traders take note.

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Oil Update

OPEC meets on July 24. Nigeria and Libya may be pressured to cap output although they were exempt from quotas. US exports and refining appear to be the driving force behind the 13.8 mln barrel decline in inventories. Mexico has reportedly made two large oil finds.

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FX Daily, July 18: Dollar Dumped on Doubts on US Economic Agenda

News of the defection of two more Republican Senators doomed the Senate attempt to replace and repeal America’s national health care. The failure to replace the system dubbed Obamacare, despite the Republican majority in both legislative chambers and the executive branch raises questions about the broader strategy of the Administration and raises serious questions about the rest of its legislative agenda.

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FX Daily, July 17: Markets Mark Time, Dollar Consolidates Losses

After falling to new lows for the year against several major currencies in response to disappointing retail sales and uninspiring CPI before the weekend, the US dollar has begun the new week on a more stable note. It is firmer against nearly all the major currencies, though is mixed against the emerging market currencies.

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FX Weekly Preview: Focus Shifts from Fed to ECB

Market has downgraded chances of a September hike from low to lower, but the chances of a December hike are higher than the day after the June hike. ECB meeting is the most important event of the week. A small change in the risk assessment is likely. The US and Europe have been more disruptive to the global capital markets this year than China.

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FX Daily, July 13: Sterling and Antipodeans Trade Higher

The US dollar is mostly consolidating yesterday’s move. Sterling is pushing back through $1.29 as the hawks on the MPC may not have been dissuaded by disappointing PMI readings and the softer earnings growth. The table is being set for another 5-3 vote at next month’s MPC meeting.

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FX Daily, July 11: Markets Looking for Next Cue

Investors await fresh policy clues as the Bank of England’s Broadbent is seen as a key vote on a closely balanced MPC, while the Fed’s Brainard, is also seen as a bellwether, will speak shortly after midday in NY. Broadbent has not spoken since the election, and his current views are not known.

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FX Daily, July 07: Taper Tantrum 2.0 Dominates

Taper Tantrum 2.0, emanating from Europe rather than the United States continues to overshadow other developments. Yesterday, the yield on the 10-year German Bund pushed through the 50 bp mark that has capped the occasional rise in yields in recent months. The record of the ECB meeting was understood as indicating that the official assessment had surpassed the actual communication in order try to minimize the impact.

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FX Daily, July 03: Dollar Bounces to Start H2

The beleaguered US dollar is enjoying a respite from the selling pressure that pushed it lower against all the major currencies in the first six months of 2017. A measure of the dollar on a trade-weighted basis fell about 5% in the first half after appreciating nearly 8% in Q4 16.

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FX Daily, June 30: Greenback Stabilizes

The US dollar has been battered this week amid a shift in sentiment seen in how the market responded to comments mostly emanating from the ECB’s annual conference. It is not really clear that Draghi or Carney gave new policy indications.

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FX Daily, June 29: Run on Dollar and Yen Continues

The main driver of the foreign exchange market is the continued reassessment of the trajectory of monetary policy in the UK, EMU, and Canada. The OIS market does not show that higher rates are discounted for the next policy meeting (August, September, and July respectively), but rather there is greater confidence that, outside of Japan, peak monetary stimulus is behind us.

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FX Daily, June 28: Draghi’s Sparks Mini Taper Tantrum, Euro Chief Beneficiary

Sounding confident, ECB President Draghi seemed prepared to reduce the asset purchases, and this overshadowed his explicit recognition that substantial accommodation is still necessary. This is very much in line with what many, including ourselves, anticipate: At the September ECB meeting, an extension of the asset purchases into the first part of next year, coupled with a reduction in the amounts being purchased.

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Great Graphic: Dollar Breaks Out Against Yen

Dollar's Decline

The dollar is at new lows for the year against the euro and Swiss franc. Draghi’s comments earlier that transitory forces are dampening price pressures were seen as broadly similar to the Fed’s leadership’s assessment about US prices. The implication is that the ECB will announce tapering its purchases as it extends them into next year.

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Great Graphic: US Wage Growth Exceeds Productivity Growth

One of the longstanding challenges to growth US aggregate demand has been that wages have not kept pace with inflation and productivity.  The decoupling appears to have taken place in the late 1960s or early 1970s depending on exactly which metric one uses.In my book, the Political Economy of Tomorrow, I argue the decoupling of men’s wages from productivity and inflation made it possible and necessary for women to enter the workforce in large numbers. 

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FX Daily, June 26: Italian Markets Shrug off Banking Morass and Local Election Results

The US dollar is mostly slightly firmer as North American dealers return to their posts. Ideas that the UK Tories are getting close to a deal with the DUP appears to be lending sterling a modicum of support, as it tries to extend its uptrend into a fourth session. The Japanese yen is the weakest of the majors, rising equities, and yields, spurs the dollar to re-challenge last week’s high near JPY111.80.

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Short Summary Weekly MOF Portfolio Flows

Japanese investors bought the third largest amount of foreign bonds this year last week, but still not enough to offset sales in first part of the year. Japanese investors are buying around the same amount of foreign equities as last year. Foreign investors are buying more Japanese stocks and bonds than they did on average last year.

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Bond Yields, Inflation, and More

Falling oil prices pushing down inflation expectations and lowering bond yields is the conventional narrative. It ignores that survey-based measures of inflation expectations are stable. It ignores a host of other demand factors.

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