Marc Chandler

Marc Chandler

He is Global Head of Currency Strategy of Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH). He has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for 25 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. He regularly appears on CNBC and has spoken for the Foreign Policy Association. In addition to being quoted in the financial press daily, Chandler has been published in the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post. BBH provides specialist services and innovative solutions to many Swiss asset managers that include a global custody network of close to 100 markets, accounting, administration, securities lending, foreign exchange, cash management and brokerage services. Feel free to contact the Zurich office of BBH

Articles by Marc Chandler

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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FX Daily, June 21: Heavy Oil Weighs on Yields and Lifts Yen

The US dollar is narrowly mixed against the major currencies. The drop in oil prices (3.3% this week) is seen as one of the factors that may be underpinning the appetite for fixed income, and this, in turn, is lifting the yen. The greenback had approached JPY112 yesterday, but with the drop in oil prices and yields has seen it retreat toward JPY111.00.

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FX Daily, June 20: Officials Fill Vacuum of Data to Drive FX Market

The light economic calendar has cleared the field to allow officials to clarify their positions. Yesterday it was NY Fed President Dudley and Chicago Fed Evans who argued that economic conditions continued to require a gradual removal of accommodation. The Fed’s Vice Chairman Fischer did not address US monetary policy directly but did note that housing prices were elevated and that low interest rates
contributed.

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FX Weekly Preview: Events Not Data Key in Week Ahead

Light economic data calendar, but look for downtick in eurozone flash PMI. Soft Canadian retail sales (volume) and softer CPI (base effect) could take some of the sting from the recent BoC official comments. MSCI decision on China, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea may have the broadest and long-lasting impact of the five key events we highlight.

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Great Graphic: Value vs Growth

Performance of Growth and Value Stocks Compared

This Great Graphic, created on Bloomberg show the performance of growth and value stocks since the start of December 2016. The yellow line is the Russell 1000 Growth Index. The white line is the Russell 1000 Value Index. The outperformance of the former is clear.

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FX Daily, June 16: Dollar Slips In Consolidation, but Extends Recovery Against the Yen

As the market heads into the weekend, the US dollar is trading softer as it consolidates. It is within yesterday’s ranges against the major currencies but the Japanese yen. The dollar has made a dramatic recovery against the yen. It traded near JPY108.80 in the middle of the week and pushed through JPY111 in late in the Tokyo morning. The greenback is above its 20-day moving average against the yen for the first time in a month.

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Great Graphic: Sticky Pass Through

This Great Graphic was posted by Steve Goldstein at MarketWatch. The blue line shows the effective Fed funds rate. The orange line depicts the average interest rate on a $10,000 one-year CD.

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FX Daily, June 14: FOMC and upcoming SNB

The Euro has risen by 0.37% to 1.0901 CHF. This is a typical movement ahead of the SNB meeting tomorrow.

This movement is probably unrelated to the Fed rate hike, given that the USD/JPY has fallen.

It makes sense to go long CHF against JPY, if you bet on an inactive SNB. Inactive SNB would mean that the central bank will not speak about stronger FX Interventions or about lower rates.

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FX Daily, June 13: Dollar Softens Ahead of Start of FOMC Meeting

The US dollar is trading with a heavier bias against all the major currencies save the Japanese yen. The Scandis and Canadian dollar are leading the move. Sweden reported a 0.1% rise in the headline and underlying inflation while the median expected a decline of the same magnitude. The year-over-year pace slowed but not as much as expected.

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FX Weekly Preview: Politics and Economics in the Week Ahead

FOMC, BoE, and BOJ meet next week; only the Fed is expected to change policy. High frequency data may be less important than the central bank meetings and politics in the week ahead. UK political situation is far from resolved, and US drama continues, while several hot spots in the EMU are emerging.

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FX Daily, June 09: Sterling Shocked, Dollar Broadly Firmer

What looked like a savvy move in late April has turned into a nightmare. Collectively, voters have denied the governing Conservative party a parliamentary majority. The uncertainty today does not lie yesterday with the known unknown, but with the shape of the next government and what it means for Brexit.

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FX Daily, June 08: Thursday’s Show

Today has an anti-climactic feel to it. Yesterday’s leak of what is purported to be the ECB staff forecasts point to small downward revisions to inflation forecasts and an ever small upward tweak to growth. This would be in line with only mild changes in the forward guidance language. The clear indication is that inflation is still not the conditions of a self-sustaining path toward the target.

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FX Daily, June 06: Yen Propelled Higher

The week was supposed to be dominated by the UK election and the ECB meeting, but the yen is stealing the show in the first part of the week. The US dollar has been sold through JPY110 for the first time since late April. The euro has fallen from JPY125.30 before the weekend to JPY123.25 today.

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Euro Shrugs off European Banking Woes

Spain’s Banco Popular is scrambling ahead of its meeting with the ECB tomorrow; shares are around 50% in three sessions. Italy has two banks that may see the same deal Monte Paschi negotiated with the EU. Portugal banks are still putting loan loss reserves and provisions aside.

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Great Graphic: Don’t be Misled by Sterling Stability, Investors are Concerned

The Great Graphic, created on Bloomberg, shows the options skew (three-month 25 delta risk reversal) in the white line, and sterling is the yellow line. The takeaway is that the market appears to be more nervous than the relatively firm sterling in the spot market suggests. Typically, one might expect those with sterling exposure to sell calls (and receive funds) rather than buy puts (new expenditure).

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FX Daily, June 05: US Dollar Starts Important Week Mostly Stable to Higher

The US dollar is beginning what promises to be an important week on a steady to firmer note against most of the major currencies. It is a holiday in parts of Europe (e.g.,m Germany and Switzerland). Although excitement is not until Thursday’s ECB meeting, UK election, and the testimony of former US FBI Director Comey, there are several developments today to note.

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Great Graphic: Iron Ore and the Australian Dollar

This Great Graphic, from Bloomberg, shows the correlation between the price of iron ore and the Australian dollar on a rolling 60-day basis over the past year. The correlation is a little more than 0.81. The relationship is the tightest since last August. This is purely directional.

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Great Graphic: US Rate Curve and the Euro

This Great Graphic was created on Bloomberg. It shows two times series. The yellow line and the left-hand scale show the euro’s exchange rate against the dollar for the past year. The white line depicts the spread between the US two-year and 10-year yield.

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FX Daily, June 02: Dollar Marks Time Ahead of US Jobs Report

The foreign exchange market is becalmed, leaving the US dollar narrowly mixed. The euro has been confined to less than a 20-pip range through the Asian session and most of the European morning. The news stream is light. The US withdrawal from the Paris Accord may have garnered the headlines, but as a market force, it is difficult to detect the immediate impact.

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FX Daily, June 01: Greenback Steadies at Lower Levels, Sterling Struggles

The US dollar is mostly firmer against the major currencies. It is consolidating yesterday’s losses more than staging much of a recovery. Even sterling, where a YouGov poll has the Tory lead at three percentage points, down from seven previously, is above yesterday’s lows. On the other hand, even strong data from Japan did not drive the yen higher.

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The US and German Relationship

US and German relations may be strained, but this is not unprecedented. It has been fanned by Trump and Merkel’s rhetoric. A European sphere of influence seems to have been the force pushing in that direction.

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FX Daily, May 31: Sterling Takes it On the Chin

Projections showing that the UK Tories could lose their outright majority in Parliament in next week’s election spurred sterling sales, which snapped a two-day advance.  Polls at the end of last week showed a sharp narrowing of the contest, and this saw sterling shed 1.3% last Thursday and Friday. 

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What Happened Monday

No impact from the latest North Korean missile test. Polls suggest Tories still ahead for the June 8 election. Prospects of an Italian election this year weighed on Italian stocks and bonds.

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FX Weekly Preview: Twin Peaks: US Economy and EMU Inflation

US economic data, culminating with the employment report, should be consistent with a re-acceleration of the world’s largest economy after a typical slowdown in Q1. Eurozone price pressures likely eased considerably in May. For the UK economy, the bounce in April was a fluke, and gradual slowdown continues. Japanese investors have bought foreign bonds for three weeks in a row, which is the longest streak in six months.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Moody’s downgraded China’s rating from Aa3 to A1 with stable outlook. Reports suggest that the PBOC has informed local banks that it is changing the way it sets the daily fix. Moody’s downgraded Hong Kong’s rating to Aa2 from Aa1 with stable outlook. Philippine President Duterte declared martial law on Mindanao island. Egypt’s central bank unexpectedly hiked rates by 200 bp. S&P moved the outlook on Bolivia’s BB rating from stable to negative. Reports suggest Brazil President Temer is losing support from his own PMDB.

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FX Daily, May 26: Anxiety Levels Rise Ahead of Weekend

The markets are unsettled. It is not so much in the magnitude of moves as the breadth of the move. The nearly 1% rally in gold is a tell, but also the inability of equity market to follow the lead of the US markets, where the S&P 500 and NASDAQ set new records. US yields are softer, and the yen is the strongest of the major currencies, up 0.7% against the greenback.

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Great Graphic: OIl and the S&P 500

S&P 500 Index, May 2017

The fluctuation of oil prices is often cited as an important factor driving equities. Our work shows that this is not always the case and that the correlation between the price of oil and the S&P 500 continues to ease.

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FX Daily, May 25: Euro Strength more than Dollar Weakness

The Dollar Index is heavy, just above the lows set earlier this week set near 96.80. However, this exaggerates the dollar’s weakness because the weight of the euro and currencies that shadow it, like the Swiss franc and Swedish krona. As the North American session is about to start, the dollar is higher against the dollar-bloc currencies and the Japanese yen.

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Four Numbers to Watch in FX

The dollar’s downside momentum faded today, but it has not shown that it has legs. Watch 96.45 in the DXY and $1.3055 in sterling. The US 2-year note yield is low, given expectations for overnight money. The US premium needs to widen.

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FX Daily, May 23: Greenback Remains Soft

The US dollar cannot get out of its own way, it seems. With a light economic schedule, there is little to offset the continued drumbeat of troubling political developments. The latest turn, as reported first in the Washington Post, that President Trump asked heads of intelligence groups to also publicly deny collusion with Russia.

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FX Daily, May 22: Dollar Pushes Back

After being shellacked last week, the US dollar is trading with a firmer bias against all the major currencies, but the euro and New Zealand dollar. To be sure, it is not that a new development has emerged to take investors’ minds from intensifying political uncertainty in the US.

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FX Weekly Preview: Nothing Like A Good US Drama

US drama distracts from the difficult and ambitious economic program. European and Japanese developments have been constructive. Bank of Canada is the only G7 central bank that meets, and it is not expected to shift from its cautious stance.

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Merkel Sends Euro Higher

Markel said the euro was too weak, so it rallied. This is not a new position for Germany. Merkel may now tack to the left since the AfD appears to have been dispatched. Look for Weidmann to begin moderating views or becoming less antagonistic.

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Markozy, Merde, and now Meron

German Chancellor Merkel is one of the outstanding leaders of our era. She leads the world’s fourth largest economy, which is still the locomotive for Europe. Recent state elections and polls leave little doubt that barring some kind of shock, she will be re-elected as Chancellor in September. It will be her fourth term.

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FX Daily, May 19: Markets Trying to Stabilize Ahead of Weekend

Judging from investors’ reactions, the only thing worse that than the low volatility environment is when volatility spikes higher, as it did yesterday. Higher volatility is associated with weakening equity markets, falling interest rates, pressure on emerging markets, a strengthening yen and, sometimes, as was the case yesterday, heavier gold prices.

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FX Daily, May 18: Some Respite from US Politics as Sterling Surges Through $1.30

Yesterday’s dramatic response to the political maelstrom in Washington is over. The appointment of a special counsel to head up the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s attempt to influence the US election appears to have acted a circuit breaker of sorts. It is not sufficient to boost confidence that the Trump Administrations economic program is back the front burners, but it is sufficient to stem the time for the moment.

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FX Daily, May 17: Drama In Washington Adds To Dollar Woes

The US dollar has drifted lower against most of the major currencies as the culmination of news from Washington, escalating already rising concerns about the economic agenda that was to bolster growth with dramatic tax reform, infrastructure initiative, and re-orienting trade.

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Cool Video: Oil, US Inflation

I was on Bloomberg’s Day Break with the team and guest Anne Lester from JP Morgan discussing oil and inflation. Oil prices had bounced back at the end of last week and were lifted further on news that Saudi Arabia and Russia were inclined to support extending output cuts not just until the end of the year, but through Q1 18.  

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FX Daily, May 15: Softer Dollar and Yen to Start the Week

The US dollar has opened the week softer against the major currencies, except for the Japanese yen. The disappointing US inflation and retail sales data before the weekend have not been shrugged off, even though the US 10-year yield is a little higher and expectations for a Fed hike next month continue to be elevated.

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FX Weekly Preview: Two Known Unknowns

The Trump Administration seems to be trying to cast the US as a revisionist power. Or perhaps it is like Roman emperors long ago trying to draw greater tribute from others. The outlook of US interest rates is critical to the outlook of the dollar.

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Great Graphic: Trade-Weighted Dollar

US TWI has appreciated a little since the end of Q1. The euro and sterling’s strength are exceptions to the rule. The dollar has edged up against the currencies of the US top four trading partners here in Q2.

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FX Daily, May 12: Markets Becalmed Ahead of US data and Weekend

The foreign exchange market is becalmed, and the major currencies are little changed. The US dollar is mixed, but mostly a little lower. Sterling is the weakest of the majors, off 0.3%, near $1.2850, having been rebuffed by offers in front of $1.30 several times. It has not recovered from the quarterly inflation report and Carney’s press conference.

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FX Daily, May 08: Euro Bought on Rumor, Sold on Fact

The euro initially opened higher in Asia following confirmation that Macron was elected the next president of France, but quickly fell below $1.0960 before bouncing back toward $1.10 only to be sold again in early Europe below the pre-weekend low near $1.0950. A break now of $1.0930 could signal a return to the lower end of the range seen since the first round of the French election near $1.0850-$1.0870.

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FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Drivers

US retail sales and CPI should help bolster confidence that the Fed was right about the transitory nature of Q1 slowdown. Bank of England meets; Forbes will likely continue with her dissent, but likely failed to convince her other colleagues of the merit of an immediate rate hike. French politics are center stage, but German state election and South Korea’s national election are also important.

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Great Graphic: Gas and Oil

Steep falls in gasoline and oil prices. Large build in gasoline inventories and record refinery work shifted some surplus from oil to the products. OPEC is expected to roll over its output cuts, but non-OPEC may find it difficult and US output continues to rise.

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April Jobs Won’t Change Minds

There is something for everyone in today’s US jobs report, and at the end of the day, it is unlikely to sway opinion about the direction and timing of the next Fed move. The greenback itself may remain range bound after the initial flurry. On the other hand, the disappointing but noisy Canadian data underscores the risk of a more dovish slant to the central bank’s neutral stance next week.

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FX Daily, May 03: Marking Time

The global capital markets are relatively calm. Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong markets are closed for national holidays. Investors await the FOMC statement, though expectations could not be much lower. The disappointing US auto sales, and poor Apple sales figures reported yesterday have had little impact on the broader investment climate.

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Euro Drivers

Correlation between the change in the US-German two-year differential and euro remains robust. The German two-year yield has jumped in recent weeks but looks poised to slip back lower. US two-year yield has eased but is knocking on 1.30%, an important level.

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FX Daily, May 02: Dollar and Yen Heavy, Equities Trade Higher and Bonds Lower

The US dollar is sporting a softer profile against most of the major and emerging market currencies. The Japanese yen is the main exception. The greenback is rising against the yen for the fourth session and the sixth of the past seven. The dollar’s gains against the yen coincide with the 10-12 bp recovery in the US 10-year yields over the past ten sessions.

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FX Daily, May 01: May Day Calm

Many financial centers are closed for May. Japanese markets were open today, but will be closed for three sessions beginning Wednesday for the Golden Week celebrations. The US dollar is narrowly mixed.

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NAFTA Trade Update

The trade tensions between the US and Canada set the Canadian dollar to lows for the year. The dollar’s downside momentum against the Mexican peso has eased. The Canadian dollar looks attractive not against the US dollar but against the peso.

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Longevity and Income

Rich people live longer than poor people in the US. This disparity undermines the progressive nature of Social Security. Disparity of income seems more important than the slowdown in growth in explaining why few US people are doing better than their parents at the age of 30.

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FX Daily, April 28: Markets Limp into Month End

Equity markets are stalling into the end of the month. MSCI Asia-Pacific Index is snapping a six-day advance, and the week’s gain was sufficient to extend the advancing streak for the fourth consecutive month. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is trading off for the second consecutive session, after rallying for six consecutive sessions.

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FX Daily, April 25: Euro Consolidates Gains, Bond Market Sell-Off Continues

The US dollar is again at the fulcrum of the foreign exchange market. The dollar-bloc currencies are under pressure, along with the Japanese yen, while the European complex is posting modest gains. The euro is consolidating in the half cent below $1.09. Yesterday’s marked up in early Asia saw the euro complete the 61.8% retracement of the losses since the US election, which was found near $1.0935

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FX Weekly Preview: Politics and Economics in the Week Ahead

Provided Le Pen and Macron or Fillion make to the second round, the market response to the French election results may be short lived. BOJ, Riksbank and ECB meetings. Spending authorization and some announcement from the White House on tax policy are in focus as Trump’s 100th day in office approaches.

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State of Dollar Bull Market

The dollar market is intact, despite the pullback here at the start of 2017. We have seen similar pullbacks in 2016 and 2015. Divergence remains the key driver.

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FX Daily, April 21: Markets Enter Consolidative Mode Ahead of Weekend

Neither the terrorist attack in Paris nor the strong eurozone flash PMI has managed to shake investors. Judging from the social media, many suspect that the terrorist attack plays into Le Pen’s hands, but investors do not seem particularly concerned. The French interest rate premium over Germany has narrowed, and gold is flat. UK retail sales fell sharply, yet sterling is holding on to the bulk of this week’s gains, which are the most here in 2017.

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FX Daily, April 20: Dollar and Yen Push Lower

With the exception of the yen, the US dollar is lower against all the major currencies. US Treasury yields are firm, extending yesterday’s rise a little. This may help keep the dollar straddling JPY109, but unwinding long yen cross positions is helping underpin the other major currencies. The Dollar Index is making a new low for the week and appears poised to test support around 98.85-99..00.

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More Thinking about Trade as Pence and Ross Head to Tokyo

Pence and Ross may “feel out” Abe for interest in a bilateral trade agreement. The US enjoys a small trade surplus with countries it has free-trade agreements. Ownership-based framework of the current account and value-added trade suggest the US trade imbalance is not a significant problem.

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FX Daily, April 17: Markets Trying to Stabilize in Holiday-Thin Activity

Financial centers in Europe are closed for the extended Easter holiday. Australian and New Zealand markets were also closed. The drop in US 10-year Treasury yields in early Asia, with a brief push below 2.20%, appears to have kept the dollar under pressure. As the North American market prepares to open, the dollar is softer against the all major currencies and many emerging market currencies.

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FX Weekly Preview: What to Watch in the Week Ahead

Many observers misunderstood US President Trump’s “American First” rhetoric. Trump’s earlier writings show that this is not a reference to the 1940s effort to keep the US out of WWII, with its isolationist tint. Rather, Trump’s use goes back to the original use by President Harding in the 1920s. It was a rejection of the Wilsonian multilateralism (e.g. League of Nations) and a robust defense of unilateralism.

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Decoupling of Oil and US Interest Rates

US yields have trended lower as oil prices have trended higher. The correlation between the 10-year breakeven and oil has also weakened considerably. Technicals readings are getting stretched, but no compelling sign of a top.

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Cool Video: Making Sense of the New Administration

I was on Bloomberg TV earlier today, chatting with David Gura about how to try to make sense of new Trump Administration. I suggest that the decision-making style and practical concerns have created two wing to the Administration. There is a populist-nationalist wing that is home to America First ideas.

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FX Daily, April 14: Holiday Markets Remain on Edge

The holiday-induced calm in the capital markets conceals a high degree of anxiety. The investment climate has been challenged by heightened geopolitical risk and unusual complaints about the US dollar’s strength from the sitting US President. While sending an “armada” toward the Korean peninsula, the US ordered a missile strike against Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons and dropped the largest bomb in the world on Afghanistan.

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Trade Notes: China and Prospects for a New Executive Order

China’s trade concessions seem modest, but little discussion of US concessions. Reports suggest Trump is set to sign a new executive order to investigate trade practices in steel, aluminum, and maybe household appliances. Trade imbalances and floating currencies are not mutually exclusive.

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FX Daily, April 12: Investors Catch Breath, Markets Stabilize

Markets are calmer today. The significant movers yesterday have stabilized. The dollar has been unable to resurface above JPY110, but after plumbing to new lows near JPY109.35 in Asia, the dollar has recovered back levels since in North America late yesterday. The decline in the US 10-year yield was also initially extended in Asia before stabilizing and returning to levels seen in the US afternoon.

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FX Daily, April 11: Dollar Pushed Lower in Subdued Activity

The US dollar has a slight downside bias today through the European morning. The market does not seem particularly focused on high frequency data, though sterling traded higher after an unchanged year-over-year reading of 2.3%, and the euro traded higher after a stronger Germany ZEW survey.

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FX Weekly Preview: A New Phase Begins

There were no celebrations; no horn or trumpets, nary a sound, but an important shift took place last week. The shift was signaled by two events. The first was the US strike on Syria, and the second was investors’ willingness to look past Q1 economic data.

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US Jobs Growth Disappoints

The US jobs growth slowed considerably more than expected in March and the disappointment pushed the dollar and equities initially lower. The US created 98k jobs in March, well below market expectations for around 175k jobs.  Adding insult to injury, revisions to the January and February data took off another 38k job.

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Short Note on US Employment Report

The US jobs data is notoriously difficult to accurately forecast consistently.  I do not claim to do so now.  My intent is more modest.  It is simply to point out why I there is risk that the jobs data is disappointing, especially after the stronger than expected ADP estimate. 

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FX Daily, April 05: Dialing it Up on Hump Day

he dollar is practically unchanged against the euro and yen in the first two sessions of the week. The pace can be expected to pick up starting Wednesday. Although the euro slipped through $1.0650, it was not sustained, and on Monday and Tuesday, the euro finished near its highs.

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Inclusion in SDR Does Not Spur Official Demand for the Yuan

China’s share of global reserves is in line with expectations prior to its inclusion in the SDR. Three factors influencing allocated reserves – valuation, portfolio decisions, and China’s gradual inclusion in allocated reserves. The Swiss franc’s as a reserve asset diminished, but the “other” category appeared robust.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Macro Backdrop at the Start of the Second Quarter

The macroeconomic fundamentals have not changed much in the first three months of the year. The US growth remains near trend, the labor market continues to improve gradually, both headline and core inflation remain firm, and the Federal Reserve remains on course to hike rates at least a couple more times this year, even though the market is skeptical. The uncertainty surrounding US fiscal has not been lifted, and it may not be several more months.

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Five Keys to Understand Trump

The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States surprised many people, even seasoned political observers and astute investors. He failed to win the popular vote but did carry the electoral college, which is how the US elects its chief executive. His victory is a bit of a Rorshcach test, where people project the issues that allowed Trump to succeed, with different observers making different claims.

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Cool Video: Brexit, Europe and EU Challenges

Marc Chandler

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to discuss the outlook for sterling and the US dollar on Bloomberg TV with Rishaad Salamat and Haidi Lun. It is a momentous day with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty being formally triggered by UK Prime Minister May, nine months after what was, at least initially, a non-binding referendum.

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FX Daily, March 28: Prospects for Turnaround Tuesday?

The slide in the US dollar and US interest rates faded in the North American session on Monday. US participants also had a fairly relaxed initial response to news that after years of complaining, the Republicans could not agree on an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

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FX Weekly Preview: After US Health Care, Now What?

The first quarter winds down. The dollar moved lower against all the major currencies. The best performer in the first three months of the year has been the Australian dollar’s whose 5.8% rally includes last week’s 1% drop. The worst performing major currency has been the Canadian dollar.

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FX Daily, March 24: Dollar Trying to Stabilize Ahead of the Weekend

The US dollar has been stabilizing over the past couple of sessions. This broad stability of the dollar is impressive because of the questions of the prospects of US President Trump’s economic agenda. Expectations for tax reform and infrastructure spending have bolstered investor confidence and helped boost equity prices despite what appears to be stretched valuation.

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FX Daily, March 23: Some Thoughts about the Recent Price Action

The gains the US dollar scored last month have been largely unwound against the major currencies. The dollar’s losses against the yen are a bit greater, and it returned to levels not seen late last November. The down draft in the dollar appears part of a larger development in the capital markets that has also seen the US 10-year yield slide 25 bp in less than two weeks. The two-year yield is off 17 bp.

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Status of US Pivot To Asia

AsiaPivot

Pivot still taking place, but without TPP, more militaristic. President Trump seems a little less confrontational toward China. China is unlikely to be cited as a currency manipulator in next month’s Treasury report.

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FX Weekly Preview: Divergence Theme Questioned

catlion

Recent developments have given rise to doubts over the divergence theme, which we suggested have shaped the investment climate. There are some at the ECB who suggest rates can rise before the asset purchases end. The Bank of England left rates on hold, but it was a hawkish hold, as there was a dissent in favor of an immediate rate hike, and the rest of the Monetary Policy Committee showed that their patience with both rising price prices and the resilient economy was limited.

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Oil Supply Remains Resilient, Prices Heavy

Nearly half of OPEC’s intended cuts are being offset by an increase in US output. The contango rewards the accumulation of inventories. The drop in oil prices probably weighs more on European reflation story than the US.

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FX Daily, March 17: Dollar Remains Heavy

The dollar is softer against most of the major currencies to cap a poor weekly performance. The Dollar Index is posting what may be its biggest weekly loss since last November. The combination of the Federal Reserve not signaling an acceleration of normalization, while the market remains profoundly skeptical of even its current indications, and perceptions that the ECB and BOE can raise earlier than anticipated weighed on the dollar. The PBOC surprised many by lifting some operational interest rates. It also contributed to the sense that the divergence theme has run its course.

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FX Daily, March 16: Greenback Consolidates Losses as Yields Stabilize

The US dollar remained under pressure in Asia following the disappointment that the FOMC did not signal a more aggressive stance, even though its delivered the nearly universally expected 25 bp rate hike. News that the populist-nationalist Freedom Party did worse than expected in the Dutch elections also helped underpin the euro, which rose to nearly $1.0750 from a low close to $1.06 yesterday.

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FX Daily, March 15: Greenback Softens Ahead of FOMC

The US dollar is paring yesterday’s gains as the market awaits the outcome of the well-telegraphed FOMC meeting. In recent weeks, the combination of data and official comments have swayed market, which had previously anticipated a hike in May or June.

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China’s NPC Ends with New Initiatives

China will make its mainland bond market more accessible. As China’s portfolio of patents grows it will likely become more protective of others’ intellectual property rights. PRC President Xi will likely visit US President Trump early next month.

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FX Daily, March 13: Bonds and Equities Rally, Dollar Heavy

Hit by profit-taking ahead of the weekend, despite US jobs data that remove the last hurdle to another Fed hike this week, the greenback remains on the defensive. It has softened against all the major currencies and many of the emerging market currencies. The chief exception is those in eastern and central Europe.

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FX Weekly Preview: Succinct Views of Ten Events and Market Drivers: Week Ahead

The week ahead is the busiest week of the first quarter. It sees four major central meetings, including the Federal Reserve which is likely to raise rates for the second time in four months. The Dutch hold the first European election of the year, and the populist-nationalist party remains in contention for the top slot. The week concludes with the G20 meeting, the first that the Trump Administration’s presence will be felt.

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FX Daily, March 10: US Jobs Data: Deja Vu All Over Again?

A week ago, after nine Fed officials had spoken, the market widely expected Yellen and Fischer to confirm that the table was set for a rate hike later this month. They did, and the dollar and US interest rates fell. Now, after a strong ADP jobs report (298k), everyone recognizes upside risk to today’s national report, and the dollar has lost its upside momentum against most major currencies, but the Japanese yen.

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Solid US Jobs Report in line with Expectations

fred

The US jobs report was largely in line with expectations. February was the second consecutive month that the US economy created more than 200k jobs. It is the first time since last June and July. The 235k is just below the revised January 238k gain (initially 227k).

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FX Daily, March 09: Pre-ECB Squaring Lifts Euro in a Strong USD Context

The euro tested the lower of its range near $1.05 in Asia before short covering in Europe lifted back toward yesterday’s highs near $1.0575. However, buoyed by the upside surprise in the ADP estimate of private sector jobs growth, the dollar is firmer against most other currencies today. The US 10-year yield is up 20 bp this week.

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Dutch Election: Where Rubber Meets the Road

Populism-Nationalism is not sweeping the world. The populist-nationalist party in the Netherlands will most likely not be a member of the next govt. There is little appetite for a referendum on EU. Nexit may be a clever slogan, but is highly improbable.

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FX Daily, March 08: Dollar Bid as Rates Firm

The US dollar is moving higher against nearly all the other major foreign currencies today. As far as we can tell, the driving force remains interested rate considerations. US rates are rising in absolute terms and about Europe and Japan. The US 10-year yield is moving above the downtrend that has been in place since the day after the Fed hiked rates last December.

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A Few Thoughts about the US Labor Market

work

The 94 mln people POTUS claims are not working is true but terribly misleading. What happened to agriculture a century ago is happening to manufacturing. New industries are less labor intensive than smokestack industries.

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FX Daily, March 06: The Dollar Gives Back More Before Consolidating

The US dollar’s pre-weekend pullback was extended in early European turnover but appeared to quickly run out of steam. The prospect of a constructive US employment report at the end of the week, especially given the steady decline in weekly initial jobless claims to new cyclical lows, underscores the likelihood that the Fed hikes rates next week. Bloomberg puts the odds above 90%, while the CME estimates a nearly 80% chance.

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The Resilience of Globalization and the US Dollar

strong

Populism-nationalism is not really a wave sweeping across the world. Where it succeeded was where a center-right party in a two-party system embraced part of the populist agenda. Center-right parties in Europe are not embracing key agenda for populist-naitonalist, but appear to be tacking to the right on domestic issues.

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European Commission Offers 5 Scenarios

Europe not dead

EC is committed to the future of Europe. Juncker presented five scenarios. Even if the populist-nationalist do not win the electoral contests, the national identity issues will continue to exert influence.

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FX Daily, March 02: Dollar Remains Bid

The US dollar is bid against the major currencies as the combination the increased expectation of a Fed rate hike and the President’s commitment to fiscal stimulus buoys sentiment. The dollar-bloc, where speculators in the futures market, have grown a net long position, are leading the move.

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FX Daily, March 01: Greenback Bounces, More Fed than Trump

FX Performance, March 01 2017 Movers and Shakers

The much-anticipated speech by US President Trump was light on the details that investors interested in, like the tax reform, infrastructure initiative, and deregulation. There appears to be an agreement to repeal the national healthcare, but there is no consensus on its replacement.

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Beware the Ides of March

Numerous events converge in the middle of March. We still lean toward a May hike rate than March. Wilders may garner a plurality of the vote in the Netherlands, but is unlikely to form a government for want of coalition partners. How will the Republican US Congress and President deal with the debt ceiling?

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FX Daily, February 28: Markets Little Changed as Breakout is Awaited

The capital markets are becalmed, and the US dollar is in narrow trading ranges. Month-end considerations are at work, but the key event is much-awaited speech US President Trump to a joint session of Congress this evening (early Wednesday in Asia). The hope is that he provides the policy signals that allow the dollar to break out of its recent ranges.

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FX Daily, February 27: Asia Stumbles, Europe Recovers, Waiting for Trump

chess

The late recovery in US equities before the weekend did little good for Asian markets. Nearly all the Asian equity markets moved lower, led by the 1.0% decline in Japan’s Topix. It was the third successive loss for the Topix, which is the long losing streak of the year so far. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.6%, further pushing it off the 17-month high seen last week.

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FX Weekly Preview: Macroeconomics and Psychology

There is a broad consensus around the macroeconomic picture. The headwinds slowing the US economy in H1 16 have eased, and above trend growth in H2 16 appears to be carrying into 2017. Q4 16 GDP is expected to be revised to 2.1% up from 1.8%. Many economists appear to accept that a good part, though not all, of the decline in the estimated trend growth in the US, is a function of demographic considerations.

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FX Daily, February 24: Anxiety? What Anxiety?

The US dollar is finishing the week on a mixed note in choppy activity in narrow ranges. It is an apt way to finish this week, which has been largely directionless as investors wait for fresh incentives, and are especially looking toward Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress next week.

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FX Daily, February 23: Dollar Chops About, as “Fairly Soon” Does not Mean mid-March

FX Performance February 23 2017 Movers and Shakers

The US dollar is confined to narrow ranges today within yesterday’s ranges. Equity markets posted small gains in Asia and have an upside bias in Europe. Core bond yields are softer, and today this includes France, but peripheral European 10-year benchmark yields are 3-6 bp firmer. Italian bonds are the poorest performer, while the 10-year Dutch bond yields are off the most (3.2 bp to 0.56%) despite the looming election.

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Primary Budget Balances in EMU

Greece debt has rallied as a repeat of the 2015 crisis seems less likely. The EC may turn its attention to Italy’s structural deficit. There are several countries, including France that is forecast to have a larger primary deficit in 2018 than 2017.

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FX Daily, February 22: Euro Meltdown Continues

FX Performance February 22 2017 Movers and Shakers

February has been cruel to the euro. Of the sixteen sessions this month, counting today, the euro has risen in four, and two of those were last week. Its new four-day slide pushed it below $1.05 for the first time in six weeks as European markets were opening. The $1.0560 area that was broken yesterday, and provided a cap today is 61.8% retracement objective of last month’s rally.

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FX Daily, February 21: Dollar Bounces Back

FX Performance February 21 2017 Movers and Shakers

Some profit-taking in the middle of last week pushed the dollar lower and gave rise in some quarters that the run was over. However, the greenback has come back the bid. It is gaining against all the major currencies today and most of the emerging market currencies.

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Dollar Index: The Chart Everyone is Talking About

Many are discussing a possible head-and-shoulders pattern in the Dollar Index. We are skeptical as other technical signals do not confirm. We recognize scope for disappointment over the border tax and the next batch of employment data, but European politics is the present driver and may not be alleviated soon.

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Great Graphic: US and Japan Five-Year Credit Default Swaps

Japan and US 5-year credit default swap (CDS)

For the first time since the financial crisis, the 5-year CDS on JGBs is dipping below the 5-year US CDS. It appears to be more a function of a decline in Japan’s CDS than a rise in the US CDS. We are reluctant to read too much into the small price changes in the mostly illiquid instruments.

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FX Daily, February 20: Marking Time on Monday

FX Performance February 20 2017 Movers and Shakers

US markets are closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday, but it hasn’t prevented its pre-weekend gains giving a bullish tone to global equities. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ recovered from early weakness to close at new record levels before the weekend. Global equity markets are following suit today.

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FX Weekly Preview: Number One Rule of the Game is Stay in the Game

Light economic calendar in the week ahead, but anticipation of US tax reform may underpin dollar and equities. European politics are in flux (France, Italy, Greece) and this may see spreads widen over Germany. Russia’s outlook was upgraded by Moody’s before the weekend, and China has announced no coal imports this year from North Korea. Brazil is expected to cut Selic by 75 bps.

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FX Daily, February 17: Greenback Stabilizes Ahead of the Weekend

The US dollar is finishing the week on a steady to firmer note against the major currencies but the Japanese yen. The softer yields and weaker equity markets often are associated with a stronger yen. For the week as a whole, the dollar is mostly lower, though net-net it has held its own against sterling, the euro and Canadian dollar.

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FX Daily, February 15: Yellen Helps the Dollar Extend Streak

The Dollar Index’s ten-day rally was at risk yesterday, but Yellen’s reiteration of the commitment to continue to lift rates gradually helped extend the streak to eleven sessions.This surpassed the streak around the election (November 7-November 18). With today’s gains, it may draw closer to what appears to be the long streak, 14 sessions between April 30, 2012 and May 17.

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Taxes

taxes

President Trump hinted at the end of last week that the Administration’s tax proposals would be aired in the next two or three weeks. This seems to be a signal of its inclusion in his address to both houses of Congress on February 28. This is not quite a State of the Union speech, but similar and precisely what Obama did in February 2009.

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Greece and the Return of the Repressed

Don’t expect a deal between Greece and its official creditors until late spring or early summer. Grexit is still not a particularly likely scenario. It was the European governments not Greece which put other taxpayers’ skin in the game.

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FX Daily, February 14: Markets Showing Little Love on Valentines

EUR/CHF - Euro Swiss Franc, February 14

Corrective pressures are gripping the major capital markets today.The Dollar Index’s nine-day advancing streak is being threatened by the position adjustment ahead of Yellen’s testimony later today. Despite record high closes in the main US equity markets yesterday, Asia could not follow suit. It tried to initially, and recorded new highs since July 2015, but sellers emerged and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index closed marginally lower on the lows of the day. European bourses are mixed in morning turnover, but the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 may snap a five-day advance. The US S&P 500’s five-day streak is also on the line.

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What is Good for the Dollar is Bad for Gold

The Dollar Index is powering ahead, moving higher for the eighth consecutive session. Over the past 100 sessions, gold and the Dollar Index move in the opposite direction more than 90% of the time. The technical condition of gold is deteriorating.

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FX Daily, February 13: Quiet Start of Busy Week

With inflation and growth reports due out this week and Federal Reserve Chair Yellen’s testimony before Congress, it promises to be a busy week for investors. However, the week has begun off fairly quietly, while the recent rally in equities continues.

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New Book: Political Economy of Tomorrow

My new book,Political Economy of Tomorrowhas just been published, and it is available onAmazon. The book is not so much of a sequel to my first book,Making Sense of the Dollar. There is very little about the foreign exchange market in the new book. However, it is not wholly new cloth either.

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FX Weekly Preview: Yellen’s Path Cleared by Trump’s Moderation

Trump has moderated in several areas, he is being checked in others, and less impactful in others. This will underscore the focus on Yellen’s testimony this week. At same time, many will be reluctant to short the dollar ahead of the tax reform plans that may be unveiled in Trump’s upcoming speech to Congress.

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FX Daily, February 10: US Dollar Holding on to Week’s Gains

The US dollar is about 12 hours away from gaining against all the major currencies this week. The main talking points today remain Trump-centric. The US dollar is mixed as European trading gets underway. Of note the dollar is continuing to gain on the yen. The yen is off 0.4%, which is nearly half the week’s decline. The Aussie is the strongest on the day, up about 0.2% to trim the week’s loss to about 0.45%.

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Is a Strong or Weak Dollar Good for the US? The $16 trillion Question

Еagleflag

Dollar movement helps some economic interest and hurts others. From a strategic point of view, the best thing for the US is the market-generated rate. It was an important achievement that the forex market was de-weaponized. Many observers have been crying wolf about a currency war for many years, which may have de-sensitized investors to the threat of a real one.

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Cool Video: Around the World with Katie Martin of the Financial Times

Fintool - Marc Chandler

I am in London as part of a larger business trip. I had the chance today to talk to Katie Martin, who runs Fast FT and is often writing about foreign exchange. They show was live on Facebook. It is about a 22 minute interview and although foreign exchange is the key issue, to get to it we end up talking about many things, including US interest rates, Trump, and even cooking frogs.

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Great Graphic: Interesting Sterling Price Action

GBP Currency, Feb 02-07

Sterling is having an interesting day. It fell in the face of the US dollar’s bounce but has recovered fully. It has not yet traded above yesterday’s high (~$1.2510) but it may. It does appear to be tracing out a hammer in Japanese candle stick terms.

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The Dollar: Real or Nominal Rates?

US Dollar Index Currency 2011-2017

Real interest rates are nominal rates adjusted for inflation expectations.Inflation expectations are tricky to measure. The Federal Reserve identifies two broad metrics. There are surveys, like the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey, and the Fed conducts a regular survey of professional forecasters. There are also market-based measures, like the breakevens, which compare the conventional yield to the inflation-linked, or protected security (TIPS).

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FX Weekly Preview: Politics Not Economics is Driving the Markets

The Fed is more confident this year of stable growth and rising inflation. The new US Administration’s economic agenda is beginning to take shape, though it is not clear that consumer interests will be pursued. There are several considerations, including politics in Europe, that are driving European rates higher. The RBA and RBNZ meet next week. Neither is expected to change policy.

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The Future of Globalization

antiglobalization

antiglobalizationThe cross-border movement of goods, services, and capital increased markedly for the thirty years up to the Great Financial Crisis. Although the recovery has given way to a new economic expansion in the major economies, global trade and capital flows remain well below pre-crisis levels. It had given rise to a sense globalization is ending.

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Thoughts about the Fed’s Balance Sheet

hotair balloon

Several regional Fed presidents want to begin talking about shrinking Fed’s balance sheet. Leadership does not appear to have great urgency, so don’t expect anything in this week’s statement. First step more hikes, then refrain from reinvesting payments and maturities, but slowly.

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Trade is Trump’s Centerpiece

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Investors are anxiously awaiting more details on the new US Administration’s economic policies and priorities. Part of the challenge is that the cabinet represents a wide range of views and it is not clear where the informal power lies, or whose call is it. In terms of economic policy, trade is being given priority. It is seen as the key to the jobs and growth objectives.

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FX Daily, January 31: Markets Look for Solid Footing

FX Performance, January 31 2017 Movers and Shakers

The immigration imbroglio in the United States is being cited in various accounts for the price action, including yesterday’s drop in the S&P 500, where the intraday loss was the largest since before the election. The drama is also being blamed for the dollar’s losses yesterday, which it is consolidating today.

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Trump and the Dollar

Dollar Shoes

US official comments on the FX market appear to have increased in frequency. They are mostly warnings about a strong dollar, but not all comments are dollar-negative. Policy is the ultimate driver but comments pose headline risk.

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Great Graphic: Mexico and China Unit Labor Costs

Unit Labor Costs in China and Mexico 2007 - 2015

Mexico has been gaining competitiveness over China before last year’s depreciation of the peso. The depreciation of the peso, and other US actions can contribute to the destabilization of Mexico. An economically prosperous and stable Mexico has long been understood to be in the US interest.

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FX Daily, January 26: EUR/CHF collapses to 1.670

FX Performance, January 26 2017 Movers & Shakers

The US dollar is mostly firmer against the major currencies but is confined to narrow ranges, and well-worn ranges at that, but the focus has shifted to the strong advance in equities. Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrials finally rose through the psychologically-important 20k level, and the S&P 500 gapped higher to new record levels.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg’s Daybreak–Trump and Rates

Chandler - Bloomberg TV

On what Trump’s first working day as POTUS, I had the privilege to be on Bloomberg’s Daybreak to talk about the wagers on US interest rates in the futures market. In the most recent CFTC reporting week, which ended on January 17, speculators in the 10-year note futures market reduced the record net short position. It is only the second week reduction since the end of November.

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Great Graphic: How a Strong Dollar Weighs on Net Exports

Contributions of Exports and Imports to GDP Growth

Investors appreciate that a strong dollar can impact US growth through the net export component of GDP. The dollar’s appreciation can push up the price of exports and lower the cost of imports. The St. Louis Fed took a look at how the strong dollar from 2014 to the beginning of 2016 impacted the net export function of GDP.

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UK Supreme Court Decision: Anti-Climactic?

May

Sterling retreats on court ruling but key supports hold and it recoups initial loss. The US dollar is recovering with the help of firming US yields. Investors are still anxious for details of new US government’s tax, deregulation, and infrastructure investment plans.

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FX Daily, January 23: Dollar’s Pre-Weekend Retreat Extended in Asia Before Stabilizing in Europe

FX Performance, January 23 2017 Movers and Shakers

The US dollar had a poor close in the North American session before the weekend as investors appear increasing anxious about the new US Administration’s economic policies and priorities.With no fresh details emerging over the weekend, some stale dollar longs exited. The dollar stabilized in the European morning, but broader risk appetites were not rekindled, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600, led by financials, was sold to its lowest level this month.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Challenging Week Ahead

thought

Investors will finally be able to focus on what the new US President does rather than what he says. The UK Supreme Court decision is expected, but it may not be the driver than it may have previously seemed likely. The dollar-yen rate does not appear to be driven by domestic variable as much as US yields and equities. Prices not real sector data may be the key for the euro.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg’s Daybreak – Dollar Correction

Bloomberg Marc Chandler

I was on Bloomberg’s Daybreak: Americas today. The issue at hand was about the dollar’s losses since the start of the year. I suggest that the correction actually began a day or so after the Federal Reserve hiked rates in mid-December. I noted that the correction was not just about the dollar but also interest rates.

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FX Daily, January 20: Trump Day

inauguration

The dollar peaked against the yuan two days after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates in the middle of last month. We argue that that is when the market correction began, not at the turn of the calendar. Despite claims that China’s currency is dropping like a rock, it has actually risen for the fifth consecutive week. That is the longest rising streak for the yuan since early 2016.

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Great Graphic: Trade and Tariffs-End of an Era?

Trade-weighted average global tariff rate and trade

This Great Graphic was tweeted by the Financial Time’s John Authers, who got it from @fathomcomment. The green line is the inversion of global trade (right-hand scale). The blue line is a trade-weighted average global tariff rate. What the chart shows is that since 1990, the decline in the average tariff coincided with an increase in trade (remember green line is inverted).

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Draghi Lets Steam out of Euro

eurodeflate

US reported stronger than expected series of data, including a large drop in weekly jobless claims for the week of the next NFP survey. Draghi remained dovish, with key phrases retained. Euro needs to break $1.0575 now to confirm a top is in place. Markets still uncertain ahead of the start of the new Administration.

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FX Daily, January 19: Dollar Gives Back Most of Yellen-Inspired Gains

FX Performance, January 19 2017 Movers and Shakers

While the US 10-year yield is unchanged, the dollar is consolidating its gains against the yen in a relatively narrow range of about half a big figure below JPY115.00. It has seen its gains pared more against the euro and sterling, where most of Yellen-inspired gains have been unwound. Sterling found support near $1.2250 and was bid up to $1.2335 by early in the European sessions.

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FX Daily, January 18: Markets Stabilize, Awaiting Fresh Cues

FX Performance, January 18, 2017 Movers & Shakers

The US dollar has stabilized after yesterday’s bruising. From a fundamental perspective, little has changed. After hard exit signals from the UK government sent sterling down from $1.2430 on January 5 and 6, to below $1.20 at the start of the week, the pound rallied back to almost $1.2430 yesterday amid “sell the rumor buy the fact” activity.

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Great Graphic: Is the Pound Sterling?

Sterling’s 2.75% rally today is the biggest advance in more than eight years. The UK government has done a good job of managing expectations. Over the last week or so, Prime Minister May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond has made it clear that the intention was a “clean break” from the EU.

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FX Daily, January 17: Trump’s Comments Send the Dollar Reeling

The Pound has been subjected to a heavy amount of pressure as we progress further into 2017, with GBP/CHF rates being one of the heaviest losers. The pairing is now trading at a similar level to GBP/USD levels below the 1.22 mark. Their is an enjoyable symmetry between the two from an analysts point of view. Both are well regarded as safe-haven currencies, and in this time of increased uncertainty, both have almost the exact same value in the marketplace against the likes of the Pound.

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FX Daily, January 16: Hard Exit Talk Sent Sterling Below $1.20

FX Performance, January 16 2017 Movers and Shakers

The euro has been sold to $1.0580 in the European morning, a cent lower from the pre-weekend high. In addition to the drag from sterling, the euro appears to have been sold in response to the interview in two European papers of the next US President. Among other things, Trump reported claimed that NATO was obsolete and that other countries will leave the European Union, which is largely a German project.

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FX Weekly Preview: Five Events that Will Drive the Capital Markets in the Week Ahead

fox in hen house

Bank of Canada may be more upbeat following strong jobs and trade figures. China’s President Xi will speak at Davos and likely defend globalization and free trade, which some think the US is abandoning. UK PM May’s speech on Brexit may be blunted by few surprises, collapse of the government in Northern Ireland, and the pending Supreme Court ruling. ECB will leave rates on hold and look for Draghi to push back against ideas that rise in CPI means QE should be tapered. Donald Trump becomes the 45th US President on January 20.

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The Difference of an A and BBB for Italy

Italian Bank Stocks

DBRS cut Italy’s rating to BBB from A. It will increase the haircut on Italy’s sovereign bonds used for collateral by Italian banks. It is not a mortal blow or a significant hit, but is not helpful, except to add pressure on Italy and further reduce its ability to respond to another shock.

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FX Daily, January 13: Corrective Forces Persist

FX Performance, January 13 2017 Movers and Shakers

The Supreme Court Judgement on whether parliament will have to O.K the triggering of article 50 is ongoing and when the ruling is announced expect big swings on GBP/CHF. I think the likely outcome will be that parliament will get the vote, most broad sheet papers have indicated the majority of the judges are in favour of the parliamentary vote.

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FX Daily, January 11: Dollar Comes Back Bid

FX Performance, January 11 2017 Movers and Shakers

The pound has seen a sharp fall following the interview that Theresa May gave with Sky news on Sunday although there has been a small rebound this afternoon. GBP CHF exchange rates are hovering around 1.2350 for this pair.

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Great Graphic: Real Rates in US are Elevated

The US 10-year yield fell briefly below 1.32% last July. The yield slowly rose to reach 1.80% in mid-October. The day after the election, the yield initially slipped to almost 1.71%. This was a bit of a miscue, and the yield rose sharply to hit almost 2.64% the day after the FOMC hiked rates for the second time in the cycle on December 14. The yield backed off to hit 2.33% at the end of last week.

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FX Daily, January 10: Positioning more than Fundamentals Give Traders Pause

FX Performance, January 10 2017 Movers and Shakers

After strong moves to start the year, the capital markets continue to consolidate. Many observers are suggesting a fundamental narrative behind the loss of momentum, but in discussions with clients and other market participants, it seems as if the main source of caution is coming from an understanding of market positioning rather than a reevaluation of the macro drivers.

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FX Daily, January 09: Sterling Pounded by May’s Hard Brexit

Thor

Sterling has stolen the US dollar’s spotlight. The issue facing market participants was if the rise in hourly earnings reported as part of the pre-weekend release of US December jobs data was sufficient to end the dollar’s downside correction. Instead, May’s comments over the weekend indicating not just a desire but strategic thrust to abandon the single market in exchange for regaining control over immigration and not being subject to the European Court of Justice has cost sterling more than one percent.

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FX Weekly Review, January 02 – 07: Is the corrective phase of the dollar over?

US Dollar/Swiss Franc FX Spot Rate, December 30

The lack of full participation and the resulting choppy conditions may have obscured the signal from the capital markets. That signal we think was one of correction since shortly after the Fed’s rate hike in id-December. The question now, after the US employment data showed continued labor market strength and that earnings improvement remains intact, is whether the corrective phase is over.

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US Jobs Details Better than the Headline

The dollar and US yields are recouping more of yesterday’s decline. A break of $1.0480-$1.05 would suggest the euro’s upside bounce is exhausted. A dollar move above JPY116.80-JPY117.25 would also hint that the greenback was going to make an other run toward JPY118.30-JPY118.60. Sterling support is seen in the $1.2285-$1.2310 area.

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Cool Video: CNBC’s Power Lunch-China and Mexico

Marc Chandler - Bloomberg

Two central banks were particularly active today. Chinese officials appear to be engineering short squeeze that has lifted the yuan 1.2% over the past two sessions. While this does not sound like much, it is a record two-day move, for the still closely managed currency.

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FX Daily, January 06: Dollar Consolidates Losses, Peso Firms while Yuan Reverses

FX Performance, January 06 2017 Movers and Shakers

I am reading a lot about the pound in 2017 which is likely to be as volatile as in 2016. But the Franc is a harder beast to predict. Loosely tracking the euro but subject to its own rules and trends GBPCHF could be an interesting pair to watch in 2017. There are numerous global events which can shape the direction on the Franc and clients looking to exchange pounds into Francs or move Francs back to the UK should be considering the path ahead.

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A Few Thoughts Ahead of the US Jobs Report

ADP and Non-Manufacturing ISM lend credence to our fear of a disappointing national jobs report. Economists estimate only a small part of the manufacturing jobs loss can be traced to trade policy. 19 states increased min wage at the start of the year, but the impact on the nation’s average weekly earnings will likely be too small to detect.

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FX Daily, January 04: Consolidation in Capital Markets

FX Performance, January 04 2017 Movers and Shakers

GBP/CHF rates have jumped during the first official day of trading in 2017, with the pair hitting 1.2657 at today’s high. The Pound gained support this morning following positive UK Manufacturing data, which came in well above market expectation. This increased market confidence in the UK economy and the Pound has ultimately benefited as a result, gaining a cent on the CHF.

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Great Graphic: Real Wages

Real Wages 2007 - 2015

This Great Graphic caught my eye. It was tweeted by Ninja Economics. Her point was about immigration. German had much higher immigration than the UK, but also saw real wage increase of nearly 14% in the 2007-2015 period, while real wages in the UK fell nearly 10.5%.

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FX Daily, December 23: Markets Edge into Holiday Weekend

FX Performance, December 23 2016 Movers and Shakers

Asian shares trade heavily. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index ex-Japan fell 0.4%. It is the fourth lower close this week and brings the loss to 1.75% for the week. It is fallen in seven of the past nine weeks. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is little changed on the session and is nursing a minor loss on the week and could snap a two-week advance.

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Where Do US Companies Hire Abroad?

High-wage economies of Canada, EU, Japan and Australia account for nearly half of US corporate employment abroad. And even in low-wage regions, the high-wage parts tend to draw more US employment. The new US administration may have second thoughts about pivot to Asia, but US companies may not.

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FX Daily, December 22: Mixed Dollar amid Light News as Investors Move to Sidelines

FX Performance, December 22 2016 Movers and Shakers

GBP/CHF rates have dipped over the past week, as the markets start to slowdown ahead of the Christmas period. Market trends become harder to predict at this time of year, due to the fact there is less capital injected by investors. Less liquidity ultimately equals less stability and the Pound may be suffering due to investors pulling their funds away from it and into safer haven currencies such as the CHF.

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