Marc Chandler

Marc Chandler

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

Articles by Marc Chandler

August Monthly

The dollar’s losses accelerated in July, and further declines are likely even if there is short-lived bounce to correct the over-extended technical condition.  We have been arguing for a year that the third significant dollar rally since the end of Bretton Woods was over, but the disruption of the global capital markets in March gave the old bull market one more push.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 30: Greenback’s Bounce is Likely Short-Lived

A wave of profit-taking is seen through most of the capital markets today, with the exception of the bond market, where yields continue to trend lower.  The US 10-year is now yielding 55 bp, a new low since early March, and the five-year yield set a new record low near 23 bp.  European yields are 2-4 bp lower.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 29: Greenback Slips Ahead of the FOMC

Global equity markets are stabilizing today, and the dollar is once again on its back foot. Chinese markets led a mixed regional performance with a 2%-3% gain, while South Korea and Hong Kong markets also advancing. The strength of the yen appears to weigh on Japanese shares.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 27: Dollar Slide Continues, while Gold Soars

The US dollar’s dramatic sell-off continues. It is off against nearly all currencies.  Among the majors, the Swedish krona and Japanese yen are leading the money, and the euro surged through $1.17.  Emerging market currencies are fully participating, with the JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index posting its fifth gain in six sessions.

Read More »

Cool Video: Gold and the Dollar

I have been talking with Neils Christensen, editor at Kitco news, for several years about the dollar, gold, and my read of the capital markets more broadly.  We had a chance to discuss recent developments yesterday. I began my career at a small newswire, and Kitco reminds me of it.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 22: Pang of Uncertainty Spurs Profit-Taking

The optimism among investors appears to have evaporated in the face of new US-Chinese tensions, possible delays in the next US fiscal stimulus, and new record virus infections in Australia and Hong Kong. US stocks had pared early gains yesterday, and the high-flying NASDAQ finished lower after setting new record highs. 

Read More »

FX Daily, July 21: Europe and Tech Lift Risk Appetites

Overview: The continued domination of the tech sector and Europe’s tentative agreement are lifting equities and risk assets more generally today.  Australia and Hong Kong’s 2.3%-2.5% rally led Asia Pacific markets.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is higher for a third session and above its 200-day moving average for the first time since February. 

Read More »

FX Daily, July 20: Markets Yawn, Deal or No Deal

Overview: While there are signs that Europe has reached a compromise on the grant/loan issue, the spillover into the markets is quite limited. China, with Shanghai’s 3.1% gain, led a few markets in the Asia Pacific region higher, including Japan and India. Most markets were lower, and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is a fractionally firmer, recovering from initial losses.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 17: Markets Limp into the Weekend

Chinese stocks stabilized after yesterday’s sharp fall and most Asia Pacific equity markets, but Tokyo rose today.  European shares are little changed, but the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is still poised to hold on to modest gains for the third consecutive week. 

Read More »

FX Daily, July 15: The Dollar Slumps and EU Court Rules in Favor of Apple

A recovery in US stocks yesterday, coupled with optimism over Moderna’s vaccine, is providing new fodder for risk appetites today.  Equities are being driven higher, and the dollar is under pressure.  Most equity markets in Asia advanced.  China and Taiwan were exceptions, and, in fact, the Shanghai Composite fell for the second consecutive session for the first time in a month.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 14: Turn Around Tuesday Began Yesterday

Overview: Turn around Tuesday began yesterday with a key reversal in the high-flying NASDAQ. It soared to new record highs before selling off and settling below the previous low. The S&P 500 saw new four-month highs and then sold-off and ended on its lows with a loss of nearly 1% on the session. Asia Pacific shares fell, led by declines in Hong Kong and India.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 13: Risk Appetites Firm, but the Greenback is Mixed

Equities began the week on a firm note in the Asia Pacific region.  The Nikkei gained more than 2%, and the profit-taking seen in China ahead of the weekend was a one-day phenomenon.  The Shanghai Composite rose 1.8%, and the Shenzhen Composite surged 3.5%.  Taiwan and South Korea markets also rallied more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 8: Consolidation is the Flavor of the Day

The S&P 500’s longest advance this year was stopped seemingly as concern that the flare-up in the virus will slow the recovery. The sell-off in airlines and hotels helped spur a broader bout of profit-taking.  Most Asia Pacific bourses advanced, led by the continued rally in Hong Kong and China.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is posting its first back-to-back decline in nearly a month.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 07: Fade the Dollar Gains

The S&P 500 rallied 1.6% yesterday to extend the streak to a fifth consecutive session, and the longest of the year and completed the negation of a bearish technical pattern.  However, the main feature today is a wave of profit-taking on risk assets.  Most equity markets moved lower in the Asia Pacific region. Chinese markets were a notable exception.

Read More »

Cool Video: Dollar, Trade, and China on TDA Network

I began my career as a reporter on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, covering the currency futures and short-term interest rate futures for a news wire. Among other things, I learned that often, the locals, people trading with their own money and wits, would take the opposite side of trades of the institutional players.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 6: New Record Number of Covid Cases Doesn’t Curtail Appetite for Risk

Overview: A new daily high number of contagions globally has been reported, but the risk-appetites have been stoked.  Chinese stocks have been on a tear.  The Shanghai Composite rallied 5.7% today to bring the five-day advance to 13.6%.  Most other regional markets, including Hong Kong, rallied as well (3.8%).  Australia was the main exception, and it pulled back by 0.7%.  It is still up a solid 3.4% over the past five sessions.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 2: Dollar Thumped Ahead of US Jobs Report

Market optimism over the possibility of a vaccine in early 2021 overshadowed the continued surge in US cases, where the 50k-a-day threshold of new cases has been breached.  Following the NASDAQ close yesterday at record highs, global equities have advanced.  Led by Hong Kong returning from yesterday’s holiday, Asia Pacific equities rallied.  Most local markets rose by more than 1%, though Tokyo and Taiwan lagged.

Read More »

July Monthly preview

Many major and emerging central banks took action in June, but outside of possible technical adjustments will continue with the current supportive stance in July. The policy focus will shift back to fiscal initiatives. The highlights will be the EU Summit on July 12, which is considering the EC’s 750 bln euro package of grants and loans, and the US decision regarding the $600 a week extra unemployment insurance (expiring at the end of July) and another large budget bill ostensibly for state and local governments and infrastructure.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 1: Second Verse Can’t be Worse than the First, Can it?

The resurgence of the contagion in the US has stopped or reversed an estimated 40% of the re-openings, but the appetite for risk has begun the second half on a firm note, helped by manufacturing PMIs that were above preliminary estimates or better than expected.  Except for Tokyo and Seoul, equities in the Asia Pacific region rose.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose almost 15.5% in Q2. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 30: When Primary is Secondary

The gains in US equities yesterday carried into Asia Pacific trading today, but the European investors did not get the memo. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is succumbing to selling pressure and giving back yesterday’s gain.  Energy and financials are the biggest drags, while real estate and information technology sectors are firm.  All the markets had rallied in the Asia Pacific region, with the Nikkei and Australian equities leading with around 1.3% gains.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 29: USD is Offered in Quiet Start to the New Week

The combination of rising virus cases and the sell-off in the US before the weekend dragged nearly all the Asia Pacific bourses lower.  The Nikkei led the way with more than a 2% drop, but most bourses were off more than 1%.  China and Taiwan were also greeted with selling as markets re-opened from a two-day holiday at the end of last week. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 26: Investors Wrestle with Notion that More Covid Cases mean More Stimulus

It may be that a new surge in virus cases will elicit more policy support from officials, but the immediate focus may be on the economic disruption. The number of US cases is reaching records, and at least a couple of states are stopping their re-opening efforts. Several other countries, including parts of Australia, Japan, and Germany, are wrestling with the same thing, And some emerging markets, like Brazil and Mexico, have not experienced a lull.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 25: Contagion Growth and Calendar-Effect Saps Investor Enthusiasm

Given the huge run-up in risk assets this quarter, and the technical indicators warning of corrective forces, concerns over the new infections is pushing on an open door. The S&P 500 gapped lower yesterday and fell 2.6%, led by energy and airlines. The NASDAQ snapped an eight-day rally. Follow-through selling in the Asia Pacific region saw most markets fall at least 1%, with Korea and Australia seeing losses in excess of 2%.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 24: Risk Appetites Satiated for the Moment

Overview: The rally in risk assets in North America yesterday is failing to carry over into today’s activity. Asia Pacific equities were mixed. Korea and Indonesia led the advances with more than 1% gain. China and Taiwan also gained. Japan and Hong Kong. Europe’s Dow Jone’s Stoxx 600 is giving back yesterday’s gains (~1.3%) plus some and US stocks are heavy.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 23: Weebles Wobble but they Don’t Fall Down

Overview: After early indecision, investors ramped the demand for risk assets, encouraged perhaps by indications that the Trump Administration going to support at least another trillion-stimulus package. The NASDAQ rallied to new record highs, and the dollar got thumped across the board. However, in early Asia activity, Trump adviser Navarro seemed to have told Fox News that the US-China trade deal was over. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 22: Dollar Begins Week on Back Foot

Overview: Investors begin the new week, perhaps slowed a bit by the weekend developments and the growth of new infections. Equities are mixed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day advance, though India bucked the regional trend and gained 1%. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is recovering from an early dip to four-day lows. US shares are trading higher after the S&P 500 closed below 3100 ahead of the weekend after reaching 3155.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 17: Correction Phase does not Appear Over

Overview:  Investors have not yet completely shaken off the angst that saw equities slide last week.  All equity markets in the Asia Pacific region, but Japan, edged higher today, including China, India, and South Korea, where political/military tensions are elevated.  Europe followed suit, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is firm near yesterday’s highs. It has entered but not yet filled the gap created by the sharply lower opening on June 11.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 16: Correction Scenario Tested

Overview: Shortly after the US stock market opened sharply lower, the Federal Reserve announced that it’s Main Street facility was up and running. US stocks never looked back. After the S&P 500 recouped its full decline, the Fed announced it would begin buying corporate bonds. Up until now, it had been buying representative ETFs. Stocks rallied further on the news before pulling back into the close. The rally in risk assets carried into Asia.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 15: Unwind Continues

Overview: The swing in the pendulum of market sentiment toward fear from greed began last week and has carried over into today’s activity.  Global equities are getting mauled.  In the Asia Pacific region, no market was spared as the Nikkei’s 3.5% drop, and South Korea’s 4.7% fall led the way.  In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx  600 is recovering from a more than two percent early loss,  as it drops for the fifth time in the past six sessions.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 12: Licking Yesterday’s Wounds Today

Overview:  The nearly three-month rally in risk assets ended with high drama with a stomach-churning almost 6% slide in the S&P 500 yesterday. Follow-through selling was seen in the Asia Pacific region, but most markets recovered from their lows, and although losses were still recorded, the downside momentum seemed broken. The same holds true for Europe. Bourses opened lower but by mid-morning had moved higher (~1.4%) and US shares are trading firmer (~2%).

Read More »

FX Daily, June 9: Profit-Taking Gives Turn Around Tuesday Its Name

Overview: The S&P 500 turning higher on the year was the last straw before an arguably overdue bout of profit-taking kicked-in and is the dominant feature today in the capital markets.  It began slowly in the Asia Pacific region. Equities were mixed, and Australia’s 2.4% rally and the 1.6% gain in Hong Kong stood out.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was off for a second day (~1.3%), and US stocks are trading heavily, warning that the S&P 500 may give back most of yesterday’s gains.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 8: Monday Blues: Consolidation Threatened

Overview: The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for a sixth consecutive session. Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesian markets advanced more than 1%. European bourses are mixed, with the peripheral shares doing better than the core, leaving the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 about 0.5% lower near midday after surging 2.5% ahead the weekend. US shares are firm, as is the 10-year yields, hovering near 92 bp.

Read More »

Cool Video: The Liquidity Hypothesis

Jackie Pang from Meigu TV called and wanted to talk about the seeming disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. In this nearly 4.5 minute clip that she posted here, she gave me plenty of time to explain what I make of it. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 5: Greenback Remains Soft Ahead of Employment Report, but Reversal Possible

The modest loss in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ yesterday did not signal the end of the bull run. All the markets in the Asia Pacific region rallied, with the Hang Seng among the strongest with a 1.6% advance that brought the week’s gain to around 7.8%. South Korea’s Kospi was not far behind with a weekly gain of 7.5%.  In the past two weeks, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index is up nearly 10%. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 4: Risk Taking Pauses Ahead of the ECB

Overview: After several days of aggressive risk-taking, investors are pausing ahead of the ECB meeting.  Equities were mostly higher in the Asia Pacific region, though China was mixed, and Indian shares slipped.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is snapping a five-day advance, and US shares are trading with a heavier bias. The S&P 500 gapped higher yesterday, and that gap (~3081-3099) offers technical support.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 3: Dollar is Sold and ROW is bought

Overview: Two recent trends continue.  Equities are moving higher, and the dollar remains heavy.  Equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rose at least one percent, and South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia rallied 2-3%.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up more than 1% for the third consecutive session.  US shares are trading higher and are poised to extend their recent run.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 2: Greenback’s Slide Continues

Overview: Liquidity trumps everything else.  US equities shrugged off the national guard being called into action in nearly a third of US states, and the S&P 500 closed yesterday at nearly three-month highs. Asia Pacific markets followed suit.  Most markets in the region rose by more than 1%. The notable exceptions were Australia and China, where benchmarks rose by 0.2%-0.3%. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up more than 1% in the European morning.

Read More »

June Monthly

The investment climate in June will be shaped by forces that emerged in May.  Many countries began relaxing lockdowns and various activity-based alternative data, like traffic pattern, Open Table Reservations showed improvement on the margins.  Sentiment surveys, while mostly still depressed, were better than April readings.  The long slog back has begun. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 1: US Dollar Losses are Extended, but Momentum Stalls in the European Morning

Overview: US stocks extended their gains ahead of the weekend after President Trump shied away from specific actions against China-Hong Kong, and today Hong Kong shares recovered smartly from last week’s 3.6% slide. The Hang Seng rose 3.3% today, and the Shanghai Composite gained over 2%. All the markets in the region advanced. Europea’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was up about 0.5% in late morning turnover, which would be the fifth gain in six sessions. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 29: Month-End Profit-Taking Weighs on Equities as the Euro Pops Above $1.11

Overview:  The announcement that President Trump will hold a press conference on China later today rattled investors yesterday after they had earlier shrugged off the escalation of tension between the US and China to take the S&P 500 up to its highest level in nearly three months.  The S&P 500 reversed and settled on its lows, and this carried over into today’s activity, which also may be reflecting month-end adjustments.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 28: Escalating Tensions, Calm Markets

Overview: The US Secretary of State’s announcement that the autonomy of Hong Kong could no longer be affirmed did not derail the rally in US equities. However, the threat of an executive order against social media companies may be discouraging follow-through buying, leaving US equities little changed ahead of the open. In contrast, Asia Pacific and European equities are mostly higher.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 27: China and Hong Kong Pressures are Having Limited Knock-on Effects

Overview: The S&P 500 gapped higher yesterday, above the recent ceiling and above the 200-day moving average for the first time since early March. The momentum faltered, and it finished below the opening level and near session lows. The spill-over into today’s activity has been minor. The heightened tensions weighed on China and Hong Kong markets, but Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indian equity markets rose.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 26: Fear is Still on Holiday

Overview: The heightened tensions between the US and China sapped risk-appetites before the weekend, but appear to be missing in action today.  Equity markets have rebounded strongly. Nearly all the equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rose (India was a laggard) led by an almost 3% rally in Australia, which was seen as particularly vulnerable to the Sino-American fissure. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 22: US-China Escalation Sinks Hong Kong and Hits Risk Appetites

Overview: The US has ratcheted up pressure on China on several fronts and has sapped risk appetites ahead of the weekend.  Equity markets are lower across the world.  Even in India, where the central bank unexpectedly cut the repo rate 40 bp, shares fell 0.7%.  It was Hong Kong’s 5.5% that led the region lower.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off around 1% in late morning turnover to pare this week’s gain to about 2.5%. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 21: Markets Pull Back after Flirting with Breakouts

Overview: New two and a half month highs in the S&P 500 yesterday failed to have much sway in the Asia Pacific region and Europe today as US-China tensions escalate and profit-taking set in. Perhaps it is a bit of “buy the rumor sell the fact” type of activity on the back of upticks in the preliminary PMI reading and hesitancy about pushing for what appeared to be breakouts.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 20: Fed Funds Futures No Longer Imply Negative Rates

Overview: Another late sell-off of US equities, ostensibly on questions over Moderna’s progress on a vaccine, failed to deter equity gains in the Asia Pacific region. China was a notable exception, but the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fourth consecutive session. European shares are little changed, but reflects a split.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 19: Optimism Burns Eternal

Overview: Hopes for a vaccine and a German-French proposal to break the logjam at the EU for a joint recovery effort helped propel equities higher yesterday. There was strong follow-through in the Asia Pacific region, where most markets advanced by more than 1% today. However,  the bloom came off the rose, so to speak, in Europe. After a higher opening, markets reversed lower, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.75% in late morning turnover.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 18: Yuan Slumps as US-Chinese Tensions Rise

Overview: Despite somber warnings that the US economic recovery can stretch to the end of next year, investors have begun the new week by taking on new risks. Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rose, with Australia leading the large bourses with a 1% gain. India was an outlier, suffering a 2.4% loss, and Taiwan’s semiconductor sector was hit, and the Taiex fell 0.6%.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 15: Much Talk but Little Action

Overview: The S&P 500 staged an impressive recovery yesterday, a sell-off that took it to its lowest level since April 21, to close more than 1% higher on the day, helped set the tone in the Far East and Europe today. Gains in most Asia Pacific markets, but Hong Kong, Shanghai, and India, trimmed this week’s losses. Australia’s 1.4% rally today managed to turn ASX positive for the week, extending leg up for a third consecutive week.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 14: Risk Appetites Wane

Overview: Risk appetites have been gradually waning this week. US equity losses mounted yesterday after Tuesday’s late sell-off. Asia Pacific equities were off, with many seeing at least 1.5% drops. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off a little more to double this week’s decline and leaves it in a position to be the biggest drop since panicked days in mid-March.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 13: Will Powell have any more Luck Pushing against Negative Rate Expectations in the US?

Overview: Another late sell-off in US shares, this one perhaps related to the sobering assessment by the leading medical adviser for the Trump Administration about the risks of opening too early, failed to deter investors in the Asia Pacific region. Although Japanese shares slipped, most other markets rose. India led the way (~2%) after a fiscal stimulus program was announced.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 12: Markets Tread Water, Looking for New Focus

Overview: Investors seem to be in want of new drivers, leaving the capital markets with little fresh direction. While Japanese and China equities were little changed, several markets in the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India, were off more than 1%. European bourses are mostly higher after the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 slipped 0.4% yesterday.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 11: Quiet Start to New Week

Overview: The new week begins slowly in the capital markets. Many markets in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia, gained over 1%, but European and US shares are heavier. Benchmarks off all three regions rallied by 3.4%-3.5% over the past two weeks. Bond markets are also little changed, with the US 10-year benchmark just below 70 bp ahead of this week’s record refunding.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 8: Jobs and Negative Fed Funds Futures

Overview: The S&P 500 closed near its session lows for the third day running yesterday but failed to deter the bulls in Asia-Pacific, where most markets rose by more than 1%.  Taiwan, Korea, and Australia lagged a bit though closed higher. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is firm, and the modest gains (~0.5%) would be enough to ensure a higher weekly close if it can be maintained. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 7: China Reports an Unexpected Jump in Exports, While Norway Surprises with a Rate Cut

Overview: There is a sense of indecision in the air today.  There have been several developments, but investors seem mostly reluctant to extend positions. China reported a surge in exports in April and an increase in the value of reserves.  Australia reported a rise in exports in March.  The Bank of England left policy steady, but clearly signaled it was prepared to boost its asset purchases. 

Read More »

Cool Video: TD Ameritrade-Stocks, the Dollar and the Trap Laid by the German Court

Here is a nine-minute clip of a chat I had with Ben Lichtenstein at TD Ameritrade. Ben captures futures traders’ energy and breadth of vision.  Often in institutional settings, one develops a specialization, but in my experience, futures traders are more likely to look across the markets and asset classes.  It is one of the lasting lessons learned early in my career on the floor of the CME. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 6: The Euro is Knocked Back Further

Overview:  The late sell-off in US stocks yesterday has not prevented gains in Asia and Europe.   Most of the equity markets, including the re-opening of China, gain more than 1%.  Australia was a notable exception, falling about 0.4%, and Taiwan was virtually flat.  European bourses opened higher but made little headway before some profit-taking set in, while US shares are trading higher. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 5: German Court Adds to the Euro’s Woes

Overview: The S&P 500 recovered yesterday after dipping trading below the 20-day moving average for the first time in a month.  The key area is the gap between the April 30 low (~2892.5) and the May 1 high (~2869). Oil reversed higher as well. June crude was off nearly 9% in the US morning and closed 7% higher on the day and above $21 for the first time since April 21, the day of negative oil prices.

Read More »

New Month, New Trends?

The dollar fell against all the major currencies and most of the emerging market currencies last week. The Dollar Index fell by 1.3%, the biggest loss since the last week of March, and posted its lowest close in nearly three weeks ahead of the weekend. There seemed to be a change in the market after key equity benchmarks, like the MSCI ACWI Index of both emerging and developed markets put in a recovery high in the middle of last week.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 4: Monday Blues

Overview:  The constructive mood among investors in April has given way to new concerns as May gets underway.  Japan and China are still on holiday, but most of the other markets in Asia fell, led by 4.5%-5.5% declines in Hong Kong and India, and more than 2% in most other local markets.  Australia bucked the trend a gained 1.4% after shedding 5% before the weekend. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 30: ECB Takes Center Stage

Overview: Equities continue to recover even as deep economic contractions are reported. Yesterday, the US said Q1 GDP contracted at an annualized pace of 4.8%, while the eurozone reported today that output fell 3.8% quarter-over-quarter in Q1.  Hong Kong and South Korea were closed, but the rest of the Asia Pacific bourses rallied strongly with several, including Australia and India, rising more than 2%.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 29: Heavy Dollar amid Month-End Pressure

Overview: The dollar is lower across the board as dealers attribute the selling to month-end pressures ahead of the FOMC today and ECB tomorrow and long-holiday weekend for many. Japan’s Golden Week holiday has already begun. Despite the loss in US equities yesterday, despite the higher opening, it has not spilled over, as Alphabet earnings helped lift sentiment.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 24: Markets Limp into the Weekend

Overview:  The reversal in US equities yesterday set the stage for today’s losses.  All the Asia Pacific bourses fell today but Australia.  For the week, the regional index is off more than 2%.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was flat for the week coming into today’s sessions.  It is off around 0.5% in late morning activity. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 23: Investors Take PMI Crash in Stride

Overview: Investors have remained fairly calm in the face of flash April PMI crashes and an increase of virus cases in several European countries. Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rose, with the notable exceptions of China and Australia.  The Nikkei rose for the first time this week, and its 1.5% gain led the region.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 16: Markets Brace for another Jump in US Weekly Jobless Claims

Overview:  Equity losses in the US appeared to drag most Asia Pacific markets lower today, with China and India the notable exceptions.  European bourses are higher, and the only energy sector is a drag on the Dow Jones Stoxx 600,  which is around 1% higher in late morning turnover, while US shares are also trading firmer.  Asia Pacific 10-year benchmark yields eased. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 15: Dollar Rises as Equities Slump

Overview:  The recovery in equities stalled, and the risk-off mood has helped lift the US dollar, which had been trending lower. Taiwan and Malaysia were notable exceptions in the Asia Pacific regions to the heavier equity tone. The Nikkei gave back almost 0.5% after surging more than 3% on Tuesday. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is ending a five-day rally. 

Read More »

What to Expect from the World Bank and IMF

The spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF will be held virtually this week amid a profound economic crisis spurred by a novel coronavirus.  Unlike previous such viruses, this went global in such a destructive way that many countries have responded the same way.  Encouraging social distancing, closing non-essential businesses, and enforcing lockdowns. 

Read More »

Cool Video: CNBC Asia

As the markets were re-opening in Asia earlier today, I joined Martin Soong and Sir Jegarajah on CNBC Asia.  I had returned from a business trip and visited our summer house on the Jersey shore for what I thought was going to be a weekend more than a month ago.  

Read More »

FX Daily, April 9: Three Deals Needed ahead of Holiday Weekend

Overview: Three deals need to be struck. First, the Eurogroup of finance ministers needs to reach an agreement of proposals for joint action to the heads of state. Second, oil producers need to cut output if prices are to stabilize. Third, the US Congress needs to strike a deal to provide more funding. Investor seems hopeful, and risk appetites are have lifted equities.

Read More »

Cool Video: OIl, ECB, and Animal Spirits

I had the privilege to join Ben Lichtenstein at TD Ameritrade (from a remote location) this morning to talk about the global markets.  I make four points.  First, the reversal of the S&P 500 yesterday set the tone for Asia and Europe.  Volatility throughout the capital markets remains elevated, even if off the peaks.  

Read More »

FX Daily, April 8: Flavor of the Day: Consolidation

Overview: Global equities are struggling after the S&P 500 staged a dramatic reversal yesterday. The early 3.5% gain was completely unwound and closed slightly lower.  With few exceptions (e.g., Japan and the Philippines), most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region and Europe are lower.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 6: Glimmer of Hope Lifts Markets

Overview:  Reports suggesting that some of the hot spots for the virus contagion appear to be leveling off, and this is helping underpin risk appetites today.  The curve seems to be flattening in Italy, Spain, and France.  In the US, there are some early signs of leveling off in NY, and now, the number of states with infection rates above 20% is less than 10 from over 40 last week.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 03: Oil Firm, Greenback Extends Gains

Overview:  Global equities are finishing the week on a soggy tone despite the 2%+ gains seen in the US yesterday. The extension of shutdowns, rising contagion and fatality rate, and imploding economies weigh on prices. In Asia, Korea and Indonesia bucked the trend to most minor gains.  Europe is giving back yesterday’s gains, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is nearly flat on the week.

Read More »

April Monthly

In March,  the G10 and many emerging market countries, governments, and central banks unveiled large emergency measures.  The motivation is to blunt the economic impact of the novel coronavirus that has seen more than two billion people around the world have their movement restricted. Large swathes of the world’s economy have shut down. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 1: Hemorrhaging Resumes

Overview: There is no reprieve for investors. Equities are falling sharply. Nearly all the Asia Pacific markets slumped but Australia. Chinese markets fared better than most, but the Nikkei was off 4.5%, and India was down almost as much in late dealings. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off more than 3% near midday, led by a sell-off in banks that are suspending dividends and share buybacks.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 31: March Ends like a Lion, No Lamb in Sight

Overview: The coronavirus plague upended the world in March. Equities are finishing the month on a firm note. Strong gains in the US yesterday and an unexpectedly strong Chinese PMI (yes, to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt) helped lift most Asia Pacific and European markets today. Japan and Australia are exceptions to the generalization.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 30: Monday Blues

Overview: Risk appetites remain in check as the spread of the coronavirus is leading to more and longer shutdowns.  Asia Pacific equities fell with Australia, the notable exception.  Its benchmark rallied a record 7%, encouraged by additional stimulus measures.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 27: Nervousness Ahead of the Weekend

Overview: Officials appear to have persuaded investors that they have put into place measures that will cushion the economic blow and ensure that the financial system continues to function. After seemingly goading officials into action, investors are choosing not to resist. Moreover, there is a recognition that many programs are scalable.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 26: Rumor Bought, Fact Sold

Overview: Speculation that the US Senate would pass the large stimulus bill worth around 10% of US GDP is thought to have fueled a bounce in equities in recent days. The bill was approved and will now go to the House, where a vote is expected tomorrow. If the rumor was bought, the fact has been sold. The first to crack was the Asia Pacific region.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 25: Relief, but…

Overview: Global equities are marching higher. While the Dow Jones Industrials posted its biggest advance since 1933, the US is lagging behind other leading benchmarks. The MSCI Asia Pacific advanced, led by Japan’s Nikkei’s 8% gain. It was third consecutive gain, during which time the Nikkei has rallied 17%. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up about 3.5% after bouncing 8.4% yesterday.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 24: Relief Bounce On Tuesday, but Turn Around not Secure

Overview: Bottom-picking, after officials step up efforts and some optimism creeps in, is helping lift spirits today. As one looks at the equity bounces, it is important to remember that among the biggest rallies take place in bear markets. Nearly all the bourses in Asia-Pacific rallied, led by a 7% advance by Japan’s Nikkei and an 8%+ surge in South Korea’s Kospi. Most other markets were up 2%-5%.

Read More »

Conference Call Replay

Here is the link for the replay of the conference call I hosted earlier today.  I shared two ways in which this crisis is different from what we have seen in the last generation.  Unlike the Great Financial Crisis, the tech bubble, and the S&L Crisis, the current crisis did not begin in the financial sector, but the real economy.   

Read More »

FX Daily, March 23: Greenback Demand Not Satisfied by Swap Lines

Overview: In HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds,” the common cold repelled a Martian invasion. Now, a novel coronavirus is disrupting everything and everywhere. Global equities continue to get hammered, though the apparent relative resilience of Japan may have spurred some buying of Japanese equities.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 20: Markets Ending the Week on Better Note

Overview: Dramatic price action continues but in the other direction. Stocks and bonds have rallied strongly, and the US dollar is snapping a strong advance with a sharp and broad setback. The immediate trigger is hard to identify. Some accounts linking it to fears that the California shutdown will be repeated throughout the country, deepening the coming downturn.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 19: ECB’s Bazooka Support Bonds but not the Euro

Overview: It is not just that the dollar soared while stocks and bonds continued to plunge. The dollar’s strength is, in effect, a powerful short-covering rally. It was used to fund a great part of the global circuit of capital. The circuit of capital is in reverse now, and the funding currency is being bought back. The dollar’s strength is a function of the sell-off of other assets.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 18: Bonds Join Equities in the Carnage

Overview: A new phase of the market turmoil is at hand. Bonds are no longer proving to be the safe haven for investors fleeing stocks. The tremendous fiscal and monetary efforts, with more likely to come, have sparked a dramatic rise in yields. Meanwhile, equities are getting crushed again.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 17: Even Turn Around Tuesday is Flat

Overview:  While the markets are not as disorderly as they have been, the tone is fragile, and the animal spirits have been crushed.  Australian stocks fell more than 10% last week and dropped another 9.7% yesterday before rebounding by almost 6% today to be one of the few Asia Pacific equity markets to rise.  The Nikkei eked out a small gain, but the broader Topix rose 2.6%.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 16: Monday Blues: Fed Moves Bigly and Stocks Slump

Overview: The Federal Reserve and central banks in the Asia Pacific region acted forcefully, but were unable to ease the consternation of investors. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut key rates by 75 bp. The Bank of Japan appears to have doubled its ETF purchase target to JPY12 trillion, and the Reserve Bank of Australia is preparing for new measures that will be announced Thursday.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 12: Trump Dump as Market Turns to ECB

Overview: After the Bank of England and the UK Treasury announced both monetary and fiscal support, the focus turns to the ECB, but the proximity of the US Congressional recess (next week) without strong fiscal measures being in place sucked the oxygen away from other issues. President Trump’s national address in the Asian session failed to reassure investors.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 11: US Over-Promises and Under-Delivers, while BOE Steps Up with 50 bp Rate Cut

Overview: The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials sold off after the higher open and briefly traded below yesterday’s lows. Investors seemed disappointed that the Trump Administration was not ready with specific policies after Monday’s tease that had initially helped lift Asia Pacific and European markets earlier on Tuesday. This sparked a sharp decline in Europe into the close.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 10: Markets Stabilize after Body Blow

Overview:  It appears after a few days of miscues, US officials struck the right chord, and the global capital markets seemed to stabilize shortly after the US session ended.  President Trump’s press conference today is expected to spell out in greater detail relief for households and businesses.  Asia Pacific equities rallied, led by a 3% surge in Australia.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 9: Monday Meltdown

Overview: Equities plunged, and yields sank as the coronavirus threatens a global recession. The oil price war signaled by Saudi Arabia and Russia aggravates the desperate situation. Equities markets in the Asia Pacific region slumped 3-7%. The Shanghai Composite was fell 3%. The Nikkei was off by 5%, and Australia was hit among the hardest with a 7.3% loss.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 06: Panic Deepens, US Employment Data Means Little

The sharp sell-off in US equities and yields yesterday is spurring a mini-meltdown globally today. Many of the Asia Pacific markets, including Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and India, saw more than 2% drops, while most others fell more than 1%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped the four-day advance had lifted it about 2.8% coming into today.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 5: The Capital Markets YoYo Continues

Overview: The 4.2% rally in the S&P 500 yesterday helped lift Asia Pacific markets earlier today, and the five basis point backing up of the US 10-year yield pushed regional yields higher. However, the coattails proved short, and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is snapping a three-day advance and is off about 1.3% in late morning turnover to give back yesterday’s gains.

Read More »

FX Daily, March 4: Equities Trade Higher, While Yields Continue to Fall

Overview:  The G7 delivered up a nothing burger than was shortly followed by a 50 bp Fed cut.  The equity market seemed to enjoy it briefly and extended Monday’s dramatic gains, before falling out of bed.  The S&P 500 lost about 2.2%, while the Dow Industrial slumped 3%, but shortly after the markets closed, equities began recovering, and the recovery carried over to the Asia Pacific region and Europe.

Read More »

March Monthly

The new coronavirus that originated in China, apparently first detected in December, emerged on the world’s stage in January and continues to dominate the investment climate. There are two critical questions for investors and businesses whose answers will likely be clearer in the first part of March. First, will Covid-19 be contained for the most part by the end of Q1? 

Read More »

FX Daily, March 2: Central Banks’ Words of Assurance have Short Life

Overview: Comments beginning with Powell before the weekend, and BOJ and BOE earlier today promising support have saw equity markets briefly stabilize after last week’s dramatic moves. The G7 will hold a teleconference this week, but speculation of a coordinated rate move does not seem particularly likely. Most of the large stock markets in the Asia Pacific region rallied, led by a 3%+ advance in China.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 28: Fallout Accelerates

Overview: The dramatic response by investors to Covid-19 continues unabated and worse. The slide is accelerating. The S&P 500 posted a 4.4% loss yesterday, its worst session since 2011, and the sell-off is continuing. Many markets in Asia Pacific, including Japan, China, Korea, Australia, India, Singapore, and Thailand, fell by more than 3%.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 26: Dramatic Investor Adjustment Continues

Overview: The warning by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention that Americans should prepare for an outbreak of Covid-19 sent the S&P 500 tumbling to an 11-week low and the 10-year Treasury yield to a record low near 1.30%. The volatility of the S&P (VIX) jumped to its highest level since 2018. The sell-off in global equities continues unabated.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 24: Stocks Slammed and Yields Drop as Virus Containment Fails

Overview: The ring of containment of Covid-19 has grown from China. The new frontline is Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. A lockdown of around 50k people near Milan and Austria blocking trains from Italy is scaring investors. Asian markets fell, but South Korea bore the brunt with a nearly 4% decline. The national holiday in Japan spared local equities.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Sources of Imbalance and the Pushback Against New Divergence

The US dollar’s surge alongside gold has eclipsed the equity market rally as the key development in the capital markets. Even the traditional seemingly safe-haven
yen was no match for the greenback.  The dollar appeared to have been rolling over in Q4 19, as the sentiment surveys in Europe improved, Japanese officials seemingly thought the economy could withstand a sales tax increase, and data suggested the Chinese economy was gaining some traction.  

Read More »

FX Daily, February 21: Covid-19 Contagion Outside China Keeps Investors on the Defensive

Overview:  The spread of Covid-19 outside of China and early signs of the economic consequences again emerged to weigh on investor sentiment.  Poor Japanese and Australian preliminary February PMI reports and some trade indications from South Korea saw most Asia Pacific equities sell-off.  China was an exception.  The small gain (0.3%), lifted the Shanghai Composite 4.2% on the week.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 20: Covid-19 Hits Yen and Korean Won

The increase of Covid-19 cases in South Korea and Japan, coupled with China’s changing reverting back to its previous methodology of calculation, dropping clinically-diagnosed cases have again weakened risk appetites and sent the dollar broadly higher. Fears of a Japanese recession are sapping the yen’s role as a safe haven, and this helps explain why Japanese equities did react as positively to the weaker yen than is often the case.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 19: Investors’ Confidence Snaps Back

Overview: After shunning risk yesterday, investors re-entered the fray today, and the animal spirits returned. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day slide, and China’s markets were among the few losers in the region today. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 recovered yesterday’s losses in full and is again at record highs. US shares are also trading firmer and are poised to recoup yesterday’s decline.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 18: Apple’s Warning Weighs on Sentiment

Overview: Apple’s warning that it will miss Q1 revenue due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus seemed to be a modest wake-up call to investors, who, judging from the equity market, were looking beyond. Equities have fallen, and bonds have rallied. Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korean stocks fell by more than 1%, and only China and Indonesia were able to post gains.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 17: Dismal Q4 Japanese GDP Fails to Spur Yen Movement

Overview: It is only a US holiday today, but the global capital markets are subdued. In the Asia-Pacific region, equities traded lower with China and Hong Kong, the main advancers. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has fallen in only two weeks since the end of last November, and that was during the last two weeks of January. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 slipped in the previous two sessions but is recouping the losses fully today.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 14: Investors Continue to Look Past the Coronavirus

Overview: The capital markets are heading into the weekend, still trying to look past the coronavirus despite the new cases in Hubei. Tokyo was a notable exception in the Asia Pacific region, as the other major equity markets, like in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia, advanced. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the second week.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 12: The Greenback Slips in Subdued Activity

Investors appear to be increasingly looking past the latest coronavirus from China as new afflictions slow. Despite the soggy close of US equities yesterday, Asia Pacific bourses are nearly all higher, led by more than 1% gains in Singapore and Thailand. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is at new record highs, led by consumer discretionary and materials sectors.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: US Soars while Rivals are Hobbled

We are approaching the mid-point of the first quarter, and the coronavirus from China is the new key development for businesses and investors.  The economic impact appears to be still growing as the disruption to supply chains, production, and demand continues.  The re-opening of China from the extended Lunar New Year holiday brought some relief to the markets as officials ensured ample liquidity, leaned against short selling, and offered concessions to businesses and encouraged forbearance by lenders.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 6: Stocks Push Higher but more Cautious Tone may be Emerging

Overview:  The bullish enthusiasm that carried the S&P 500 to new closing highs yesterday is helping Asia Pacific and European shares today.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the third session with Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Korea jumping two percent.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 gapped to new record highs before stabilizing in mid-morning turnover.  US shares are mostly firmer. 

Read More »

FX Daily, February 5: Markets Extend Recovery, but Look for a Pause

Overview: The S&P 500 gapped higher and surged 1.5% yesterday, the most since in six months, helping set the stage for a continued recovery in global equities, and stoked risk appetites more broadly. An experimental antiviral treatment is to begin clinical testing. All of the markets in the Asia Pacific region advanced, with Japan, China, and Singapore gaining more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Daily, February 4: Relief Rally Fueled by Liquidity not Peak in Coronavirus

Overview: The combination of the rally in US shares yesterday and the continued efforts of China to inject liquidity helped lift sentiment today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped an eight-day slide, and many markets jumped more than 1%. Led by energy and materials, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is posting broad gains and is up over 1% in late morning turnover.

Read More »

February Monthly

The global capital markets were roiled in recent weeks by the new virus that jumped species in China.  It is contagious during the incubation periods and appears similar though more aggressive than  SARS in 2003-2004.  And China is larger and significantly more integrated into the global political economy.    

Read More »

FX Daily, February 3: Inauspicious Start to the Year of the (Flying) Rat

Overview: The Year of the Rat is off to an inauspicious start as apparently a fly rat (a bat) virus has jumped to humans. China’s markets re-opening amid much fanfare, and the Shanghai Composite dropped 7.7%, which is about what the futures in Singapore had anticipated. Several other markets in the region (Japan’s Nikkei, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand) fell by more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 29: Escaped from a Crocodile’s Mouth, Entered a Tiger’s Mouth

Overview: This colorful Malay saying captures the spirit of the animal spirits. Narrowly escaping an escalation of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, the outbreak of a deadly virus has spurred moves, especially the sell-off in stocks and rally in bonds, for which many investors seemed ill-prepared. Even though the virus contagion has not peaked, the recovery in US equities yesterday points to a break the fear and anxiety.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead and Why the FOMC Meeting may not be the Most Interesting

The week ahead is arguably the most important here at the start of 2020.  The Federal Reserve and the Bank of England meet. The US and the eurozone report initial estimates of Q4 19 GDP.  The eurozone also reports its preliminary estimate of January CPI.  China returns from the extended Lunar New Year celebration and reports its official PMI.  Japan will report December retail sales and industrial production. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 24: Coronavirus Hits Asia Hardest, Europe and the US Resilient

Overview: The new coronavirus in China has moved into the vacuum left by the US-China trade agreement and clear indications that the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, and the Federal Reserve are on hold as investors searched for new drivers. The World Health Organization refrained from calling it a public health emergency even though China has dramatically stepped up its efforts to contain the new virus.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 23: ECB’s Strategic Review and the Coronavirus Command Investors’ Attention

The spread of the coronavirus and the lockdown in the epicenter in China has again sapped the risk-taking appetite in the capital markets. Asia is bearing the brunt of the adjustment. Tomorrow starts China’s week-long Lunar New Year celebration when markets will be closed, which may have also spurred today’s drama that aw the Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.75%, bringing the week’s loss to 3.2%, the most in five months.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 21: New Respiratory Illness Saps Risk-Taking Appetites

The spread of a new respiratory illness in China has spurred a wave of profit-taking in equities and risk assets more generally. All of the markets in the Asia Pacific region tumbled, with Hong Kong hit the hardest (-2.8%) after posting a key reversal yesterday. The sell-off continued in Europe. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.8% in late morning turnover, led by consumer discretionary, materials, and energy. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 20: Stocks Stall while the Dollar Remains Bid

Overview: The new week is off to a quiet start as the US celebrates Martin Luther King’s birthday, and investors look for a fresh focus. Hong Kong and Indian markets were suffered modest declines while most of the other large Asia Pacific markets edged higher. European stocks are trading a little lower, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is threatening to end a four-session advance. Most benchmark bond yields around half a basis point in one direction or the other.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Central Bank Meetings Featured

The US dominated the news stream at the start of 2020. The spasm in the US-Iran confrontation has quickly subsided. The much-heralded US-China Phase 1 trade deal has been signed. The US has completed the ratification process of the US Mexico Canada Free-Trade Agreement. The early signs from the economic entrails suggest the world’s largest economy continue to enjoy a record-long, even if not robust, expansion. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 17: China and the UK Surprise in Opposite Directions

Overview:  Helped by new record highs in the US, global stocks are moving higher today. Nearly all the markets in the Asia Pacific region advanced and the seventh consecutive weekly rally is the longest in a couple of years. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is at new record highs and appears set to take a four-day streak into next week. US shares are trading firmly.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 16: Markets Look for New Cues with US-China Trade Pact Signed

Overview: The global capital markets are calm today as investors await fresh trading incentives. New record highs in the US equity indices gave Asia Pacific stocks a lift, though China and Taiwan were notable exceptions. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is firm new record highs set last week.  US equities are edging higher in Europe. Benchmark bond yields are little changed.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 15: Phase 1 Trade Deal Shifts Terrain of US-China Rivalry

News that US tariffs on China will remain until through at least the November US election and continued US attempts to stymie China (e.g., more curbs on Huawei under consideration and stepped up efforts to force it to cut subsidies to business) have taken some momentum from the push into risk assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day advance today, with only Australian equities among the large regional markets able to sustain upticks. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 14: China was a Currency Manipulator for a Few Months

Overview: The leaked US decision to lift the currency manipulator designation on China was the latest fodder fueling the new record highs in the S&P 500. The risk-taking appetite helped extend the rally in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index for the fourth consecutive session. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is little changed and trying to snap a two-day decline.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 13: Dismal Data Undercuts Sterling and Boosts Chances of a Rate Cut

Overview: There are two big stories today. The first is the large scale protests in Iran after the government admits to accidentally shooting down the commercial airliner amid the fog of war. The market impact seems minimal but fueling speculation that this, coupled with the economic hardship related to the US embargo, could topple the regime. Second, the UK reported that the economy unexpectedly contracted in November.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Back to Macro?

The US-China trade conflict and then US-Iran confrontation distracted investors from the macroeconomic drivers of the capital markets. It is not that there is really much
closure with the exogenous issues, but they are in a less challenging place, at least on the surface. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 10: Jobs Friday: Asymmetrical Risks?

Overview:  The first full week of 2020 is ending on a quiet note, pending the often volatile US jobs report.  New record highs US equities on the back of easing geopolitical anxiety is a reflection of greater risk appetite that is evident across the capital markets.  Asia Pacific equities mostly rose today, though Chinese shares and a few of the smaller markets saw small losses. 

Read More »

FX Daily, January 9: Animal Spirits Roar Back

Overview:  The S&P 500 recovered from a 10-day low to reach a new record high, which set the tone for the Asia Pacific and European markets today.   The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped by the most in a month with the Nikkei’s 2% advance leading the way.  More broadly, the markets in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, and Thailand all rose more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 8: Hopes of De-Escalation Help Markets Stabilize

The Iranian retaliatory missile strike on Iraqi-bases housing US forces initially sparked a dramatic risk-off response throughout the capital markets. The muted response by the US coupled with signals from Tehran that it had “concluded” its proportionate measures saw the markets retrace the initial reaction. It was too late for equities in the Asia Pacific region, and several markets (Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand) fell more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 6: Markets Struggling to Stabilize to Start the New Week

Overview: The global capital markets have yet to stabilize amid heightened geopolitical tension. Even though the US stock market finished last week off its lows, the sell-off continued in the Asia Pacific region. Japan’s markets re-opened after an extended holiday, and the yen, at three-month highs, saw the Nikkei sell-off nearly 2%. Several markets in the region lost over 1%, including Taiwan, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 1.3% in late morning turnover.  US stocks are trading heavily, and the S&P 500 is poised to gap lower.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 03: Geopolitics Saps Risk Appetite

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has threatened “severe retaliation” for the US attacked that killed an important head of a force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. At the same time, reports indicate that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is no longer pledging to halt its nuclear weapons testing and has threatened to unveil a new weapon. Meanwhile, Turkish forces have reportedly entered Libya.

Read More »

FX Daily, January 02: Equities Start New Year with a Pop

Overview:  Equities have begun New Year like, well, last year, with most Asia Pacific markets advancing, led by more than 1% gains in China, Hong Kong, and Thailand.  Only South Korea and Indonesian markets fell.  In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up almost 1% in late morning turnover.  US shares are trading higher as well, and the S&P 500 is up nearly 0.6%.

Read More »

The Turn

The year is winding down quietly, and the last week of 2019 is likely to be more of the same.  The general mood of the market is quite different than a year ago.  Then investors had marked down equities dramatically amid fears of what was perceived as a synchronized downturn.  Now with additional monetary easing in the pipeline and renewed expansion of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank’s balance sheets, risk appetites have been stoked.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 27: Equities Rally While the Dollar Slumps into the Weekend

Overview:  Equities are finishing the holiday-shortened week on a firm note, encouraged by strong holiday internet sales in the US.  Most markets in the Asia Pacific region advanced except China and Thailand, while Japanese markets were mixed after weak industrial output and retail sales.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fourth consecutive week.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Economic Data in the Holiday-Shortened Week

The capital markets will turn increasingly quiet in the week ahead as the Christmas holiday thins participation. If this is the season of goodwill, investors are lapping it up.  Global equity markets are finishing a strong year on a high note.  Record highs were recorded in the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600.  The MSCI Emerging Markets equity index is at its best level since August 2018. 

Read More »

FX Daily, December 19: Whiff of Inflation in the Air

It is risky to read too much into the price action in holiday-thin markets, but inflation fears are beginning to surface. The price of January WTI is around $61, having tested $50 a barrel in Q3. The CRB Index made new highs for the year yesterday and is up almost 9% for the year. The US yield curve (2-10 year) has been steepening after being inverted for a few days in August, and now at nearly 29 bp, also is new highs for the year.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 18: Markets Turn Quiet Ahead of Central Bank Meetings

Overview: The capital markets have turned quiet as the year-end positioning drives prices in lieu of fresh developments. Equities in the Asia Pacific region were narrowly mixed. The smaller markets in Asia performed better than the large bourses of Japan, China, and Korea, which eased. European equities are off to a firm start, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is consolidating near the record high set Monday.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 17: Sterling Drops as New Brinkmanship Begins

Overview: Efforts by a UK Prime Minister emboldened by a strong electoral victory to ensure that trade negotiations with the EU are not extended as the divorce has encouraged further profit-taking on sterling. After testing the $1.35 area on the exit polls last week, sterling had returned to where it closed before the results were known near $1.3160.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Central Bank Meetings and Flash PMI Reports, but its Over except for the Shouting

After last week’s flurry of events, market activity is set to slow over the next three weeks. But what a flurry of events it was. A new NAFTA apparently has been agreed, and it is set to be approved by the US House of Representatives next week and the Senate early next year.  The US and China struck an agreement that will get rid of the immediate tariff threat and unwind half of the punitive tariffs in exchange for a commitment to buy twice the amount of agriculture good next year than it at its peak a couple years ago. 

Read More »

FX Daily, December 12: Enguard Lagarde

With the FOMC meeting delivered no surprises, attention turns to the ECB meeting as the UK go to the polls. Lagarde will hold her first press conference as ECB president today, and it will naturally command attention. Equities are advancing today, and tech appears to be leading the way. In Asia Pacific, Taiwan and South Korea rallied more than 1%, while the Hang Seng gapped higher to almost its best level in three weeks.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 11: Sterling Holds Firm Despite Tighter Poll

Overview: The capital markets continue to tread water as investors await this week’s key events. The first, the FOMC meeting concludes later today. Tomorrow features the UK election, where the race appears to have tightened, and Lagarde’s first ECB meeting at the helm. Global equities continue consolidating the recent gains. Asia Pacific equity markets were mostly higher.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: An Eventful Week Ahead

The US employment report on the first Friday of December usually marks the unofficial end of the year. The desks are often lighter and dealers are loath to jeopardize the year’s bonuses in thin and often erratic markets.  This year is an exception.  Next week features the first ECB meeting with Lagarde at the helm and the final FOMC meeting of the year. 

Read More »

FX Daily, December 6: And Now for the Employment Report

Overview:  Asia Pacific equities closed higher today, with India being a notable exception.  Hong Kong and South Korea led with 1% rallies.  For the week, the MSCI index for the region advanced to snap a three-week decline.  European and US bourses have not fared as well.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is paring this week’s losses, but it is still off around 0.9% through the European morning session. 

Read More »

FX Daily, December 5: Sterling Sent Higher as Market Discounts Next Week’s Election

Overview: Global equity markets have resumed their climb after a wobble at the end of last week and earlier this week. A strong recovery in the S&P 500 on Tuesday signaled yesterday’s strong advance that left a bullish one-day island low in its wake. MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a two-day decline today with nearly all the market with the notable exception of South Korea advanced.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 4: Hope Springs Eternal

Overview: The prospect of not just the failure of the US and China to resolve its trade dispute but a new escalation has sapped the confidence that had lifted equity benchmarks and the greenback. Led by more than a 1% decline in Tokyo (Nikkei), Hong Kong, and Australia, all the major markets in the Asia Pacific region fell. European shares, perhaps encouraged by an upward revision to the flash composite PMI, are snapping a four-day 2.75% slide.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 3: US Brandishes Tariff Weapon and Weakens Animal Spirits

Asia Pacific equities mostly declined in sympathy with yesterday’s large sell-off in the US and Europe. China and Taiwan were the notable exceptions, while Australia’s 2.2% decline, following the central bank meeting that resulted in what many are seeing as a hawkish hold, led the move lower. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 fell 1.6% yesterday, the largest loss in two months, and is extending the losses for a third session today.

Read More »

FX Daily, December 2: PMIs Provide Latest Fuel for Equity Markets

Mostly better than expected manufacturing PMI readings for December, including in China, is providing the latest incentive for equity market bulls. Led by the Nikkei, which was aided by a weaker yen major equity markets in Asia Pacific rallied and recouped most of the nearly 1% loss before the weekend. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is also shrugging off the pre-weekend loss and to challenge the multiyear high recorded last week.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 29: Equities Slip While Investors Mark Time

Overview: Global equities are trading heavily. Both the MSCI Asia Pacific and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 snapped four-day advancing streaks yesterday and have seen some follow-through selling today. In the Asia Pacific region, all the markets fell but Jakarta. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped a little more than 0.2% yesterday but dropped 2% earlier today to record its biggest decline in three weeks.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 27: In Search of New Incentives

Overview: The global capital markets are subdued. There have been few developments to induce activity. Even President Trump’s claims that the talks with China are in the “final throes” failed to excite. Equities are extending their advance. Bonds are little changed, and the dollar is mostly firmer. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 advanced for the fourth consecutive session.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 26: Some Are More Equal Than Others

Overview: Neither optimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chairman, that the economic glass is more than half full, nor a seemingly positive spin on the weekend fall calendar between Chinese and US officials have succeeded in deterring some profit-taking today.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 25: Hong Kong, China, and UK Election Hopes Fan Modest Risk-Taking

Overview: The combination of the victory of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and an apparent concession by China on intellectual property rights is helping bolster risk appetites to start the week. Equities are higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led Asia Pacific equities with a 1.5% gain, the second biggest this month. Korea and India’s bourses also gained more than 1%.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Is Conventional Wisdom Too Optimistic?

There have been three general issues that the macro-fundamental picture has revolved around this year: trade, growth, and Brexit. On all three counts, conventional wisdom seems unduly optimistic, and this may have helped dampen volatility. A series of signals suggest that the US and China remain far apart in trade negotiations.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 22: Europe’s Flash PMI Disappoints and Hong Kong Shares Advance Ahead of Sunday’s Election

Overview: Equities in the Asia Pacific managed to mostly shrug off the drag of the losses in US equities yesterday. China and India could not escape the pull, but most other bourses were higher, led by Singapore and Hong Kong. It was the second consecutive week that the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell. The US and European benchmarks are paring this week’s small losses.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 20: Dollar Snaps Back

Overview: The idea that a US-China trade deal is proving more elusive than the agreement in principle on October 11 implied is being seized upon to spur what we suspect is an overdue round of profit-taking in global equities. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a three-advance, with over 1% declines in South Korea and Australia.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 19: Hong Kong Stocks Rally as Stand-Off Continues

Overview: The run-up in equities continues to be the dominant development in the capital markets. Although the Japanese and South Korean bourses fell, the rise in Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan underpin the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The Hang Seng’s gains  (1.5% on top of yesterday’s 1.3% rise) is notable as the situation on the ground remains intense and unresolved.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 18: Sterling Shines in Subdued Start to the New Week

Overview: Equities in Europe and the US look to extend their six-week rally, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gets back on the winning way after stumbling last week. Despite the escalation of the conflict in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 1.35% to lead the region and recoup a chunk of last week’s 4.8% slump. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 puts the European benchmark within spitting distance of the four-year high set recently.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 15: Market Runs with US Line that US-China Deal is Close

Comments by US presidential adviser Kudlow playing up the prospects of a trade agreement between the US and China, with other reports suggesting a key call be held today, is helping to underpin sentiment into the weekend. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index pared this week’s loss today, with China the only main market not participating, despite the PBOC’s unexpected injection of CNY200 bln of the Medium-Term Lending Facility.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 14: Unexpected German Growth Fails to Buoy the Euro

Overview: Rising trade anxiety and disappointing economic reports from the Asia Pacific region helped unpin the profit-taking mood in equities, while bond yields continued to pullback. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 are in the red for the fourth time in the last five sessions. Germany reported a surprise 0.1% expansion in Q3, but it has done little for the DAX or the euro.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 13: Investors Temper Euphoria

Overview: The recent rise in equity markets and backing up in yields spurred many observers to upgrade their macroeconomic outlooks rather than the other way around. Yet we continue to see may worrisome signs. It is not just trade, though, of course, that is part of it. Sentiment itself is fragile and will likely follow prices.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 12: Farage Declares Truce with Tories after being Offered a Peerage, Underpins Sterling

Global capital markets are calm as investors look for a new catalyst. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped back after posting its first back-to-back decline in a month. All the equity markets were higher, but Australia. The Nikkei, Kospi, and Taiex led the advance with about a 0.8% gain. European shares closed firmly near session highs yesterday, even if still lower on the day, and there has been some follow-through buying today.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 11: Dollar Consolidates and Equities Follow Asia Lower

Overview: Escalating violence in Hong Kong and the continued fall in Chinese producer prices weighed on equities in Asia Pacific trading. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has risen nearly 7% during the five-week rally and is off to a weak start this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell around 2.6%, its biggest loss in three months, and China’s CSI 300 was off 1.75%. Nearly all the local markets fell but Australia.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Caution: Prices Diverging from Macro Drivers

Sometimes the news drives the markets and but now it seems that the markets are driving the news.  The dramatic swing in market sentiment from fearing a repeat of Q4 18 and the pessimism of World Bank/IMF forecasts have been cast aside for a few data points and a tease from the world’s two largest economies that an agreement to begin a de-escalation process not just extending the third tariff truce.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 8: Risk Appetites Satiated Ahead of the Weekend

The capital markets are consolidating the recent moves ahead of the weekend. Equities are paring this week’s gains, though the Nikkei, which was closed on Monday, extended its advance for the fourth consecutive session. Despite the profit-taking today, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fifth week. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is snapping a five-day rally, but it is closing in on the fifth consecutive weekly advance.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 7: Trade Optimism Boosts Sentiment but Weighs on the Dollar

Indications that a phase one agreement between the US and China would include rolling back some existing tariffs is boosting risking appetites, sending stocks higher, and pushing up yields. However, this appears to be simply a restating of China’s views rather than a new breakthrough. The dollar is paring its recent gains. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fifth time in six sessions to reach its best level since August 2018.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 5: Animal Spirits Remain Animated

The prospects that the US-China deal could include some rolling back of existing US tariffs helped underpin risk appetites. After new record highs in the US S&P 500 and NASDAQ, Asia Pacific markets marched higher, and the MSCI Asia Pacific reached its highest level since August 2018. A small rate cut by China and catch-up by Tokyo, which was on holiday on Monday, helped extended the regional rally for the 14th session in the past 17.

Read More »

November Monthly

Two main developments drove the foreign exchange market in October.  First, the market grew more confident that a hard Brexit could be avoided.  This drove sterling sharply higher.  It rallied from $1.22 on October 10 to a little above $1.30 on October 21 before doubts grew about the likelihood that Parliament will approve the new agreement.

Read More »

FX Daily, November 4: Investor Optimism Carries into the New Week

Overview: Investor optimism is reflected by the risk-taking appetite that is lifting equity markets and bond yields. With Japanese markets closed for a national holiday, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was led higher by more than 1% gains in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand. The regional benchmark advanced for the seventh session in the past eight and is approaching the year’s high.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Synchonized Emergence from Soft Patch?

There have been plenty of developments warning of a global economic slowdown. Yet, seemingly to justify the continued advance in equity prices, there has begun to be talk of possible cyclical and global rebound. That is the new constellation, connecting the better than expected Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese September industrial output figures,  a slightly stronger than expected Q3  GDP reports from the US and the eurozone. 

Read More »

FX Daily, November 1: Dollar Remains on the Defensive Ahead of Jobs Report

Overview: An unexpected increase in China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI helped lift Asia Pacific equities after the S&P 500 stumbled yesterday amid concerns that there will not be a phase 2 in US-China trade negotiations. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 4.3% in October, and with the help of gains in China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan began November with a gain.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 31: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Overview: The equity and bond rally in North America yesterday carried over into today’s session. With some notable exceptions, like China, Taiwan, Australia, and Indonesia, most bourses in Asia Pacific and Europe traded higher. US shares are little changed in early Europe after the S&P 500 rose to new record highs.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 30: All About Perspective

Overview: The global capital markets are mostly treading water ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting. Asia Pacific and European equities drifted lower. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index appears to have snapped a four-day advance, while the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was trading slightly lower for the second consecutive session following a six-day rally.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 29: Calm before the Storm

The more prominent events this week still lie ahead, and the capital markets are trading accordingly. The rally that lifted the S&P 500 to new record highs yesterday carried over into Asia, where most equity markets rose, though China, Hong Kong, and South Korea were notable exceptions. European shares are struggling in the early going after the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 set new highs for the year yesterday.

Read More »

Cool Video: Dollar and Fed

I joined Tom Keene and Marty Schenker (chief content officer) on the set of Bloomberg TV this morning. Schenker discussed some of the geopolitical issues in the Middle East, and Keene asked about the impact on the dollar. I expressed my concern that the chief threat to the dollar’s role in the world economy is the several administrations have increasing weaponized access to the dollar and the dollar funding market.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 28: Politics Dominates Start of the Week before Yielding to Policy and Economics

Overview:  The pre-weekend rally in US shares, with the S&P 500 flirting with record highs and the back-up in US yields, set the tone for Asia Pacific trading earlier today.  Nearly all the equity markets advanced, and bond yields rose.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 took a five-day advancing streak into this week, but shares are struggling to sustain the upside momentum.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Fed’s Mid-Course Correction to be Challenged while ECB Resumes Bond Purchases

The week ahead will help shape the investment climate for the remainder of the year.  The highlights include three central bank meetings (Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, and the Bank of Canada).  Among the high-frequency data, the US and the eurozone report the first estimates of Q3 GDP, and the US October jobs data and auto sales will be released.  Investors will also get the preliminary Oct CPI for EMU.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 25: Limping into the Weekend both Fighting and Talking

Overview: Amazon and Intel earnings offered conflicting impulses for Asia Pacific equities, but Japanese, Chinese, Australian, and South Korean shares advanced. This will allow the regional MSCI benchmark to solidify its third consecutive weekly gain. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is little changed, and it too is closing in on its third weekly advance.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 24: Flash PMIs Disappoint Despite Negative Interest Rates

Overview: As the UK awaits the EU’s decision on its request, disappointing flash PMI readings Japan, Australia, and Germany have filled the news vacuum. Sweden’s Riksbank retained a hawkish tone while keeping rates on hold, and Norway’s Norges Bank also stood pat. The market expects Turkey to deliver a rate cut, while the ECB meeting is Draghi’s last at the helm.

Read More »

Cool Video: China Still Needs to Provide more Stimulus

The IMF projects that China will expand by less than 6% in 2020, but unless China provides more stimulus, it may be difficult to achieve.  This is not only my view but also the view of Helen Qiao, the chief economist for Greater China at Bank of America.  I was on the Bloomberg set with Alix Steele and Ms. Qiao earlier today.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 23: Markets Lack Much Conviction, Await Fresh Developments

Overview: UK Prime Minister Johnson is neither dead in a ditch as he said he would prefer to be than request an extension of Brexit, nor will the UK leave the EU at the end of the month. Yesterday’s vote rejected the attempt to fast-track the legislation needed to support the divorce agreement. It all but ensures that such a delay will be forthcoming.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 21: Dollar Soft, but Stage is being Set for Turn Around Tuesday

Overview: The UK’s departure from the EU remains up in the air as a new attempt to pass the necessary legislation through Parliament continues today. Many market participants seem to remain optimistic that Prime Minister Johnson’s plan will ultimately succeed. After slipping to $1.2875 initially, sterling briefly pushed through $1.30, which had held it back last week.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead Excluding Brexit

I feel a bit like the proverbial guy that asks, “Besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” in trying to discuss the week ahead without knowing the results of the UK Parliament’s decision on the new deal negotiated between Prime Minister Johnson and the EU.   I will write a separate note about Brexit before the Asian open. However, there are several other developments next week that will help shape the investment climate.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 18: Markets Becalmed Ahead of the Week

Overview: The global capital markets are ending the week on a subdued note as the UK Parliament decision on Saturday is awaited. The weaker Chinese Q3 GDP had little impact outside of China, where stocks fell over 1%. A brief suspension of hostilities by Turkey was sufficient for the US to lift its threatened sanctions.

Read More »

Cool Video: With Rick Santelli on CNBC

I was invited to Rick Santelli’s Exchange on CNBC earlier today. There is a 3.5-minute clip of the interview that can be found here. Despite being a dollar bull for nearly a decade (since around the time of my first book–Making Sense of the Dollar–), I do not think a strong or weak dollar is desirable. It is about the level that is appropriate depending on business conditions and the economic cycle.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 17: EU-UK Deal Sends Sterling and the Euro Higher

Overview: A Brexit deal between the UK and the EU has been struck. Whether it can win Parliament’s approval is a horse of a different color. Meanwhile, US-Chinese relations continue to sour. The capital markets are narrowly mixed as investors await further developments. The MSCI Asia Pacific is consolidated after gaining for the past four sessions.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 16: Fickle Market Tempers Enthusiasm

Overview: Fading hopes that a Brexit agreement can be struck is seeing sterling trade broadly lower, while China’s demand that US tariffs be rescinded in exchange for a commitment to buy $40-$50 bln of US agriculture goods over two years, makes the handshake agreement less secure. At the same time, Hong Kong is becoming another front in the US-Sino confrontation.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 15: Non-Disruptive Brexit Hopes Remain Elevated

Overview: Ideas that a Brexit deal may be close is helping to firm sterling, while soft Chinese PPI offset the spike in food prices to show the weakness of the world’s second-largest economy. Minutes from the meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia earlier this month kept a door open to a rate cut before the end of the year.  Japan returned from holiday, and the Nikkei gapped higher, and its nearly 1.9% advance led the MSCI Asia Pacific Index higher. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is recouping yesterday’s 0.5% loss, while US shares are also trading firmer after yesterday’s slippage.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 14: Optimism Took the Weekend Off

Overview: Japanese and Canadian markets are on holiday today. While the US bond market is closed, equities maintain their regular hours today. Asia Pacific equities rallied, led by 1% of more gains in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand. The buying did not continue in Europe, and after a 2.3% rally before the weekend, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is about 0.75% lower in the European morning.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 11: Nothing Like Approaching the Edge to Focus the Minds

Overview: As the edge of the abyss is approached in three distinct areas, there is hope that victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. US-China trade talks continue today, and there is hope of a small deal that could lead to the US not hiking tariffs next week. A shift in the UK toward a free-trade agreement with the EU seems to have opened fertile ground in negotiations that could still avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 10: Setback for the Greenback

Conflicting headlines about US-China trade whipsawed the markets in Asia, but when things settled down, perhaps, like the partial deal that has been hinted, net-net little has changed. Asian equities were mixed, with the Nikkei, China’s indices, and HK gaining, while most of the others slipped lower. The 0.9% gain in the S&P 500 yesterday failed to lift European stocks, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is near the week’s lows.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 9: Hope is Trying to Supplant Pessimism Today

Overview: The 1.5% drop in the S&P 500 and the deterioration of US-China relations and the prospects of a no-deal Brexit failed did not carry over much into today’s activity. Asia Pacific equities were mostly a little lower, though China and India bucked the regional trend, while Korea was closed for a national holiday. Taiwan led the losses amid a sell-off in semiconductor stocks.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 8: Not a Good Day for Negotiators

The re-opening of Chinese markets after a long holiday did not produce the volatility that many expected. Chinese stocks alongside most Asia markets traded higher today, and the yuan advanced. After opening higher and extending its recent rally, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 turned down, even though Germany announced an unexpected gain in August industrial output. US shares are trading a bit lower.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 7: Markets Unsettled to Start the Week

Overview: The global capital markets are uneasy as the risks that have dominated investors’ concerns–trade and Brexit–remain front and center today. Expectations are low that this week’s talks between the US and China will lead to a breakthrough or will be sufficient to postpone further the next round of tariff increases set for next week. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: China Returns, ECB Record, Fed Minutes and the Week Ahead

Many high-income countries experienced little growth but strong price pressures in the 1970s. Since the mainstream economics said the two were mutually exclusive, a new term had to be created, hence stagflation.  Fast forward almost half a century later, and mainstream economists are still having a problem deciphering the linkages between prices and economic activity, such as inflation and employment.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 4: The US Jobs Data to Close a Sobering Week

Overview: The recovery of US shares yesterday signaled today’s fragile stability. Gains in Japan, Australia, and Taiwan blunted the losses elsewhere in the region, including a 1% slide in Hong Kong.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the third week. China’s markets have been closed since Monday and will re-open Monday and may play some catch-up.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 3: Shades of Q4 18?

Overview:  Disappointing economic data again drove US equities lower, which in turn carried into Asia Pacific activity. Losses were recorded throughout the region, with the notable exception of Hong Kong. The Nikkei and Australia’s ASX were off by 2%. After its largest losing session of the year (-2.7%) yesterday, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 continues to trade heavily.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 2: Greenback Shows Resiliency, Stocks Don’t

Shockingly poor ISM data sent shivers through the market on Tuesday and hand the S&P 500 its biggest loss in five weeks and took the shine off the greenback. The S&P 500 reached a five-day high before reversing course and cast a pall over today’s activity.  All the markets were lower in Asia Pacific, with China and India closed for holidays.

Read More »

FX Daily, October 1: Dollar Jumps to Start New Quarter

Overview: The US dollar is rising against nearly every currency today as global growth concerns deepen. Japan’s Tankan Survey showed large manufacturers confidence is a six-year low. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut 25 bp as widely expected and kept the door open for more. The final EMU PMI ticked up from the flash, but it is still at a seven-year low.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 30: A Busy Week Begins Quietly

Overview: As the quarter ends, the capital markets are mixed. Equities in Asia Pacific were heavier, except in Hong Kong and Australia, while shares were mixed, leaving the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 little changed through the European morning. US shares are trading firmer. Benchmark 10-year bond yields are 2-3 basis points higher, though Australia’s bond yield was up seven basis points.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Forces of Movement at the Start of Q4 19

The world’s largest economy appears to have grown by about 2% in Q3 at an annualized pace, the same as in Q2, and in line with what many Fed officials understand to be trend growth.  The strength of the US labor market underpins consumption, the powerful engine of the US economy.  The latest readings of both the labor market and consumption will highlight the economic data in the week ahead. 

Read More »

FX Daily, September 26: Greenback Remains Firm

Overview: A compelling narrative for yesterday’s disparate price action is lacking. A flight to safety, which is a leading interpretation, does not explain the weakness in the yen, gold, or US Treasuries. Month- and quarter-end portfolio and hedge adjustments may be at work, but the risk is that it is a black box: is difficult to verify and lends itself to misuse as a catch-all explanation.  Nevertheless, the rise in US equities yesterday helped lift most Asia Pacific shares today, with China, Taiwan, and Australia the notable exceptions.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 25: Risk Appetite Stymied: Dollar Recovers while Stocks Slide

Overview:  Global equities and fixed income reacted to the large moves yesterday in the US when the 10-year note yield fell eight basis points, and the S&P 500 fell by 0.85%.  Investors have focused on three separate developments and two of which came from President Trump’s speech at the UN.  He dismissed the likelihood of a short-term trade deal with China and was critical of the large social media platforms.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 24: UK Supreme Court Deals another Defeat to Johnson

Overview: A fragile calm hangs over the capital markets today.  Equities in Asia Pacific were narrowly mixed.  Japan, China, and HK advanced. India saw some profit-taking after a two-day surge in response to the unexpected corporate tax cuts but recovered in late dealings. European shares are recovering after posting its largest loss in a month yesterday (-0.8%). US shares are trading firmer in Europe.

Read More »

Great Graphic: Views Distill to Short Sterling Long Yen Opportunity

GBP/JPY, March-September 2019

We have argued that the road to an orderly Brexit remains arduous and that sterling had entered an important technical area ($1.2500-$1.2530).  At the same time, see the dollar as having approached the upper end of its broad trading range against the yen.  One of the important drivers lifting the dollar was the dramatic rise in US yields. 

Read More »

FX Daily, September 23: Dreadful European Flash PMI Drags the Euro Lower

Overview: The critics who claim the ECB’s policy response was disproportionate got a rude shock today with the unexpected weakness revealed by the flash PMI. The euro looks to re-visit the lows set recently near $1.0925. Sentiment has also been eroded by the poor South Korean export figures. Asia Pacific equities moved lower, though Tokyo markets were closed. Indian equities, however, continue their pre-weekend surge.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 20: UK and India Provide Excitement Ahead of the Weekend

Overview: A word of optimism on a Brexit deal has sent sterling to its best level in two months. Corporate tax cuts sparked a more than 5% rally in Indian stocks as the week draws to a close. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day losing streak to pare this week’s decline.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was flat for the week coming into today, and its four-week advance is at stake.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 19: Investors Looking for New Focus

Overview:  Central bank activity is still very much the flavor of the day, but investors are looking for the next focus.  The Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank stood pat, while Indonesia cut for the third consecutive time and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Saudi Arabia quickly followed the Fed. Brazil cut its Selic rate yesterday by 50 bp as widely expected.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 18: FOMC Meets Amid Money Market Pressures

Overview:  News that Saudi Arabia was able to restore 40%-50% of the oil capacity lost by the weekend strike coupled with the Fed’s efforts to offset the squeeze in the money markets are allowing the global capital markets to trade quietly ahead of the conclusion of the FOMC meeting.  Equities are little changed with a lower bias that has been seen in the first few sessions this week.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 17: Markets Calm(er)

Overview: Oil prices have stabilized after yesterday’s surge. Both Brent and WTI are holding on to around $7-$8 a barrel gain. Equity markets are mixed. Some are attributing the losses in Asia Pacific outside of Japan (Nikkei rose its highest level since late April), Korea and Australia to the rise in oil prices. European shares opened lower are straddling unchanged levels.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 16: Oil Surge Pared, Markets Remain on Edge

Overview: Oil prices surged in the initial reaction to the unprecedented drone attack on Saudi Arabia facilities. Saudi Arabia may be able to restore around half of the lost production in a few days. Saudi Arabia and other countries, including the US, prepared to tap strategic reserves, oil prices have seen the initial gains halved. Brent is trading near $65 after finishing last week near $60.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Six Things to Watch in the Week Ahead

The prospect of a third trade truce between the US and China helped underpin the optimism that extended the rally in equities.  Bond yields continued to back-up after dropping precipitously in August, led by a more than  30 bp increase in the US yield benchmark.  The Dollar Index fell for the second consecutive week, something it had not done this quarter.

Read More »

Cool Video: Thoughts on ECB

A few hours after the ECB announced a new package of monetary accommodation, I joined a discussion on CNBC Asia with Nancy Hungerford and Sir Jegarajah.  Here is a clip of part of our discussion. I make two points.  The first is about the euro’s price action.  What impressed me about it was that the euro posted an outside up day, trading on both sides of the previous day’s range and closing above its high.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 13: Bonds and the Dollar Remain Heavy Ahead of the Weekend

Overview: The markets are digesting ECB’s actions and an easing in US-Chinese rhetoric. Next week features the FOMC meeting and three other major central banks (Japan, Switzerland, and Norway). The US equity rally that saw the S&P 500 edge closer to the record high set in late July spilled over to lift Asian markets. Chinese and Korean markets were closed for a mid-autumn holiday.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 11: Dollar is Firm as ECB is Awaited

Overview: Global equities are extending their recent gains while bonds remain on the defensive.  The dollar is firm.  There is a degree of optimism that is prevailing. There are some more overtures in terms of US-Chinese trade. In Hong Kong, developers and banks led an equity rally on ideas that the political tensions may ease. South Korea reported better trade data for the first ten days of September.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 10: Turn Around Tuesday

Overview: The momentum from the end of last week carried into yesterday’s activity, but the momentum began fading.  Today, equities were mixed in Asia Pacific and weaker in Europe. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 reversed lower yesterday and is slipped further today.  The S&P 500 may gap lower at the open.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 9: Market Sentiment Still Constructive

Overview: The improvement of investor sentiment seen last week is carrying over into the start of the new weeks. Global equities are firm as are benchmark yields. Asia Pacific equities advanced, except in Hong Kong, where Chief Executive Lam’s promise to formally withdraw the controversial extradition bill failed to deter protests.

Read More »

FX Daily, September 03: Pound Punished in High Drama

A showdown between UK Prime Minister Johnson and Parliament over Brexit pushed sterling below $1.20. The euro is extended its losses after finishing last week below $1.10. Growth concerns are seeing equities retreat. Japanese and Chinese shares managed to eke out gains, but the Asia Pacific and European stocks have been sold.

Read More »

What Happened Monday

Markets in the US and Canada were closed on Monday for national Labor Day holidays. Here is a succinct summary of key developments that will set the backdrop for Tuesday. On September 1, the new round of tariffs in the US-China fight took effect. The US placed a 15% tariff on around 3000 Chinese goods that thus far had escaped action.

Read More »

September Monthly

Three forces are shaping the investment climate. The US-China trade conflict escalates at the start of September as both will raise tariffs on each other’s goods and are threatening another round in mid-December (US 25% tariffs on $250 of Chinese imports will increase to 30% on October 1).

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Talking and Fighting in the Week Ahead

Equity markets and the US dollar closed last week and August on a firm note. Ahead of the weekend, the dollar rose to new highs for the year against the euro, Swedish krona, Norwegian krone, and the New Zealand dollar. While the next set of US and Chinese tariffs start September 1, the market is making the most of the lull.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead is not about the Week Ahead

It’s the last week of August. Several economic reports will be released in the coming days. They include the US deflator of consumer expenditures that the Federal Reserve targets, China’s PMI, and the eurozone’s preliminary August CPI. It is not that the data do not matter, but investors realize the die is cast.

Read More »

G7 to Deliver a Nothing Burger

A Bloomberg article about the weekend G7 meeting says, “multilateralism is dead.”  An op-ed in the Financial Times suggests that the most important political alliance may be “rejuvenated” at the G7 meeting.  The truth is likely found somewhere in between. 

Read More »

FX Daily, August 22: Tick Up in EMU PMI Does Little, Waiting for Powell

Overview:  Soft data in Asia and the continued decline in the yuan (six days and counting) prevented Asian equities from following the US lead from yesterday when the S&P 500 advanced by 0.8%.  European shares are paring yesterday’s 1.2% advance despite an unexpected gain in the EMU flash PMI.  US shares are little changed in the European morning.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 20: Marking Time Ahead of PMI and Powell

Overview:  Global equities and bonds are firmer in quiet turnover, and the dollar is narrowing mixed in narrow ranges.  The big events of the week, the eurozone flash PMI and Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole still lie ahead.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the third consecutive session, led by Korea and Australia’s 1%+ gains. 

Read More »

FX Daily, August 19: China’s Rate Reform Helps Markets Extend End of Last Week Recovery

Overview: China announced some changes in its interest rate framework that is expected to lead to lower rates.  This helped lift equity markets, which were already recovering at the end of last week from the earlier drubbing.  Chinese and Hong Kong shares led the regional rally with 2-3% gains.  The Nikkei gapped higher for the third time in six sessions, and the first two were followed by lower gaps. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: A Vicious Cycle Grips Markets

The capital markets are in their own doom loop. Poor data from Germany and China, coupled with the escalation of the US-China trade dispute and rising tensions in Hong Kong spur concerns about the risks of a global recession. Interest rates are driven lower, and curves flatten or go inverted, spurring more concern about the outlook. The problem is that it is not clear how this vicious cycle ends.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 16: Markets Take Collective Breath Ahead of the Weekend

Overview:  The global capital markets are ending the tumultuous week calmly, but it is far from clear that is will hold long.  Next week’s flash PMIs have potential to disappoint, and there is risk of new escalation in the US-China trade conflict as the PRC threatens to take action to countermeasures to the new US tariffs.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 15: Animal Spirits Lick Wounds

Overview:  It took some time for investors to recognize that the scaling back of US tariff plans was not part of a de-escalation agreement. There was an explicit acknowledgment by US Commerce Secretary Ross that there was no quid pro quo. The US tariff split was more about the US than an overture to China. 

Read More »

FX Daily, August 14: Markets Paring Exaggerated Response to US Blink

The US cut its list of Chinese goods that will be hit with a 10% tariff at the start of next month by a little roe than half, delaying the others until the mid-December. This spurred a near-euphoric response by market participants throughout the capital markets. However, as the news was digested, it did not seem as much of a game-changer as it may have initially.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 13: Investors Remain on Edge

Overview:  The confrontation in Hong Kong and the fallout from the Argentine primary over the weekend join concerns the conflict between the two largest economies and slower growth to force the animal spirits into hibernation.  Global equities remain under pressure.  Japan’s Topix joined several other markets in the region to have given up its year-to-date gain. 

Read More »

FX Daily, August 12: Yen Remains Bid, While Macri’s Loss in Argentina Weighs on Struggling Mexican Peso

Overview: China again tried to temper the downside pressure on the yuan, and this appears to be helping the risk-taking attitude. Many centers in Asia were closed today, including Japan and India, though most of the other equity markets advanced modestly, including China, Korea, and Australia. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 opened firmer but is staddling little changed levels unable to stain any upside momentum.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Macro Deterioration

The US-China tensions remain the dominant driver of investor risk appetites. President Trump has repeatedly accused China of manipulating its currency on twitter, and finally Treasury Secretary Mnuchiin acquiesced after China failed to prevent the dollar from rising above CNY7.0.

Read More »

Yes, the Dollar is Above CNY7.0, but No, the Sky is Not Falling

The world’s two great powers are at loggerheads. Chinese nationalism meet your sister, US nationalism. Import substitution strategy of Made in China 2025 meet your cousin Make America Great Again. Paradoxically, or dialectically, the similarities are producing divergent interests that extend well beyond economics and trade policy.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 7: Three Asian Central Banks Surprise Investors

While investors keep a watchful eye on the dollar fix in China (a little firmer than projected) and tensions with the US, two other developments compete for attention. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the central banks of India and Thailand surprised the market with lower rates. The RBNZ cut by 50 bp, India by 35 bp, and the fact that Thailand cut at all was unexpected.

Read More »

Cool Video: The implication of CNY7.0+

President Trump’s tweets last week announcing the end of the tariff truce signaled a new phase in the US-Chinese tensions.  China responded as did investors.  I was fortunate to have been invited to the Bloomberg set to discuss the issues of the day.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 5: China Strikes Back

Overview:  Chinese officials took the US tariff hike quietly last week but struck back today.  The PBOC fixed the dollar higher (CNY6.90), which it has not done, and will halt imports of US agriculture. The dollar shot through CNY7.0 to finish the mainland session a little above CNY7.03 and CNH7.07 for the offshore yuan. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Dog Days of August are Upon Us

The die is cast. To defend the uneven expansion and ward off disinflationary forces, monetary authorities will provide more accommodation. The Federal Reserve delivered its first rate cut in more than a decade and stopped unwinding its balance sheet two months earlier than it previously indicated (worth $100 bln of additional buying of Treasuries and Agencies).

Read More »

August Monthly

After falling against all the major currencies in June, the US dollar rebounded in July. The Dollar Index finished the month at new two-year highs with the Fed’s suggestion it was engaged in a mid-course correction rather than a sustained easing cycle. The dollar also appeared buoyed by the extent of the dovishness by the ECB and the heightened risks that the UK leaves the EU at the end of October without an agreement.

Read More »

Brexit Update

The October 31 deadline for the UK to leave the EU is less than 100 days away.  The new Prime Minister is beginning to convince others that that UK will, in fact, leave at the end of October.   PredictIt.Org shows the odds of the UK leaving has risen to almost 50% from about a 33% chance a month ago.   Here is a summary of where the situation stands and some key dates going forward. 

Read More »

FX Daily, August 2: End of Tariff Truce Trumps Jobs

Overview: The market was finding its sea legs after being hit with wave and counter-wave following the FOMC decision, and more importantly, Powell’s attempt to give insight into the Fed’s thinking. Trump’s tweet than signaled an end to the tariff truce with a 10% levy on the $300 bln of imports from China that have not been subject to action previously.

Read More »

FX Daily, August 1: Mid-Course Correction Sends Greenback Higher

Overview:  The Federal Reserve delivered the first rate cut since the Great Financial Crisis but couched it in terms of a mid-course correction rather than the start of a larger easing cycle.  By doing so, Fed chief Powell cast the cut in less dovish terms than the market expected and the reaction function of the market has been clear. 

Read More »

FX Daily, July 31: Sterling Steadies, Attention Shifts to FOMC

Overview: After a shellacking in recent days, sterling has stabilized though there is not much of a bounce to speak of, suggesting the adjustment to the risk of a no-deal Brexit may not be complete. After the S&P 500 posted back-to-back declines, Asia Pacific equities struggled. Hong Kong shares led the regional decline.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 30: Sterling Pounded

Overview:  The prospect of a no-deal Brexit continues to pound sterling lower.  A little more than two months ago, it was testing $1.32.  Two weeks ago it was around $1.25.  Today it traded near $1.2120 before stabilizing.  On the other hand, the 10-year Gilt yield is below 65 bp, a new multiyear low, while the international-laden FTSE 100 is holding its own in the face of heavier equity prices in Europe.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 29: Prospects of a No-Deal Brexit Weigh on Sterling

Unrest in Hong Kong and disappointing earnings reports from South Korea weighed on local equity markets, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the third consecutive session. European equities are edging higher in tentative trading. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is firmer for the sixth session of the past seven. US shares are little changed after record-high closes before the weekend.

Read More »

Seven Points on the ECB and the Price Action

Confusion

As soon as it was clear that the ECB was not easing today, the euro began to recover, after making a marginal new low for the year (just above $1.11). Draghi made it clear that easing was going to be delivered in September and on several fronts including rates (with mitigating measures like tiering) and new asset purchases (not decided on instruments, which plays into speculation of equity purchases—though I strongly doubt this will materialize).

Read More »

FX Daily, July 25: ECB Takes Center Stage

The euro remains stuck in its trough below $1.1150 ahead of the ECB meeting. The US dollar is firmer against most of the major currencies. The yen continues to resist the draw of the greenback. Most emerging market currencies are lower. The Turkish lira is weaker ahead of its central bank meeting, which is expected to deliver a large cut (~250 bp).

Read More »

FX Daily, July 24: Poor PMI Weighs on Euro Ahead of ECB

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, July 24

Overview:  Disappointing flash PMI pushed an already offered euro lower ahead of tomorrow’s ECB meeting. European bonds rallied and equities, amid a rash of earnings, is trying to extend the advance for a fourth consecutive session.  Italian and Spanish 10-year benchmark yields are off four-six basis points, while core bond yields are off two-three basis points.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 23: Debt Deal Help Lifts the Dollar

The gains in US equities and the apparent US budget agreement has underpinned equities today and the US dollar. Asia Pacific equities recouped yesterday’s losses, and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx is posting gains for the third consecutive session, helped by some earning beats, to probe two-week highs. US shares are firmer. Benchmark 10-year yields are mixed with the Asia Pacific softer and European firmer.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Highlights in the Week Ahead

Three events that will capture the market’s attention next week: The consequences of the Japanese election, the first look at US Q1 GDP, and the ECB meeting. The central banks of Turkey and Russia also meet. Both are expected to cut interest rates, following rate cuts in the middle of last week by South Korea, Indonesia, and South Africa.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 19: Dollar Pares Losses as Market Partly Corrects Confusion of Magntiude and Timing of Fed

Overview: Comments underscoring the importance of acting preemptively by two Fed officials sent the dollar reeling and helped lift equities after the S&P fell to a two and a half week low. The decline in rates and the US shooting down of an Iranian drone in the Gulf helped spur gold to new six-year highs. There was some attempt to clarify the (NY Fed’s) comments and the dollar has pared yesterday’s losses.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 18: Dollar on Back Foot as Equities Slide

Overview:  Profit-taking continues to weigh on global equities earnings concerns saw the biggest drop in the S&P 500 in three weeks.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fourth consecutive session.  The Nikkei gapped lower for the second straight session and has now retraced half of the gains scored since early June.  The Shanghai Composite is at its lowest level in a month.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 17: Back to the Well Again

Overview:  After slapping punitive tariffs on structural from China and Mexico last week, US President Trump threatened to end the tariff truce with China because it is not stepped up its purchases of US agriculture products.  Trump said the tariff freeze was in exchange for ag purchases, but at the time it seemed as if granting licenses to US companies to sell to Huawei was the quid pro quo.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 16: Sterling Weakness Punctures Subdued Session

Overview: Summer in the northern hemisphere contributing to the subdued activity in the global capital markets. The MSCI Asia Pacific index stalled after a four-day advance, with Japanese, Chinese, and Australian equities offsetting gains in Taiwan, South Korea, and India.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is flattish, struggling to extend its three-day rally.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 15: Marking Time on Monday

Overview: The new record highs in US equities ahead of the weekend coupled with Chinese data that suggested the economy was gaining some traction as Q2 wound down is helping underpin risk appetites to start the week. Japanese markets were closed today, but equities were mostly firmer in the Asia Pacific regions, markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India firmed. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: What to Watch if Fed and ECB are Committed to Easing

There is little doubt after the Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s testimony last week and the FOMC minutes that a rate cut will be delivered at the end of the month. Similarly, after comments by several ECB officials and the record of their recent meetin.g confirms it too is prepared to adjust policy. The timing of the ECB’s move is more debatable, an adjustment at the July 25 meeting appears to have increased.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 12: Greenback Limps into the Weekend

Overview:  Higher than expected US CPI and the second tepid reception to a US bond auction this week pushed US yields higher and helped stall the equity momentum. Asia Pacific yields, especially in Australia and New Zealand jumped 8-10 bp in response, and Spanish and Portuguese bonds bore the burden in Europe. 

Read More »

FX Daily, July 10: North American Focus: Poloz and Powell

Overview: The US Treasury market is retreating for the fourth consecutive session ahead of Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony before Congress. It is the longest losing streak in six months, and the 10-year yield has risen 15 bp over the run. This is helping drag up global yields, and today Asia Pacific yields mostly rose 2-3 basis points while core European bond yields are 5-7 bp higher and peripheral yields up a little less.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 9: No Turn Around Tuesday, as Equities Extend Losses and the Greenback Remains Firm

Overview:  Global equity benchmarks are headed for their third consecutive loss today as caution prevails at the start of Q3 after a strong first half.  Ten-year benchmark yields are edging higher after a soft start in Asia.  Italian bonds continue to outperform.  Greek bonds have been set back as the new government reiterated its commitment to ease fiscal commitments as if Tsipras did not try, and got a similar rebuff.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 8: Macro Monday

Overview: The capital markets have begun the week in a mixed note. Asia Pacific equities tumbled, led by 2%+ losses in China and South Korea, but European shares are edging higher, and a positive close would be the seventh in the past eight sessions. The S&P is little changed. Asia Pacific bond yields moved higher, as anticipated after the jump in US yields after the jobs data.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: In Bizzaro Beauty Contest, the US is Still the Least Ugly

Our hypothesis that the market had reached peak dovishness toward the Fed remains intact after the employment data.  Job growth was the strongest since January.  The participation rate and the unemployment rate ticked up. Average hourly earnings edged 0.2%  higher, and, with revisions, maintained a 3.1% year-over-year pace, which is a bit disappointing.  

Read More »

FX Daily, July 05: Dollar is Bid Ahead of Jobs Report

Overview: The dovish response to news that Lagarde was nominated to replace Draghi was extended by the dismal German factory order report that has pushed the euro to new two-week lows and kept bond yields near record lows. The focus ahead of the weekend is squarely on the US employment data, where a second consecutive poor report will fan expectations for a large Fed cut to initiate an easing cycle.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 03: Yields Extend Decline

Overview: Interest rates are lurching lower.  The US 10-year yield is at new two-year lows, but the driver is European bonds where peripheral yields are 6-7 bp lower,  though Italy’s benchmark is off 12 bp, while core yields are down 2-3 bp to new record lows.  The German benchmark is almost minus 40 bp, while the Swiss 10-year is beyond minus 100 bp.  Italy’s two-year is breaking more convincingly below zero.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 2: Post-G20 Euphoria Fades, Stuck with Same Reality

Overview: The euphoria that greeted the resumption of US-China and US-North Korea talks has subsided. Global equities have turned mixed after yesterday’s surge. Hong Kong played catch-up, and despite ongoing demonstrations, the Hang Seng rallied over one percent, and the Hong Kong Dollar strengthened beyond its band midpoint for the first time in nine months.

Read More »

FX Daily, July 01: Trade Optimism Meet Reality of Disappointing PMI

Overview: A new tariff truce between the US and China, coupled with the North Korean diplomacy and Russia-Saudi tentative agreement boosted investor confidence and sharp equity rallies. Japanese and Chinese equities rallied 2-3%. Most markets rallied in Asia-Pacific except for South Korea’s Kospi and Hong Kong markets were closed as the handover was commemorated.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 28: The World may Look Different Come Monday

Overview: Quarter-end positioning seems to dominate today’s activity. The outcome of bilateral talks at the G20 gathering partly reflects the influence of the US President who eschews multilateral efforts as a hindrance to its sovereignty.  Equities in Asia Pacific slipped today but held on to modest gains for the week.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 27: Ready. Set. Wait.

Overview: The approaching month/quarter-end and the G20 meeting dominate considerations. Although the S&P 500 closed on its lows for the third consecutive session yesterday, Asia Pacific equities liked the apparent increase in the prospect of a tariff freeze between the US and China and the pullback in the Japanese yen.

Read More »

Cool Video: Sketch of Bullish Case for Gold

I know some people who are always bullish gold. I am not. In fact, I often think I can find higher returning assets. However, I have recently have turned bullish gold, and while in Toronto on business, I was invited to the set of Bloomberg to discuss my change of heart.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 25: Heightened Political Risks Weigh on Sentiment

Overview: It is far from clear that the US sanctions against nine Iranian officials, with the foreign minister to be added later brings negotiations any closer. At the same time, US officials trying to keep expectations low for the weekend meeting between Trump and Xi. The heightened political anxiety will have to make room for Fed Chairman Powell’s talk in NY.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 24: Slow Start to Important Week

The Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 this coming weekend and heightened tensions in the Gulf, with the US set to impose new sanctions on Iran’s crippled economy are keeping investors on edge. News the opposition won the re-do of the Istanbul mayoral election has lifted the Turkish lira.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Cutting to the Quick

Central banks are prepared to take fresh measures to strengthen and extend the business cycle primarily because price pressures are below what their predecessors thought would be acceptable levels. Draghi, speaking for the ECB, the Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan ratcheted up their concerns, which, even without new initiatives, were sufficient to drive interest rates lower.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 21: Markets Pause Ahead of the Weekend

The global capital markets are trading quietly ahead of the weekend. Equity markets are mostly narrowly mixed. Chinese shares extended their run, and the major benchmarks were up 4%+ on the week. Japan, Australia, South Korea, and India saw gains pared.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 20: Doves Rules the Roost Except in Oslo

Overview:  The prospect of “lower for longer” continues to fuel the bond and stock rally.  The initial US equity response to the Fed was positive but not strong and closed about 0.3% higher.  Asia Pacific equities followed suit with mostly modest gains, except for China and Hong Kong, where gains of more than 1% were recorded.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 19: Still Patient?

Overview:  Risk-taking was bolstered by the dramatic shift in Draghi’s rhetoric less than two weeks after the ECB meeting and a Trump’s tweet announcing that there was going to be an  “extended” meeting between him and Xi at the G20 meeting and that the respective staff would begin coordinating. It was later confirmed by the Chinese media.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 17: Quiet Start to Big Week

Overview: The global capital markets are off to a subdued start to what promises to be a busy week, featuring the FOMC, BOE, BOJ meetings, and the flash June PMIs. Investors also expect some signal whether Presidents Trump and Xi will at the G20 meeting later this month. Asian equities were narrowly mixed.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 14: Waning Risk Appetite Going into the Weekend

Overview:  Worries about an escalation in the Gulf following US accusations that Iran was behind yesterday’s two attacks and weaker growth impulses, while trade tensions remain high, are dampening risk appetites ahead of the weekend.  Equities are lower.  Nearly all the stock markets in the Asia Pacific region fell today with Japan and Australia being the notable exceptions.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 13: Financial Statecraft or Whack-a-Mole

Overview: After roiling the markets by threatening escalating tariffs on Mexico, US President Trump has threatened China that if Xi does not meet him and return to the positions that the US claims it had previously, he will through on imposing tariffs to the remaining goods the US buys from China that have not already been penalized. 

Read More »

Great Graphic: Euro’s (OECD) PPP

US President Trump recently bemoaned the fact that the euro is undervalued. While his critics complain that he is prone to exaggeration, in this case, the euro is undervalued. This Great Graphic a 30-year chart of the euro has moved around its purchasing power parity as measured by the OECD. Currently, the euro is about 22% undervalued, and it has been cheap to PPP since for the past five years.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 12: Anxiety Ticks Up, Risks Pared

Overview: The S&P 500 snapped a five-day advance yesterday and set the heavier tone for equities today.  Continued protests in Hong Kong were not shrugged off as they have been in the last couple of sessions.  The Hang Seng’s nearly 1.9% decline was the largest in a month and led the region lower. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: US Policy Mix Flips and Will Take the Dollar with It

There is a new game, afoot. For the last couple of years, it has been about normalizing policy. Even the Bank of Japan, which has never declared it was tapering, has gradually reduced the amount of government bonds it purchases. Countries like the US, or Canada in 2017, who could raise interest rates were rewarded with stronger currencies.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 7: Jobs Data and Tariffs Dominate

Overview:  Global equities continue to recover from the recent slide.  Chinese and Hong Kong markets were on holiday today, but the MSCI Asia Pacific Index eked out a minor gain and ensured that its four-week slide ended.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up about 0.7% through the European morning. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 6: US Tariff Threats on Mexico Compete with ECB for Attention

Overview: The implications of President Trump’s assessment that there has not been “nearly enough” progress in negotiations with Mexico that would avert the tariff on June 10 competing for investors’ attention, which had been squarely today’s ECB meeting. Minutes before Trump spoke Fitch cut its sovereign rating for Mexico to BBB from BBB+, while Moody’s cut its outlook to negative from stable.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 05: Dollar Remains on Back Foot

Overview: The Federal Reserve’s patience never excluded a rate cut should conditions warrant. The acknowledgment of this without signaling a change its stance is being seized upon to justify aggressive pricing of rates. At the same time, there has some tempering of trade anxiety on the margin that is also constructive. Asia and European equities were pulled higher after the strongest rally in several months in the US. 

Read More »

FX Daily, June 04: Nervous Calm Settles Over Markets

The global capital markets are stabilizing today after taking a body blow of broadening the use of US tariffs (in migration dispute with Mexico), threatening the ratification of NAFTA 2.0, and still escalating hostile rhetoric between the US and China, and the threat of anti-trust action against the largest digital platforms.

Read More »

FX Daily, June 03: US Penchant for Tariffs Keeps Investors on Edge

Overview:  The weekend failed to break the grip of investor worries that is driving stocks and yields lower.  The US Administration’s penchant for tariffs is not simply aimed at China, where there is some sympathy, but the move against Mexico, dropping special privileges for India, and apparently, had considered tariffs on Australia.  At the same time, the threat of 25% tariff on auto imports.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Curiouser and Curiouser

The first week of June features the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting, an ECB meeting, and the US employment data.  The RBA is expected to deliver its first rate cut in three years.  The market appears to have discounted not only a second cut in H2 but has priced nearly half of a third cut as well.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 31: US Struggles to Build Physical Wall, Tries Tariff Wall on Mexico

Overview: The US announcement to lay a 5% tariff on all goods coming from Mexico (starting June 10) until it stops the flow of “illegal migrants” spurred sharp losses in the Mexican peso and general risk-off move that strengthened the yen. The tariffs are set to rise every month until reaching 25%. This is a significant surprise and especially given that the Trump Administration is preparing to formally submit the USMCA to Congress.

Read More »

Canada, Mexico, and the USMCA

The US dollar closed today above CAD1.3500 for the first time since January 2.  Despite the setback, the Canadian dollar is the strongest of the major currencies year-to-date with a little less than a one percent gain.  The yen, in second, has is up about 0.2% (~JPY109.50).  Among emerging market currencies,  the Mexican peso’s 2.6% gain puts it in in second place behind the Russian rouble’s 7.2% appreciation.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 30: Kill Bull: Intermission

Overview:  After significant moves in equities and interest rates, investors are taking a collective breath, waiting for fresh developments.  A nervous calm has settled over the capital market.  China, Japan, and Australian equities leaked lower, but other bourses in the region, including Korea and Taiwan posted modest gains, while Indonesian equities are still responding positively to the recent election.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 29: Equity Slump Deepens while Yields Plunge

Overview:  The slump in equities continues after the poor showing in the US yesterday.  Nearly all bourses in Asia Pacific and Europe are lower.  Indonesia is the notable exception as domestic operators re-position after the election.  Foreign investors have been notable sellers of Korean and Taiwanese shares this month (in excess of $6.2 bln). Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is testing its lowest levels since March, and the S&P 500 is poised to gap lower through the 2800-level that has offered support in recent weeks.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 28: Risk Appetites Curbed, US Leadership Awaited in FX

Overview:  The euro initially reacted positively to the EU Parliament elections.  The populists did not do quite as well as many expected.  The two main groupings failed to secure a majority, but with the help of the Liberals, and possibly the Greens, that did well throughout Europe, a new European Commission will be forged.  The heads of state meet later today, but no real decisions are likely.  The horse trading will likely take most of the next few months. 

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Evolution of Three Issues are Key in the Week Ahead

As May winds down, the light economic calendar will allow investors to take their cues from the evolution of three disruptive forces–trade, Brexit and the US economy. With actions against Huawei and possibly a handful of Chinese surveillance equipment producers, the US raised the stakes. The retaliatory tariffs are effective on June 1, but Beijing has not formally responded to the moves against Chinese companies.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 23: Trade, Brexit, and Disappointing Flash PMIs Weigh on Global Markets

Overview:  The deterioration of the investment climate is spurring the sales of stocks and the buying of bonds. The dollar is firm.  China and the US appear to be digging as if the trade tensions will remain for some time and the breech is beginning to look too big for Trump and Xi to pull another rabbit out of the hat like they did at the end of last year when the tariff truce was struck.   The move against Huawei and possible a number of companies involved in surveillance equipment represents a new front.  India and Indonesia were notable exceptions to the sell-off in Asian Pacific shares, which saw the Shanghai Composite fell almost 1.4%.  Modi looks to have secured a majority.  European bourses are lower with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 off almost 1% following the disappointing

Read More »

FX Daily, May 22: Sterling Can’t Get Out of Its Own Way

Overview:   There is a nervous calm in the capital markets.  Yesterday’s rally in US shares failed to excite global investors.  China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan markets fell, while Japan was mixed. Foreign investors continued to sell Korean shares, but the Kospi rose.  European shares narrowly mixed, leaving the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 little changed.

Read More »

Rare Earths may Provide Leverage

Many American observers argue that the trade imbalance gives the US an advantage in a trade war with China. The US enjoys escalation dominance in tariffs because Chinese imports of US goods are so much less than the US imports of Chinese goods.  However, the focus on quantities may be misleading.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 21: Equities Find Some Traction while the Dollar Firms

Overview:  Equities are paring some of their recent losses.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is posting its first back-to-back gain in a month, led by a more than 1% rally in China.  Heightened prospects for an Australian rate cut in a few weeks helped extend the run in the local equity market to a new record high.  European bourses are higher, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rising around 0.3% in the morning session.

Read More »

Cool Video: End of Tariff Truce Spurs Over Correction

The S&P 500 recorded a key reversal on May 1, and the end of the tariff truce ensured follow-through selling.  With today’s early losses, it is off nearly 3.5% this month.   In my brief chat with Stuart Varney at Fox Business, I suggest that the stretched technical condition left the market vulnerable to a “buy in May and go away”  scenario. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 17: China Questions US Sincerity

Since the presidential tweets on May 3, the US had the initiative in the negotiations with China, but today, China has pushed back. It is cool to the idea promoted by the US that trade talks will resume shortly. Now it may take the Trump-Xi meeting at the end of next month to restart talks. This, coupled with US sanctions on Huawei banning imports from it and sales to it, threatens to disrupt business and this took a toll on Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean shares. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 16: US Struggles to Strike a Less Strident Tone

Overview: Retail sales and industrial production disappointed in both the US and China prior to the end of the tariff truce, declared by the US in a series of presidential tweets on May 5.  The reaction function of the US to the drop in equities was to play down tensions on three fronts.  First, a US team is expected to return to Beijing in the coming weeks. 

Read More »

FX Daily, May 15: Angst Continues

Overview: Disappointing Chinese April data spurred speculation that more stimulus will be forthcoming and bolsters hopes that a trade deal with the US by the end of next month helped Asian Pacific equities advance for the first time this week.  Indonesia, which reported a record trade deficit on the back of collapsing exports (-13.1% year-over-year in April, nearly twice the decline expected after a 10% fall in March) kept the pressure on its equity market.

Read More »

Why China Finds it Difficult to Weaponize the Yuan and US Treasuries

It looks so easy on paper. China can sell its holding of US Treasuries and/or weaken the yuan to offset the tariffs and boost exports. It is the first and easy answers from strategists, journalists, and some academics. Often times, it is presented a novel idea; as if diplomats, investors, and policymakers have not thought it.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 13: Investors Still Looking for New Balance

The end of the tariff truce between the US and China has discombobulated investors. They had been repeatedly that a deal was close and there had even been talk at the US Treasury about where Trump and Xi should meet to sign the agreement. Now China was given around a month to capitulate to US demands or face a 25% tariff on their remaining exports to the US.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Trade, the Dollar, and the Week Ahead

China is isolated on trade. No one supports its trade practices. The idea that China was going to “naturally” evolve to be more like the US, or Europe for that matter, was always fanciful and naive. The emergence of China, as Napoleon warned two centuries ago, would make the world shake.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 10: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Overview:  Contrary to hopes and expectations, the US made good on the presidential tweet and raised the tariff on around $200 bln of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.  Trump indicated that the process that will levy a 25% tariff on the remaining Chinese imports has begun. Also contrary to expectations, Chinese officials did not detail their response, though it is expected to be forthcoming.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 09: De-Risking as US-China Trade Talks Resume

The end of the tariff truce between the US and China continues to dominate investment considerations. The truce was often cited in narratives explaining the recovery of equities from the Q4 18 slide. Ahead of the midnight US tariff hike, global equities are being smashed. Korea’s Kospi was off 3%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was shed 2.4%. Shanghai lost 1.5%.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 08: Markets Trying to Stabilize

Overview:  It is taking investors a bit more than two sessions to find its footing after being the unexpected end of the tariff truce between the US and China struck last December. Asia Pacific equities tumbled after the S&P 500 shed nearly 1.7% yesterday, the third largest decline in 2019, but Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is consolidating near yesterday’s lows.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 07: Markets Steady as China Pushes Forward

Overview: News that the US tariff escalation did not scupper trade talks with China has helped the global capital markets stabilize today.  China’s Vice Premier Liu He is still leading a delegation to the US.  Most Asian equities recouped part of yesterday’s losses, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and Singapore.  Japanese and Korean markets were closed on Monday and bore some selling pressure today.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 06: Trump’s Tariff Tweets Help Investors Discover Volatility

Reports that a US-China deal could be struck by May 10 before the weekend left investors ill-prepared for the presidential tweets yesterday that announced that the US was ending the tariff truce. Trump indicated that the 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods would be lifted to 25% at the end of the week and that the remaining $325 bln of Chinese goods that have not been subject to an extra levy, will be slapped with a 25% tariff soon.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 03: Ahead of US Jobs Report, the Greenback Remains Firm

Overview: The US April jobs data stand before the weekend, and the greenback is holding on to most of yesterday’s gains as participants wait for the report. Equities in the Asia Pacific region were mixed without leadership from China and Japan, where the markets remain closed for the extended holiday. On the week, Australia’s ASX was the worst performing.

Read More »

FX Daily, May 02: Dollar Consolidates Fed-Inspired Recovery

Overview:  The US dollar is consolidating yesterday’s post-Fed rally, and this is giving it a slightly heavier tone today.   Equities are mostly lower and Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.5% in late morning turnover, which if sustained would be the largest decline in three weeks.  The S&P 500 posted a potential key reversal yesterday by setting new record highs and then closing below the previous session’s low.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 30: Dollar Pares more Gains as EMU GDP Surprise

Overview: The S&P 500 set a new record high and close yesterday, but the lift to global markets was not strong enough to overcome the disappointing Chinese PMI.  Although Chinese equities traded higher on ideas that the news will spur additional stimulative measures, other Asian markets were mixed. 

Read More »

Cool Video: Q1 US GDP Optics may Mark Near-Term Peak in Divergence Theme

I joined Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua to talk about US GDP with David Riley from BlueBay Asset Management. Here is a link to a 2.5-minute clip. The initial estimate of Q1 US growth was well more than nearly anyone expected. The details were underwhelming as the consumption was halved and the GDP deflator was halved. Final private domestic sales, which strips away inventories, trade, and government spending rose 1.3%, the least more than five years.

Read More »

FX Daily, April 29: The Busy Week Begins Slowly

Overview: It promises to be an eventful week with the FOMC and BOE meeting, US jobs report and EMU April CPI and Q1 GDP on tap.  However, the week is marked by the May Day holiday in the middle of the week.  Japan’s markets are closed all week, while China’s markets are closed from mid-week on for an extended holiday.  The week has begun on a decidedly consolidative tone. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 26: Greenback Consolidates Ahead of Q1 GDP

Overview:  The equities are finishing softly after the rally stalled in the middle of the week.  The large markets in Asia fell, led by China, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for a third session, the longest losing streak in two months.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 ended an eight-day advance with a two-day loss coming into today where it is a little softer. 

Read More »

FX Daily, April 25: Equities Waiver, the Dollar Does Not

Overview:  After closing at record highs on Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped yesterday, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 snapped an eight-session advance.  Asia followed suit, with the Shanghai Composite posting its biggest loss (~2.4%) in over a month.  It is off about 4.6% this week, which if sustained tomorrow, would be the largest loss in six months.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Six Events to Watch

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

Read More »

FX Daily, April 19: Holiday Note

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

Read More »

FX Daily, April 18: EMU Disappointment Lifts the Dollar

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Trump Ahead in 2020?

Marc Chandler

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, April 15: Redemption Monday

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Super Cycle Revisited

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, April 09: Is the USMCA Dead?

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Important Steps Away from the Abyss

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, April 02: Herding Cats

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

Read More »

April Monthly Currency Outlook

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Green Shoots of Spring

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Bloomberg–Sterling and the Euro

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Europe and China

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead

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

Read More »

FOMC: Above Trend Growth Requires Continued Monetary Support

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

Read More »

FX Daily, March 22: Dreadful EMU PMI and US Machinations Rival Brexit for Attention

Overview:  The S&P 500 recovered from the post-FOMC reversal to close a new 5-month high yesterday, led by technology.  Financials were the only main sector to retreat.  The large equity markets in Asia, Japan, China, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan all advanced.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 reversed its initial gains and is nursing a small loss on the week.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Three Highlights in the Week Ahead

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

Read More »

There at the Beginning

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

Read More »

FX Daily, March 15: Euro and Yen Volatility Slips to New Five-Year Lows on the Ides of March

Overview: The capital markets are calm ahead of the weekend.  Outside of Australia and Thailand, Asia Pacific equities advanced, while European shares are mostly little changed. The regional benchmarks, like the S&P 500 have recouped last week’s losses.  Benchmark 10-year yields are little changed on the day, leaving the US 10-year yield virtually unchanged on the week near 2.62%.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, March 13: Still Waiting for Brexit Climax

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, March 07: EMU Looks to ECB

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

Read More »

Thoughts about the ECB and Euro

draghi

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 28: Trump Walks Away from North Korea. Should Beijing Worry?

Overview:  News that the US-North Korean summit ended abruptly without an agreement spurred losses in equities and gains in the Swiss franc and Japanese yen. US President Trump willingness to walk away from the talks is important in and of itself, but it also sends a warning not to go all in on a US-China trade agreement that could also sour at the last minute.

Read More »

CNBC Clip: February 24 Brexit

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Fox Business–Stocks and the US Consumer

Marc Chandler Fox Business TV

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 19: Investors Need Fresh Incentives

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 18: Dollar Drifts Lower

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Drivers, While Marking Time

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Socialism, Keynesianism, and Fascism

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

Read More »

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

silence

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 12: Dollar Buying Pressure Subsides

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Little Resolution in the Week Ahead

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Noise or Signal?

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 07: Dollar’s Gains Extended

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 06: Dollar Gains by Default

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 05: Greenback Remains Firm

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

Read More »

FX Daily, February 04: Subdued Start to Quiet Week

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

Read More »

Short Note on Jobs Report

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

Read More »

Two Brinkmanship Games and a Possible Third

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, January 29: Fragile Tone Persists

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Bloomberg Clip US Growth in Relative Terms

Marc Chandler

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Divergence Reinvigorated

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

Read More »

Summary of Fox Biz Talk

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

Read More »

ECB Preview: Worries Increase but Not Quite Ready to Act

Draghi Conductor

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

Read More »

FX Daily, January 22: Dollar Consolidates and Equity Rally Stalls

The US dollar is firmer against most major and emerging market currencies. The yen is a notable exception, and it is firmer, but well within recent ranges. The dollar-bloc currencies and the Norwegian krona are the weakest of the majors as a setback in equities and oil reflects a diminished risk appetite.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Things to Watch in the Week Ahead

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

The Death of a Business Cycle

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

Read More »

FX Daily, January 16: Markets are Eerily Calm

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Brexit–Now What?

Marc Chandler CNBC

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

Read More »

FX Daily, January 15: New Phase Begins with UK Vote

Several of the equity benchmarks are flirting with six-week highs, including MSCI Asia Pacific Index and the Emerging Markets Index. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is trying to extend its advancing streak for a third week, something not done since July.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Europe Moves to the Center Ring

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

Read More »

Two Takeaways from ECB Record

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Keep Fitch’s Warning in Perspective

meh

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, January 07: Recovery Falters in Europe

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: For the Millionth Time, Markets Exaggerate

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

Foreign Exchange Reserves by Currency, Q1 2016 - Q3 2018

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

Read More »

Technical Musings about the Euro and Dollar Anchored by Macro

Tunafish

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Some Thoughts on What is Happening

Elephant

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

Read More »

Forex Forensics: The Case of the Yen

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

Read More »

FX Daily, December 21: Markets Stumble into the Weekend

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, December 17: Markets Quiet to Start Fed Week

Activity in the global capital markets is subdued as investors move to the sidelines as the year-end approaches. The Federal Reserve headlines the holiday week that also features a Bank of England a Bank of Japan meeting. Only the Fed is expected to change rates.

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: FOMC Dominates Week Ahead Calendar

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Bloomberg Economic Discussion

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, December 10: Lack of Closure Weighs on Sentiment

Investors angst over trade tensions and Brexit continue remains elevated, and poor Chinese and Japanese economic news played on global growth fears. Equities continue to slog lower. Bond yields are little changed, and the dollar is lower against most of the major currencies.

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

The Dollar and Its Rivals

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

Read More »

Great Graphic: The Dollar Index Climbs a Wall of Worry

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

Read More »

FX Daily, December 03: G20 Fan Animal Spirits

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Dramatic Week Ends with Whimper?

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Santa Claus Rally and Trade

Marc Chandler in Fox Business

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

Read More »

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

S&P and Weekly Jobless Claims

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 29: Reluctant to Extend Dollar Losses

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 28: Powell Awaited

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Near-term Outlook

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Powell and Draghi, Xi and Trump

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 23: Friday

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

Read More »

Cool Video: CNBC Squawk Box

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 21: A Semblance of Stability Returns

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 20: Equity Slide Continues

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

Read More »

Cheat Sheet

biking

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Unfinished Business

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 15: UK Political Drama Roils Sterling

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Euro Pressured Lower

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 13: Weak Turn-Around Tuesday

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Fox Biz TV Broad Economic Discussion

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Fed Sticks To Script, Enjoys the Sweet Spot

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 09: Greenback Stabilizes at Higher Levels

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Euro and Yen Outlook

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 6: US Goes to the Polls

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

Read More »

Talking Turkey

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, November 01: Dollar Slumps to Start New Month

Overview: It appears that month-end considerations deterred the dollar selling that the technical indicators warned was coming and as the new month starts, the dollar is offered. It is weaker against all the major currencies and most of the emerging market currencies.

Read More »

Cheat Sheet

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 31: No Fright on This Halloween

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 29: Market Awaits US Leadership

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Europe Challenged

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Bloomberg Discussion of Late US Cycle

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 22: Collective Sigh of Relief?

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: What Can Bite You This Week?

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Brexit: Five FAQs

Brexit

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

Read More »

Great Graphic: What is Happening to Global Equities?

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 16: Semblance of Stability Returns

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

Read More »

Macro Cheat Sheet

Fred

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 15: Monday Blues

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Forces of Movement

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Macro Cheat Sheet

clouods

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Clip from CNBC Squawk Box

Marc Chandler

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Great Graphic: The Dollar’s Role

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Bloomberg Clip from Discussion on Emerging Markets

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

Read More »

FX Daily, October 02: Greenback Advances

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

Read More »

A Word About the Q2 COFER Report

US Dollars in Billions, Q2 2017 - Q2 2018

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

Read More »

Fed Delivers, Market Yawns

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 25: Greenback Remains at the Fulcrum

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Next Week’s Drivers

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

Read More »

Portfolio Re-Balancing and the Dollar

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 20: The Mixed Performance Makes it Difficult to Talk about The Dollar

Sometimes the dollar is the key mover, but sometimes, like today, it seems to be the fulcrum, reflecting disparate moves among other currencies.  While the euro is at two-month highs, the yen is near two-month lows.   The euro is bouncing off two-month lows and the 100-day moving average against sterling.   Most emerging market currencies are advancing against the dollar today. 

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Dollar Slips, though Emerging Markets Trade Heavily

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 14: Dollar Losses Extended

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 13: Vulnerable To Disappointment

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 12: Dollar Chops in Narrow Ranges

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

Read More »

Great Graphic: Did the CRB Bottom?

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: What Earth Really Looks Like

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

EUR Curncy, 6 month chart

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 6: Fragile Calm Weighs on Greenback

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

Cool Video: Emerging Markets Continue to Sell-Off

Marc Chandler

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

Read More »

FX Daily, September 04: Dollar Gains Broadly

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, August 30: Brexit Optimism Underpins Sterling

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

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

Japan reported that July

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, August 28: Greenback Remains On Defensive

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

Read More »

FX Daily, August 27: A Dog Day of Summer

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

Read More »

FX Weekly Preview: Macroeconomic Considerations

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

Read More »

5 Things Investors Should Know About US Strategic Petroleum Reserves

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

Read More »

Merkel, European Autonomy, and the ECB

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

Read More »

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

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

Read More »

FX Daily, August 23: Dollar Rebounds

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

Read More »

Three Things that may Disappoint Investors

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

Read More »