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

Week Ahead: More Evidence US Consumption and Output are Expanding, and RBNZ and Norges Bank to Hike

After two-quarters of contraction, many still do not accept that the US economy is in a recession. Federal Reserve officials have pushed against it, as has Treasury Secretary Yellen. The nearly 530k rise in July nonfarm rolls, more than twice the median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey, and a new cyclical low in unemployment (3.5%) lent credibility to their arguments. If Q3 data point to a growing economy, additional support will likely be found.  While the interest rate-sensitive housing sector may still feel the squeeze, we note that activity is at historically strong levels. Housing starts are expected to have fallen for the third consecutive month in July. That would be the longest decline since the last four months of 2018. However, around 1.5 mln annualized pace, starts are still

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Heading into the Weekend, Dollar’s Downside Momentum Stalls

Overview: The markets are putting the finishing
touches on this week’s activity. Japan, returning from yesterday’s holiday
bought equities, and its major indices jumped more than 2%. China, South Korea,
and Australia struggled. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is firmer for the third consecutive
session. It is up about 1.3% this week. US futures are also firmer after reversing
earlier gains yesterday to close lower on the day. The US 10-year yield is flat
near 2.88%, while European benchmarks are 4-6 bp higher. The greenback is mixed.
The dollar-bloc currencies and Norwegian krone are slightly firmer, while the
Swedish krona, sterling, and the yen are off around 0.3%-0.6%. Emerging market
currencies are also mixed, though the freely accessible currencies are mostly
firmer. The JP Morgan Emerging Market

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US Dollar Soft while Consolidating Yesterday’s Drop

Overview: The US dollar is consolidating yesterday’s losses but is still trading with a heavier bias against the major currencies and most emerging market currencies. The US 10-year yield is soft below 2.77%, while European yields are mostly 2-4 bp higher.

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US Dollar Offered but Stretched Intraday

The US dollar is trading heavily against all the major currencies, led by the Norwegian krone and euro. Emerging market currencies are also firmer. However, risk-appetites seem subdued. Even though most large bourses in Asia Pacific advanced but Japan and Hong Kong, European markets are nursing small losses and US futures are little changed. 

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Dog Days

The dog days of August for the Northern Hemisphere are here and the capital markets are relatively subdued. Equities are firmer. The notable exceptions in Asia was China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has advanced for the last three weeks.

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Inflation

(Traveling and unable to provide a technical overview this week.) Rising price pressures,
stronger and more persistent than generally expected, has been the main
challenge for consumers, businesses, and policymakers. It will stay top of mind in the week
ahead as both the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, report July
consumer and producer prices.  During the Great Depression, the
central governments discovered their balance sheets, and budget deficits became
a nearly permanent fixture. This is true even for countries like Germany, which ostensibly
shunned Keynesian demand management and embraced "ordo-liberalism."
During the Global Financial Crisis, the central bank balance sheet was called
into action as policy rates hit zero (and fell into negative territory for the

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Downside Risks to the US Employment Report?

Overview: The US dollar enjoys a firmer bias against
the major currencies ahead of the July employment data. Emerging market
currencies are mixed. Asian currencies are generally firm while central Europe is a bit softer. Some detect a relaxation in tensions around Taiwan, though
China’s aerial harassment continues. Taiwanese shares jumped 2.25% to lead the
region that saw China’s CSI 300 rally over 1%. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is giving
back yesterday’s 0.2% gain, even though Germany, France, and Spain reported stronger
than expected June industrial output figures. US futures are narrowly mixed.
The 10-year US Treasury yield is around 2.69%, flattish, while European yields
are slightly firmer. Gold approached $1800 but has been turned back. It is near
$1785 near midday in Europe as it

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Over to the BOE

Overview: Strong gains in US equities yesterday and
easing fears following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan helped lift most Asia Pacific
equities, with Hong Kong leading the way with a 2% rally. Taiwan, Australia,
and India did not participate in the regional rally. The Stoxx 600 is edging higher
today. It was flat on the week through yesterday. US futures are a little
firmer. The greenback is offered against the major currencies led the Antipodeans.
The Japanese yen continues to pare its recent gains, encouraged by the recovery
in US yields. Most emerging market currencies are also trading firmer. A few
central European currencies have joined the Indian rupee to trade a bit lower. The
10-year JGB, which is capped at 0.25%, is below 0.18% today. The US benchmark
is firm near 2.73%, while

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Market Takes China’s Response in Stride, Risk Appetites Recover

Overview: The market is
judging China’s response to Speaker Pelosi’s visit in a mild way and risk
appetites returned. Equity markets are higher, even though Chinese shares
weakened. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is edging higher after two days of small loses,
and US futures enjoy a firmer bias. The surge in US rates yesterday has calmed.
The US 10-year yield is firm near 2.76% and the 2-year yield is up a
couple of basis points near 3.07%. European yields are 4-5 bp higher and the peripheral
premium has narrowed a little. The dollar, which was buoyed by the jump in rates
yesterday, is mostly softer today. The Scandis lead the move, while the Swiss
franc and New Zealand dollar are softer. Swiss CPI was in line with expectations,
with the EU-harmonized measure, rising to 3.3% from 3.2%, easing fears

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Aussie Hit with Profit-Taking after RBA Hikes 50 bp

Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has added to the risk-off mood of the capital markets today. Most of the large Asia Pacific equities sold off, with Australia and India being notable exceptions. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off for the second consecutive session, and by the most (~0.60%)
since mid-July. US futures are also weaker. Benchmark 10-year rates are lower.

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Yen Squeeze Continues

The US dollar begins the new month better offered. It is softer against all the major currencies. Short yen positions continue to get unwound, which is leading the move, followed  by the Antipodeans, where the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to hike rates tomorrow.

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Macro and Prices

Next week, there are three big events:  the US jobs report, the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting, and the Bank of England’s meeting. That said, the final PMI readings may be more helpful this time than we often see because of how quickly it appears activity has stalled.

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August 2022 Monthly

We can hope that August will be quiet. The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the
Bank of Japan do not meet until September. With a snap Italian election on September 25, an Italian political storm may wait for vacationers to return.

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EMU GDP Surprises, while the Yen’s Short Squeeze Continues

Overview: The month-end and slew of data is making for a
volatile foreign exchange session, while the rash of earnings has generally
been seen as favorable though weakness was seen among the semiconductor chip
fabricators. China, Hong Kong, and Japanese equities fell but the other large
markets in the region rose.

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Fed Day

Overview: Better US news from the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments has helped lift sentiment today and is encouraging a more risk-on mood ahead of the FOMC meeting. News that US President Biden and China’s Xi will talk tomorrow for the second time this year may be notable but does not appear to be impactful in the capital markets.

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Greenback Jumps Back

Overview: With the exception of Japan, Taiwan, and India, the large equity
markets in the Asia Pacific region traded higher today. The Hang Seng led the
move (1.65%) amid reports that Alibaba will seek its primary listing there. Europe’s
Stoxx 600 is edging higher today. If it can hold on to the gains, it will be
the fourth consecutive rise, the longest advance since May. US futures are slightly
under water. Benchmark 10-year yields are mostly lower, with the US off a couple
of basis points to 2.77%. European yields are mostly 4-7 bp lower, but Italy’s
10-year is off only one basis point. The US dollar is mostly firmer. Among the
majors, the yen is the exception, and it is flat to slightly higher. The
pressure on the euro is dragging the central European currencies lower. The
Philippine

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Greenback Softens, but Think Twice about Chasing It

Overview: Aside from political economic risks, three
other challenges are emerging. First, the new sub-variant of Covid is spreading
rapidly. BA5 reportedly is accounting for around 80% of the new cases. It is
better able to evade antibodies from vaccines and earlier infections. Hospitalization
rates are also climbing. Dining, retail, and travel may be impacted. Second,
the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global emergency. The US may
make a similar declaration shortly. It would ostensibly facilitate greater
global cooperation. Third, the heatwave looks set to continue for the coming
days. It is affecting energy production and consumption as well shipment using
some waterways, like the Rhine. Asia Pacific equities fell after US losses
ahead of the weekend. European stocks

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The Fed and GDP: Week Ahead

The outcome of the Federal
Reserve Open Market Committee meeting on July 27 is the most important event in
the last week of July. After a brief flirtation with a 100 bp hike after the June
CPI accelerated, the market has settled back to a 75 bp move. The Fed
funds futures are pricing about a 10% chance of a 100 bp
hike. The market anticipates that after the second 75 bp hike, the Fed will most likely return to a 50 bp hike in September.  Fed Governor Wall, a leading
hawk, pushed back against the larger move but kept the door open pending new
data. He
specifically cited retail sales and the housing data. Retail sales were
stronger than expected (1.0% vs. 0.9% median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey), and the May series was revised to show a 0.1% decline instead of -0.3% as initially

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Dismal EMU Flash PMI on Heels of First ECB Rate Hike since 2011

Overview:  The euro is over a cent lower from yesterday’s peak, pressured by
the drop in the flash PMI composite below 50 for the first time since early
last year. More generally, the flash PMIs have shown the global economic
momentum is waning, and the bond markets have responded accordingly. The US
10-year yield is flirting with 2.80%, its lowest level in more than two weeks. European
yields are 15-20 bp lower and the spread between Italian and German bonds has stabilized.
Equities in the Asia Pacific region were mixed. Of the major markets, only
China’s CSI 300 finished lower on the week. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up about 0.5%.
If it holds on to these gains, it will be the best week (~3.1%) since March. US
futures are softer. Most of the major currencies, led by the euro, are trading

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Italian Politics Complicate the ECB’s Task

The appetite for risk seen earlier this week is fading. Yesterday’s US equity gains helped lift most of the large markets in the Asia Pacific region, but China’s CSI 300 fell 1.1%, giving back most of this week’s gains as credit issues from the property sector haunt sentiment.

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Calm before the Storm?

The biggest rally in the S&P 500 in three weeks helped lift global equities today. The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose for the third consecutive session, the longest streak this month. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up for a fourth day and is at its best level since mid-June.

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The Dollar is on its Back Foot

The dollar’s downside correction continues today, helped by hawkish signals from the Reserve Bank of Australia and unnamed sources who have played up the chances of a 50 bp hike by the European Central Bank on Thursday.

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Euro Parity Holds ahead of US CPI

Overview: The US dollar is consolidating with a slight downside bias ahead of the June CPI report. The euro held above $1.00 but is still pinned in the trough. The rate hike by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand failed to have much impact.

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Euro Tests Parity

Equities remain under pressure as investors contemplate tighter financial conditions and the risks of recession. Most of the large equity markets in the Asia Pacific region sold-off, led by a 2.7% drop in Taiwan.

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Monday Blues

Overview:  The US dollar is bid against most currencies today, encouraged not just by good news in the US and poor news out of China, where Covid is flaring up and new social restrictions are fared, while Macau has been lockdown for a week.

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What Happened Today in a Few Bullet Points

1. The most important thing to appreciate is that the market has moved to price not one but two cuts next year.  The first is priced into the September Fed funds futures and the second is in the Dec Fed funds futures. 

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Macro and Prices

(Combining the weekend macro commentary and price action review in one note.  Check out the July monthly.) Three economic reports highlight the week ahead:  Japan’s labor cash earnings at the start of the week and the US employment report and China’s CPI at the end of the week.

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Spanish Inflation Shocks

Overview: The sharp sell-off in US equities yesterday, led by tech, is weighing on today’s activity. Most of the large Asia Pacific markets excluding Japan and India lost more than 1% today.

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No Turn Around Tuesday

Overview: The global capital markets are calm today. Most of the large bourses in the Asia Pacific extended yesterday’s gain. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is advancing for the third consecutive session and is near two-and-a-half week highs.

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Consolidation in FX Featured

Overview: The strong equity market rally seen at the end of last week is carrying into today’s activity. Most of the large markets in Asia Pacific rose by at least 1%.

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The Dollar: Don’t Get too Far Ahead of the Story

The most important development in foreign exchange probably took place in the interest rate market last week. A series of disappointing US economic data and the Fed’s “unconditional” commitment to rein in inflation have heightened concerns that economic weakness will limit the Fed’s ability to hike rates. 

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The End Game Approaches

The pendulum of market sentiment swings dramatically.  It has swung from nearly everyone and their sister complaining that the Federal Reserve was lagging behind the surge in prices to fear
of a recession.

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Risk Appetites are Fickle

Overview: Yesterday’s strong US equity gains failed to carry over into today’s session. Japanese and Australian shares fared the best among the large Asia Pacific market, with the Nikkei off less than 0.4% and the ASX off less than 0.25%.

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Dollar Jumps, Stocks and Bonds Slide

The prospect of a more aggressive Federal Reserve policy has spurred a sharp sell-off in global equities and bonds and sent the dollar sharply higher. The large Asia Pacific bourses were off mostly 2%-4%.

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Greenback Poised to Challenge May Highs

The firmer than expected US CPI did not change expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike the Fed funds target by 50 bp on June 15. What it did was boost the chances that the 50 bp steps will continue through at least November.

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Over to the ECB

Overview: Equity markets in Asia Pacific and Europe are weaker.  The main exception in Asia Pacific was India, where the market rose by about 0.75%. 

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The Greenback Bounces Back

Overview: After modest US equity gains yesterday, the weaker yen and Beijing’s approval of 60 new video games helped lift most of the large markets in the Asia Pacific region.

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Moderating Labor Market is what the Fed Wants

Overview: For the large rally in US stocks yesterday and the sell-off in the dollar, US rates were surprisingly little changed. This set the tone for today’s action, ahead of the US employment data. Asia Pacific equities moved higher and Europe’s Stoxx 600 has edged up to extend yesterday’s rise. The 10-year US Treasury yield is little changed, hovering around 2.91%. European benchmark yields are 1-3 bp higher.

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Dollar Gains Pared

Asia Pacific equities were mostly lower.  China and India bucked the trend.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is steady with no follow through selling after yesterday reversal. US index futures are posting modest gains and are trying to snap a two-day drop. 

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Bank of Canada’s Turn

Overview: The recent equity rally is stalling. Asia Pacific equities were mixed, with Japan, South Korea, and Australia, among the major bourses posting gains. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 500 is slipping lower for the second consecutive session, ending a four-day bounce. US equity futures are little changed.

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Dollar and Yen Surge

Overview: Global equities are bleeding lower. Several large markets in the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India are off more than 2%. Japan and Australian bourses fell by more than 1.5%.

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Greenback Softens Ahead of CPI

Overview: It appears that investors have become more concerned about growth prospects and less about inflation in recent days. The US 10-year yield that had flirted with 3.20% at the start of the week is now around 2.93%.

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No Rest for the Weary

Overview: Risk appetites are improving on the margin. Asia Pacific stocks still fell after the sharp losses on Wall Street on Monday. Still, China, Taiwan and Indian equities traded higher. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is snapping a four-day 6.5%+ slide and is up around 1.2% in late European morning turnover.

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Fed Day

Overview: The markets are mostly treading water ahead of the FOMC decision later today. Tech stocks tumbled in Hong Kong and the Hang Seng fell a little more than 1%, while India was the worst performer in the region falling over 2% following an unexpected and intra-meeting hike by the Reserve Bank of India.

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RBA Surprises with a 25 bp Hike

Overview: The large bourses in Asia Pacific except Hong Kong eased.  Japan and China’s mainland markets are closed for the holiday.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up about 0.6%.  It gapped lower yesterday and has not entered the gap today.  US futures are a little softer. 

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May 2022 Monthly

The general contours of the business and investment climate are being shaped by three forces.  First, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions boost price pressures and slow growth.

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The Yen Bounces after 13-Day Slide and BOJ Defends Yield Cap

Overview: The record-long yen slide has stalled just shy of JPY129.50, even though the Bank of Japan defended its Yield-Curve Control cap on the 10-year bond and will continue to do so for the next four sessions. The greenback fell to almost JPY128 before steadying.  China again defied expectations for lower rates (loan prime rate), the yuan’s sell-off accelerated and slide to its lowest level since last October.

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Yen Blues

Benchmark 10-year bonds yields in the US and Europe are at new highs for the year.  The US yield is approaching 2.90%, while European rates are mostly 5-8 bp higher.  The 10-year UK Gilt yield is up nine basis points to push near 1.98%. The higher yields are seeing the yen’s losing streak extend, and the greenback has jumped 1% to around JPY128.45  The dollar is trading lower against the other major currencies but the Swiss franc.

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Greenback Starts New Week on Firm Note

Overview: With many financial centers, especially in Europe, closed for the long holiday weekend, risk-appetites remain in check. Most Asia Pacific markets fell, and poor earnings from Infosys and Tata Consultancy, saw India pace the decline with a 2% drop. US futures are also trading with a heavier bias. 

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Good Friday

Overview:  Most centers are closed for the holidays today.  The Asia Pacific equity markets were open and moved lower following the losses on Wall Street yesterday.  The weakness of the yen failed to underpin Japanese shares.

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Short Covering in the US Treasury Market Extends the Yield Pullback

Overview: What appears to be a powerful short-covering rally in the US debt market has helped steady equities and weighed on the dollar.  Singapore and South Korea joined New Zealand and Canada in tightening monetary policy.  Attention turns to the ECB now on the eve of a long-holiday weekend for many members.  The tech-sector led the US equity recovery yesterday, snapping a three-day decline.  Most of the major markets in Asia Pacific advanced but Taiwan and India. 

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New Day, Same as the Old Day

Overview:  It is a new day, but with the continued rise in interest rates and weaker equities, it feels like yesterday.  Only China and Hong Kong among the major markets in Asia Pacific resisted the pull lower.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off by more than 0.5% led by health care and real estate. It is the fourth loss in five sessions and brings the benchmark to its lowest level since March 18.  US futures are flattish. 

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Equities Finding a Bid in Europe After Sliding in Asia Pacific

Overview:  The capital markets are calmer today.  The market is digesting the FOMC minutes, where officials tipped an aggressive path to shrink the balance sheet and confirmed an “expeditious” campaign to lift the Fed funds rate to neutrality.  Benchmark 10-year yields are softer, with the US off a couple basis points to 2.58%.  European yields are 1-3 bp lower. 

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RBA Drops “patience” to Send the Aussie Higher

Overview: The Reserve Bank of Australia hinted that it was getting closer to a rate hike.  The Australian dollar was bid to its best level since the middle of last year.  Australian stocks advanced in a mixed regional session while China and Hong Kong markets were closed for the local holiday.  BOJ Kuroda called the yen’s recent moves “rapid.”  The yen is sidelined today as the dollar weakens against other major currencies, led by the Antipodeans. 

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The Greenback has Struggled even as Rate Expectations Rise

The effectiveness of the Federal Reserve’s communication seems clear. The market has nearly 90 bp of tightening discounted here in Q2. This means that after a 25 bp hike to initiate the tightening cycle, the labor market’s strength will allow the central bank to accelerate the pace.

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Calmer Markets: Hope Springs Eternal

Overview:  Interest rates continue to rise, but equities are looking through it today and the dollar is drawing less succor.  Asia Pacific equities were mostly higher.  With half of Shanghai in lockdown, Chinese equities were unable to join the regional advance.  Europe’s Stoxx 600, led by energy and consumer discretionary sectors, is rising for the third consecutive sessions. US futures have a small upward bias. 

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Yields Jump, Greenback Bid

Overview: Yields are surging.  Canada and Australia’s two-year yields have jumped 20 bp, with
the US yield up 10 bp to 2.37% ahead of the $50 bln sale later today.  The US 10-year yield has risen a more modest three basis points to 2.50%, flattening the 2-10-year yields curve.  The 5–30-year curve has inverted for the first time since 2016. 

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Cautious Markets after China Disappoints

Overview: Ukraine’s Mariupol refuses to surrender as the war is turning more brutal according to reports.  Iran-backed rebels in Yemen struck half of a dozen sites in Saudi Arabia, driving oil prices higher.  China’s prime lending rates were unchanged.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which rallied more than 4% last week, traded heavily today though China and Taiwan’s markets managed to post small gains.  Tokyo was closed for the spring equinox.

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FX Daily, March 17: Investors are Skeptical that the Fed can Achieve a Soft-Landing. Can the BOE do Better?

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, March 17

Overview:  The markets continue to digest the implications of yesterday’s Fed move and Beijing’s signals of more economic supportive efforts as the Bank of England’s move awaited.  The US 5–10-year curve is straddling inversion and the 2-10 curve has flattened as the Fed moves from one horn of the dilemma (behind the inflation curve) to the other horn (recession fears).  Asia Pacific equities extended yesterday’s surge.  The Hang Seng led the charge with a 6.7% gain. 

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Fed Delivers Hawkish Hike

The Federal Reserve hiked the Fed funds target rate by 25 bp as widely anticipated.  It clearly signaled it was beginning an ongoing hiking cycle.  The FOMC statement also indicated the balance sheet roll-off would begin at a coming meeting.  The uncertainty posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was acknowledged, but the FOMC recognized that in the first instance it boosts price pressures while also weakening growth. 

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China and Hong Kong Stocks Plummet, Yields Soar

Overview: While the World Health Organization debates about downgrading Covid from a pandemic, the rise China and Hong Kong cases is striking.  A lockdown in Shenzhen and restrictions in Shanghai, coupled with a record fine by PBOC officials on Tencent drove local stocks sharply lower.  China’s CSI 300 fell 3% and a measure of Chinese stocks that trade in HK plunged more than 7%. 

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Risk Assets Given a Reprieve

Overview: US equities failed to sustain early gains yesterday, but risk appetites have returned today.  Asia Pacific equities had a poor start, with Chinese and Japanese indices losing ground, but the equity benchmarks in Taiwan, Australia, India, and most of the smaller markets traded higher.  Taiwan’s 1.1% gain is notable as foreign investors continued to be heavy sellers. 

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Vladimir Nogoodnik Roils Markets

Overview:  The economic disruption seen since the US warning of an imminent Russian attack on February 11 continue to ripple through the capital and commodity markets.  Equities are being slammed.  Most Asia Pacific bourses were off 2-3% today. Europe’s Stoxx 600 gapped lower ad has approached February 2021 levels, orr about 2.6% today.  US futures are around 1.5% lower.

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ECB Meeting and US and China’s CPI are the Macro Highlights in the Week Ahead

One of the most significant market responses to Russia’s attack on Ukraine is in the expectations for the trajectory of monetary policy in many of the high-income countries, including the US, eurozone, UK and Canada.  The market has abandoned speculation of a 50 bp hike in mid-March by the FOMC and the Bank of England.  It has also scaled back the ECB’s move to 20 bp this year from 50 bp.

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Capital and Commodity Markets Strain

Overview:  The capital and commodity markets are becoming less orderly.  The scramble for dollars is pressuring the cross-currency basis swaps.  Volatility is racing higher in bond and stock markets.  The industrial metals and other supplies, and foodstuffs that Russia and Ukraine are important providers have skyrocketed.  Large Asia Pacific equity markets, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan fell by 1%-2%, while South Korea, Australia, and India managed to post modest gains today.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off more than 2.5% to bring this week’s loss to a little more than 6%. 

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European Currencies Continue to Bear the Brunt

Overview: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global response is a game-changer, as Fed Chair Powell told Congress yesterday.  The UK-based research group NISER estimated that world output will be cut by 1% next year or $1 trillion, and global inflation will be boosted by three percentage points this year and two next. 

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The Dollar and Yen’s Safe Haven Appeal Slackens

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine overwhelmed other drivers of the foreign exchange market.  When everything was said and done last week, the odds of a 50 bp hike by the Federal Reserve in the middle of March was little changed slightly above 25%. The odds of a 50 bp hike by the Bank of England have been reduced from a little over 60% before the US government’s warning that a Russian attack could happen at any time on February 10 to 36% on February 18. 

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Russia’s Military Action Shakes Markets

Overview: News that the separatists were calling on Moscow for military assistance began the risk-off move, and Russia hitting targets across Ukraine has rippled across the capital markets.  Equites have been upended.  Most bourses in the Asia Pacific region were off 2%-3%, while the Stoxx 600 in Europe gapped lower and is off around 3.5% in late morning dealings. 

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FX Daily, January 17: PBOC Eases, but the Yuan Firms

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, January 17

Overview: Russia is thought to be behind the cyber-attack on Ukraine at the end of last week, but a military attack over the weekend may be underpinning risk appetites today.  The dollar’s pre-weekend gains are being pared slightly.  Led by the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone, the greenback is lower against most major currencies, with the yen being the notable exception, which is off about 0.2%.

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Is the Dollar Due for a Bounce?

The US dollar had one of its worst weeks in a few months.  Although there has been some talk about the historical pattern of weakness after the first Fed hike in a cycle, many participants were surprised.  The dollar struggled in the last couple of weeks of 2021, but this seemed to be explained by year-end position squaring amid light interest.

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Inflation and Geopolitics in the Week Ahead

The Omicron variant may be less fatal than the earlier versions, but it is disrupting economies. The surge in the Delta variant well into Q4 in the US and Europe was already slowing the recoveries.  Investors will likely take the high-frequency real sector data with the proverbial pinch of salt until January data available beginning later this month.

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The Chagrin of Beijing and the Problem of Time

The central bank meeting cycle is over. Most of the important high-frequency data has been released until early January. The US debt ceiling has been lifted, avoiding an improbable default. A year ago, there was a sense of optimism, with a couple of vaccines being announced and monetary and fiscal stimulus boosting risk-appetites. Populism, which had been in the ascendancy after the Great Financial Crisis, seemed to be retreating in Europe and the United States.  Equities were rallying. In the last two months of 2020, MSCI’s free-float weighted global index rallied around 17.8%. It closed the year with a 14.3% gain. Through last week, it was up about 14.5 this year. The US 10-year yield, a global benchmark, peaked in March near 1.77%. Following a disappointing jobs report, the yield

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Bulls Shrug Off Bout of Profit-Taking, Leaving the Greenback Poised to Rally into Year-End

(The regular analysis will resume after the New Year.  In the meantime, look for several occasional thematic posts over the next couple of weeks.  Here is to a healthy and happy New Year!).  The dollar recovered from the bout of profit-taking seen after the FOMC largely confirmed market expectations to post a weekly advance against all the major and most emerging market currencies.  The omicron variant continues to sweep across the world, and efforts in large parts of Europe and the US to cajole employees into returning to offices were set back.  Growth concerns and the confirmation of the hawkish pivot by the Federal Reserve weighed on the dollar-bloc currencies and the Scandia.   The fact that New Zealand (November 23) and Norway (December 16)  hiked rates for the second time the cycle

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The Week Winds Down with Equities under Pressure and the Dollar Mostly Firmer

Overview: The combination of the volatility and a large number of central bank meetings have exhausted market participants, and the holiday phase appears to have begun. Equities are under pressure following the sell-off yesterday in the US. Japan, China, and Hong Kong suffered more than 1.2% losses, while Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan posted minor gains. It was the fifth loss in the past six sessions for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off around 0.7% today, which is sufficient to put into the red for the week. US futures point to a softer opening. The debt market is quiet. The 10-year yield is little changed at 1.42% and is practically flat on the week. European yields are slightly softer and are 2-6 bp higher for the week. UK Gilts yields are slightly firmer. The

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Fed Unleashes Animal Spirits

Overview:  The Fed’s hawkish pivot came a few weeks before yesterday’s FOMC meeting, which confirmed more or less what the market had already largely anticipated. Buy the (dollar) on rumors (of tapering and more aggressive stance on rates) and sell the fact unfolded, and unleashed the risk-appetites which rippled through the capital markets. US stocks rallied yesterday, and the futures point to a gap higher opening today. Large Asia Pacific bourses, led by a 2% rally in the Nikkie advance. Australia, despite strong jobs growth, as did New Zealand, while India struggled. Still, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day slide. Europe’s Stoxx 600 gapped higher. The bond market remains subdued. The US 10-year yield is hovering around 1.44%, while European yields are slightly firmer ahead

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FOMC Sets New Course

The Fed delivered what it was expected to do:  double the pace of tapering and project a more aggressive interest rate response with its individual forecasts.  The dollar initially rallied on the headlines, and new sessions highs were recorded, but the price action was a bit of a head-fake, as it were. The greenback’s gains were quickly pared,  though it remained above JPY114 ahead of Chair Powell’s press conference. The market had already discounted two hikes and almost 3/4 of the third hike before the FOMCmeeting. The adjustment also requires moving the 2023 profile as well.  The FOMC statement also reads hawkishly, too, in the sense that the Fed acknowledges the solid jobs growth continued, and it no longer characterizes inflation as transitory. Again, this was largely anticipated by

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Has the Market Carried the Fed’s Water? Is the Dollar Vulnerable to Buy the Rumor and Sell the Fact?

Overview: The US dollar is trading with a bit of heavier bias against most of the major currencies as the focus turns to today’s FOMC meeting, where a clear consensus has emerged in favor of faster tapering and a dot plot pointing to a steeper pace rate hikes.  Emerging market currencies led by Turkey and South Africa are mostly lower. The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is lower for the third straight session.  The US 10-year Treasury yield is flat, near 1.44%, while European yields are mostly a little higher.   The US two-year yield is flat around 66 bp, while the 2-year Gilt yield jumped around 5 bp after higher than expected CPI.  New US sanctions against Chinese companies took a toll in Chinese and Hong Kong indices, while Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan posted modest gains.

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No Turnaround Tuesday for Equities?

Overview:  Activity in the capital markets is subdued today, ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC meeting conclusion and the ECB meeting on Thursday.  The MSCI Asia Pacific equity index fell for the third consecutive session.  European bourses are heavy after the Stoxx 600 posted an outside down day yesterday. Today would be the fifth consecutive decline. Selling pressure on the US futures indices continues after yesterday’s losses.  Australia and New Zealand bonds played catch-up to the large drop in US Treasury yields yesterday, while European benchmark yields are edging higher.  The 10-year US Treasury yield is around 1.43%.  The dollar is mixed against the major currencies.  The Canadian and Australian dollars and Norway are softer, while the Swiss franc and euro lead with around a 0.25%-0.35%

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Dollar Starts the Week Bid ahead of the FOMC

Overview: Equities, bonds, and the dollar begin the new week on a firm note.  Japanese, Chinese, Australian, and New Zealand equities advanced in the Asia Pacific region.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is snapping a three-day decline, and US futures are 0.25%-0.35% higher.  The US 10-year yield is a little softer at 1.48%. European benchmark yields are mostly 1-2 bp lower, and near 0.71%, the UK Gilt’s yield is at a three-month low.  The dollar is rising against all the major currencies and is 0.3%-0.45% higher against most.  The Canadian dollar and sterling are the most resilient.  Among emerging market currencies, the Chinese yuan continues to defy official signals to eke out a small gain.  The Turkish lira is off more than 2%, after having dropped 4% initially. Intervention at the end of last

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Can Dollar Bears Resist the Fed? Can Yuan Bulls Shrug-Off the PBOC?

US yields and the dollar softened after the release of the November CPI figures before the weekend.  The data were in line with expectations showing the headline rate accelerated to 6.8% and the core rate to 4.9%.  The price action likely reflected positioning rather than a reassessment of the outlook for next week’s FOMC meeting.  Nearly everyone recognizes the likelihood that the pace of tapering is quickened, and the individual forecasts reflect a more aggressive tightening path than anticipated in September. With the diverging monetary policy impulses are evident in the shifting two-year interest rate differentials in the US favor, it is increasingly expensive to resist a stronger greenback.  A critical part of the backdrop is that market participants feel more comfortable that the

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Central Bank Fest

Next week is the last big week of the year, and what a week it will be:  Five major central banks meet and at least nine from emerging market countries.  Norway’s Norges Bank is the most likely major central bank to hike its key (deposit) rate (December 16).  It would be the second hike of the year.  The economy is enjoying a solid recovery, and headline inflation rose to 4.6% in November, its fastest pace since 2008.  The underlying rate, which Norway adjusts for tax changes and excludes energy, appears to have bottomed out, and the base effect warns up upside pressure over the next few months.  The unemployment rate fell to pre-Covid levels of 2.1% last month.  The Bank of England had been in play. However, ideas that this last meeting of the year (December 16) was live has faded,

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Yuan Rises Despite China’s Move and the Fed’s Course is Set Regardless of Today’s CPI

Overview:  After US equity indices posted their first loss of the week,  Asia Pacific and European equities fell.  While the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the first time since Monday, Europe’s Stoxx 600 is posting its third consecutive decline.  US futures are trading slightly firmer.  The US 10-year Treasury yield is up about 1.5 bp to 1.51%, which is about eight basis points higher than it settled last week when the sharp drop in equities saw the yield fall to almost 1.33%, the lowest in three months.  European yields are mostly 1-2 basis points higher today and 5-7 on the week,   Italy and Greek benchmark yields are 12-14 bp higher this week.  The greenback is trading with a firmer bias against most major currencies. However, the Norwegian krone and Australian dollar are the most

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Markets Turn Cautious Ahead of Tomorrow’s US CPI

Overview: The euro has come back offered after its seemingly inexplicable advance yesterday.  The dollar is firmer against most major currencies today, with the yen an exception after JPY114.00 held on yesterday’s advance.  Most emerging market currencies are also softer, with a handful of smaller Asian currencies proving a bit resilient.  Most large bourses advance in the Asia Pacific region, except Japan and Australia.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is steady after retreating late yesterday while US futures are pointing to a softer opening.  After rising for the past three sessions (~18 bp), the yield of the 10-year US Treasury is consolidating by hovering a little below 1.5%.  European yields are 3-5 bp softer.   Gold is little change.  This week’s quiet tone contrasts with the sharp moves in

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Markets Calmer, Awaiting Fresh Incentives

Overview:  The capital markets are calmer today, and the fear that was evident at the end of last week remains mostly scar tissue. Led by gains in Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and India, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended yesterday’s gains.  Europe’s Stoxx and US futures are firm.  The US 10-year yield is softer, around 1.43%, while European yields are mostly 1-2 bp lower.  The Norwegian krone and euro lead major currencies higher against the greenback, but the New Zealand dollar and sterling are underperforming. Most of the emerging market currencies are enjoying an upside bias. The Turkish lira is giving back a little more than half of yesterday’s 2.25% bounce.  Gold is edging higher and is near the 200-day moving average (~$1792).  January WTI is off $1 around  $71 after

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Animal Spirits Roar Back

Overview:  A return of risk appetites can be seen through the capital markets today, arguably encouraged by ideas that Omicron is manageable and China’s stimulus.  Led by Hong Kong and Japan, the MSCI Asia Pacific rose by the most in three months, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 gapped higher, leaving a potentially bullish island bottom in its wake.  US futures point to a gap higher opening when the local session begins.  The bond market is taking it in stride.  The US 10-year Treasury is slightly firmer at 1.44%, while European yields are 1-3 bp higher.  The dollar-bloc currencies and Norway are leading the move higher among most major currencies.  The yen and euro are softer.  Sterling struggles to sustain upticks. Among emerging markets currencies, the Turkish lira is bouncing, while most

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Aussie Slumps below $0.7000 and the Loonie Can’t Sustain Upticks Despite a Monster Jobs Report

The US dollar rose to new highs for the year last week against sterling, the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, and the Norwegian krone.  In late November, the greenback recorded the high for the year against the euro, yen, and Swedish krona.  The high for the year was recorded in April against the Swiss franc and in August against the Canadian dollar.  The greenback remained resilient in the face of some disappointing elements of the jobs report.  The establishment survey found only 210k people were added to the payrolls, less than half of the 550k expected (median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey) and the least this year.  The September and October series were revised up by 82k, with the bulk in September (+67k ), not October (+15k). The economic impact is likely mitigated by two

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US CPI to Accelerate, while Omicron adds Color to Covid Wave that was Already Evident

At the risk of over-simplifying, there seem to be three sources of dynamism in the investment climate:  Covid, the Federal Reserve, and market positioning.  The last of these is often not given its due in narratives in the press and market commentary, so let’s begin there.  The anthropologist Clifford Gertz once posed the question about distinguishing between someone winking and someone with a twitch in their eye, and a person mimicking the wink or twitch.  Context matters.  All buying is not going long.  Sometimes it is short-covering.  Nor is all the buying and selling done as an active response to what preceded it.  Sometimes it is passive, as stop losses are triggered.  There still is a bias in the currency market of talking about the Japanese yen or Swiss franc as safe-havens.  There

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The Greenback Finds Traction ahead of the Jobs Report

Overview:  The Omicron variant has been detected in more countries, but the capital markets are taking it in stride.  Risk appetites appear to be stabilizing.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the third consecutive session, though Hong Kong and Taiwan markets did not participate in the advance today.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is struggling to hold on to early gains, while US futures are narrowly mixed.  The US 10-year yield is a little near 1.43%, down around six basis points this week.  European yields are slightly softer. Core yields are off 5-6 bp this week.  The dollar is firm ahead of the jobs data.  The Antipodeans and Swedish krona are the heaviest, falling around 0.6% through the European morning.  The Swiss franc and euro are up about 0.1% and are the most resilient so far today.

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December Monthly

The pandemic is still with us as the year winds down and has not yet become endemic, like the seasonal flu.  Even before the new Omicron variant was sequenced, Europe was being particularly hard hit, and social restrictions, especially among the unvaccinated, were spurring social strife.  US cases, notably in the Midwest, were rising, and there is fear that it is 4-6 weeks behind Europe in experiencing the surge.  Whatever herd immunity is, it has not been achieved.  Moreover, despite plenty of vaccines in high-income countries, inoculation efforts in many low-income countries won’t begin in earnest until next year.  That said, the new variant has injected a new element into the mix, and it is with a heightened degree of uncertainty that we share our December outlook.  Given the unknowns,

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Fragile Calm Returns and Powell’s Anti-Inflation Rhetoric Ratchets Up

Overview:  Into the uncertainty over the implications of Omicron, the Federal Reserve Chairman injected a particularly hawkish signal into the mix in his testimony before the Senate.  These are the two forces that are shaping market developments.  Travel restrictions are being tightened, though the new variant is being found in more countries, and it appears to be like closing the proverbial barn door after the horses have bolted. Equities are higher.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, led by South Korea, and India, rose for the first time in four sessions, and Europe’s Stoxx 600 is recouping more of yesterday’s loss.  US futures are trading more than 1% higher.  Benchmark yields are higher.  The 10-year US Treasury yield is up four basis points though is still below 1.50%.  European yields

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Pessimistic Omicron Assessment Squashes Risk Appetites

Overview: A pessimistic assessment offered by the CEO of Moderna shattered the fragile calm seen yesterday after the pre-weekend turmoil.  Risk appetites shriveled, sending equity markets lower and the bond markets higher.  Funding currencies rallied, with the euro and yen moving above last week’s highs.  The uncertainty weighs on sentiment and makes investors question what they previously were certain of.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell over 1% before the weekend and again yesterday.  Today, South Korea’s 2% slide led the regional decline that saw Japan and Hong Kong fall more than 1%.  Australia, Taiwan, and India managed to post minor gains.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off over 1.5%, giving back all of yesterday’s gain (~0.7%) after the pre-weekend 3.6% drop.  US futures are sharply

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Sentiment Remains Fragile

Overview: The fire that burnt through the capital markets before the weekend, triggered by the new Covid mutation, burned itself out in the Asian Pacific equity trading earlier today. A semblance of stability, albeit fragile and tentative, has emerged. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up about 1%, led by real estate, information technology, and energy.  US index futures are trading higher, with the NASDAQ leading.  Benchmark 10-year yields are firmer.  The US 10-year Treasury yield has risen about six basis points to 1.53%.  European yields are mostly 1-2 basis points higher, while the UK Gilt yield is up four basis points. The dollar remains, as we say, at the fulcrum of the major currencies, but in an opposite way, with the funding currencies that rallied strongly before the weekend seeing their

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The Dollar Moves Back to the Fulcrum between the Funding and Higher Beta Currencies

The new covid variant injected a new dynamic into the foreign exchange market.  The World Health Organization cautioned against the need to impose travel restrictions, but policymakers, by and large, do not want to be bitten by the same dog twice.  To err on the side of caution is to minimize one’s biggest regret.  The risk is that the uncertainty is not lifted quickly but lingers, which would likely unpin volatility.  US and European benchmark 10-year yields fell sharply ahead of the weekend.  In the US, the market unwound some of its aggressive pricing in of Fed policy.  This is reflected in the commensurate drop at the short-end.  In Europe, the decline in 10-year yield reflected a slowing of growth/inflation as its short-end was largely unchanged.  There are three areas in which

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Covid Strikes Back

Overview: Concerns that a new mutation of the Covid virus has shaken the capital markets.  Equities are off hard, and bonds have rallied.  In the foreign exchange market, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc have rallied.  While there may be a safe haven bid, there also appears to be an unwinding of positions that require the buying back of the funding currencies, which is also lifting the euro.  The currencies levered from growth, the dollar-bloc and Scandis are weaker.   Oil has been knocked back by around  6.7%, with January WTI trading near $73.Led by 2%+ losses in Japan, Hong Kong, and India, and 1%+ losses in South Korea, and Taiwan, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index has slumped to its lowest level since July.   Europe’s Stoxx 600 gapped lower and is off around 2.4% near midday.  US futures

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Turkey gets a Reprieve before US Thanksgiving, but Capital Strike may not be Over

Overview:  The dramatic collapse of the Turkish lira was like an accident one could not help look at, but it was not an accident, but the result of a disregard for the exchange rate and compromised institutions.  The lira was off around 15% at its worst yesterday, before settling 11.2% lower.  After falling for 11 sessions, it has steadied today (~2.7%)  but the capital strike may not be over.  On the other hand, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand delivered the 25 bp rate hike and seemed to give hawkish guidance, and yet the New Zealand dollar was sold and the worst-performing of the major currencies, off 0.65% through the European morning.  The tech losses on Wall Street yesterday weighed on Asia Pacific equities today, where the large markets fell but in China.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is less

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Tech Sell-Off Continues

Overview:  The markets are unsettled.  Bond yields have jumped, tech stocks are leading an equity slump, and yesterday’s crude oil bounce reversed.  Gold, which peaked last week near $1877, has been dumped to around $1793.  The tech sell-off in the US carried into the Asia Pacific session, and Hong Kong led most markets lower.  The local holiday let Japanese markets off unscathed, though the Nikkei futures are off about 0.4%.  Australia and India managed to post minor gains as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fourth time in five sessions.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 has slid around 1.5% today, its fourth consecutive decline, but has clawed back nearly half the gains.  It is the longest retreat in two months.  US futures are lower, with the NASDAQ leading the move.   Near 1.64%, the US

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Market Shrugs Off Chinese Signals and Keeps the Yuan Bid

Overview:  The US dollar has come back bid from the weekend against most currencies following the talk by a couple of Fed governors about the possibility of accelerating the tapering at next month’s FOMC meeting.  The weekend also saw protests against the social restrictions being imposed by several European countries in the face of a surge in Covid cases.  The Swedish krona, yen, and sterling are the weakest, while the dollar-bloc currencies are resisting the greenback’s tug. Most of the freely accessible and liquid currencies among emerging market currencies, including Russia, Hungary, South Africa, and Mexico, are heavy. At the same time, the Turkish lira recoups a little of the ground lost last week, and the Chinese yuan shrugged off apparently warnings from the PBOC to post its first

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Flash PMIs Play Second Fiddle to US PCE Deflator and Accelerating Inflation

The flash November PMIs would be the main focus in the week ahead if it were more normal times.  But these are not normal times, and growth prospects are not the key driver of the investment climate.  This quarters’ growth is largely baked into the cake.  The world’s three largest economies, the US, China, and Japan, are likely to accelerate for different reasons in Q4 from Q3.  Europe is the weak sibling, and growth in the eurozone and UK may slow sequentially.  The fiscal and monetary induced rebound from the global shutdown last year has peaked. However, there is still sufficient support for growth in most high-income and medium-income countries to remain above trend for a few more quarters.  The rebuilding of inventory will also help sustain growth through the first half of next

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Covid Wave Knocks Euro Down and to new 6-year Lows Against the Swiss Franc

Overview:  Concerns about the virus surge in Europe cut short the euro’s bounce and sent it back below $1.1300 and are also weighing on central European currencies, including the Hungarian forint, despite yesterday’s aggressive hike of the one-week deposit rate.  Austria has reintroduced a hard 20-day lockdown.  Germany’s health minister warned that the situation deteriorated and vaccines were not enough to break the wave.  He was explicit that a lockdown cannot be ruled out.  The US dollar is trading broadly higher.  Only the yen is resilient on the day, but sterling is the only major currency that has edged higher this week.  The Scandis and euro are off more than 1%.  Speculation that Turkey may announce measures over the weekend to stabilize the lira may be helping to deter new sales

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Euro Bounces Back, but the Turkish Lira Remains Unloved

Overview:  The US dollar’s sharp upside momentum stalled yesterday near JPY115 and after the euro met (and surpassed) a key retracement level slightly below $1.1300.  Led by the Antipodean currencies today, the greenback is mostly trading with a heavier bias.  Among the majors, helped by a steadying of US yields, the yen is soft.  In the emerging market space, the Turkish lira continues its headlong plunge while the yuan softened and the Mexican peso is off.  Hungary’s central bank surprised with a 70 bp hike in the one-week deposit rate.  The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is posting a small gain through the European morning.  Disappointing tech results in China (Baidu and Bilibili) weighed on Chinese shares, but most markets in the region fell but Australia and Taiwan.

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European Gas Jumps, while the Euro and Yen Slump

Overview: The prospects that the 6.2% CPI will prompt the Fed to move quicker continue to underpin the dollar.  The euro fell to about $1.1265, its lowest level since last September, and the Japanese yen slumped to a fresh four-year low.  The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index tumbled 1% yesterday, the largest decline since February.  A more stable tone is evident in Europe, as the euro has recovered above $1.13, and the JP Morgan Index is paring yesterday’s losses.  The dollar is holding just below JPY115.00.  Asia Pacific equities did not fare well.  Only China and Taiwan markets, among the large regional markets, managed to rise.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is edging higher for the sixth consecutive session.  Recall it has fallen only once since October 27.  US futures are narrowly

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Biden-Xi “Summit” Leaves Markets Unmolested, While Bailey Continues to Blame Investors for Misunderstanding Him

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Overview: The much-heralded Biden-Xi meeting left little impression on the capital markets.  Equities in the region were mixed, and China’s main markets fell, alongside Australia, South Korea, and India.  European equities continue their upward market, with the Stoxx 600 gaining for a fifth consecutive session. US futures are softer.  The bond market is quiet, with the US 10-year yield softer slightly below 1.60%.  European benchmark yields are 1-2 bp lower and the periphery is outperforming the core.  Encouraged by a strong employment report, sterling is the strongest of the majors, gaining about a third of one percent.  Most major currencies are trading with a heavier bias, and the euro is pinned near 19-month lows.  The dollar is gaining against

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The Greenback Slips to Start the New Week

Overview:  While the Belarus-Poland border remains an intense standoff, there have been a couple other diplomatic developments that may be exciting risk appetites today.  First, Biden and Xi will talk by phone later today.  Second, reports suggest the UK has toned down its rhetoric making progress on talks on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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US Retail Sales and Industrial Output to Accelerate; China not so Much

At the halfway point of Q4, the markets’ focus is on three things:  inflation, growth, and central banks’ response. With US and Chinese October inflation readings behind us, the focus shifts to the real economy’s performance, the world’s two largest economies reporting retail sales and industrial production figures.   Helped by stronger auto sales, the first increase in six months, US retail sales likely turned in another solid showing of around 0.8%, the average pace in August and September.  The core measure, which some models use to help forecast GDP, posted back-to-back increases in August and September for the first time in nearly a year.  It rose by 0.8% in September, half of this year’s average in a highly volatile year (range this year -3.3% to up 8.6% month-over-month). More

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Euro and Sterling Record New Lows for the Year

Overview: The capital markets remain unsettled.  The US CPI with a 6%-handle has lifted bond market volatility, disrupted rallies in stocks, and extended the dollar’s rally.   Small gains in the US S&P 500 and NASDAQ yesterday and a better news stream from China helped lift Asia Pacific equities today.  Benchmarks in Japan, South Korea, and India rose more than 1%.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is struggling as energy, health care, and utilities are mostly offsetting gains in consumer discretionary and communication, and real estate sectors.  It has increased 19 of the past 24 sessions.  US futures are posting slight gains.  The bond market remains under pressure.  The US 10-year yield is three basis points higher at 1.58%, which puts it up nine basis points this week. European benchmarks are

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Half a Dozen Things You Should Know about FX

1.  The market is still digesting the implications of Wednesday’s CPI shock.  The dollar has strengthened, yields have risen, the stock market wobbled after a long advancing streak, and in any event, stabilized in light trading during the US and Canadian holidays. However, given the low year-ago reading, there is a significant risk that inflation (including the core rate) will accelerate over the next few months. As a result, the Federal Reserve needs greater flexibility to raise rates sooner than it has envisioned.  The main restraint now is the pace of tapering.  The FOMC committed to reducing its bond-buying by $15 bln in November and December.  Its statement indicated that it anticipated maintaining the rate afterward, but the FOMC also reserved the right to adjust the pace if

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China’s CPI Accelerated to 1.5%, US CPI to Approach 6%

Overview: As bond yields slumped yesterday, stocks snapped their advancing streak.  The Stoxx 600 fell for the first time in nine sessions yesterday and is lower today.  The S&P 500 ended a nine-session advance, and the NASDAQ snapped a 12-session rally.  Futures on the indices point to a lower open.  Bonds are paring yesterday’s gain, which saw the US 10-year yield fall below its 200-day moving average (~1.45%) and may explain the soft auction results.  The yield is about three basis points higher, around 1.48% in the European morning, while the local bond yields are also mostly 2-4 bp higher.  Canadian bonds are an exception.  The yield is off nearly four basis points, and that may reflect foreign demand as the Canadian dollar is the best performing major currency, eking out a small

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FX Daily, November 9: Falling Yields Give the Yen a Boost

Overview: Reports that the Fed’s Brainard was interviewed for the Chair helped soften yields a bit, not that they needed extra pressure, on ideas she is more dovish than Powell.  In turn, the lower yields saw the yen rise to its best level in nearly a month and led the major currencies higher against the dollar. 

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Markets Await Fresh Developments

Overview: Last week’s bond market rally has stalled.  Benchmark 10-year yields are up 1-3 bp in Europe, and the three bp increase in the US puts the yield slightly below 1.50%.  Equities were mixed in the Asia Pacific region. 

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Profit-Taking on Dollar Longs after Better than Expected Jobs Report Sets Stage Until CPI

The US dollar turned in a solid week’s performance, rising against most currencies and recording a marginal new high for the year against the euro.  Sterling and the Australian dollar competed for the worst performer.  Both central banks pushed against market expectations for aggressive near-term tightening. The central banks triggered a short squeeze in the bond market, where 10-year benchmark yields from 10 bp in the US to 34 bp in Italy.  UK 10-year Gilts and French Oats yields fell nearly 22 bp.  Germany lagged with an almost 18 bp decline.  The speculative market had its largest net short Treasury note futures position since March 2020.  It has swung from its largest net long position in four years (~181k contracts) in early October to a net short position of almost 270k as of

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US and China’s October Inflation Featured in the Week Ahead

The cycle of the major central bank meetings has passed.  The Anglo-American central banks and Norway are ahead among the high-income countries in the adjustment of monetary policy. Meanwhile, the pandemic continues to scar, and flare-ups are extending the economic and social disruption in some large countries, including China and Russia.  Parts of Europe are experiencing another wave, including Ireland, the UK, and Germany. From the RBA and ECB to the Bank of England and Federal Reserve, the central banks pushed back against the dramatic backing up in short-term rates with varying degrees of adamance. Two-year yields, a useful proxy, fell 10 in the US and 12 in Germany and nearly 28 bp in the UK.  The implied yield of the December 2022 Fed funds futures fell 11 bp. The implied yield of

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Isn’t the Labor Shortage Transitory?

Overview:  The major central banks have successfully pushed back against the aggressive tightening the market had discounted.  The Bank of England’s decision not to raise rates after key officials seemed to suggest one was imminent. On the heels of what we argued was a dovish tapering announcement by the Fed, it spurred a dramatic decline in short and long-term interest rates. The drop in UK rates–21 bp in the 2-year and nearly 14 bp in the 10-year is the largest in several years.  The S&P and NASDAQ  rose to new highs.  The former rose for the 15th time in the past 17 sessions.  The latter is up for nine consecutive sessions coming into today.  Still, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index pared this week’s gains, as only Taiwan, Australia, and India rose among the prominent bourses.  The Stoxx

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And the Dollar Bounces Back, While BOE is in Focus

Overview:  The Federal Reserve announced tapering and, like the Reserve Bank of Australia earlier in the week, did not validate expectations for an aggressive rate hike.  Now the focus is on the Bank of England, where several officials seemed to goad the market into lifting short-term rates. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ rallied to new record highs yesterday and helped raise global shares today.  Among the large markets in the Asia Pacific region, only Taiwan and India did not participate in today’s dance.  In Europe, the Stoxx 600 is extending its advance for the sixth consecutive session and nine of the past ten.  US futures are trading firmer.  The market is trimming yesterday’s 5.5 bp rise in the US 10-year yield. It is about 3 bp lower near 1.57%.  European yields are 1-3 bp lower. The

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What Might it Take for the Fed to Deliver a Hawkish Tapering Announcement?

Overview: With the FOMC’s decision several hours away, the dollar is trading lower against nearly all the major currencies.  The Antipodeans and Norwegian krone are leading.  The euro, yen, and sterling are posting minor gains (less than 0.1%).  Most of the freely liquid and accessible emerging market currencies are also firmer.  The Turkish lira is a notable exception.  The decline in the core inflation and a smaller than expected rise in the headline pace embolden officials for another rate cut when the central bank meets on November 18.  The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is rising for the second consecutive session after falling in the previous four sessions.  Equities are lower.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fifth session in the past six.  Among the large

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RBA Jettisons Yield Curve Control but Continues to Resist Market Pressure

Overview: The third record close of the S&P 500 failed to lift Asia Pacific and European shares today.  In Asia, the large bourses fell, except South Korea, which rallied a little more than 1%.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is threatening to snap a three-day advance, while US index futures are soft.  The US 10-year yield is firm, around 1.56%.  European bonds are rallying.  Peripheral yields are off 8-9 bp, while core rates are 3-5 lower.  The Reserve Bank of Australia formally abandoned its yield-curve control, and the local debt market was quiet, but the Australian dollar is selling off and dragging the other dollar-bloc currencies lower.  Only the yen, among the majors, is gaining on the greenback.  Emerging market currencies are faring better, led by Asian currencies and most central and

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November Monthly

Three main forces are shaping the business and investment climate:  Surging energy prices, a dramatic backing up of short-term interest rates in Anglo-American countries, and the persistence of supply chain disruptions. The US and Europe have likely passed peak growth.  Fiscal policy will be less accommodative, and financial conditions have tightened. Japan appears to be getting a handle on Covid and after a slow start.  Its vaccination rate has surpassed the US.  The lifting of the formal state of emergency and a hefty dose of fiscal stimulus is expected to be delivered in the coming months. Many developing economies have already lifted rates, some like Brazil and Russia, aggressively so.  They will likely finish earlier too.     US light sweet crude oil rose nearly 12% last month, even

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US-EU Rapprochement, Can France and UK Do the Same?

Overview:  It is mostly a quiet start to the new month.  Most of Europe is closed for the All -Saints holiday and the week’s key events start tomorrow with the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting.  News that the Liberal Democrats retained a majority in the lower chamber of the Diet helped lift Japanese indices by 2%.  Most of the large regional markets gained, though China and Hong Kong markets fell. US index futures are trading with a higher bias after eking out minor gains ahead of the weekend.  The 10-year US Treasury yield is up a couple of basis points to 1.57%.  Australian and New Zealand yields pared the pre-weekend surge.  Australia’s 10-year yield is off 16 bp, and the two-year yield is down 6 bp.  New Zealand rates eased five and four basis points, respectively, for the 10-year

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Greenback has Legs Ahead of the Fed and Jobs

The US dollar turned in a mixed performance last week but ended on a solid note.  The pre-weekend and month-end activity may have exaggerated the greenback’s gains, but we suspect ahead of the FOMC meeting and the US jobs data that is the direction. Our understanding of the technical condition also favors a stronger dollar. The jump in Australian rates may help explain why the Aussie was the strongest of the majors (~0.75%).  However, the trajectory of monetary policy does not offer satisfying insight into other currencies.  The underperformance of the Norwegian krone (~-1.0%), where the central bank will most likely hike rates next week, for example. It seems almost as if the markets have concluded that most major central banks are behind the inflation curve.  It expects that officials

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The Week Ahead: Four Central Banks and the US Jobs Report

The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve meetings are the highlights of the week ahead.  Usually, the US jobs report is the main feature of the beginning of a new month’s high-frequency data cycle. However, the FOMC meeting two days earlier may take away some of its significance, even if it still possesses some headline risk.  Two other major central banks meet in the first week of November.  The Reserve Bank of Australia meets early on November 2 in Wellington.  At its last meeting, it confirmed the reduction of its bond purchases but extended them until mid-February 2022.  Governor Lowe may push against market expectations for a rate hike next year (~85 bp of tightening is priced into the swaps market in 12-months).  He has argued that a rate hike is not justified until inflation is

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Rate Adjustment Continues and the Greenback Pares the Week’s Losses

Overview:  Disappointing Apple and Amazon earnings news after the NASDAQ set a record high set the stage of a weaker bias in the Asia Pacific region today.  China and Japan still posted gains, while local developments, like an unexpected drop in South Korea’s industrial output, and Australia struggling to exit its yield-curve control, saw equities lose more than 1%.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is paring this week’s gains but is holding on to some for the fourth consecutive week.  US futures are still trading heavily, but they will extend the advance for the fourth straight week, barring a rout today.  The bond market sell-off in the Asia Pacific region saw the Australian 10-year yield jump nearly 30 bp, the most since March 2020 to over 2.00%, the highest yield in a year.  New Zealand’s benchmark

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Eyes Turn to the ECB and the First Look at Q3 US GDP

Overview:  The market awaits the ECB meeting and the first look at the US Q3 GDP.  The pullback in US shares yesterday was a drag on the Asia Pacific equities.  It is the first back-to-back loss of the MSCI Asia Pacific in a few weeks.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 is recovering from early weakness and US future indices are firm.  The US 10-year yield is flat, around 1.55%, after falling around 15 bp over the past four sessions.  European bonds are paring yesterday’s gains, and yields are up 2-6 bp.  The dollar is mixed.  Among the majors, the yen, New Zealand dollar, and Norwegian krone are firm, while the Australian and Canadian dollars, Swedish krona, and euro are slightly lower.  Emerging market currencies are also mixed.  The Turkish lira and South African rand are the weakest, while the

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Today’s Big Events Still Lie Ahead

Overview: The day’s big events lie ahead:  the UK’s budget, the Bank of Canada, and the central bank of Brazil meetings.  The US data on tap, especially trade and inventories, will allow economists to fine-tune their forecasts for tomorrow’s first estimate of Q3 GDP. The mixed tech earnings helped spur a bout of profit-taking in Asia Pacific equities, where most of the large markets fell. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is posting a slight loss for the first time in four sessions, while US futures are slightly firmer.  The US 10-year note yield is softer and is slipping below 1.60%.  European benchmark yields are 2-3 bp lower.  The dollar is stronger against most of the major currencies, but the yen and Swiss franc. The greenback is also firmer against most emerging market currencies, with the Turkish

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Strong Earnings and Easing of (Some) Political Tensions Bolster Sentiment

Overview:  Helped by new record highs in the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials, constructive earnings, and an easing of political tensions, risk appetites are robust today.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index recouped yesterday’s losses plus more as the large equity markets in the region, but China and Hong Kong rose, led by a more than 1% gain in Tokyo.  European shares are rallying, and the Stoxx 600 is posting gains for the ninth session in the last 11 and is at its best level since early September.  US futures are extending yesterday’s gains.  European and US benchmark yields are softer.  The US 10-year is slipping below and little changed near 1.62%.  It had probed the 1.70% area at the end of last week.  It has not been below 1.60% for a week.  European yields are mostly 1-3 bp lower.  The

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Big Week Begins Slowly

Overview:  The global capital markets give little indication of the important economic and earnings data that lie ahead this week.  There is an eerie calm. Equities in Asia were mixed.  Japan and Hong Kong, and most small bourses were lower.  Last week, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained almost 0.9%. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is little changed after rising about 0.5% last week. US futures are firm.  The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials reached record-highs before the weekend.  The US 10-year yield is up a couple of basis points to 1.66%.  Last week, it briefly traded above 1.70%. European core yields have edged slightly higher, while the peripheral bonds are outperforming. The Antipodeans and Norwegian krone are leading the way higher among most majors, with the yen, Swiss franc, and Swedish

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Are the Technicals Anticipating a Soft US GDP Report? Could it be a “Sell the Rumor buy the Fact?”

Rising yields and record highs in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ failed to lift the dollar.  Indeed, the greenback fell against all the major currencies, even the Japanese yen, against which it had reached new four-year highs (~JPY114.70) before pulling back.  On the other hand, the Antipodean currencies and the Norwegian krone continued to lead the move against the US dollar. The Aussie rose to new three-month highs, while the Kiwi, Nokkie, and Canadian dollar saw four-month highs.  Emerging market currencies were more mixed than the majors.  At the end of the week, Russia’s larger than expected 75 bp rate hike helped lift the rouble, the best emerging market currency, last week. It reached a 15-month high ahead of the weekend.  The Chinese yuan reached its best level in five months last

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Week Ahead: The First Look at US and EMU Q3 GDP and more Tapering by the Bank of Canada

The macro highlights for the week ahead fall into three categories.  First are the preliminary estimates for Q3 GDP by the US and the EMU.  Second, are the inflation reports by the same two.  The US sees the September PCE deflator, which the Fed targets, while the eurozone releases the first estimate for October CPI.  Third are the meetings of three G7 central banks, the BOJ, the ECB, and the Bank of Canada. The broad backdrop includes softening PMI readings, the continued rise in oil prices, and a sharp backing up of interest rates.   On the eve of last month’s FOMC meeting conclusion, the August 2022 Fed funds future contract implied an average effective rate of 11 bp.   It is now yielding almost 32 bp, nearly completely discounting a 25 bp rate hike at the late July 2022 FOMC meeting

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The Euro and Sterling Remain within Tuesday’s Ranges

Overview: A new record high in the S&P 500 yesterday and news that Evergrande had made an interest rate payment failed to lift most Asia Pacific bourses, though Japan and Hong Kong, among the large markets, posted modest gains.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is pushing higher in the European morning to put its finishing touches on its third consecutive weekly gain.  US tech is trading off, and this is weighing on the NASDAQ futures while the S&P 500 is little changed.  The US 10-year yield had probed 1.70% yesterday and is coming back a basis point or two lower. European benchmark yields are mostly a little higher, but soft UK data are helping the Gilts outperform.  The Antipodeans are recovering from yesterday’s fall and leading the major currencies higher against the dollar.  Sterling is

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Markets Turn Cautious

Overview: After a couple of sessions of taking on more risk, investors are taking a break today.  Equities are mostly lower today after the S&P 500’s six-day advance took it almost to its record high, while the NASDAQ’s streak was halted at five sessions.

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Dollar Slumps

Overview:  While equities and bonds are firmer, it is the dollar’s sell-off that stands out today.  The greenback has retreated broadly.   

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The Dollar Slips Ahead of CPI

 The US dollar is trading with a lower bias ahead of the September CPI report due early in the North American session.  Long-term yields softened yesterday and slipped further today, leaving the US 10-year yield near 1.56%.  European benchmark yields are 3-4 bp lower.  The shorter-end of the US coupon curve, the two-year yield is firmer.

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The Euro Remains Within Last Wednesday’s Range

Overview:  A weak close in US equity trading yesterday and the widening of China’s “cultural revolution” for a two-month investigation of the financial sector stopped a three-day advance in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.  China, South Korea, and Taiwan saw more than a 1% decline in their major indices. 

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FX Daily, October 11: Rate Expectation Adjustment Continues

Overview:  Equities are softer and yields higher to start the new week.  The dollar is mixed.  Oil and industrial metals are higher. There are several developments over the weekend, but the focus seems to be on central bank action, inflation reports by the US and China, and the start of the Q3 earnings season. 

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Trees and the Forest

The Pando (pictured here) appears to be 107 acres of forest, but scientists have concluded that the nearly 47,000 genetically identical quaking aspen trees share a common root system.

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Hope Springs Eternal, or at least enough to Lift Risk Taking Today

Overview:  The animal spirits have been reanimated today.  Encouraged by the dramatic reversal in oil and gas prices, a deal in the US that pushes off the debt ceiling for a few weeks and talk of a new bond-buying facility in the euro area spurred further risk-taking today, ahead of tomorrow’s US employment report. 

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Dollar Rallies as Energy Surge Quashes Animal Spirits

Overview: Investors worry that surging energy prices will sap economic activity and boost prices.  It is sparking a sharp drop in equities and bonds while lifting the dollar.  The Nikkei fell for the eighth consecutive session, and today’s 1% drop brings the cumulative decline to 9%.  South Korea’s Kospi also fell by more than 1%. 

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Hard to Be Sterling

Overview: Energy prices pulled back late yesterday, but it offered little reprieve to the bond market where the 10-year benchmark yields in the US, UK, Sweden, and Switzerland reached new three-month highs.  November WTI traded to almost $76.70 before reversing lower and leaving a potentially bearish shooting star candlestick in its wake. 

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FX Price Action in the Context of Global Macro Developments

The dollar was lifted at the start of the last week by safe-haven demand as China’s Evergrande multi-month collapse triggered a sort of panic attack by global markets.  The dollar strengthened after the initial drop following the FOMC meeting.  The Fed’s confirmed tapering announcement is likely at the next meeting (Nov), but this has been well tipped.  The market also expected that a few more officials would see a hike next year as appropriate  This too was delivered as expected.  

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Taper, No Tantrum

Overview:  The market’s reaction to the FOMC statement was going according to our script, with the dollar backing off on a buy rumor sell the fact type of activity until Powell provided an end date for the tapering (mid-2022) before providing a start date (maybe next month).  This spurred a dollar rally. 

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What to Expect When You are Expecting

Overview: The markets have stabilized since Monday’s panic attack but have not made much headway.  China and Taiwan returned from the extended holiday weekend.  Mainland shares were mixed. Shanghai rose by about 0.4%, while Shenzhen fell by around 0.25%.

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Ever Grand

Overview: Coming into yesterday’s session, the S&P 500 had fallen in eight of the past ten sessions.  It closed on its lows before the weekend and gapped.  Nearly the stories in the press blamed China and the likely failure of one of its largest property developers, Evergrande. 

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Risk Appetites Didn’t Return from the Weekend

Overview: Investors’ mood did not improve over the weekend, and the lack of risk appetites are rippling through the capital markets today.  Equities have tumbled, yields have backed off, and the dollar is well bid.  Hong Kong and Australia led the sell-off in the Asia Pacific region, off 3.3% and 2.1%, respectively. 

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Is it Really all about US CPI?

Overview:  The markets are in a wait-and-see mode, it appears, ahead of the US CPI figures, as it absorbs bond supply from Europe and monitors the potential restructuring of China’s Evergrande.  A new storm may hit US oil and gas in the Gulf before recovering from the past storm and helping to underpin prices.

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How (Not) to Win Friends and Influence People

Overview:  There are two big themes in the capital markets today.  The first is the ongoing push of the Chinese state into what was the private sector.  Today’s actions involve breaking Ant’s lending arms into separate entities, with the state taking a stake.  This weighed on Chinese shares and Hong Kong, where many are lists. On the other hand, Japanese markets extended their recent gains.

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Don’t Resist the Dollar’s Pull Ahead of the FOMC Meeting

The US dollar enjoyed a firmer bias last week despite the disappointing jobs growth reported on September 3.  The Norwegian krone was the only major currency that gained against the greenback.  Brent was less than a quarter of a dollar firmer, so the likelihood of the central bank raising rates later this month offers a more compelling explanation. 

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Don’t Make a Fetish Out of What may be a Minor Change in the Pace of ECB Bond Buying

Overview: Yesterday’s retreat in US indices was part of and helped further this bout of profit-taking. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index ended an eight-day advance yesterday and fell further today. Japanese indices, which had set multiyear highs, fell for the first time in nine sessions. Hong Kong led the regional slide with a 2.3% decline as China’s crackdown on the gaming industry continued. 

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The Greenback Continues to Claw Back Recent Losses

Overview:  The US dollar continues to pare its recent losses and is firm against most major currencies in what has the feel of a risk-off day.  The other funding currencies, yen and Swiss franc, are steady, while the euro is heavy but holding up better than the Scandis and dollar-bloc currencies.  Emerging market currencies are also lower, and the JP Morgan EM FX index is off for the third consecutive session. 

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Risk Appetites Return from Holiday

Overview: After an ugly week, market participants have returned with strong risk appetites.  Equities are rebounding, and the greenback is paring recent gains.  Bond yields are firm, as are commodities.  Asia Pacific equities got the ball rolling with more than 1% gains in several large markets, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

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Consolidative Mood Grips Markets

Overview:  The dollar is consolidating yesterday’s advance and is confined to fairly narrow ranges in quiet turnover.  Most of the major currencies are within 0.1% of yesterday’s close near midday in Europe. The $1.1700-level held in the euro. 

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Rising Rates Underpin the Greenback

Overview: The US dollar remains firm ahead of the July CPI release, and even though Chicago Fed Evans demurred from the hawkish talk, the market is getting more comfortable with the idea of a rate hike next year. 

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Gold’s Flash Crash and Limited Follow-Through Greenback Gains

Overview:  A flash crash saw gold drop more than $70 an ounce in early Asia. Silver was dragged lower too.  The precious metals have stabilized at lower levels, but it signals a rough adjustment to a higher interest rate environment as a hawkish BOE and strong US employment data suggest peak monetary stimulus is at hand. 

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Yesterday’s Dollar Recovery Stalls

Overview: US interest rates and the dollar turned higher following comments by the Fed’s Vice Chairman Clarida, who appeared to throw his lot with the more hawkish members. The dollar recovered from weakness that had seen it fall to almost JPY108.70, its lowest level since late May, and lifted the euro to $1.19. 

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Greenback Softens amid Stronger Risk Appetites to Start August

Overview: Risk appetites snap back after easing in the waning hours last month. The MSCI Asia Pacific equities jumped back after dropping 1.8% last week for the second week in a row. Japan’s Topix and China’s CSI 300 rose by more than 2%, and Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia gained more than 1%. 

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FX Daily, July 22: Enguard Lagarde

Overview: The rally in US shares yesterday, ostensibly fueled by strong earnings reports, is helping to encourage risk appetites today.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is posting its biggest gain in around two weeks, though Japan’s markets are closed today and tomorrow.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is building on yesterday’s rally, and with today’s ~0.8% gain, it is up on the week.

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FX Daily, July 21: Did Japan Deliver a Fait Accompli to the US?

Overview:  The biggest rally in US equities in four months has helped stabilize global shares today.  In the Asia Pacific region, Japan, China, and Australian markets advanced.  Led by information technology and consumer discretionary sectors, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up around 1.35% near the middle of the session. 

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FX Daily, July 20: Doom and Gloom Takes Toll

Overview:  The capital markets have begun stabilizing after yesterday’s dramatic moves.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index did, though, see follow-through selling, and the third consecutive loss saw the benchmark close below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a year.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is posting small gains to snap a four-day drop. 

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FX Daily, July 16: BOJ Tweaks Forecasts

The markets head into the weekend with little fanfare. Most large equity markets in the Asia Pacific region slipped earlier today. Hong Kong, which will be exempt from the need to secure mainland’s cybersecurity approval for foreign IPOs, and Australia were notable exceptions. European bourses are edging higher, while US futures are oscillating around unchanged levels.

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Measuring Inflation and the Week Ahead

There is quite an unusual price context for new week’s economic events, which include June US CPI, retail sales, and industrial production, along with China’s Q2 GDP, and the meetings for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Bank of Canada, and the Bank of Japan.

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FX Daily, July 08: Capital Markets Remain Unhinged

The dramatic move in the capital markets continues. The US dollar is soaring as yields and equities slide. The US 10-year yield has fallen below 1.30 to 1.26%  European benchmark yields are 1-4 bp lower, while Australia and New Zealand have seen a 7-9 bp drop today.

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FX Daily, July 02: US Jobs and OPEC+ Day

The US jobs report and OPEC+ decision are awaited. The dollar remains bid.  Only the yen and Canadian dollar are showing a hint of resilience, though, on the week, the Scandis and dollar-bloc currencies are off between around 1-2%. The greenback is also firmer against the emerging market currency complex, and the JP Morgan index is off for the sixth consecutive session.

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FX Daily, June 30: The Greenback is Firm into Quarter-End

The dollar is finishing the quarter on firm footing, gaining against most of the major currencies today. The euro is straddling the $1.1900 area, having begun the month above $1.22. Sterling has tested the $1.38 area. It had traded at a three-year high near $1.4250 at the start of the month.

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FX Daily, June 21: Dollar Surge Stalls

Pressure on equities seen last week carried over into Asia and Europe today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fourth consecutive session, led by more than a 3% decline in the Nikkei. Australia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong bourses fell by more than 1%. European equities opened lower, but have turned higher.

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FX Daily, June 18: Markets Quiet Ahead of Triple Witching

After some dramatic moves over in the immediate post-Fed period, the markets have quieted. The kind of volatility that is sometimes associated with triple witching expirations in the US may have already taken place. Asia Pacific equities were mixed, but the MSCI benchmark finished with its second consecutive weekly decline. 

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FX Daily, June 17: Fed Rocks the World

A more hawkish than expected Federal Reserve sent the US dollar and interest rates higher and spurred an equity sell-off. The knock-on effect sent ripples through the capital markets today. Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region fell. China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were notable exceptions.

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FX Daily, June 16: Will the Fed Talk the Talk?

With the outcome of the FOMC meeting awaited, the dollar is narrowly mixed in quiet turnover. The Scandis are the weakest (~-0.3%) among the majors, while the Antipodeans are the strongest (~+0.25%). JP Morgan’s Emerging Market Currency Index is snapping a three-day decline

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FX Daily, June 15: Commodities Ease though Oil remains Firm

The new record high in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ’s sixth gain in seven sessions may have helped lift Asia Pacific markets today. Only China and Hong Kong did not participate. MSCI’s regional index rose for its fourth consecutive session. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is moving higher for the eighth session in a row. 

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FX Daily, June 14: Dollar Becalmed as Markets Wait for US Leadership

The short squeeze that lifted the US dollar ahead of the weekend has seen limited follow-through buying, and instead a consolidative tone emerged. Europe is searching for direction and perhaps waiting for US leadership after a quiet Asia Pacific session, with several centers closed for holiday today (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia).

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FX Daily, June 11: US Yields Stabilize After Falling to Three-Month Lows

The 10-year US Treasury yield steadied after reaching a three-month low near 1.43%, despite the US CPI rising more than expected to 5% year-over-year. On the week, the decline of around a dozen basis points would be the largest in a year. Australia, New Zealand, and Italy benchmark yields have seen a bigger decline this week.

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FX Daily, June 10: ECB Meeting and US CPI: Transitory Impact

The ECB meeting and the US May CPI report is at hand. The US dollar is consolidating at a higher level against most of the major currencies. Softer than expected, inflation readings are weighing on the Scandis, which are bearing the brunt. The US 10-year yield closed below 1.50% for the first time in three months yesterday, and this may have helped underpin the Japanese yen.

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FX Daily, June 08: Marking Time ahead of the Week’s Big Events

The capital markets appear to be in a holding pattern ahead of this week’s big events, including the US CPI and the ECB meeting. Equities are little changed but with a heavier bias evident. Most of the large bourses in the Asia Pacific region were lower, except Australia, which eked out a small gain.

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FX Daily, June 02: The Dollar Snaps Back

The US dollar is enjoying broad, even if not large, gains today following yesterday’s recovery from three-year lows against sterling and four-year lows against the Canadian dollar. The greenback is firmer against all the major currencies.

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FX Daily, May 25: Softer Yields Weigh on the Greenback

The decline in US 10-year rates to two-week lows below 1.59% is helping rebuild bullish enthusiasm for stocks and weighing on the US dollar. The NASDAQ reached two-week highs yesterday, and almost all the large markets in the Asia Pacific region rose, though India struggled.

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FX Daily, May 20: Market Stabilize after Yesterday’s Tumultuous Session

US equity indices finished lower, but the real story was their recovery. Asia Pacific equities were mixed, with Australia’s 1.5% rally leading the recovery in some markets, including Tokyo and Singapore. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up a little more than 0.5% near mid-session, led by information technology and industrials, while energy and financials lagged with small gains.

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FX Daily, May 19: Now What Does Bitcoin say About the Dollar and the US?

A setback in commodities and technology are roiling equity markets today. The inability of US equities to sustain yesterday’s rally provided an initial headwind to trading in the Asia Pacific region today. Hong Kong and South Korea markets were closed for holidays, but most of the bourses fell, led by Australia, where the market tumbled nearly 2%, the most in almost three months as the drop in mining and energy took a toll.

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FX Daily, May 18: Risk Appetites Return Bigly

In Asia, equities markets rallied strongly, led by the more than 5% gain in Taiwan, the most in over a year as Monday’s 3% drop was more than overcome. The Nikkei gained more than 2% despite the deeper than expected contraction in Q1 GDP. Hong Kong, South Korea, and India also rose more than a 1% gain as tech came roaring back.

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FX Daily, May 17: US and Europe may Announce Tariff Truce

There are two general developments as the busy week gets underway. First, despite accelerated price readings in the US (CPI, PPI, import prices, and University of Michigan survey), US rates are soft. The 10-year yield is near 1.61% after rising to 1.70% after the CPI surprise last week.

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FX Daily, May 14: Softer Yields = Softer Dollar

The surge in consumer prices reported on Wednesday saw rates jump and the dollar push higher. Stronger than expected producer prices yesterday, and news of wage increases (average 10%) at Mcdonalds and for 75,000 people Amazon wants to hire, saw rates ease and the dollar’s upside momentum stall.

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FX Daily, May 13: Long Lost Bond Vigilantes Sighted, Gives Dollar Fillip

It is as if the bond vigilantes were pushed too far. US inflation is accelerating more than expected, and it cannot all be attributed to the base effect, and the Federal Reserve, to many investors, is tone-deaf. With powerful fiscal stimulus, nominal growth above 10%, and the economy re-opening, albeit unevenly, does the monetary accelerator need to be fully engaged?

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The Dollar and the Fed

One of the stark developments since the initial shock of the pandemic has been the aggressiveness of the US monetary and fiscal response. This was also true in dealing with the Great Financial Crisis. The divergence then and now had shaped the investment climate.

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The Dollar can Build on the Pre-Weekend Gains

The US dollar traded heavily most of last week but rebounded ahead of the weekend, with some month-end flows impacting.  The Japanese yen was a notable exception.  The rise in US yields helped lift the greenback nearly a percent against the yen.  The Fed’s standpat stance in light of the surging economy and signals the Norwegian central bank and the Bank of Canada seemed dovish.  The contrast carried the Norwegian krone and Canadian dollar to new three-year highs last week.  Even if the greenback’s pre-weekend advance was exaggerated, it looks to be turning after trending lower in April.  The Federal Reserve’s broad trade-weighted nominal dollar index fell by about 7.5% in the last three quarters of 2020 after rising by 4.6% in Q1 as the pandemic struck and the dollar was bought partly as

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FX Daily, April 29: US GDP: The V

Overview:  The market’s initial reaction to the Federal Reserve statement and the press conference was that it was dovish: the 10-year yield slipped, and the dollar was sold to new lows.  In fact, the two countries that appear to be ahead of the curve among high-income countries, Canada and Norway, saw their currencies rally to new three-year highs.

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FX Daily, April 28: Biden and Powell are Center Stage

Overview: It appears that the backing up of US yields is giving the dollar a better tone and challenging the Eurosystem, which has stepped up its bond purchases.  The US 10-year yield is around 1.65%, roughly a two-week high and back above the 20-day moving average. 

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FX Daily, April 27: Markets Mark Time Ahead of Fed

Short-covering ahead of the FOMC’s outcome tomorrow appears to be lending the US dollar support today. It has extended yesterday’s gains against the euro, sterling, and yen.  Among emerging market currencies, the Turkish lira, along with the South Korean won and Taiwanese dollar, lead the few advancers.

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FX Daily, April 23: Greenback Slips into the Weekend

Overview:  Many narratives link the prospect of higher capital gains tax on about a third of 1% of Americans as the catalyst for losses in US equities yesterday (and Bitcoin) and weakness in some global shares today.  Of the large markets in the Asia Pacific region, only Japan, which is reimposing a formal emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, and two other prefectures, fell. 

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FX Daily, April 12: Capital Markets Look for Direction

Overview: Risk appetites have not returned from the weekend.  Equities are heavy, and bond yields softer.  The dollar is drifting lower in Europe.  China’s unusually candid admission of the shortcomings of its vaccine and record new cases in India saw all the equity markets in the region fall.  Only South Korea and Taiwan escaped the carnage that saw the Indian market tumble 3.5%. 

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FX Daily, April 8: Calm Capital Markets See the Dollar Drift

Overview:  Global stocks are moving higher today.  Fears of a new lockdown in Tokyo amid rising covid cases weighed on Japanese stocks, a notable exception as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for its fifth session of the past six.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is edging to new record highs today and is advancing for its fifth session of the past seven. 

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FX Daily, April 5: Market Pushes First Rate Hike into 2022

Overview: Many financial centers in Asia and Europe remain closed for the extended holiday. Although several markets that were open were higher in the Asia Pacific region, India was an exception as a record contagion sent stocks down the most in five weeks. US futures are pointing higher, led by the Dow, while the NASDAQ lags.

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April Monthly

Four major forces shaped the investment climate in the first quarter:  the evolution of the virus and the rollout of the vaccine, the rising long-term interest rates driven by higher oil prices, America’s large fiscal stimulus, and optimism about the outlook, a sharp divergence between the US and other high-income countries, and a recovery in the US dollar after sliding in November and December 2020.

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FX Daily, March 15: Big Week Begins Quietly

The capital markets are beginning a new and busy week in a non-committal fashion.  Equities are mixed.  Except for Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia, most markets in the Asia Pacific region were lower, led Chinese and Indian shares. 

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FX Daily, March 11: Risk Extends Gains Ahead of the ECB

Overview: Even though the NASDAQ closed lower yesterday and the reception of the 10-year Treasury auction did not excite, market participants are growing more confident.  Led by China, the major markets in the Asia Pacific region rallied.  The Shanghai Composite’s 2.35% gain not only snaps a five-session slide but is the largest rally since last October.

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FX Daily, March 9: Turn Around Tuesday Strikes

It is not clear the trigger, but risk-taking appetites rebounded smartly today after the NASDAQ completed a more than 10% pullback from its highs yesterday.  Ironically, the Dow Jones Industrials set new record highs yesterday too.  Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rallied.  The notable exceptions were South Korea and China. 

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FX Daily, March 4: OPEC+ and Powell are Awaited

Overview:  Equities are under pressure following yesterday’s sharp losses in the US.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index suffered its biggest decline of the week today as Japanese, Chinese, and Hong Kong benchmarks slid by more than 2%.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index in Europe is buckling under the pressure and is posting its first decline of the week. 

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FX Daily, March 2: The Dollar Finds Better Footing

Overview: A warning from China’s top banking regulator about the frothiness of foreign markets appeared to blunt the knock-on effect of yesterday’s largest rise in the S&P 500 since last June (~2.4%) and weighed on global equities.  The large markets in the Asia Pacific region but India and South Korea fell.

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FX Daily, February 18: Markets Chill

The bout of profit-taking in equities continued today, and most markets in Asia Pacific and Europe are lower. China’s markets re-opened but struggled to sustain early gains. However, the Shanghai Composite rose by about 0.5%, and a smaller increase was recorded in Taiwan and an even smaller gain in Australia.

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FX Daily, February 16: Greenback Remains Heavy

The equity rally appears undeterred by the rise in interest rates or the surge in oil prices.  Led by Tokyo and Hong Kong, Asia Pacific equities advanced.  China, Taiwan, and Vietnam markets remain closed. After gapping higher yesterday and extended the gains in early turnover today, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is consolidating.

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FX Daily, February 9: Players are Not Buying Everything Today

The rally of US benchmarks to new record highs helped lift most Asia Pacific markets today, but the bulls are pausing in Europe, and there has been little follow-through buying of US shares.  Australia, South Korea, and Indonesia did not participate in today’s regional advance led by a 2% rally in China’s main indices.

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FX Daily, February 8: Limited Follow-Through Dollar Selling to Start the Week

Overview: The US dollar has drifted higher against the major currencies and most of the freely accessible emerging market currencies, paring the losses seen before the weekend in response to the disappointing employment report. Easing pressure from the pandemic as the surge in cases after the holidays may also be encouraging risk-taking to extend the global equity rally.

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FX Daily, February 4: Negative Rates and the Bank of England: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too

Overview:  The euro has been sold through $1.20 for the first time since December 1 and has now given back roughly half of the gains scored from the US election (~$1.16) to the early January high (~$.1.2350).  More broadly, the greenback is bid against most of the major currencies, with the Australian dollar more resilient after reported record iron ore exports and all but a handful of emerging market currencies. 

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FX Daily, February 1: Markets Snap Back

Global equities are snapping back today, while the greenback retained the strength seen last week that was attributed to safe-haven flows. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day decline led by Hong Kong, South Korea, India, and Indonesia.

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FX Daily, January 29: Please Stay Seated, the Ride is not Over

Powerful corrective forces continue to grip the market. After a large rally to start the New Year, the correction is punishing. Most Asia Pacific equities markets were off again today to bring the week’s loss to 2.5% to 5.5% throughout the region. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is a little more than 1% lower on the day. 

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FX Daily, January 27: The Fed and Earnings on Tap

Overview:  Risk appetites seem subdued even if GameStop’s surge draws attention. Asia Pacific equities mostly slipped lower, and profit-taking was seen in Hong Kong and Seoul, which are off to an incredibly strong start to the year. Small gains were reported in Tokyo, Beijing, and Taipei.

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FX Daily, January 26: Subdued Activity as New Incentives Awaited

Overview:  After rallying strongly to start the year, Asia Pacific equities, led by the high-flying Hang Seng, sold-off, led by Tencent.  Most markets in the region were off at least 1%.  Australia and India escaped the profit-taking due to holidays.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is faring better and looks poised to snap a two-day fall, led by materials, financials, information technology, and consumer staples.

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FX Daily, January 25: A Subdued Start to a Big Week

What promises to be an eventful week has begun off on a mostly subdued note. Asia Pacific equities moved higher, again led by Hong Kong and ostensibly mainland buying. The Hang Seng rose 2.4% to bring this year’s gain to 10.75%. South Korea’s Kospi also increased by more than 2%, and, so far this month, it is up almost 11.7%. 

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FX Daily, January 22: Faltering Friday

Fear that social restrictions may have to be broadened and extended is helping spur a wave of profit-taking and de-risking, which has also been encouraged by disappointingly high-frequency data. The equity rally seemed to falter a bit in the US, as the S&P 500 eked out a minor 0.03% gain yesterday.

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FX Daily, January 19: Even When She Speaks Softly, She’s Yellen

Overview: The animal spirits are on the march today.  Equities are mostly higher, peripheral European bonds are firm, and the dollar is mostly softer. After posting the first back-to-back decline this year, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index bounced back today, led by a 2.7% gain in Hong Kong (20-month high) and a 2.6% rise in South Korea’s Kospi. 

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FX Daily, January 18: US is on Holiday, but the Dollar has Legs

Overview: The new week has begun like last week ended.  Equities are a bit heavy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the second session, its first back-to-back loss since before Christmas.  China and Hong Kong were the notable exceptions, perhaps helped by stronger than expected GDP. 

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FX Daily, January 13: PBOC Sends Signal as Market Looks Past Impeachment Vote

The US dollar is regaining ground lost in yesterday’s setback against the major currencies. Sterling is the notable exception. It was toying with the $1.37 area, perhaps helped by the Governor of the Bank of England signal that there still are hurdles to adopting negative interest rates, which the futures market is still discounting for as soon as midyear.

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FX Daily, January 12: Markets Catch Collective Breath

Overview:  The capital markets were stabilizing today after dramatic moves yesterday. Equity markets are recovering, and the dollar is paring yesterday’s gains.  Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific region rose, though Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia were notable exceptions. 

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FX Daily, January 11: Greenback Extends Recovery

Julius Ceasar is said to have "crossed the Rubicon" on January 10, 49 BCE, taking the 13th Legion into Rome, defying orders from the Senate, and precipitating the Roman Civil Wat that marked the end of the republic and the birth of the empire.

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FX Daily, January 6: High Drama Weighs on the Greenback and Lifts Yields

Overview:  One of the two Georgia Senate contests remains too close to call, but the market appears to be pricing in a Democrat sweep.  The 10-year yield has punched above 1% but has offered the greenback little support.  Yesterday, the dollar-bloc currencies rose to highs since early Q2 2018 and are extending those gains today. 

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January Monthly

It might not feel like a New Year, as the pandemic continues to ravage most countries. On top of the human toll, the economic fallout will continue to depress activity in the first part of 2021.  However, policymakers throughout the G7 provided more stimulus in late 2020 and extended many emergency facilities well into the New Year.

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Inflating Inflation Expectations

Rising prices feature in many economic forecasts for the US.  It is seen as part of the reflation meme as the vaccines roll out.  There seem to be three threads to the discussion.  The first is practically mathematically certain.  Economists refer to it as the base effect.  As the pandemic struck and the economy shut down, prices fell.  Headline CPI fell by 0.4% in March 2019, by 0.8% in April, and another 0.1% in May.  The PCE deflator, which the Fed targets, fell by 0.3% in March and by 0.5% in April.  It rose by 0.2% in May. The point is the negative prints will drop out of the year-over-year comparisons, and barring a new sharp economic downturn, they will be replaced by higher numbers. This will be reflected in an increase in the year-over-year rate and provide the grist for an

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Cool Video: A Look Ahead to 2021

I joined Ben Lichtenstein, host of the morning futures program at TDAmeritrade.  It is in the futures market that I began my career, and where I gained respect for local traders, who do not have a large institutional backing such as a bank or hedge fund, and are trading their own capital, and taking the risk often from those institutional participants. 

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The Dollar’s Evolving Outlook

The foreign exchange market sees an average daily turnover of something on the magnitude of $6.6 trillion a day.  In a week, the turnover is sufficient to more than cover world trade for a year.  It is the largest of the capital markets.  Trends in the currency market can last for years.  

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FX Daily, December 21: Happy Holidays

No daily commentary until the New Year, but watch this space for thematic pieces over the next two weeks. Here is to a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2021. Thank you for your support.  

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FX Daily, December 17: Dollar Thumped

Overview: The prospects of a UK-EU deal and US stimulus continue to underwrite risk appetites and weigh on the dollar.  Equity markets are moving higher.  Led by Australia and China, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose to new record highs, while Dow Jones Stoxx 600 in Europe is at its best level since February.

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FX Daily, December 15: The Bulls are Emboldened

The S&P fell for the fourth consecutive session yesterday, the longest losing streak of the quarter, and this seemed to encourage profit-taking in the Asia Pacific region today.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped for the second consecutive session, and even confirmation of the Chinese recovery failed to lift the Shanghai Composite. 

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Cool Video: CNBC-Asia–Brexit, Sterling, the Euro, and Dollar

I had the privilege to join Sri Jegarajah at CNBC Asia at the start of today’s Asia Pacific session.  We had a broad chat about the dollar, Brexit, and the euro.  He gave me the opportunity to sketch out my views:1.  The dollar’s entered a cyclical decline, and the "twin deficit" issue will likely frame the narrative. 

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FX Daily, December 11: Brexit Fears Weigh on Sterling

Overview:  The odds of a UK-EU agreement and new stimulus before year-end in the US have faded and are sapping risk appetites ahead of the weekend.  Although most Asia Pacific equity markets gained, China and Australia were notable exceptions, European shares are heavy, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is near three-week lows. 

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FX Daily, December 9: Hope Burns Eternal

The market is hopeful today. The Johnson-von der Leyen dinner is seen as evidence that both sides see one more opportunity, and sterling is among the strongest currencies today. Hopes of a $900 bln+ fiscal stimulus package in the US helped stir animal spirits and lift US stocks to record highs yesterday.

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FX Daily, December 8: Consolidative Moment as Markets Wait for Fresh Developments

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, December 8

Overview:  Three brinkmanship dramas continue to play out.  The UK-EU trade talks have reportedly made little progress and may have even moved backward, according to some reports, over the past two days.  The EU and Poland, and Hungary will be butting heads at the leaders’ summit that begins Thursday.  The US federal spending authorization is exhausted at the end of the week.

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FX Daily, December 03: Euro Rally Stalls while Brexit Concerns Trip Sterling

falling money

The selling pressure that drove the dollar lower yesterday has abated, and the greenback is paring yesterday’s loss, though the dollar-bloc currencies are showing some resilience. EC negotiator Barnier briefed ministers that the same three issues that have bedeviled the trade talks with the UK remain unresolved (fisheries, level playing field, and a conflict resolution mechanism).

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FX Daily, December 2: Euro Rally Stalls while Brexit Concerns Trip Sterling

The selling pressure that drove the dollar lower yesterday has abated, and the greenback is paring yesterday’s loss, though the dollar-bloc currencies are showing some resilience. EC negotiator Barnier briefed ministers that the same three issues that have bedeviled the trade talks with the UK remain unresolved (fisheries, level playing field, and a conflict resolution mechanism).

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FX Daily, November 19: Surging Virus Saps Risk Appetites

Overview: News that the New York City was closing the schools to contain the virus sent stocks reeling in late North American dealings yesterday and spurred some profit-taking in the Asia Pacific and Europe.  Equities in the Asia Pacific region were mostly lower, though China, South Korea, and Australia’s advanced and Tokyo markets were mixed.

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FX Daily, November 16: Risk-On Despite Surging Pandemic

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, November 16

Despite the surging pandemic and new restriction measure, risk-appetites appear strong to start the week. Led by 2% gains in the Nikkei and Taiwan’s Taiex, all of the Asia Pacific region’s equity markets advanced. European markets have followed suit and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is knocking on last week’s eight-month high.

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FX Daily, November 10: Markets Remain Unsettled

Overview: Pfizer’s vaccine announcement eclipsed the US election as the key market driver. It spurred the unwinding of Covid trades in terms of sectors and yields.  Emerging market currencies and the majors that benefit from world growth outperformed the perceived safe-havens, like the yen and the Swiss franc.

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FX Daily, November 6: A Pause that Refreshens?

Investors have piled into risk assets this week, seemingly undeterred by the US elections’ lack of a clear outcome. The coronavirus is still surging, and a new complication has emerged. A mutation of the virus, originating in minks (Denmark), could pose a challenge in developing a vaccine. MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose for the fifth consecutive session today to end its best week since April.

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FX Daily, November 5: The Dollar Slides and the Yuan Jumps

Overview: The markets did not wait for the final vote count and took stocks and bonds higher while pushing the greenback lower. While it appears Biden will be the next US President, investors seemed to like the fact that his agenda will be checked by a Senate that may remain in Republican hands.  Stocks are on a tear. 

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FX Daily, October 30: Investors Scared Before Halloween

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, October 30

Investors punished US tech giants for not delivering perfection as prices apparently had discounted, and the subsequent sell-off coupled with month-end dynamics has rocked global equities.  Asia Pacific bourses were a sea of red, led by a 2.5% decline in the tech-heavy South Korean Kospi, but most major markets were off more than 1%. 

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FX Daily. October 29: Markets Continue to Struggle

The spreading virus that is shutting down large parts of Europe, while the US is reluctant to return to lockdowns and refuses to have a nationwide requirement for masks in public hit risk assets yesterday.  The S&P posted its largest decline in four-months yesterday (~3.5%), and the selling carried into the Asia Pacific region.

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FX Daily, October 26: Troubling Start of the Important Week

The surging virus ravaging large parts of Europe and the United States is fanning concerns over the economic implications as new social restrictions and curfews are announced in several countries. US additional fiscal support remains elusive as aid for states and local governments remains a bone of contention. 

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FX Daily, October 22: Greenback Stabilizes

Two sets of talks have riveted attention, and both appeared to have made progress yesterday. After some words, the EC, recognizing the importance of UK sovereignty, UK Prime Minister Johnson signaled a resumption of trade talks.

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FX Daily, October 21: Dollar Slumps as Yields Rise

Overview:  The dollar is falling against most of the world’s currencies today, even as long-term yields rise to the most in four months and drags global yields higher.  The US 10-year yield is pushing above 0.80%, and the 30-year is above 1.60%. 

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FX Daily, October 16: Deja Vu All Over Again

It was like deja vu all over again. First, the market reacted immodestly to headlines indicating there was little chance of pre-election fiscal stimulus in the US. It was hardly new news. Then the market seemed to react with surprise that there was no last-minute breakthrough in the UK-EU trade negotiations.

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FX Daily, October 13: Markets Look for Fresh Incentives

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ gapped higher for the third consecutive session and continued to advance. The benchmarks reached their best level since early September. Hong Kong markets were closed due to a storm, but the MSCI Asia Pacific gained for the seventh consecutive session. Most markets were higher, though Taiwan and South Korea were exceptions.

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FX Daily, October 9: Animal Spirits Return

Overview:  The on-again-off-again fiscal stimulus in the US is back on as the White House now supports a broad stimulus program, but not as big as the Democrats $2.2 trillion package.  It is the narrative being cited as the rebuilding of risk appetites is the wobble earlier in the week. 

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FX Daily, October 08: Markets Catch Collective Breath

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed at their highest levels in around a month yesterday, recouping Tuesday’s presidential tweet-driven drop. We thought the market overreacted to the end of the fiscal talks as many had already recognized that a stimulus agreement was unlikely before the election, but the near round-trip seen in stocks and bonds was surprising.

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FX Daily, October 07: The Day After

President Trump’s tweet announced that negotiations with the House Democrat leadership had collapsed, and there will be no further talks until after the election. Many economists had been removing it from their Q4 GDP projections, but the market was caught wrongfooted. Risk came off.

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FX Daily, October 6: The Dollar Tests Key Supports and Pauses

Market moves have stalled.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index did manage to extend Monday’s gains, but other markets are heavier.  Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is snapping a three-day advance.  The communications sector is the sole standout, though financials and energy are little changed.

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FX Daily, October 05: Monday’s Dollar Blues

New actions to contain the virus are being taken in the US and Europe, but investors are looking past it and taking equities and risk assets, in general, higher to start the new week. MSCI Asia Pacific recouped most of last week’s 0.7% loss with gains of move than 1% in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Australia.

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October Monthly

After falling in July and August, the US dollar strengthened against most of the major currencies in September.  The dramatic pullback in equities seemed to have undergirded the yen’s resilience, which gained a net 0.25% against the dollar.

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FX Daily, October 1: Hope Springs Eternal

Speculation that a new round of fiscal stimulus from the US is possible is encouraging risk-taking today.  Many large Asian centers were closed for holidays today, and a technical problem prevented the Tokyo Stock Exchange from opening.

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FX Daily, September 30: Nervous Calm

Quarter and month-end considerations could be overwhelming other factors today.  Turnaround Tuesday saw early gains in US equities fade.  Asia Pacific shares were mixed, with the Nikkei (-1.5%) and Australia (-2.3%) bear the brunt of the selling, while China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India rose.

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FX Daily, September 29: Consolidation Still Featured

A consolidative tone continues across the capital markets. Equities have lost their momentum. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was mixed, while Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is paring yesterday’s sharp 2.2% gain. US shares are little changed but mostly softer. 

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FX Daily, September 25: Sentiment Remains Fragile Ahead of the Weekend

The dramatic week is finishing on a quieter note.  The modest gains in US equities yesterday helped the Asia Pacific performance today.  Most markets but China and Hong Kong pared the weekly losses, and easing regulations in Australia spurred a rally in financials that saw its stock market close higher on the week. 

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FX Daily, September 24: Darkest Before Dawn

The two recent market developments, push lower in stocks, and higher in the dollar is continuing. Tuesday’s gains in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were unwound on Wednesday and this is helping drag global markets lower. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for the fourth consecutive session today and many markets (India, Shenzhen, Taiwan, and Korea) fell more than 2% and most others were off more than 1%.

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FX Daily, September 23: Trying to Find Solid Ground

A more stable tone is evident in the capital markets after the S&P 500, and NASDAQ rose more than one percent yesterday.  Japan returned from a two-day holiday, and local shares slipped fractionally, while China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Australian shares rallied.  India and Taiwan fell.

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FX Daily, September 21: Risk Appetites Join Tokyo on Vacation

Global equity markets are off to a poor start to the week, and the dollar appears to be enjoying a safe-haven bid. Tokyo markets are closed until Wednesday, while Asia-Pacific stocks tumbled, and the regional index is unwinding last week’s gains. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600  is off around 2.7% near midday in Europe.

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FX Daily, September 10: ECB and Beyond

Overview:  A strong recovery in US stocks, a softer dollar, and higher gold and oil prices may signal the end of the brief though dramatic correction, but the market is in a bit of a holding pattern ahead of the ECB meeting.  Most of the major equity markets in the Asia Pacific region stabilized, except for Hong Kong and China.

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FX Daily, September 3: Corrective Forces Maintain Grip

The US dollar is continuing to recover after hitting new lows earlier in the week. It is lower against all the major currencies and most of the emerging markets. A report in the Financial Times suggesting that there is a concern about the euro’s recent strength at the ECB has added a bit more fuel to the move, and the euro, which had pushed above $1.20 earlier in the week, briefly traded below $1.18. 

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September Monthly

The US dollar’s rally in the initial phases of the pandemic has been unwound, and sentiment appears to be the most negative since the Great Financial Crisis.  New lows for the year against the euro, Swiss franc, the British pound, Swedish krona, and the Australian dollar were recorded in recent weeks.

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FX Daily, September 1: Dollar Lurches Lower

The US dollar has been sold-off across the board. The euro approached $1.20, and sterling neared $1.3450. The greenback traded below CAD1.30 for the first time since January. Most emerging market currencies but the Turkish lira, are also advancing today.

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FX Daily, August 28: Powell and Abe Drive Markets

After a confused and volatile reaction to the Federal Reserve’s formal adoption of an average inflation target, it took Asian and European traders to embrace the signal and take the dollar lower. It is falling against nearly all the currencies and has slumped to new lows for the year against sterling and the Australian dollar.

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FX Daily, August 26: Hurricane Laura Lifts Oil Prices

A consolidative tone has emerged after US equity benchmarks reached new highs yesterday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index had reached seven-month highs on Tuesday, but Japan, China, and Australian stocks saw modest profit-taking today. European shares are recouping yesterday’s minor loss, and US shares are flat. 

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FX Daily, August 24: Markets Prove Resilient to Start New Week

New virus outbreaks in Europe and Asia are not adversely impacting the capital markets today. Global equities are firmer. Some reports suggesting the US ban on WeChat may not be as broad as initially signaled helped lift Hong Kong shares, but nearly all the markets in the region traded higher.

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FX Daily, August 21: PMIs Shake Investor Confidence

The second disappointing Fed manufacturing survey report and an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims helped reverse the disappointment over the FOMC minutes. Bonds and stocks rallied–not on good macroeconomic news, but the opposite, which underscores the likelihood of more support for longer.

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FX Daily, August 20: FOMC Minutes Spur Profit-Taking

Overview: The FOMC minutes depicted a Federal Reserve that appeared to be not quite ready to take fresh initiatives, whether it is yield curve control or changing the composition or quantities of its bond purchases.  This unleashed profit-taking on some of the large moves in equities, the dollar, and gold.

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Cool Video: TD Ameritrade with Ben Lichtenstein

With the dollar continuing to trend lower, it was time to check again with Ben Lichtenstein at TD Ameritrade.  It was a privilege to join him today to discuss the drivers. I sketched out my views that the greenback’s two legs, growth and interest rate differentials have been knocked from under it.

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August Survey Data and Beyond

Economists are often lampooned because of their inability to forecast changes in the business cycle. But the pandemic helped them overcome the challenge this time. A record contraction in Q2 was anticipated before in March. Similarly, economists generally expected the recovery after the March-April body blow.

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FX Daily, August 13: Dollar Remains Offered

The poor price action on Tuesday in the S&P 500 was shrugged off, and new highs for the recovery were made as the record high nears. The dollar, on the other hand, seemed to find plenty of sellers against most of the major currencies. The yen was a notable exception.

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Speculative Positioning in Selected Currency Futures

With the media playing up the US dollar’s negatives, one would think speculators are short the greenback like there is no tomorrow. Yet a review of the Commitment of Traders report that covers the week through last Tuesday, August 4, shows that this is not really the case.

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FX Daily, August 10: Monday in August

Overview: The new week has begun slowly with Singapore and Tokyo markets closed for national holidays. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 2% last week and edged higher today, led by 1.5%-1.7% rallies in South Korea and Australia.  Hong Kong was a notable exception and eased around 0.6%.

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The Ant and the Grasshopper: A Window into Macro Part II

Regardless of the dollar’s role and function in the world economy and the halls of finance, in the near and intermediate terms, investors and businesses are more concerned with foreign exchange prices.  The greenback has fallen out of favor. Its main supports, like wide interest rate differentials, favorable growth differentials, and political certainty if not stability, have weakened.

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FX Daily, August 06: Markets Consolidate

EUR/BGN Currency Pair

The Australian dollar powered to marginal news highs for the year as the move against the US dollar continued yesterday. The euro stopped a few hundredths of a cent below the high seen at the end of last week. However, neither sustained the upside momentum and have come back offered today.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%).

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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%. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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%. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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%.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.   

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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? 

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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%.

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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.

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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.    

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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%.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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%.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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