Tag Archive: ECB

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 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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Germany, Maybe Europe: No Signs Of The Bottom

For anyone thinking the global economy is turning around, it’s not the kind of thing you want to hear. Germany has been Ground Zero for this globally synchronized downturn. That’s where it began, meaning first showed up, all the way back at the start of 2018. Ever since, the German economy has been pulling Europe down into the economic abyss along with it, being ahead of the curve in signaling what was to come for the whole rest of the global...

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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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Lagarde Channels Past Self As To Japan Going Global

As France’s Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde objected strenuously to Ben Bernanke’s second act. Hinted at in August 2010, QE2 was finally unleashed in November to global condemnation. Where “trade wars” fill media pages today, “currency wars” did back then. The Americans were undertaking beggar-thy-neighbor policies to unfairly weaken the dollar.

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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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You Will Never Bring It Back Up If You Have No Idea Why It Falls Down And Stays Down

It wasn’t actually Keynes who coined the term “pump priming”, though he became famous largely for advocating for it. Instead, it was Herbert Hoover, of all people, who began using it to describe (or try to) his Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Hardly the do-nothing Roosevelt accused Hoover of being, as President, FDR’s predecessor was the most aggressive in American history to that point, economically speaking.

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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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The ECB’s “mea culpa”

Economists, conservative investors and market observers have been issuing stern warnings for years regarding the severe impact of the current monetary policy direction. In a recent statement, ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos warned of potential side effects and risks to the economy resulting directly from the central bank’s policies.

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FX Weekly Preview: Is Conventional Wisdom Too Optimistic?

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

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QE by any other name

“The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution. “ – Ludwig von Mises, Human Action In less than a year, we have witnessed an unprecedented monetary policy rollercoaster by the Federal Reserve, which began with a momentous U-turn in the central bank’s guidance in January, and has continued to escalate ever since.

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

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

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The Growing Opposition Against the ECB

Few investors and market observers were really surprised when Mario Draghi announced the ECB’s next massive easing package in mid-September. Cutting rates further into negative territory and the revival of QE were largely expected sooner or later, as the “whatever it takes” outgoing ECB President is now faced with a wide economic slowdown in the Eurozone.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead Excluding Brexit

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

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FX Daily, October 10: Setback for the Greenback

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

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The Consequences Of ‘Transitory’

Europe’s QE, as noted this weekend, is off to a very rough start. In the bond market and in inflation expectations, the much-ballyhooed relaunch of “accommodation” is conspicuously absent. There was a minor back up in yields between when the ECB signaled its intentions back in August and the few weeks immediately following the actual announcement.

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

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

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FX Daily, September 26: Greenback Remains Firm

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

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FX Daily, September 19: Investors Looking for New Focus

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

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Cool Video: Thoughts on ECB

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

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