Tag Archive: Interest rates

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

It wasn’t a very good two weeks for economic data with the majority of reports disappointing. Most notable I think is that the so called “soft data” is starting to reflect reality rather than some fantasy land where President Trump enacts his entire agenda in the first 100 days of being in office. Politics is about the art of the possible and that is proving a short list for now.

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Decoupling of Oil and US Interest Rates

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

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FX Daily, April 14: Holiday Markets Remain on Edge

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

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

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

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US Jobs: Who Carries The Burden of Proof?

The idea that interest rates have nowhere to go but up is very much like saying the bond market has it all wrong. That is one reason why the rhetoric has been ratcheted that much higher of late, particularly since the Fed “raised rates” for a third time in March. Such “hawkishness” by convention should not go so unnoticed, and yet yields and curves are once more paying little attention to Janet Yellen.

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Systemic Depression Is A Clear Choice

Looking back on late 2015, it is perfectly clear that policymakers had no idea what was going on. It’s always easy, of course, to reflect on such things with the benefit of hindsight, but even contemporarily it was somewhat shocking how complacent they had become as a global group.

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

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

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All In The Curves

If the mainstream is confused about exactly what rate hikes mean, then they are not alone. We know very well what they are supposed to, but the theoretical standards and assumptions of orthodox understanding haven’t worked out too well and for a very long time now. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury is today yielding less than it did when the FOMC announced their second rate hike in December.

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Federal Reserve Hikes, but Changes Little Else

Fed made mostly minor changes in the statement as it hiked the Fed funds rate for the third time in the cycle. The average and median dot for Fed funds crept slightly higher. There was only one dissent to the decision.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates again at their meeting next week. They obviously view the recent cyclical upturn as being durable and the inflation data as pointing to the need for higher rates. Our market based indicators agree somewhat but nominal and real interest rates are still below their mid-December peaks so I don’t think a lot has changed.

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The Dollar: Real or Nominal Rates?

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

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FX Weekly Preview: Politics Not Economics is Driving the Markets

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

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Pressure on Greece Mounts, New Crisis Looms

Greece needs to implement its commitments in the next few weeks or it faces a new crisis. The more the government implements its commitments, the less public support it draws. New elections in Greece cannot be ruled out.

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Are Interest Rates No Longer Driving the Dollar?

Many are concerned that the dollar and interest rates have become decoupled. We are not convinced. Correlations, not to be eyeballed, are still robust.

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

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

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Cool Video: Bloomberg’s Daybreak–Trump and Rates

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

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FX Weekly Preview: Twas the Week Before Christmas, Amidst Powerful Trends

The Nikkei, the dollar-yen and 10 yr US yield have risen nine of the past 11 weeks. The Dollar Index and 2 yr US yields have risen while gold has sold off in eight of past 11 weeks. Issue in next two weeks, profit-taking or trend extension? Spoiler alert: I expect some profit-taking.

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FX Weekly Preview: Shifting Paradigms and the Market Adjustment

Perceptions of two trends shape the investment climate: reflation and nationalism. Fed rate hike set for next month, barring significant surprise. Japan's trade surplus is growing even as imports and exports continue to contract.

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End Of The Bond Bull – Better Hope Not

It’s been really busy as of late to cover all of the topics I have wanted to address. One topic, in particular, is the bond market and the ongoing concerns of a “bond bubble” due to historically low interest rates in the U.S. and, by direct consequence, historically high bond prices.

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Demographics and a New Old Paradigm

The hangover from the debt crisis and secular stagnation are the two main explanatory models for the low growth and low interest rates. Anew Fed paper brings the focus back to demographics. If true, warns of a protracted period of slow growth, low interest rates.

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