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Forex Week Ahead (UBS)

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Forex Week Ahead

G10 Forex Week Ahead

The Riksbank is expected to keep policy on-hold, while the ECB releases its Jan meeting minutes and Chair Yellen testifies to Congress. GDP data in Japan, Eurozone and Germany and inflation prints for Eurozone, US, UK and Sweden are due for release. Lastly, UK employment data is also out.

JPY: Q4 Prelim. GDP (Feb. 12, 23:50 GMT)
Consensus expects the preliminary Q4 GDP to grow at 0.3% q/q (annualized 1.1% vs 1.3% previously), supported by strong exports and moderate rise in capex and housing investment.

EUR: German/EZ Q4 Prelim. GDP (Feb. 14, 07:00/10:00 GMT)
UBS and consensus expect preliminary estimates of Eurozone Q4 GDP to match advance estimates (0.5% q/q and 1.8% y/y). The upgrade in growth from our earlier expectations of 0.3% q/q and 1.5% y/y is due to robust domestic demand. For Germany, consensus expects Q4 GDP growth at 0.5% q/q (prev. 0.2%).

GBP: Jan. Inflation (Feb. 14, 09:30 GMT)
Consensus expects UK CPI to dip into negative territory at -0.5% m/m in January (prev. 0.5%) but rise to 1.9% y/y (prev. 1.6%), with core inflation at 1.7% y/y (prev. 1.6%). The BoE in its February QIR left the CPI forecast unchanged due to the recent sterling strength, rise in market rates, and a softening labour market.

USD: Fed’s Yellen Testifies to Congress (Feb 14/15, 15:00 GMT)
Yellen will present the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report to the Financial Services committee and Banking committee. Yellen’s comments are likely to be closely watched for any hints on future rates path. In the Jan FOMC statement the Fed marginally upgraded its economic assessments and sounded more confident about the momentum in the labor market and household spending.

SEK: Riksbank Rate Decision (Feb. 15, 08:30 GMT)
UBS expects the Riksbank to keep policy unchanged. We think the Riksbank is done easing for now after clear signs of reluctance to provide further easing in the last meeting, despite the extension of the asset purchase program. That said, a sharp appreciation of SEK could force the Riksbank to revert to a more activist stance.

GBP: Dec. Labour Report (Feb. 15, 09:30 GMT)
Consensus expectations are for a steady unemployment rate at 4.8% and a 3m/3m job gain of 23k (vs. last month’s contraction of 9k). The BoE sees the unemployment rate rising in the near term as labour demand softens.

USD: Jan. Inflation (Feb. 15, 13:30 GMT)
Consensus expects inflation to remain steady at 0.3% on a monthly basis, but tick up y-o-y (2.4% vs. prev. 2.1%). Core inflation is expected to remain steady at 0.2% m/m and 2.2% y/y. This is in line with our view that headline inflation is likely to trend up on y/y basis on the back of rising gasoline prices.

EUR: ECB Jan. Policy Meeting Minutes (Feb. 16, 12:30 GMT)
The minutes from the Jan ECB meeting will be scrutinized for details regarding Draghi’s message that the ECB remains firmly committed to its accommodative policies despite surprisingly strong sentiment and inflation data recently.

SEK: Jan. Inflation (Feb. 17, 08:30 GMT)
Consensus sees a mild slowdown in CPI to 1.5%y/y (prev. 1.7%), with CPIF at 1.7% y/y (prev. 1.9%). We expect inflation to inch up on the back of currency, energy-related base effect and a narrower output gap.

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Emerging Markets Forex Week Ahead

In EM, the release of the January CPI in China will shed some light on the direction of monetary policy while we also expect monetary policy decisions in Indonesia and Chile.

CNY: China January CPI and PPI (Feb 14)
UBS forecasts China’s CPI and PPI to have risen from 2.1%y/y and 5.5%y/y in Dec to 2.7%y/y and 6.4%y/y in Jan, respectively. The PBoC’s monetary policy stance has exhibited a moderate tightening bias recently. The data will be closely watched to pre-empt future policy moves. We do not, however, forecast any policy rate hikes in 2017 unless CPI breaks higher than 3% sustainably.

CLP: Overnight Target Rate (Feb 14, 21:00 GMT)
We expect a 25bp cut next week from Banco Central de Chile to 3.0% despite the upward inflation surprise in January that took the 12m print to 2.8%. The board will assess whether the spike is just a one-off and that the IMACEC indicator of economic activity for December was better than expected. On balance, we think the CB will deliver the 25bp cut and take a breather to see where inflation may be heading.

IDR: Indonesia January exports (Feb 15) and BI policy rate (Feb 16)
Indonesia’s Q4 exports rose sharply, with December exports rising by 15.6%y/y. With elevated commodity prices and a strong base effect, the January print should also show a robust increase. More importantly, Indonesia is one of the few regional countries that reported an increase in volumes as well. Overall, this should keep IDR relatively stable despite any broad protectionism fears. BI, like most other central banks, should stay pat at its February meeting, especially given some green shoots of investment recovery.

MYR: Malaysia Q4 GDP (Feb 16)
Consensus expects the full-year 2016 growth to have slowed from 5.0% to 4.1%, the slowest since the 2008-09 GFC. We believe domestic demand in Malaysia is likely to remain soft in 2017 given high consumer leverage and the maturing credit and commodity cycles. Fiscal impulse is expected to remain weak in 2017, in which we expect the BNM to offer support to the growth.

SGD: Singapore NODX exports (Feb 17) and Q4 GDP (Feb 17)
Singapore’s NODX rebounded sharply in Q4 (9.4% in Dec), and is expected to stay at elevated levels in January (cons: 9.8%). Our inclination is to expect the NODX gain from the jump in manufacturing activity to fade – we expect Chinese demand to slow in 2017, which should offset some of the gain in US demand that we forecast. Consensus expects the final estimate of Q4 GDP to have improved from the preliminary print of 9.1%y/y to 12.2%y/y.

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Emerging Markets Weekly from SEB

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Emerging Markets Weekly

Emerging Markets Weekly – EM trading starting the year quietly

US non-farm payrolls will cap the short, first week of the year. We have a slightly higher than consensus expectation for an addition of 190 thousand jobs, but the impact on EM FX should be small, with EM investors bracing for what Trump will do after taking office on Jan 20.


■ The RUB looks set to be one of the most attractive targets in 2017 due to the possibility of reduced US-Russia tensions, an orthodox and hawkish CBR, and, until recently, a favorable outlook for oil prices. We still expect the price of Brent oil to average $55.0/bbl in 2017. Yet, near-term downside risks have risen markedly with US producers ramping up capacity at an increasingly rapid pace and speculators adding to their strongly net long WTI positioning (increasing the risk of a reversal). We expect the RUB to depreciate roughly by the rate of inflation in 2017, but the relative stability seen in 2H is unlikely to be repeated in2017.

■ The National Bank of Romania will not deliver any surprises when it announces its rate decision on Fri, keeping the monetary policy on hold at 1.75%. Nov CPI inflation remained firmly in negative territory, but the base effects from the VAT cut will fade, which together with strong domestic demand growth looks set to push inflation to around the 2.5% central target in 2017. A key risk for the RON in 2017 is further fiscal slippage, which would push EUR/RON (now 4.53) to above the 4.63 last seen in 2012.

■ The TRY is selling off partly because of a deadly terrorist attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. However, regrettably terrorism is now rampant in Turkey and is no longer a major driver of the TRY. Key for the TRY will be interest rates in the US and the EU. Ankara has attempted, in vain, to reduce the attention on the CBRT’s monetary policy by reducing the number of rate setting meetings to 8 times per year from 12. However, the reduction will instead leave the market guessing for clues about the CBRT’s intentions in between meetings with increased volatility as a result. The TRY has been the worst performer of all EM currencies that we track since Jan 2008, primarily as a result of the CBRT’s unwillingness, or inability to tighten monetary policy in a timely fashion. We expect the pattern to continue in 2017 and USD/TRY (now 3.54) to hit new highs before the CBRT is forced to tighten monetary policy sharply to restore confidence in the currency and bring down inflation expectations. The TRY is hanging by a thread and while a sudden sell-off is not our main scenario, the risk of USD/TRY jumping to 3.70 (potentially on stronger than expected US data) before the next CBRT meeting on Jan 24 is not small.

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■ The BRL appreciated by almost 18% against the USD last year, a performance that it will not repeat this year. The growth outlook is weak, monetary policy will be eased, and the REER is close to its long-term average, which point to the BRL weakening in nominal terms by up to 9% against the USD to 3.60 (now 3.27). The Dec Markit manufacturing PMI fell 1 point to 45.2, while the Nov industrial production (due Thu) will remain largely flat compared to Nov 2015 when it had dropped by more than 10%. The key support factors are still-high interest rates and progress on structural and microeconomic reforms.

■ This year, the MXN will not repeat its dismal 2016 performance against the USD, when it depreciated by nearly 17%. Nevertheless, it will be a challenging year for MXN bulls due to uncertainty over what actions US President-elect Donald Trump will take in relation to NAFTA, as well as immigration policy. Rising prices, especially the petrol price increase announced in Dec, will weigh on consumer and business confidence. Nevertheless, in real (trade-weighted, inflation-adjusted) terms, the MXN is very cheap, suggesting that much of the bad news has been priced in already.


■ China kept the yearly $50,000 limit on individuals’ purchase of foreign exchange. The legitimate use of the quota, according to Chinese officials, is for foreign travel and education, not investment. In a sign of growing concerns about capital outflows, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) increased the paperwork required and tightened demands on banks to report suspicious transactions. Nevertheless, expect heavy activity in CNY when banks reopen on Tue and individuals start using their freshly-reset, yearly quotas. Key to watch will be the PBoC’s Dec international reserves on Jan 7. A fall below the psychological $3trn level will prompt additional verbal interventions, as well as tighter capital controls. An expansion of the number of currencies in the CFETS’s RMB index to 24 from 13 (including the KRW, ZAR, MXN, and TRY) is unlikely to have a significant impact on the value of the RMB. Nevertheless, it will help justify RMB movements against individual currencies, most importantly the USD, when the broad index remains stable.

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Markets Week Ahead from Societe Generale

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Markets Week Ahead

Markets Week Ahead – Brave new 2017 to kick off with higher euro area inflation

Following last year’s dramatic political events, policy uncertainty is expected to remain high also this year. A theme to follow closely will be the strength of rising inflation in the euro area. This week’s expected rise in December inflation to over 1% looks set to fuel concerns further over inflation expectations, bond yields and ECB policy, while survey data should confirm robust GDP growth at the end of last year. In the US, this week’s data should justify the Fed’s recent hike, with the ISM and payrolls remaining strong. In Asia, focus will be on China’s end-year FX reserves which should have declined somewhat.  

United States: Healthy data to start the new year
The start of 2017 is likely to bring a batch of healthy economic data, in part justifying the Fed’s December hike. ISM factory index may have inched up further in December, while the ISM nonmanufacturing may have slipped slightly but likely remained solid.Meanwhile, we expect that NFP probably advanced by 185k, in line with the ytd average of 180k. Lastly, the FOMC minutes could reveal some officials’ thinking with respect to the potential impact of fiscal policy.

Euro area: Inflation set to rise to a three-year high
Data this week should continue to point to a resilient recovery in the euro area. Inflation data are expected to show oil prices having a more decisive impact on inflation, with headline inflation expected to have risen to 1.1% yoy in December, a 39-month high. Core inflation should however remain stable at 0.8% (watch for surprises in French and German CPI data on Tuesday). Final December PMIs should be broadly stable, at a high level consistent with GDP growth of nearly 0.5% qoq in 4Q16, while European Commission survey data should rise slightly further. Unemployment data in Germany and Spain should improve further, while factory orders in Germany could have dropped rather sizably in November, following a strong rise in October.

United Kingdom: Looking back – a first glimpse at December
2017 will start with the first glimpse of business conditions in the final month of last year. The December PMIs are likely in aggregate to indicate that economic momentum was little changed from November but with minor hints of cooling.

Asia Pacific: China’s FX reserves barely above $3tn
The focus of the week should be China’s year-end FX reserves figure. Negative valuation effects and continued FX intervention likely lowered the reserve stock by another $40bn to $3,010bn. Elsewhere, we forecast a sizable decline in the Australian trade deficit for November, thanks to the steep increase in commodity prices. Taiwan’s CPI inflation is expected to have increased further to 2.2% yoy in December, on rising fuel prices, but the core reading likely eased.

Eastern Europe: Waiting for MPC reaction after expected Polish CPI rebound
With no data releases, we may see investors’ first reaction to confirmation of the end of the deflation period in Poland. Inflation is likely to enter the 1.0-1.5% range in January-February.

Latin America: Inflation trends strengthen in Latam in December
Inflation likely rose in Mexico while it declined in Chile and Colombia. Brazil’s industrial production contracted at a slower pace in November. Lastly, in Chile, economic activity probably rebounded in November.

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Forex Commentary from Morgan Stanley

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Forex Commentary Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley FX Morning  – Forex Commentary

Oil markets have been out of focus as prices have stayed in a US$43-48 range. This range has allowed broader markets to stabilise as they digest the potential for central banks to target steeper yield curves. For oil insights we are also watching China data, where crude imports are strong, up 13.5%Y over January to August. China’s state council recently said that it would use stronger fiscal policy, which could stabilise commodity prices. Intraday FX investors may become more sensitive to oil-related news in the coming week as OPEC meets in Algiers. Saudi Arabia and Iran have had a pre-meeting in the past two days but are reported to have not reached any agreement. This week’s surprise drop in US oil inventories and the generally weaker USD have supported prices for now but, as oil prices will likely be volatile, we prefer to play via being short the CADNOK cross,  highlighting economic data divergences.

CAD CPI watched: CAD is still more sensitive to oil prices than NOK, and this may be due to the potential for a central bank policy change in Canada. We will get more clues on its path for policy today, with both CPI and retail sales due this afternoon. Canada remains within an adjustment process after heavily investing in the oil market and seeing the oil price halve. The BoC’s Poloz’s speech this week gave little indication on the probability of another rate cut but the last monetary policy statement did suggest there could be downside risks to inflation, so we will watch that data point today. We still promote a short CADNOK trade which has been further supported yesterday by Norges Bank no longer looking to cut rates, in contrast with the BoC. The Exhibit below shows the diverging fiscal policies too, where Norway has been expanding spending over the past year, which has helped growth to stabilise. Both oil economies have seen housing booms but Norges Bank now seems less worried about the risks as growth in the non-oil sector has stabilised.

GBP: Data to guide BoE: GBP has become less sensitive tooil over recent weeks, suggesting that the main driver is economic data and the impact that may have on monetary policy and investment in the UK. Yesterday the BoE’s Forbes saying that further stimulus was not required supported GBP but the comment shouldn’t have surprised markets at all as she never voted for starting the gilt purchase programme at its August meeting. However, Forbes did suggest that she would not vote to stop the purchase programme now. Business investment into the UK will depend largely on the certainty over the new rules after Brexit. Divergences within the Conservative party are starting to arise over the timing of the triggering of Article 50 and potentially if it will be a hard or soft Brexit. Yesterday Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was giving a speech saying that Article 50 would be triggered early next year and there would be a jumbo trade deal with curbs on immigration. PM May soon said that the decision would be hers when to trigger. This uncertainty should keep GBP as an underperformer.

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After the Fed, now watch US data: We have been suggesting that USD should decline another 4-5% from here, focusing particularly on high yield currencies. While for risky assets it doesn’t matter whether the Fed hikes in December or not, market focus will be on upcoming US data, which could determine how many hikes the market prices for 2017 and beyond. The US’s economic surprise index has turned sharply lower since the start of August, which could be reflective of the uncertain political environment in the coming months. Businesses are reporting less positive credit conditions as suggested by the US credit managers index, which in August fell to 52.0 from a high of 54.6 in April; this index follows ISM closely. We can use US inflation expectations as a gauge for the US economic outlook. Here, even as oil prices have risen in recent days, the Fed’s dovish rate path wasn’t enough to boost inflation expectations, with the 5y5y swap falling from 2% to 1.9% today.



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Nomura Global Markets Research – Trump tracking

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Nomura Global Markets Research

Nomura Global Markets Research: FX Insights – Trump traking: The “eye of the storm” moment?

Political uncertainty is always on the horizon, and one thing we’ve learned in 2016 thus far is politics has stumped the consensus on FX. November may have a few key events: the UK is likely to have its first “post-Brexit” budget, Italy will hold its constitutional referendum (possibly 6 November) and of course there is the US Presidential election (8 November). So we may reflect back on this post-Brexit summer period as the “eye of the storm”. That is the calm region at the centre of a storm, followed soon after by its most damaging winds and intense rainfall. Could Donald Trump provide that? His tax cuts could provide a boost for risk assets, but trade rhetoric could see MXN, CAD, CNY and US trade-dependent currencies significantly underperform. Mr Trump’s chances of victory are following a similar pattern to that of what was the “unlikely probability” of a Brexit. For US presidential elections, what can be telling tends to be the swing state polls where the tracker metrics show Mr Trump’s chances have improved considerably of late. Winning the Presidency without also winning Florida is very rare. Since 1960 this has happened only twice. Interestingly, the last time it happened was in 1992, when a Clinton was on the ticket. The probability of Mr Trump winning Florida stands at 49.6%; it’s tight.

The Trump-implied probability is rising

FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 US election forecasting model is likely to be one of the market’s first ports of call for interpreting the likelihood of a Trump presidency as we approach the 8 November election date. It keeps a rolling update on the polling, collected by RealClear Politics and other sources, then weights accordingly each poll by analysing the historical accuracy and methodology of each firm to produce a probability of a Trump win (see Figure 1). There are three main models that they quote, overall showing that Mr Trump’s chances cannot be “written off” yet.

Fig. 1: Just because the probability is low, doesn’t mean it can’t happen


As we have seen with political binary events before, as long as the probability of the “market negative” stays well away from the 50% level, the overall market pricing of the event will remain limited. However, the ebb and flow of price action could start to become sensitive to it, especially if the market believes the implied probability (after a political event for example) could be higher than polling suggests.

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Keep an eye out for the swing states or “tipping points”

It is clear that the Republicans are at an Electoral College disadvantage. This is why, when there is only a few percentage points’ difference between Donald Trump’s polling and Hilary Clinton’s, it still translates into a relatively small probability of a Trump victory. The election forecasting is a product of both national and state-wide polling. State polling on an individual basis is interesting but not necessarily telling for the national outcome in all cases, especially if polling is tight. What will be interesting is the state of polling in the “swing states” where it’s not clear which candidate should win.

Fig. 2: Donald Trump’s chance of winning is non-trivial


Fig. 3: Swing states to watch


We advise keeping an eye on the “tipping point states” that carry the highest Electoral College seats so also carry with them a possibility of tipping the election either way. FiveThirtyEight put the probability of Florida providing the decisive vote in the Electoral College at 17.1%; combine that with Ohio (11.3%), Pennsylvania (11.7%), Virginia (7%) and North Carolina (6.5%), and you have a probability in excess of 50% that one of these will be the state to “tip the election”. Winning the Presidency without also winning Florida is very rare. Since 1960 this has only happened twice. Interestingly, the last time it happened was when Bill Clinton was on the ticket in 1992. Mr Trump is currently predicted to lose Florida but, with FiveThirtyEight putting the probability of a win at 49.6%, it’s still to play for.

Fig. 4: Donald Trump has a chance in Florida and Ohio, which could “tip the election”


Even though it’s “unlikely”, when it comes to politics it’s prudent never to rule anything out

Polling is not a perfect science. Brexit was an example of that, with many other examples over the years. The argument in favour of political polling for the US election though is that there is a lot of historical data to work with (as this is a recurring event) and forecasters have learned from the errors of past. However, Donald Trump’s campaign has consistently surprised political forecasters, who did not expect him to win the Republican nomination in the first place. So could it be that, as with the Brexit polling, there is a factor that pollsters are missing?

Watch out for the possible Republican convention bounce

This week has seen the start of the Republican convention and Donald Trump formally nominated for president by the Republican Party. There is typically a “convention bounce” in the polls for the candidate in the weeks following that is worth taking note of. It doesn’t always happen. Mitt Romney’s experience in 2012 is an example of that, where forecasters were looking for a 4% bounce, but instead saw a 1% decline in support. Nonetheless, the broader historical evidence is convincing, so any pick-up in Trump support following the convention should be taken with a pinch of salt, unless it becomes a persistent level of higher Trump support.

Fig. 5: The post-convention bounce in voter preference


What a Trump presidency would mean for markets

A Trump presidency could lead to market uncertainty; we focus on the trade aspect

Donald Trump, with Mike Pence as his running mate, will be on the ticket come 8 November with a “non-trivial” chance of becoming the next President. There is no justification then for dismissing the potential impact of a Trump presidency on markets, especially when some of Mr Trump’s “positions” would have potential trade impacts.

The market reaction would not be across the board “risk-off”
It is not immediately clear what a Trump presidency would mean for risk markets. Mr Trump’s original tax plan had sizeable tax cuts (see here), although his team plans to release an updated tax plan soon, perhaps even this week at the convention, so this could be revised. Nonetheless, if it looks something like that of a typical republican tax cut plan, would it not be a fiscal stimulus to the benefit of US equity markets?

An argument against the “doom and gloom” view is that if Mr Trump were to win the Presidency, it is likely that in the process of doing so he may have “softened” some of his extreme stances. This may turn out to be true, but he has repeatedly pointed out his intention to declare China immediately a “currency manipulator”, to “build a wall” and reminded us that he is prepared to “rip up NAFTA”. Even if he were to achieve just one of those it would still have a profound impact on the respective markets.

Therefore, as we explained in Trading the Trump factor (6 June 2016), rather than trading broad risk assets in the event of a Trump win, we judge it is the US tradedependent currencies of MXN, CAD, CNY and Asia that would underperform.

In terms of events to come, we have the Democrats convention on 25-28 July, but then it should be relatively quiet before the TV debates start on 26 September which should signal the more intense campaigning period.


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Credit Suisse Technical Analysis – May 27

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Credit Suisse Technical Analysis

Credit Suisse FX Daily

Today’s highlights:

■ GBPUSD’s spotlight stays on 1.4766/71 – the trendline from the 2008 low, the May 2016 high and 200-day average.
■ EURGBP’s near-term strength ideally caps below .7704/11.
■ EURUSD ideally draws fresh selling on the approach of price resistance at 1.1244.
■ USDCHF’s broader risk can remain topside whilst holding above key support at .9841/.9789.
■ USDJPY remains capped beneath key price resistance at 110.60/67.
■ EURJPY below 122.26/17 can see scope for 121.94 initially, ahead of a test of key trendline and price support at 121.49/33.
■ AUDUSD’s bullish “outside” day turns the focus onto .7254/61 where fresh selling is expected to show.
■ NZDUSD’s immediate risk can stay lower whilst capped beneath .6808/25.
■ USDCAD is holding above support from the 38.2% retracement at 1.2911.

Today’s trades/positions:

■ EURUSD: Short at 1.1199, stop above 1.1256 for 1.1100.
■ USDJPY: Short at 109.90, stop above 110.70 for 105.90.
■ GBPUSD: Long at 1.4480, stop below 1.4403 for 1.4745. Go long on break of 1.4780.
■ USDCHF: Long, stop below .9746 for .9992. Add to long on pullback to .9840.
■ AUDUSD: Short at .7330, stop above .7265. Cover shorts at .7120.
■ NZDUSD: Short at .6820, stop above .6860 for .6670.
■ USDCAD: Holding a long. Place the stop below 1.2740 for 1.3310.
■ EURJPY: Short at 123.75, stop above 124.70 for 121.60.
■ EURGBP: Short at .7750, stop above .7795 for .7530.

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Barclays Technical Analysis: USD to outperform in major FX space

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Barclays Technical Analysis

US bonds sold off on Friday, with the 10 year yield posting a small reversal candle. This is helping to provide a bid for the USD against major FX currencies. EURUSD posted a weekly reversal candle and looks to extend downside while USDCHD and USDJPY extended their recent gains following last Tuesday’s daily reversal candles. We expect the USD to continue to strengthen in the short term.

Tactical opportunities

•  USDJPY upside extension looks towards our targets near 108.75 before a top can form.

•  EURUSD weekly topping candle signals lower. A move below 1.1360 would open targets towards the 1.1215 range lows.

•  USDCHF rally extension points towards the 0.9800 range highs next.

FX Chart Focus and Levels

AUDUSD downside range break lacks previous levels of activity. We expect a period of consolidation. A beak below 0.7330 on increased volume is needed to signal lower towards 0.7210.


Daily volume rankings and highlights


FX at a Glance

EURUSD:  A weekly topping candle encourages our bearish view. A move below our initial targets near 1.1360 would signal lower towards 1.1300 and then the 1.1215 range lows.

USDJPY:  No change. We are bullish in the short term and look for a squeeze higher in range towards the 108.75 area, where we would look for signs of a top. Overall, we are bearish towards 105.20 and then 100.75.

GBPUSD:  A move below our initial downside targets in the 1.4390 area would signal further weakness. Our next targets are towards 1.4300.

USDCHF:  We are bullish. The move above resistance near 0.9725 signals further upside scope towards the 0.9800 range highs.

EURJPY:  We are neutral. A small basing candle on Friday signals short-term upside towards the 123.55 area. Overall, we prefer to fade upticks while the greater range highs near 126.50 caps. Our downside targets are towards 119.90, near the monthly cloud base and then 118.75/115.35.

EURGBP:  We are neutral. Lack of follow through following Thursday’s bearish engulfing candle keeps us sidelined for now. A break either side of the 0.7950/0.7860 would help to provide short-term direction.

EURCHF:  Friday’s rally encourages our bullish view. Our nearby targets area in the 1.1115 area. Beyond there, we are looking towards the 1.1200 range highs.

AUDUSD:  We have turned neutral having reached our initial targets near 0.7330 and expect a period of consolidation. A break below 0.7330 on increased investor volumes would encourage us to re-instate our bearish view towards 0.7210 next.

NZDUSD:  No change. We are bearish against the 0.7055 range highs. A break below nearby support in the 0.6805 area would confirm a top under 0.7055 and open targets near initial targets near 0.6760. Measured targets for the top are towards 0.6665 and then 0.6545.

USDCAD:  We are cautiously bearish USDCAD following a weekly key reversal candle. For now, we prefer to fade upticks against the 1.2995 range highs and look for a move back in range towards the 1.2460 lows. A break above 1.2995 however, would force us to abandon our bearish short-term view in expectation of a stronger upside correction.


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Credit Suisse FX Strategist: Moment of truth?

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Credit Suisse FX Strategist

Credit Suisse FX Strategist research: Moment of truth?

Exactly what the Chinese government’s objective for the CNY exchange rate is remains uncertain, in our view. However, the pace and consistency of the CNY’s depreciation vs. its basket and on a real exchange rate basis lead us to think depreciation, not stability, is the objective.

CNY depreciation has been easy so far thanks to USD weakness. However, if US data drive a further broad USD recovery, China will have to choose between stability vs. the CNY basket or stability vs. the USD. We think China would focus on the basket and move USDCNY higher.

This leads us to think about two trading scenarios following US payrolls data today:

■ Strong payrolls, stronger USD scenario: We think long USDHKD 1y, long USDKRW, and short the SGD vs. its basket would be attractive plays on a USD rally that pushes USDCNY higher.

■ Weak payrolls, weaker USD scenario: Short the CNY vs. its basket would be attractive in this scenario, in our view.

We don’t like saying we don’t know, but the fact is that we are still uncertain what the Chinese government’s objective for its currency really is.  However, if the USD rally continues, China will be forced to reveal its hand.

The People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) recent management of the CNY leads us to believe its objective is depreciation of the CNY on a basket basis, particularly in real exchange rate terms.  The CNY has fallen more vs. its basket than we have expected, leaving USDCNY higher than our three month forecast of 6.43. We think this tends to reinforce our outlook for USDCNY to rise to 6.65 in 12m given our forecasts for the USD to recover against most currencies in the second half of this year.

In the near term, if US payrolls data lead this broad USD rally to emerge sooner than we expect, stress around the CNY will probably rise over the next month or so. In contrast, if US data resume USD weakness, it would allow for a more benign scenario of continued drift in USDCNY and CNY depreciation vs. its basket.

Looking across the various measures of the CNY exchange rate, our bias is to think that China is depreciating its currency, not keeping it stable. Figure 1 shows that the CNY clearly has been trending lower vs. the CFETS basket. The CNY has fallen 4.3% YTD vs. the CFETS basket, an annualized rate of depreciation of 12%. It has fallen through the 98 and 97 levels that many in the market expected to be the floor for the index if the policy objective is trend stability for the nominal trade-weighted rate.

Additionally, the extent of this nominal depreciation leads us to estimate that the CNY has fallen to its lowest level since last December on a real exchange rate basis even after accounting for the recent modest rise in Chinese CPI inflation (Figure 2).


However, three factors create uncertainty:

1. For all of the talk of a new FX regime, USDCNY is essentially flat year-to-date.

2. Volatility of the USDCNY fix has tended to be lower than volatility of the CFETS basket until very recently (Figures 3 and 4). However, if the government were managing on a basket basis with an objective being stability in the trend in the basket, vol of the basket should be lower than vol of spot. To be sure, in Singapore, 3m spot vol is about 7.8% whereas SGD basket vol is only 3.2%. Admittedly, CNY spot vol has risen, so maybe things are changing. Perhaps the recent rise in fix vol and fall in basket vol indicates that the government has transitioned to targeting the basket, not the fix.  But the vol differences are still low enough and new enough to lead us to be uncertain.


3. China’s government seems keen to avoid large capital outflows driven by concern about CNY depreciation. We think this requires a stable or stronger CNY vs. the USD, not stability in the CNY vs. its basket.  Figure 5 shows that our estimate of corporate hoarding of foreign exchange, i.e. the difference between actual net FX settlement as reported by SAFE and the reported trade balance, tends to rise sharply when USDCNY rises, but moderate or reverse when USDCNY is stable or lower. We estimate these flows accounted for about 40% of outflows last year.


Summing up, we see two main scenarios following payrolls.

USD rally: If the US data drive a USD rally China will have to choose between spot stability at a cost of CNY reversal stronger vs. its basket or sustaining the CNY’s depreciation vs. its basket at a cost of a rise in USDCNY. The risk here is of a resumption of a USD appreciation trend back to its 2015 highs, not just a small or temporary bounce.

Perhaps the PBoC has been depreciating the CNY vs. its basket during the recent period of broad USD weakness specifically to create room for the CNY to reappreciate vs. the basket in the event of a USD recovery. This would allow it to keep USDCNY stable, at least in the early stages of any broad USD rally.

However, we tend to doubt this explanation.  One reason is that it would invalidate the whole concept of managing the CNY vs. a basket that the government has been advocating. Another is that if the USD TWI exceeded its past highs, China would have to accept CNY appreciation to new highs.

In contrast, we think the most likely scenario would be that the PBoC would push USDCNY higher in order to try to prevent the CNY from appreciating vs. its basket. In this scenario, we estimate roughly that if the DXY were to return to its November 2015 high, USDCNY would need to rise to about 6.86 to prevent appreciation on a basket basis. That’s for CNY stability vs. its basket. If the objective is further depreciation vs. the basket or on an REER basis, USDCNY would have to rise more sharply.

USD weaker: Goldilocks continues. A stable or weaker USD-G10 would likely lead China to keep USDCNY stable or slightly lower in order to continue trend depreciation vs. its basket.

How to trade this?

USD rally scenario:

A USD rally scenario would be most disruptive for markets, in our view. Yet market pricing of risk has CNY risk moderating slightly. Implied volatility has crept lower while implied to delivered ratios have been roughly stable and the 6m/1y vol curve has steepened. Vol adjusted risk reversals have also been stable as vol levels have fallen.

We think the best ways to position for CNY stress generated by a stronger USD are in proxies for the CNY, not the CNY or CNH itself. Specifically, we prefer:

■ Long USDHKD 1y forward points. We expect the peg to hold, but if USDCNY rises significantly we believe the HKD forward points are likely to rise back to 400 – 500 as they did in January and February vs. the current roughly 83.

■ Long USDKRW. The KRW retains Asia’s highest beta both to risk appetite falls and stress in China. Additionally, seasonal factors tend to be particularly negative for KRW in May.

■ Short SGD vs. its basket.  We expect slowing growth and moderating inflation in Singapore should push the SGD 1.5 – 2.0% lower against its basket over the next couple of quarters even without CNY stress. A resumption of an uptrend in USDCNY would likely accelerate this move in the SGD, in our view.

USD weakness scenario:

In contrast, we believe the best way to trade the implications for the CNY of a resumption of broad USD weakness is by going short the CNY vs. its basket. We would expect the PBoC to continue pursuing CNY depreciation vs. the basket at roughly the recent pace if it can achieve this with a stable or slightly lower USDCNY. Crucially, the more that the CNY depreciates vs. its basket the more it will risk creating competitive stress for other EM currencies, in our view. Remember that China’s exports have retained or gained market share in all of its major markets bar Japan over the past year even with the CNY REER at a historical high.

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Nomura Research: What’s Correlating in FX

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Nomura Research

We have constructed a monitor that tracks 1,961 correlations across markets (see full monitor on second page). To strike the right balance between stability and relevance, we focus on three-month correlations of changes in market prices. It should help to gauge the relationships driving asset prices. More importantly, identifying significant changes in these correlations can provide an early indication of “regime changes.” Focusing on G10 FX in this report, we find the following:

■ The largest correlations are dominated by equities. For example, USD/JPY has a 72% correlation with the Nikkei and EUR/CAD has a -77% correlation with the FTSE 100 (i.e., EUR falls against CAD when UK equities rally). In general, the dollar appears to be positively correlated with risk, and so the euro is the funding currency that is negatively correlated with risk. This shows in euro crosses correlating with risk (see Figure 1).

■ Outside of risk, rate differentials are correlated to some currency pairs: EUR/GBP, EUR/NZD and EUR/CAD stand out. Again, it seems the euro is the base currency through which fundamentals are expressing themselves (see Figure 1).

■ As for changes in correlations, the biggest increases to more negative or more positive appear to involve oil. It seems that a whole swathe of currency pairs from EUR/NOK to EUR/USD to USD/CHF have become correlated to oil prices (see Figure 2).

Nomura Top G10 FX correlations

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Societe Generale FX Daily – The Fed’s in a pickle

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Societe Generale FX Daily

■  The odds of this week’s US FOMC meeting delivering a rate hike are zero, according to Bloomberg. The chances of a cut are higher, but only 2%. What matters is the tone of the statement but the Fed has painted itself into a corner. The odds of a June hike are now down at 20% and the FOMC can’t signal a move without triggering market turmoil. A neutral/dovish message may provide a modicum of short-term comfort to markets and hold down the dollar but wouldn’t solve the problem of how to prepare markets for further policy normalisation.

■  Meanwhile, CFTC data paint a now-familiar picture of speculative FX positioning: Longs are building in AUD, CAD, NZD and JPY. MXN and EUR shorts are dwindling away and only GBP shorts grew in the week to Tuesday. The sum of positions is net short USD for the first time since July 2014. The four months after that saw the dollar rally 20% in trade-weighted terms as dollar longs were built up. The current environment is very different of course, but anything which makes the markets price in a faster pace of rate hikes than the current one (1.5 hikes by the end of next year) would be bad for risk sentiment and good for the dollar.

■  The merest whisper of further BOJ action at Thursday’s meeting was enough to scare some of the yen longs (and revive interest in the Nikkei). Most likely is that the BOJ will borrow from the ECB playbook and lower the cost of some loans to banks, to help offset the effects of January’s move. That won’t have much significance, and it’s not surprising that the yen is a bit stronger this morning. However, I do think the CFTC data accurately reflect short-term market sentiment and as Japanese demand for foreign assets remains incredibly strong, we look for further yen weakness in the few weeks.

■  European news doesn’t look likely to be the driver of the Euro. Treasuries/Bunds are in a range, like the currency. Money supply data are due Wednesday and should be reasonably encouraging, while Q1 GDP data are due on Friday, showing annual growth slowing to 1.5% from 1.6% which is neither here nor there. The chances of a re-run of the Spanish elections in June seem high but that’s not really a new development either.

■  Bookmakers reacted to the intervention of President Obama in the UK’s EU referendum debate by lengthening the odds of a ‘leave’ vote. Politically-inspired sterling shorts are being squeezed as a result, but the news that a major High Street retailer is in danger of administration is a reminder of headwinds facing the economy. Q1 GDP is likely to come in a 0.4% q/q, steady at 2.1% y/.y but definitely on a slowing trajectory. The scale of sterling short-covering is best seen in EUR/GBP, which looks overdone under 0.78. We’ll stick with short GBP/NOK as the best way of reflecting twin views about oil (cautiously positive) and the UK economy (gloomy).

■  Other ways to express views: Short EUR/RUB remains attractive. Jason still like shorts in SGD/INR. There’s about more to take out of shorts in USD/CAD and AUD/NZD longs are still performing, while we still like shorts in CHF/SEK. But the time is coming, with a growing focus on China’s debt problems and a market that has fully embraced the Fed’s dovishness, to figure out how to get outright long the US dollar again.

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Morgan Stanley FX Morning – April 11

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Morgan Stanley FX Morning


Why JPY has further upside: We expect further flows from various market participants to continue to support JPY. First, Friday’s reluctance for JPY to weaken (indicating de-risking ahead of the weekend) suggests that ‘the Street’ has not traded JPY long in significant amounts last week. Note that CFTC data showed the most net long positions building in the first four weeks of the year. Instead our client conversations focusing on the BoJ and its ability to weaken JPY are suggesting to us that the market has not fully adopted our view, suggesting JPY strength staying with us for even longer. Second, Japan’s retail accounts may still need to wind down their JPY-funded carry trades, suggesting more of this ‘P&L’ driven JPY buying in store. Third, pension funds and financial institutions’ foreign assets relative to total assets are near historical highs and most importantly still hugely currency-unhedged. The GPIF had allocated 36% of its portfolio to foreign assets at the end of December 2015.

The BoJ’s ability to weaken JPY remains limited, as we highlighted on Friday. Sovereign bond purchase-focused QE can no longer rely on the JGB yield curve acting as a transmission mechanism. Negative interest rates seem to undermine banks and monetary velocity, hence strengthening and not weakening JPY. The BoJ’s tool box appears to be limited to the purchase of private assets such as ETFs. The JPY-weakening impact of such BoJ equity purchases should be limited. The mechanism of JPY weakness in this scenario would be limited to the de-FX-hedging of equity portfolios, where many global equity investors have used JPY as a ‘quasi’ hedge for equity risk. Alternatively, the focus on increasing fiscal spending would require equity market investors to have more faith that Abenomics is going to work in order for JPY to weaken significantly. Bloomberg is reporting that foreign traders have sold Japanese equities for 13 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1998. This ‘outflow’ from Japan has not weakened JPY as it has been met with a larger inflow from domestic investors.

The likelihood JPY resumes its appreciation is high, but the higher JPY moves, the bigger are the carry trade liquidation pressures. Here we under line our thoughts again. The second-round effects of JPY strength would terminate the US D downward correction, especially against liquid high-yielding currencies with the EM spectrum. Within the DM world it might be AUD suffering most. China’ s CPI remaining steady at 2. 3%Y puts focus on this this week’s trade and GDP data. China’s 1Q GDP will be released on Friday, with a high likelihood of seeing a positive surprise. The Chinese economy seems to be under going a cyclical rebound, while structural issues such as over capacity, low debt and investment multipliers have not been addressed yet. The question is how much of the good cyclical news has been priced in. Should AUD fail to rally following the anticipated strong 1Q GDP report then AUDUSD should have traded its corrective top to near 0. 7730. Within our strategic portfolio we sell AUDUSD near 0. 7650 and we recommend selling AUDNOK as our ‘trade of the week’.

The Fed-JPY link: We put special focus on AUDJPY, which offer s significant downside potential from here should JPY-based investors pile out of carry trades. Another interesting factor driving AUDJPY down comes via the Fed and risk appetite. USDJPY-bearish performance may remind Fed Chair Yellen that there aren’t just winners from a lower USD. Abenomics and the ECB’s Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” approach are the losers. Sure, lower inventories, negative net trade and the weak US manufacturing sector have pushed the Atlanta Fed ‘Nowcast’ GDP indicator to 0. 1%, but this week’s release of March retail sales should provide a timely reminder that US domestic demand conditions have remained growth-supportive. Markets currently under price our call for the Fed hiking rates in December. In addition, 1Q earnings will start to be released in the US today. Actual releases tend to surprise under whelming expectations. Market projections are for an aggregate 6. 9%Y decline of S&P500 listed company profits. Should positive surprises disappoint relative to previous quarters then risk appetite may get hit. If not, it might be rising rate expectations that limit the equity mar ket upside anyway. Whatever the outcome, AUDJPY should receive little support from the risk appetite side of matters.

EURGBP’ s next target is 0.85: The press is reporting that the ‘Save Dave’ political reaction to the release of the ‘Panama papers’ may suggest promoting Justice Secretary Gove to Deputy Prime Minister and allocating a prominent cabinet post to Boris Johnson after the referendum. Some may say this is part of the plan to bring the Conservative party back together but for FX trading it suggests two leading figures of the Brexit campaign increasing their political relevance ahead of the June 23 vote, increasing volatility in GBP. The economic fundamentals are not looking good either with the 7% current account deficit, the 4% budget gap and the UK household sector reporting a 2. 3% decline of its net savings in 4Q, leaving us firmly within the sterling bearish camp. Our favoured way to play this week is to be long EURGBP.

Trades of the week:

G10 – Sell AUDNOK

Our structural bearish view on AUD, based on weak nominal growth, a poor terms of trade outlook and a slowing housing market, is likely to lead to 50bp of cuts by the RBA by year-end. We propose selling AUDUSD on rallies but prefer to sell AUDNOK today. NOK has been fairly shielded during the ups and downs in the oil price recently because of the sovereign wealth fund, and the ability for the government to ramp up fiscal spending if needed may limit the negative impact on the economy relative to other commodity producers.

Despite AUD depreciation over the last few years, Australia’s nominal trade deficit and current account remain near post-crisis wides. China’s rebalancing away from investment, particularly the steel capacity cuts announced in recent months, as well as the excess real estate inventory in Tier 3 cities pose large downside risks to iron ore prices. Furthermore, domestic demand has mainly been supported by the housing boom, which we expect to reverse. With the RBA’s inclusion of negative language on AUD in the most recent statement, we believe that too strong an AUD rally from here increases risks of an RBA cut in the near term, and we expect weaker data in the future. Both would support the trade.

The main risk for the NOK side this week is the lead-up to the OPEC meeting on April 17, with the probability of an agreement to cut production looking low for now. NOK’s correlation with oil is much lower than that of CAD.

We like to sell AUDNOK at market with a target of 6.0800 and a stop at 6.2950.


Evidence suggests that positioning in the Turkish lira has built up meaningfully since the rally in EM currencies started in late January. Lower oil prices, stronger-than-expected growth in 4Q15, which was further emphasised in last week’s better-than-expected IP data, and lower inflation have all contributed to a stronger fundamental footing for Turkish assets recently. One concern is the considerable uncertainty over monetary policy in light of the upcoming appointment of the central bank governor , which could come as soon as this week. The presidency of Turkey does not hide the fact that it would like to see interest rate cuts, and it’s quite likely that TRY will weaken a little ahead of the announcement, but we will only really know the stance of monetary policy once the new governor concludes the first meeting on April 20.

The main risk to the trade would be for the CBT’s initial communications to sound purposefully conservative, given the above considerations, as has been the case in Poland following changes to the MPC earlier in the year. Today will see February current account data released, and the expectation is for just over a US $2.2 billion deficit.

We like to buy EURTRY at market with a target of 3.35 and stop of 3.20.


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Credit Suisse FX Daily Technical Analysis

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Credit Suisse FX Daily

Today’s highlights:
■ NZDUSD has completed a large “bearish” outside reversal, turning the immediate risk lower for .6565/45.
■ AUDUSD has rallied further, with a clear break above .7490/.7533 needed to reinforce the base for .7739 next.
■ EURUSD above 1.1047/68 is needed to resolve the sideways range higher to establish a better base.
■ EURJPY ideally finds fresh selling on a challenge of trendline and price resistance at 125.48/97.
■ USDJPY is expected to find fresh selling on a test of price and trendline resistance at 114.28/29.
■ USDCAD’s bearish “outside” day keeps the focus lower for price support at 1.3225 next.
■ GBPUSD focus remains on trendline resistance and the 61.8% retracement barrier at 1.4296/351.
■ EURGBP below .7691 is needed to resolve the range lower for .7661.

Today’s trades/positions:
■ EURUSD: Long at 1.0960, stop below 1.0903 for 1.1165.
■ USDJPY: Short at 115.20, stop above 117.54 for 110.10/00.
■ GBPUSD: Flat, sell at 1.4350/51, stop above 1.4419 for 1.3840.
■ USDCHF: Short on the break below .9945, stop above 1.0039 for .9775.
■ AUDUSD: Long at .7400, stop below .7280 for .7730.
■ NZDUSD: Flat. Sell again at .6670, stop above .6720 for .6565/45.
■ USDCAD: Reversed short, stop above 1.3472 for 1.3040.
■ EURJPY: Short at 124.95, stop above 126.00 for 122.10.
■ EURGBP: Short at .7750, stop above .7830 for .7570.

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