FX News Today
European Outlook: Asian stock markets mostly moved sideways, fluctuating between gains and losses ahead of the Fed meeting. Asia’s equity benchmark remains near the highest level since 2007, and the ASX managed a nearly 0.9% gain so far, despite a stronger AUD as oil prices moved higher. The Fed is likely to remain on hold this week and could push out further action on rates, but markets are still cautious, with U.S. stock futures also moving sideways, although the FTSE 100 future is managing gains, as the pound retreats. The EUR meanwhile is on the rise again and Mersch’s comments on reflation and his more optimistic view on inflation and growth could also see fresh pressure on Bund futures. The 10-year cash yield already moved up from lows in late trade yesterday and closed above 0.50% and indeed, while Draghi may have been eager to calm nerves ahead of the summer, tapering is still on the agenda for next year.
US Data: U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI jumped 1.2 points to 53.2 in the July preliminary print after falling 0.7 points to 52.0 in June. It was 52.9 a year ago. This is a 14th consecutive month of expansion. Also, the bounce breaks a string of declines going back to the start of the year after the gauge hit 55.0 in January, reflecting increased momentum as the second half of the year begins after the slowing in Q1 and Q2. The index hit a recent low of 50.7 in May 2016. The preliminary July services index was unchanged at 54.2 after rising 0.6 points in June 53.6 in May. It was 51.4 a year ago. It’s a 17th straight month of expansion and has been fairly stable in the 53.5 area all year since hitting a high of 55.6 in January. Employment rose to 54.4 from 52.8 previously and is the highest reading since December. Prices charged fell. The flash composite index rose 0.3 points to 54.2 in July from 53.9 in June and is the highest reading since January. It was 51.8 a year ago. Employment and new orders improved.
SNB’s Jordan: CHF still significantly overvalued. The central bank head said in an interview with Le Temp, conducted last week and published late yesterday that this means the SNB is sticking with its policy of low interest rates and intervention on forex markets if needed. Jordan added that inflation remains low with production capacity not fully exhausted. He stressed that the central bank still has enough room to manoeuvre to expand the balance sheet if necessary. The USDCHF was relatively unmoved and trades at 0.9464 down from overnight highs of 0.9476
FX Update:. Narrow ranges have been the order of the day so far, with a combo of a dearth of fresh directional cues, summertime thinness, and the looming proximity of the Fed’s policy announcement (tomorrow) fostering a noncommittal market. USDJPY dipped back under 111.00, reflective of a broad though moderate bid in the yen, which has been seen since just after the Tokyo fix. Stock markets in Asia have seen little direction. EURUSD has continued to oscillate around the 1.1650 level for a second day, holding below the 23-month high at 1.1684 that was pegged in the Asia session on Monday. AUDUSD continued to consolidate the sharp gains the pair saw last week. Cable has remained buoyant above 1.3000, though off yesterday’s four-session peak at 1.3058.
Main Macro Events Today
- German Ifo Business Climate – After yesterday’s disappointing July PMI readings, the German Ifo index tomorrow also comes with a risk to the downside. We had been looking for a drop to 114.9 (med same) from 115.1 in the previous month, but the risk is that the headline number comes in even weaker. Like the PMIs, the Ifo reading is likely to remain at high levels, indicating a robust start to Q3, but after what looked like another strong quarterly growth rate in Q2 it seems with regard to survey indicators this may have been as good as it gets. That doesn’t mean the recovery is abandoned or at risk, but the euphoria that seem to hit sentiment in the wake of the Macron victory is giving way to a more sober assessment. The good news though is that the PMIs point to ongoing improvements on labour markets, so companies continue to invest into the recovery and while the data will back Draghi’s reluctance to commit to QE just yet, it is clear that monthly asset purchases will be scaled back with the new program that will start next year.
- US Consumer Confidence – June Consumer Confidence is expected to fall to 117.0 from 118.9, this compares to a low of 25.3 in February of 2009. Forecast risk: downward, given the decrease in the Michigan headline and Market risk: downward, as weaker data could impact rate hike timelines. Confidence continues to benefit from reduced gasoline prices and is now experiencing a post-election lift.
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