US dollar

Short term outlook
Bearish
Medium term outlook
Bearish
DAILY UPDATE

The US dollar is currently trading at three year lows thanks to rising global risk appetite, strong growth outside the United States and a sharp run-up in the Japanese yen. As global equity markets rebound, safe haven flows into the US dollar are reversing. Looking at growth, current and forward-looking indicators suggest that growth in the Eurozone is on track to keep accelerating. While recent Japanese GDP growth was fairly disappointing, the yen strengthened following the announcement due to its safe haven characteristics. As USD/JPY is traded in significant volumes, a strengthening yen tends to weaken the US dollar in relative terms. Turning to US data, the US dollar has been fairly immune to positive economic data and rising US Treasury bond yields. Thanks to solid jobs and inflation figures, US Treasury yields are rising as the market bets on a faster pace of rate hikes. While the buck typically benefits from higher relative interest rates, this isn't the case today as markets expect monetary policy to tighten around the world. Later today, we will downgrade our short-term outlook to bearish, while our medium-term outlook remains bearish. 

USD/JPY is down sharply today and currently trading above 105.70. EUR/USD is up and trading above 1.2540. The pound is up, and GBP/USD is currently above 1.4140. 

Looking at US economic data this week, markets will be focused on retail sales and consumer price index figures. The monthly budget was worse than expectations. The YoY Consumer Price Index beat estimates (2.1% vs. 1.9% expected). MoM retail sales (ex-autos) were lower than estimates (0% vs. 0.4% expected). Initial jobless claims (230k) and the NAHB housing market index (72) met expectations. The Philly Fed manufacturing survey (25.8 vs. 21.1 expected) was ahead of expectations. MoM industrial production (-0.1% vs. 0.2% expected) and capacity utilization (77.5% vs. 78% expected) were slightly below consensus estimates. Later today, we’ll get housing starts and building permits. Last week, strong PMI numbers suggested a positive outlook for US growth.

Euro

Short term outlook
Bullish
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

The euro is up today (particularly against the US dollar), and has strengthened every day this past week. Looking at EUR/USD, the pair is now trading above the critical 1.25 level this morning. In general, the euro continues to benefit from good economic data and monetary policy tightening expectations. Yesterday, seasonally adjusted Eurozone trade balances were higher than expectations. All else held equal, higher net exports tends to strengthen the euro. Turning to politics,  Reuters is reporting that two thirds of SPD supporters back another German grand coalition according to a recent poll. 78% of conservatives also back another coalition. This is good news for Angela Merkel, especially as she has been heavily criticized for making too many concessions to the SPD. Looking at Italian elections, markets remain fairly complacent regarding the risk of a Euroskeptic party coming to power. The leading "5 Star Movement" has hinted that leaving the euro is unrealistic. Looking at election predictions, center-right parties affiliated with Silvio Berlusconi are currently leading the polls, but are unlikely to gain enough votes to form a majority government. We will upgrade our short-term outlook to bullish later today. Our medium-term outlook on the euro remains bullish. 

EUR/USD is currently up and trading above 1.2530. The euro is flat against the yen, with EUR/JPY trading above 132.660. Finally, the euro is flat against the pound, with EUR/GBP above 0.8870.

Looking at Eurozone economic data this week, we’ll see German consumer prices as well as Eurozone GDP growth and industrial production. The German harmonized index of consumer prices met expectations (1.4%). German (2.3% vs. 2.2% expected) and Eurozone (2.7%) Q4 GDP growth mostly met expectations. Eurozone industrial production was ahead of expectations (5.2% vs. 4.2% expected). Later today, we’ll see German wholesale price index figures. Last week, Eurozone composite PMIs were ahead of expectations, signaling strong future growth.

British pound

Short term outlook
Neutral
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

The British pound is higher today (particularly against the US dollar), and has been strengthening throughout the week. Thanks to strong regional growth and rising rate hike expectations, the British pound remains in a bullish trend. Pound sterling is also benefiting from a particularly weak US dollar, which is currently trading at 3-year lows. Compared to its key regional peers (such as the euro), the pound is relatively weaker. Unfortunately, Brexit-related risks and relatively weaker economic growth continue to weigh on GBP. Turning to the latest Brexit news, the British government is proposing "mutual recognition" as a means to preserve financial services access to the EU. According to the  Financial Times, the proposal calls for the UK and the EU to recognize each other's regulatory regimes as equivalent at the point of Brexit. Any future divergences would be monitored by an independent mechanism. The proposal is likely to be contentious, given that Michel Barnier has repeatedly ruled out access to the single market unless the UK accepts conditions including the free movement of people. Our short-term outlook on the pound is neutral, while our medium-term outlook is bullish.  

GBP/USD is currently above 1.4120. EUR/GBP is flat, with the exchange rate above 0.8870. The pound is flat against the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar. GBP/AUD is currently above 1.7720, while GBP/CAD is above 1.7610.

Looking at UK economic data this week, traders will be watching upcoming inflation and retail sales figures. The consumer price index (3% vs. 2.9% expected) was ahead of expectations. The retail price index (4% vs. 4.1% expected) were slightly below estimates while the producer price index (4.7% vs. 4.2% expected) was ahead of expectations. Later today, we'll see retail sales growth. Expectations remain low, given recent weakness in UK consumer spending. Last week, the Bank of England signaled a positive economic outlook while Markit/CIPS services PMIs were below expectations. 

Japanese yen

Short term outlook
Bullish
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

The Japanese yen continues to strengthen today, particularly against the US dollar. As a safe haven currency, the yen tends to weaken when global growth is accelerating and strengthens during downturns. While the yen began rising following fears of an extended stock market rout, the currency continues to strengthen despite a rebound in most global stock markets. Looking at Japanese domestic data, weak quarterly GDP growth figures and falling machinery exports helped yen strength this week. Turning to monetary policy, the current Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was appointed for a rare second term, despite his age (73). Kuroda was appointed alongside deputies including BoJ executive director Masayoshi Amamiya and Waseda University professor Masazumi Wakatabe. Both are well-known for their pro-monetary easing views. Unfortunately for the yen, this isn't enough to change the course of the currency as it continues to strengthen. Our short-term and medium-term outlook on the yen remains bullish.    

USD/JPY is currently trading above 105.80. EUR/JPY is currently flat and trading above 132.70.

Looking at Japanese economic data, traders will be focused on upcoming GDP figures. Annualized QoQ GDP growth numbers (0.5% vs. 0.9% expected) widely missed estimates. Machinery orders (-5% vs. 2.2% expected) missed expectations by a very wide margin due to falling exports. Industrial output (2.9% vs. 0.5% prior) was higher than previous figures. Cross-border stock (-¥429.5b) and bond (-¥973.2b) investments continue to suggest capital inflows into the country. Last week, cross-border figures also showed that capital was flowing into Japan (strengthening the yen). 

Australian dollar

Short term outlook
Neutral
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

The Australian dollar is fairly mixed today as the global stock market rebound runs out of steam. As a commodity currency, the Australian dollar is highly sensitive to global risk taking appetite. Today, investor sentiment appears to be waning based on global equity and commodity markets. Looking at Asian financial markets, key stock markets including China's Shanghai Composite and Japan's Nikkei 225 have only rebounded to a very limited extent. Austalia's ASX 200 is currently selling off. Relative to its major peers, AUD is currently flat against the US dollar while gaining against the euro and the British pound. As the currency has been fairly weak in the short-term, our outlook remains neutral. In the medium-term, we remain mildly bullish on the Australian dollar's prospects. 

AUD/USD is down slightly and trading just above 0.7920. EUR/AUD is down and trading above 1.5710. GBP/AUD is down and trading above 1.7690.

Looking at economic data from Australia this week, traders will be watching employment figures. NAB business confidence (12 vs. 11 prior) was ahead of previous numbers. Westpac consumer sentiment (-2.3% vs. 1.8% prior) was below previous figures. Tomorrow is the most important day, and we'll see employment changes, the unemployment rate and consumer inflation expectations. On Friday, RBA Governor Philip Lowe will deliver a speech. Last week, the trade balance was significantly below estimates thanks to higher-than-expected imports. 

Canadian dollar

Short term outlook
Neutral
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

The Canadian dollar is weakening today, as the global stock market rebound runs out of steam. In general, riskier assets such as stocks and commodities are doing poorly today, which is driving down the Canadian dollar. CAD is currently selling off against safe haven currencies such as the US dollar and the Japanese yen. The loonie is flat against the euro and the British pound. The US dollar is strengthening today, alongside most global government bonds. Safe haven assets such as the US dollar and government bonds typically rally when risk sentiment is weak. Turning to NAFTA discussions, top US and Mexican officials are cautiously optimistic that NAFTA can be renegotiated. The seventh round of negotiations will take place in Mexico City starting on February 25. As Mexican presidential elections are set to take place in July, there is a likelihood that talks will have to be postponed until later this year. Our short-term outlook on the Canadian dollar is neutral, while our medium-term outlook remains bullish.       

The USD/CAD exchange rate is currently above 1.2540. The euro is flat against the Canadian dollar, with EUR/CAD currently above 1.5590. The pound is also flat against the Canadian dollar, with GBP/CAD trading above 1.7570.

This is a very light week for economic data from Canada. Manufacturing sales figures missed expectations by a significant degree (-0.3% vs. 0.2% expected). Last week, trade balances and changes in employment were below expectations. 

Gold

Short term outlook
Bullish
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

As the US dollar trades at 3-year lows, gold continues to shine. The precious metal has enjoyed a great week, and has strengthened by more than $50 in the last five trading days. Gold enjoyed the biggest gains when both inflation expectations were rising alongside weakness in the US dollar. Looking forward, we expect the US dollar to keep weakening, but are more doubtful on inflation expectations. Inflation looks set to be weighted down by falling commodity prices and base effects. As inflation was fairly high at this time last year, year-over-year inflation rates are likely to struggle going forward. While the gold bull market looks set to continue, the pace of gains are likely to be more measured going forward. Our short-term outlook on gold remains neutral, while our medium-term outlook remains bullish.   

After its most recent bottom around $1,315, gold is now above $1,358.

Crude oil

Short term outlook
Neutral
Medium term outlook
Bullish
DAILY UPDATE

Crude oil prices are mostly flat today. WTI rose sharply yesterday while Brent prices traded sideways. When WTI makes gains relative to Brent, it is a strong indication that US conditions are more supportive for crude oil relative to international conditions. Given surging US shale output, this is a somewhat surprising occurrence. As the WTI-Brent spread falls, the incentive for US producers to export crude oil are falling. Looking at the fundamentals driving the commodity, recent data has been fairly bearish. US supply continues to surge while EIA data is showing that crude stockpiles are now rising. While Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih hinted that exiting OPEC supply cuts was not on the agenda for the cartel's upcoming meeting in June, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak suggested that the country could exit the pact in 5 months. Recent moves in the commodity are more likely the result of a weakening US dollar, which is currently trading near 3-year lows. Our short-term outlook is neutral, while our medium-term outlook on crude remains bullish.     

WTI is currently trading above $61.70. Brent crude is currently above $64.7.

Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (February 14) showed rising crude oil stocks and gasoline inventories. Crude oil inventories were lower than estimates (+1.8m vs. +3.0m expected). Gasoline stocks were up (+3.6m vs. +1.2 expected) while distillate stocks (-0.5m vs. -1.5m expected) were down. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices were mixed following the EIA report.


Looking at the British pound today, concerns regarding Brexit and the stock market rout are outweighing the Bank of England’s positive economic outlook. As a currency that benefits from rising risk appetite, pound sterling has been selling off sharply in February thanks to fears regarding elevated asset prices. While Bank of England Governor Mark Carney helped the pound last Thursday after saying…

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Looking at this week’s Commitments of Traders report, bullish extremes continue in the euro, British pound and crude oil. Looking at net speculator positions as a proportion of open interest, long crude oil positions are the most at risk. While euro and British pound net positions are elevated relative to historical averages, open interest has also grown over time. Thus neither currency look exte…

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Tags: Euro

In 2013, when shale oil was in its relative infancy, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih asked reporters to stop asking him questions about shale oil. “Leave us alone and leave all these issues. We had enough of shale oil and talks of shale. Please talk about anything else,” he snapped in response to a question about OPEC’s response to shale. Looking at 2017, accelerating US production failed to d…

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Tags: Crude oil

For a currency that strengthens when global growth accelerates, recent moves in the Australian dollar have been fairly disappointing. While the currency rocketed higher between mid-December and late January, the Australian dollar has sold off sharply in recent weeks. The currency first began weakening against the Japanese yen, which led us to downgrade our short-term AUD/JPY outlook to neutral on…

Published 

The US dollar currency index, a measure of USD against six major peers, declined by 9.9% in 2017. Last month, the currency index continued declining and fell by another 3.3%. Given the speed of the recent decline, the US dollar started looking oversold according to technical indicators around mid-January. While we warned that the currency was looking oversold in several recent editions of our US …

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Tags: US dollar

When will the Canadian dollar rebound? We take a closer look at the Canadian dollar future forecast and what the latest Commitments of Traders report says about the currency. Bank of Canada remains cautious - impacting trader optimism, but better data has us rethinking an earlier prediction.

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Following yesterday’s statement from the Federal Reserve, the odds of a rate hike are soaring according to the CME’s FedWatch tool. The current market-implied probability for a hike on March 21, 2018 (the next Fed meeting) is 83.1%. One month ago, on December 29, 2017, the odds of a March hike were just 50.7%. According to prevailing wisdom, the Federal Reserve has significant control over moneta…

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Tags: Gold

In early 2017, doubts regarding the integrity of the Eurozone led many to take refuge in the Japanese yen. Unlike the euro, the Japanese yen exhibits classic safe haven characteristics and tends to strengthen during downturns. Following the Brexit referendum vote and US presidential elections, few were willing to bet on opinion polls that predicted Macron’s victory. Similar to political events in…

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In our last take on the British pound in early January, we wrote that the currency was set to keep strengthening thanks to strong regional growth, moderate sentiment and the historically low value of the pound. More specifically, the currency looks cheap based on broad nominal effective exchange rates (a measure of the pound relative to other foreign currencies). Looking at GBP/USD since our last…

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Japan has suffered from weak growth and inflation since the global financial crisis, and the Bank of Japan has frequently experimented with unorthodox monetary policies. In September 2016, the BoJ decided to directly target long-term interest rates. The so-called “yield curve control” (YCC) program fixed 10-year Japanese government bond (JGB) yields at 0%. If yields deviated from the BoJ’s target…

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Tags: Japanese yen
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