The US reports the July trade balance, and the Fed releases its Beige Book ahead of the September 20-21 FOMC meeting. Several Fed officials speak today, and Powell speaks tomorrow. The Fed funds futures are pricing in a 70% chance of a 75 bp hike. The recent string of data has shown the resilience of the economy including the labor market. USD gains have moderated somewhat over the last few sessions. Friday’s US jobs data showed jobs growth that was about on expectations, but the unemployment rose to 3.7% and wage growth slowed a little. These are still quite robust numbers, but it did nothing to resolve the market’s quandary over whether the Fed hikes 50bps of 75bps later this month. The broader USD uptrend remains intact but continues to look very stretched from a longer-term point of view.
CAD - Canadian Dollar
The BoC is set to return to a more ‘normal’ course of action at today’s % meeting after it raised rates by 100bp to 2.50% at its July meeting. The purposely evasive forward guidance, but persistent inflation, has led to the market nearly fully pricing in a 75bp rate hike today, despite weaker-than-expected growth and signs that the rate hikes so far have begun to slow the economy. The BoC’s rate hiking cycle looks set to remain very much in tune with the Fed’s, which subsequently should offer USD/CAD no specific direction. Instead, the CAD has been trading more in line with oil prices as well as risk sentiment. The relative outperformance of Canada’s economic data by US economic data has also been supporting USD/CAD.
EUR - Euro
The EUR dropped below 0.99 yesterday after the announcement Friday that an “oil leak” discovered during scheduled maintenance meant that the gas pipeline would remain closed indefinitely. The complete halt to Russian supplies will raise growth and inflation concerns in the EZ ahead of winter. Markets continue to lean towards the risk of a more-than-50bps hike form the ECB Thursday but a 75bps hike is not yet fully priced.
GBP - British Pound
The GBP has recovered some lost ground on the back of media reports about the plans of the newly elected UK PM Liz Truss to tackle the energy crisis. According to the reports, the proposal is to freeze household and company energy bills for a period of time. What is less clear is how the proposals will be funded. This has seemingly helped ease some of the market fears of aggressive fiscal stimulus. We think that it will take further sustained reduction of these concerns to see a more lasting GBP recovery in the medium term. In the short term, however, expect the GBP to continue to remain undervalued given the current domestic risk environment.
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