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Cautious Fed Today Should Underline The Soft USD Outlook

USD: All focus today is the FOMC meeting later this afternoon. Markets go into the meeting with a conviction call that the Fed remains cautious, that both Fed and ECB liquidity is firmly in place for the summer forcing declining levels of volatility. While the Fed may be a little nearer to discussing tapering, most are not looking for the statement, new projections or Chair Powell’s press conference to unsettle markets. Markets seem quite comfortable with the view that Fed tapering could start in December this year, with the first-rate hike in early 2023. Assuming nothing too hawkish emerges, expect traded volatility levels to take another leg lower.

CAD: Spot remains well-supported in the upper 1.21s. Adjustment around the Fed’s policy decision appears to be the main motivator for the USD’s bid tone as underlying CAD fundamentals—spreads, crude oil prices—remain CAD-supportive. Fair value models for USDCAD continues to suggest that the USD’s gains are not supported by underlying fundamentals and continues to flag equilibrium for spot nearer 1.1850.

EUR: The expected cautious message from the Fed today should keep the general upward bias in EUR/USD in place. The EUR/USD slowly towards 1.25 in the summer months.

GBP: May UK headline and core CPI surprised on the upside with the headline number climbing above the 2% inflation target, largely due to reopening price rises. For today, this should be supportive of GBP as it underlines that the balance of risks is skewed to a tighter rather than a looser BoE policy setup. But with the UK CPI set to normalize in the latter part of 2022, most continue to think that BOE rate hikes are not imminent. Nonetheless, as the soft USD environment is set to unfold this summer the GBP/USD should also grind higher.

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