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FX Week Ahead: The waiting game

USD: There was a sense last week, with the dollar selling off across the board, that investors had already concluded that Joe Biden would win the November 3 election and were already positioning for the expected dollar decline in 2021. Polls do still give Biden a commanding lead, but in the week ahead the Trump team will be hoping that what should be a huge 35% (QoQ annualized) bounce back in 3Q20 GDP on Friday should remind voters of the White House’s growth credentials. The week should also see fresh insights on US consumer confidence (still strong) and durable goods orders. In short, the data will not be supporting double dip fears just yet.

CAD: Keeps showing good resilience to periods of weak risk appetite but struggles to keep the pace of other pro-cyclicals as risk assets rally. Still, USD/CAD is finding consolidation around the 1.31/1.32 level, which could be where we will see the pair trade in the run-up to the US elections. This week’s calendar includes the Bank of Canada policy meeting and Canada’s August GDP numbers. We do not expect any policy change by the BoC and markets also look positioned for a rather quiet meeting. The jobs market has sent encouraging signalling the recovery is still maintaining a decent pace despite being more moderate now than the summer.

EUR: ECB to keep a lid on the Euro. EUR/USD has weathered the European October PMI releases relatively well – which is probably a testament to the conviction levels held over the structural dollar decline. The EUR faces further challenges this week in the form of i) Thursday’s ECB meeting ii) further confidence releases including the German Ifo on Monday and iii) Friday’s 3Q GDP and CPI figures. With regard to the ECB, most expect a strongly dovish message from President Lagarde and plenty of hints about more QE in December. Incidentally, ECB research has recently concluded that a 10% increase in the size of the ECB’s balance sheet relative to the Fed could knock 3.5% off EUR/USD.

GBP: As the restart of UK-EU trade negotiations is fully in the price and the little progress is likely next week (negotiations should continue into mid-November), this suggests a relatively stable GBP price action from the point of view of GBP domestic drivers. As has been the case during the past weeks, the GBP/USD price action should be primarily determined by the swings in EUR/USD given that GBP should, in the absence of new Brexit news, remain fairly stable.

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