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The week ahead: Getting into the election mood

USD: The highlight of the week ahead will undoubtedly be the first presidential TV debate taking place in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Biden goes into the debate with around a 7% lead in opinion polls and will face a stern test from President Trump. In terms of the US calendar, we’ll receive more insights into the US jobs market via the September ADP and nonfarm payroll releases. We’ll also hear from a variety of Federal Reserve speakers. We would not chase the dollar higher from these levels and doubt investors would want to increase dollar exposure into a possibly contested Presidential election.

CAD: The recent turmoil in global markets likely translates into less pronounced downward potential for USD/CAD, but we still see some positive factors (Bank of Canada not too dovish, oil outlook still positive, good view on the economic recovery, low Covid contagion in Canada, CAD’s short positioning) able to generate relative value for CAD. Next week’s calendar includes July GDP data, which should start to reveal the size of the economic recovery in 3Q. Still, global factors are set to stay in the driver’s seat for CAD given the unstable market sentiment.

EUR: Away from US politics, markets have surprisingly been pricing in more rate cuts from the European Central Bank. Money market futures now fully price a 10-basis point rate cut by September 2021. Wednesday sees the flash eurozone September CPI. Another soft core CPI figure (expected at 0.4% year-on-year) could keep rate cut expectations alive and the ECB event could also see more reference to vigilance over the strong EUR.

GBP: has been relatively immune to the fall in risk sentiment, with GBP/USD largely tracking the EUR/USD decline. What currently matters more for GBP is the UK-EU trade negotiations outlook. With the easing in rhetoric from both sides, GBP has been stable. Nonetheless, given the roughly 50:50 chance of deal vs no deal, we continue to see GBP as inadequately priced for the risk presented. We thus see risks to GBP on the downside.

JPY: USD/JPY has spent very little time below 105 over the last five years (barring crises) and the recent jump from 104 is consistent with this pattern. The move could be consistent with the 15bp rise in real US yields since late August – largely as the equity sell-off has dragged US inflation expectations lower. But we suspect as well that Japanese fund managers are waiting in the wings to diversify into US assets when they see USD/JPY sub 105.

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