FX Markets Look to RBA & BOE Rate Decisions, US NFPs on Friday
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08/01 Tuesday | 04:30 GMT | AUD Reserve Bank of Australia Rate Decision
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep rates unchanged at 1.50% on Tuesday, and the scope for a surprise seems limited.Over the last two weeks, the market-implied odds of a 25-bps rate hike by the end of 2017 have fallen from near 40% to only 10%. Indeed, the RBA has resisted calls from market participants up to this point to join the hawkish shift among major central banks and hike rates, and it doesn’t seem like a rate hike will materialize any time soon. The predominant trend in Australian data remains: stronger retail sales and employment figures have been offset by weaker construction and wage growth data. The language in the policy statement will be key to watch for any hints of a broader shift starting to materialize.
08/01 Tuesday | 09:00 GMT | EUR Gross Domestic Product (2Q A)
The first look at the Q2’17 Euro-Zone GDP report is expected to show the world’s largest common market grew by +2.1% on an annualized basis, up from +1.9% in the first quarter. This would be the fastest rate of growth since Q1’11, when the Euro-Zone economy grew by +2.9%. Overall, while only growth is only moderately pacing, this is a notable milestone for the region and will do little to quell growing calls from market participants for the European Central Bank to taper their QE program. It appears that the ECB is moving closer to the next leg down in its pace of asset purchases, which could come as soon as the September policy meeting when new staff economic projections (SEPs) are due.
08/03 Thursday | 11:00 GMT | GBP Bank of England Rate Decision and Quarterly Inflation Report
Super Thursday will see Bank of England latest monetary policy announcement and the MPC Quarterly Inflation Report. All UK policy measures are expected to remain unchanged, while the QIR is expected to see near-term growth expectations hold steady and inflation forecasts revised higher. The BOE has only recently started to join the shift among central banks to a more hawkish stance, with several key policymakers including Governor Mark Carney himself warning of the potential need to tighten policy should inflation run higher. The most recent inflation report showed that price pressures subsided from June to July (+2.9% to +2.6% y/y on the headline), and now that the base effect of the weaker British Pound thanks to Brexit has been eliminated, it doesn’t seem like inflation will top +3% y/y in the near future. With rates markets essentially 50/50 on whether or not the BOE raises rates by the end of 2017, the QIR on Thursday could easily have a significant impact on GBP-crosses.
08/04 Friday | 12:30 GMT | CAD Net Change in Employment and Unemployment Rate (JUL)
The Canadian labor marketsurged unexpectedly in June, with employment increasing by +45.3K and the unemployment rate holding at 6.5%. Early market estimates for July unemployment see the rate holding at 6.5% and +19.0K new jobs added. This could be another print for the Canadian Dollar that increases the likelihood that the Bank of Canada hikes rates by the end of the year; hike odds have risen dramatically over the past two months: there was only a 10% chance of one rate hike this year in the first week of June; now, one rate has been realized and there’s greater than a 65% chance of a second hike by December 2017.
08/04 Friday | 12:30 GMT | USD Change in Nonfarm Payrolls and Unemployment Rate (JUL)
The key issue surrounding the July US Nonfarm Payrolls report is whether or not the US labor market will remain strong enough to justify a more aggressive pace of Fed tightening. Current expectations for the data are modest, with the Unemployment Rate expected to hold at 4.3%, and the headline jobs figure to come in at +180K. The trend of +200K jobs growth per month has recently been a psychological level for markets, but Fed leaders and centrists (the Goldilocks of the Fed; not too hawkish or too dovish) tend have another number in mind.
In October 2015, San Fran Fed President John Williams wrote in a research note that he believed growth of +100K jobs per month was enough to sustain the growth in the labor force and maintain the current unemployment rate. In December 2015, Chair Janet Yellen reiterated this same view. And, in late-February 2016, she noted that the economy can maintain its current unemployment rate by producing between 75K and 125K jobs per month. By the Atlanta Fed Jobs Growth Calculator, assuming a 4.3% longer term unemployment rate, the economy only needs +115K job growth per month to sustain that level through the end of 2017.
Pairs to Watch: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, DXY Index, Gold
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Senior Currency Strategist
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