FX Week Ahead: Chinese CPI, Bank of Canada Rate Decision, US CPI
- With the next stage of the US-China trade war unfolding, attention will rightly be honed in on the news wire in the coming days.
- The June US Consumer Price Index will help affirm the market's perceived timing of the Fed's next rate hike for September.
Join me on Mondays at 7:30 EDT/11:30 GMT for the FX Week Ahead webinar, where we discuss top event risk over the coming days and strategies for trading FX markets around the events listed below.
07/10 Tuesday | 01:30 GMT | CNY Consumer Price Index (JUN)
Chinese policymakers have continued to press forward more stimulus in order to stem credit risks, and we have seen market participants watch Chinese inflation figures as a proxy for domestic demand.Declines in price levels have been viewed in the context of serious stresses on domestic consumption and economic growth. But now that the US-China trade war has evolved into a more intense, confrontational form, Chinese policymakers have allowed the Chinese Yuan to rapidly depreciate versus the US Dollar.
As noted previously, “The prospect of tariffs, particularly on soybeans, could easily provide a bump to inflation figures down the road this year – just not yet.” We’re still early in the game so-to-speak, but the combined impact of the weaker Chinese Yuan and tariffs now means we should be watching for Chinese inflation to creep higher throughout the second half of the year.
07/11 Wednesday | 07:00 GMT | EUR ECB President Draghi Speaks in Frankfurt
Economic data has started to improve more broadly alongside inflation expectations, and now traders will look to ECB President Mario Draghi’s speechon Wednesday for clues on monetary policy. The Citi Economic Surprise Index for the Eurozone, which was at a near-seven year when it was -100.1 on June 8, rebounded to -36.1 by the end of last week. The final June Eurozone Consumer Price Index due in on Thursday at +2.1% y/y will underscore the extent to which data has stabilized.
Accordingly, now that data momentum is back on the upswing with inflation running higher, it seems likely that ECB President Mario Draghi will be able to refrain from issuing a severely dovish tone during either of his policy speeches this week (Monday and Wednesday). At the June ECB rate decision, Draghi said that it was possible that a rate hike came as soon as “summer 2019,” and it’s possible he offers more color to that point. Rates markets are currently pricing in September 2019 for when the ECB will first move on rates.
07/11 Wednesday | 14:00 GMT | CAD Bank of Canada Rate Decision
Despite the fact that the Canadian labor market has lost nearly -10K jobs on average per month in 2018, a sustained push higher by energy prices has helped keep inflation pressures elevated in the BOC's target range. And so, with trade tensions remaining (but not materially escalating), the BOC is poised to follow the Fed's cue and tighten policy further when they meet on Wednesday. Overnight index swaps are pricing in an 81% chance of a 25-bps rate hike next week, up from 52% in the last week of June.
The scope for further Canadian Dollar gains exists beyond the upcoming policy meeting. Rates markets are pricing in a 67% chance of another BOC rate hike by the end of 2018; forward guidance is front and center for the Canadian Dollar. Confirmation that policy officials are keeping the door open for additional policy action this year - in aggregate, three 25-bps hikes in 2018 by the BOC - could be all that the Canadian Dollar needs to continue its rally versus the US Dollar.
07/11 Wednesday | 15:35 GMT | GBP BOE Governor Mark Carney Speaks in Boston, Massachusetts
Since the end of May, while the Citi Economic Surprise Index for the UK has increased from -67.3 to -5.1 today, August BOE rate hike odds have increased from 29% to 82%. BOE policymakers have been paying attention to the shift in economic data momentum as well. Last week, Governor Mark Carney said that recent data had given him "greater confidence" that the soft Q1'18 growth figures "was largely due to the weather." Governor Carney summarized, "Overall, recent domestic data suggest the economy is evolving largely in line with the May Inflation Report projections, which see demand growing at rates slightly above those of supply and domestic cost pressures building."
The steady build in rate hike expectations in recent weeks has helped the British Pound stabilize, but not much more. Market participants seem to be of the mindset that an August rate hike by the BOE will be of the one-and-done variety (currently priced in at 82%), with overnight index swaps pricing in less than a 20% chance of a second rate hike before the end of 2018.
07/12 Thursday | 12:30 GMT | USD Consumer Price Index (JUN)
The next batch of inflation data for June will show that both measures of the US Consumer Price Index are above the Federal Reserve’s medium-term target of +2%. Headline CPI is due in at +2.9% from +2.8%, and Core CPI is due in at +2.3% from +2.2% (y/y). Ahead of the July FOMC rate decision later this month, these readings may help underscore a hawkish tone among policymakers that helps affirm the trajectory of monetary policy resulting in four cumulative hikes in 2018. Given that a September hike is already 65% priced-in, it would seem that the June US CPI release will only have a limited impact on markets; a miss will leave a bigger impact than a beat.
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--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist
To contact Christopher, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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