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FX Week Ahead: Australian CPI, ECB Rate Decision, US GDP

FX Week Ahead: Australian CPI, ECB Rate Decision, US GDP

2018-07-24 12:00:00
Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist
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Talking Points:

- The coming week sees significantly fewer 'high'' rated events on the calendar than last week, with only three data releases and one central bank rate decisions worth paying attention to.

- The ECB rate decision this week has a very low bar set for expectations, given that policy was preset until at least "summer 2019" at the policy meeting last month.

- The Q2'18 US GDP report is likely to show growth above +4%, offering a chance for rate expectations to recover at the end of the week.

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.

07/25 Monday | 01:30 GMT | AUD Consumer Prices Index (2Q)

Inflation in Australia is expected to return back into the lower part of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s +2-3% target range for the first time since Q1’17. Due in at +2.2% from +1.9% (y/y), the Q2’18 quarterly inflation report represents a potential turning point for the beleaguered Australian Dollar. With the labor market now showing improvement, signs that inflation is stabilizing should prevent rate expectations from deteriorating any further. Currently, rates markets are pricing in a 9% chance of a 25-bps rate cut by December 2018. It will take several successive inflation reports above +2% in order to get the needle moving on RBA rate expectations again.

Pairs to Watch: AUD/NZD, AUD/JPY, AUD/USD

07/26 Wednesday | 11:45 GMT | EUR European Central Bank Rate Decision

The big ticket item for the week is the European Central Bank meeting, but traders may want to start lowering expectations here. The primary reason to expect little to result from this meeting is the fact that the July meeting is one without new Staff Economic Projections; like the Federal Reserve (with its Summary of Economic Projections) or the Bank of England (with its Quarterly Inflation Report), the ECB has a multi-year track record of only making significant policy shifts at meetings when it has new economic forecasts in hand.

Moreover, and less of a generalization about ECB policymaking habits, at the previous meeting in June, the Governing Council effectively preset policy on a course through next June when President Draghi announced the schedule for winding down QE through the end of 2018 and pledged to wait on rate normalization until “summer 2019.” With trade tensions running high and whiffs of a currency war in the air, it seems highly unlikely that Draghi will comment with the intent to move the Euro exchange rate.

Pairs to Watch: EUR/GBP, EUR/JPY, EUR/USD

07/27 Friday | 12:30 GMT | USD Gross Domestic Product (2Q A)

Growth expectations for Q2’18 US GDP are strong, no matter where you look. The New York Fed’s Nowcasting report sees growth coming in at +2.7% while the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate sees growth due in at an astounding +4.5%. According to Bloomberg News, the consensus forecast calls for headline growth due in at +4.3%. Even as rate expectations have slipped slightly since US President Trump’s critiques of Fed policy last week, growth above +4% would be difficult to ignore and all but solidify a 25-bps rate hike in September. As such, we’re looking for the data at the end of the week to help stabilize the US Dollar.

Pairs to Watch: DXY Index, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, Gold

Read more: Euro Forecast: Euro Unlikely to Find a Lifeline in ECB This Week

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--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist

To contact Christopher, email him at cvecchio@dailyfx.com.

Follow him in the DailyFX Real Time News feed and Twitter at @CVecchioFX.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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