FX Week Ahead: ECB & FOMC Minutes, Japanese CPI, Jackson Hole
- There are only two 'high' rated data releases on the calendar this week, the July Japanese National Consumer Price Index and the preliminary July US Durable Goods Orders report.
- Central banks are in the spotlight, with a speech from RBA Governor Lowe, both of the most recent ECB & FOMC meeting minutes, and the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.
- The news wire will retain a significant influence with the US-China trade war and the Turkish Lira meltdown still in focus.
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.
08/22 Wednesday | 18:00 GMT | USD FOMC Meeting Minutes
The Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting came and went without a change in policy, not much of a surprise considering the prior meeting yielded a 25-bps rate hike as well as a new Summary of Economic Projections.The projections and the policy statement released at the June FOMC meeting suggest that officials are gearing up for a faster pace of tightening, with the median dot plot now pricing in two more 25-bps rate hikes in 2018; this outlook was maintained in the July policy statement.Accordingly, the July meeting minutes will be parsed for how confident Fed officials are that they will be able to raise rates twice more this year. Of note: it shouldn’t be a surprise if there is a lack of concern about recent volatility in markets, given that the minutes were filed before the Turkish Lira selloff accelerated.
08/23 Thursday | 11:30 GMT | EUR ECB Meeting Minutes
Much like the Fed’s most recent meeting, the European Central Bank’s gathering last month produced little new information. This was not a surprise, considering that in June the ECB outlined its path forward for the next year: wind down the QE program by December 2018; and hike rates sometime during “summer 2019.” Considering that the July meeting produced no new information regarding the timeline for ending QE or when the first rate move could be made, it seems unlikely that the minutes will provide any significant insight into these matters. Like the Fed, the ECB’s most recent meeting took place before the recent bout of Lira-induced volatility hit markets, so it would be a surprise to see any significant discussion having taken place yet.
08/23 Thursday | 23:30 GMT | JPY National Consumer Price Index (JUL)
Japanese inflation figures are expected to edgehigher again, due in at +1.0% in July from +0.7% in June (y/y). Price pressures have been muted for most of 2018, ever since the February reading peaked at the fastest rate of price pressures since April 2015 – when Shinzo Abe government enacted the (unpopular) sales tax reform. Given the Japanese Yen’s favorable standing right now, signs that inflation are edging higher will only help to undergird what has been a strong month of August. Traders shouldn’t draw any long-term implications from the print, however; the BOJ has only recently backtracked on its intent to begin normalizing policy by the start of fiscal year 2019.
08/24 Friday | 12:30 GMT | USD Durable Goods Orders (JUL P)
Durable Goods Orders are an important barometer for US consumption, which constitutes roughly 70% of GDP. Typically, consumers hold off on buying durable goods during poor economy conditions; thus, improved orders suggest confidence among American consumers with respect to their future financial security. The preliminary July print is expected to show a drop of -0.5% over the prior month after the +0.8% increase in June. The data won’t likely help US growth expectations for Q3’18, have remained strong following the +4.1% pace seen in Q2’18.
Based on the data received thus far about Q3’18, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow forecast is looking for growth at +4.3%. The next update to the Q3’18 forecast will be released after Friday’s US economic data.
Pairs to Watch: EUR/USD, GBP/USD, Gold, DXY Index
08/24 to 08/25 | --:-- GMT | USD Federal Reserve Hosts the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium
The Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium has typically drawn a lot of attention in years past, for good reason: the annual gathering of the world’s most influential policymakers was viewed as a ‘must see’ event during the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. But over the past two years, it seems as if market participants have paid less attention as crisis conditions have faded away. If the event this year is going to make waves, they will likely emanate from two topics: first, how committed is the Fed to raising rates twice more this year, and what will the rate path look like thereafter?; and two, is the recent turmoil in emerging markets enough to derail the Fed’s tightening efforts? Barring discussions around these topics, the Fed’s annual gathering in Jackson Hole will otherwise leave little impact on FX markets.
Pairs to Watch: EUR/USD, GBP/USD, Gold, DXY Index
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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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