FOREX ECONOMIC CALENDAR TALKING POINTS:
- The last full week of July will largely focus on Europe where the next UK prime minister will take the reins and policymakers will convene for the July ECB meeting.
- Due to the coin flip’s chance of a rate cut by the ECB this week, volatility is likely to run higher than usual in FX markets on Thursday.
- Retail trader positioning is suggesting more difficulty ahead for the British Pound and the Euro versus currencies like the Japanese Yen and US Dollar.
ALL WEEK|USD, CNH US-China Trade War Talks
The US-China trade war talks have ebbed and flowed in recent days, with comments from US President Donald Trump appearing both hopeful yet frustrated by the lack of progress at the same time. With evidence mounting that the Chinese economy is suffering more and more, there may be signs that Chinese officials are willing to come back to the negotiating table with a promise of purchasing more US agricultural products.
Regardless, traders will want to keep on eye on USDCNH prices for the foreseeable future. China has used devaluation as a tool to neutralize the impact of the Trump tariffs, so Chinese Yuan strength (USD/CNH weakness) may be interpreted as a sign that the trade talks are nearing a positive resolution; Chinese Yuan weakness (USD/CNH strength) may be interpreted as a sign that the trade talks are nearing a negative resolution. Indeed, the 7.000 exchange rate for USDCNH may be the most important level for currency markets.
07/23 TUESDAY | --:-- GMT | GBP Tory Party Leadership Contest Ends, Next UK PM Chosen
Boris Johnson will become the next Tory party leader and UK prime minister on Tuesday. The key question is ‘what type of Brexit will he deliver?’ With the Labour party in disarray as leader Jeremy Corbyn faces down calls for his own no confidence vote, it appears that Boris Johnson may have a little bit more breathing room to maneuver through the Brexit mire than what was expected a few months ago. While GBP-crosses may not move significantly on the formal ascension of Boris Johnson to UK prime minister (markets are forward looking after all, and Boris Johnson has been the odds-on favorite since Theresa May announced her resignation), it is expected that all GBP-crosses will see increased volatility once Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan begins to take shape – perhaps as soon as the end of this week.
07/25 THURSDAY | 11:45 GMT | EUR European Central Bank Rate Decision
Following ECB President Draghi’s speech at the ECB Forum in Sintra, Portugal in late-June, speculation has arisen in recent week that fresh stimulus measures would soon arrive. Sluggish growth conditions, and muted inflation expectations have markets toying with the notion that the ECB’s Governing Council could cut interest rates at the July ECB meeting. According to overnight index swaps, there is a 51% chance that the ECB will cut rates by 10-bps this week. This is not exactly convincing, overwhelming evidence. As such, with markets essentially predicting a coin flip’s chance of a rate cut, then approximately half of all market participants will have to readjust their positioning come Thursday. The Euro appears destined for significant volatility in the second half of the week.
07/25 THURSDAY | 12:30 GMT | USD Durable Goods Orders (JUN P)
The US economy revolves around consumption trends, given that approximately 70% of GDP is accounted for by the spending habits of businesses and consumers. As such, the Durable Goods Orders report make for an important barometer of the US economy. The preliminary June print is expected to show a gain of 0.7% after the 1.3% drop in May.
07/26 FRIDAY | 12:30 GMT | USD Gross Domestic Product (Annualized) (2Q A)
According to a Bloomberg News survey,the US economy grew by 1.8% in Q2’19, down from the 3.1% pace in Q1’19. Depending upon where you look, estimates vary. The New York Fed Staff Nowcast estimate for Q1’19 US GDP is only at 1.4%, while the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model is looking at a slightly firmer 1.6% rate. Whereas earlier concerns about the US economy dipping into a recession were overblown, it now appears that recession risks are rising (thanks in part to the US-China trade) and that the Federal Reserve will begin its interest rate cut cycle at the end of this month. A significant deviation from the estimate could provoke a sharp repricing in Fed rate cut odds, which would spillover across all asset classes, not just FX markets.
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--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist
To contact Christopher, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org