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GBP Volatility Rises Ahead of BoE, Crude Oil Soaring, NZD Outperforms - US Market Open

GBP Volatility Rises Ahead of BoE, Crude Oil Soaring, NZD Outperforms - US Market Open

Justin McQueen, Analyst

NZD, GBP, EUR/USD Analysis & News

  • Italy’s FTSE MIB and BTPs Rise Amid Draghi Reports
  • NZD Outperforms on Jobs Data
  • GBP Volatility Picks Up Ahead of BoE

QUICK TAKE: Crude Oil Soaring, NZD Outperforms, GBP Awaits BoE

Equities: Strong tech earnings from Alphabet and Amazon, alongside better than expected ADP data are underpinning US futures. While the Democrats have taken their first steps in advancing President Biden’s $1.9trillion package without Republican support. Elsewhere, Italian stocks are outperforming amid reports that Former ECB President, Draghi, has been tipped to form a new government. The focus will be whether Draghi can gain support from the 5 Star party in particular.

Euro Stoxx 50 Sector Breakdown

Outperformers: Utilities (2.7%), IT (1.3%), Financials (0.7%)

Laggards: Energy (-0.7%), Healthcare (-0.5%), Consumer Discretionary (-0.1%)

US Futures: S&P 500 (0.5%), DJIA (flat), Nasdaq 100 (0.7%)

Intra-day FX Performance

GBP Volatility Rises Ahead of BoE, Crude Oil Soaring, NZD Outperforms - US Market Open

NZD: Overnight, the latest jobs report showed that the unemployment rate for Q4 fell to 4.9% from 5.3%, which is significantly lower than what the RBNZ had forecast at 5.6%. This also comes after the RBNZ underestimated Q4 CPI, which printed at 0.3ppts above the central bank’s forecast. In turn, local banks have pushed back against expectations of further easing, while the BNZ now expect a rate hike in 2022. That said, the outlook for the Kiwi is likely to remain firm in the run-up to the RBNZ meeting, particularly against the Aussie, given that the RBA has recently extended its QE program earlier than many had expected with Governor Lowe continuing to talk down the AUD. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, AUD/NZD had been trading at rich levels relative to 10yr spreads and as things currently stand, bond spreads signal more losses for the cross.

EUR: So far, the positive reaction seen in Italian assets amid reports that Draghi could be the next PM has yet to spill over into the Euro. The currency is currently trading at a key support zone at 1.2000-11, which also coincides with sizeable option expiries magnetising price action. Similarly, EUR/JPY has also edged lower despite the tightening in Bund-BTP spreads.

GBP: The Pound remains rangebound against the greenback with the pair struggling at the mid-1.37s, while dip demand persists at the 1.36 handle. Tomorrow will see focus on the Bank of England monetary policy decision where greater attention will likely be placed on the review surrounding negative rates. My view is that there is a risk of a kneejerk move lower will be faded. While the BoE is likely to state that negative rates are operationally feasible, this does not mean they will go down this root. In the option markets, overnight vols signal a breakeven premium of 72bps.

Commodities: Silver prices have stabilised slightly with prices testing 27.00 yet again. Similarly, gold has halted its descent for now, although, with the USD continuing edge higher, upside for the yellow metal has been quickly faded. Elsewhere, oil prices are at 1yr highs with bullish API crude inventories helping overnight.

Looking ahead:

GBP Volatility Rises Ahead of BoE, Crude Oil Soaring, NZD Outperforms - US Market Open

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