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Aussie and NZ Dollars Sink, Yen Gains on Risk-Off Start to 2016

Aussie and NZ Dollars Sink, Yen Gains on Risk-Off Start to 2016

Ilya Spivak,

Talking Points:

  • S&P 500 Futures Hint Asia-Hours Risk Aversion Likely to Carry Forward
  • British Pound Looks to UK PMI Data to Drive BOE Rate Hike Expectations
  • Gauge Trends and Spot Reversals in Leading Currencies with DailyFX SSI

The Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Dollars plunged while the safety-linked Japanese Yen outperformed as risk aversion swept the financial markets start of 2016 trade. Indeed, the moves played out alongside sharp declines across Asian stock exchanges. This may reflect the return of liquidity following the holiday lull, with investors establishing 2016 portfolio allocations.

As we’ve noted previously, a bias toward risk aversion in the first act of 2016 seems to make sense. The Fed’s aggressive easing effort over the past seven years slashed returns on safer assets and encouraged a reach for yield outward along the risk spectrum. With short-term borrowing costs seen rising as the FOMC begins to withdraw stimulus, a reversal of this dynamic is likely to drive portfolio adjustment that sends sentiment-linked assets including stocks and higher-yielding currencies downward.

Worrisome news-flow may have amplified investors’ sour mood. China’s Caixin PMI data unexpectedly showed factory-sector activity contracted at an accelerated pace in December compared with the prior month. Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer warned that rate hikes may be used to combat asset prices that are “excessively high”, hinting that the US central bank is not beyond explicitly using tightening to cool risk appetite.

Looking ahead, S&P 500 futures are pointing sharply to suggest the risk-off dynamic is likely to carry forward. A slight pickup in German CPI putting the headline year-on-year inflation rate at 0.6 percent seems unlikely to stir much a response considering the ECB has already committed to QE into 2017. UK Manufacturing PMI will be sized up to see if domestic growth can find adequate momentum to overcome imported disinflationary pressure from the Eurozone. An upside surprise may rekindle BOE rate hike bets, boosting the British Pound.

Losing Money Trading Forex? This Might Be Why.

Asia Session

16:00USDFed's Williams Speaks in San Francisco---
18:15USDFed Vice Chair Fischer in San Francisco ---
22:30AUDAiG Perf of Mfg Index (DEC)51.9-52.5
22:30USDFed's Mester Speaks in San Francisco---
23:00AUDCoreLogic RP Data House Px (MoM) (DEC)0.0%--1.5%
01:35JPYNikkei Japan PMI Mfg (DEC F) 52.6-52.5
01:45CNHCaixin China PMI Mfg (DEC)48.248.948.6
05:30AUDCommodity Index (A$) (DEC)71.2-75.6
05:30AUDCommodity Index (YoY) (DEC)-23.3%--22.0%

European Session

08:00CHFTotal Sight Deposits (JAN 1)-468.3BLow
08:00CHFDomestic Sight Deposits (JAN 1)-406.0BLow
08:30CHFPMI Mfg (DEC)50.149.7Medium
08:45EURMarkit/ADACI Italy Mfg PMI (DEC)54.954.9Low
08:50EURMarkit France Mfg PMI (DEC F) 51.651.6Low
08:55EURMarkit/BME Germany Mfg PMI (DEC F) 53.053.0Medium
09:00EURMarkit Eurozone Mfg PMI (DEC F) 53.153.1Medium
09:30GBPNet Consumer Credit (NOV)1.3B1.2BLow
09:30GBPNet Lending Sec. on Dwellings (NOV)3.6B3.6BLow
09:30GBPMortgage Approvals (NOV)69.8K69.6KMedium
09:30GBPM4 Money Supply (MoM) (NOV)-0.6%Low
09:30GBPM4 Money Supply (YoY) (NOV)-0.2%Low
09:30GBPM4 ex IOFCs 3M Annualised (NOV)5.7%3.7%Low
09:30GBPMarkit UK PMI Mfg SA (DEC)52.852.7High
13:00EURGerman CPI (MoM) (DEC P) 0.2%0.1%Medium
13:00EURGerman CPI (YoY) (DEC P) 0.6%0.4%Medium
13:00EURGerman CPI EU Harmonized (MoM) (DEC P) 0.2%0.1%Medium
13:00EURGerman CPI EU Harmonized (YoY) (DEC P) 0.4%0.3%Medium

Critical Levels

CCYSupp 3Supp 2Supp 1Pivot PointRes 1Res 2Res 3

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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