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Pound May Drop on Dovish BOE as G7 Stokes Yen Volatility

Pound May Drop on Dovish BOE as G7 Stokes Yen Volatility

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Euro falls as fundamentals resurface after Macron election win
  • NZ Dollar may shrug off RBNZ as Pound drops on dovish BOE
  • G7 meeting may stoke Yen volatility, US news may pass quietly

What will drive key markets through mid-year? See our forecasts here.

The Euro fell after market favorite Emmanuel Macron triumphed in the second round of the French presidential election, winning 65 percent of the vote as broadly expected. This much was already priced in so the vote's passing opened the door for underlying fundamentals - a dovish ECB and the threat of Brexit-related instability - to reassert themselves. A speech from Mario Draghi, the central bank's President, and the tone of an EU ambassadors' meeting planning for the UK's departure may offer more of the same.

A familiarly dovish RBNZ monetary policy announcement may pass somewhat quietly considering the priced-in policy outlook has barely budged even as economic data flow has brightened. The central bank told investors it is worried about international risks and they seem willing to take it at its word. This is not so with the BOE - which is also due for a rate decision - where a hawkish shift along the expected policy spectrum has transpired despite officials' protestations. Their dovish rhetoric may thus hurt the British Pound.

US economic news may pass mostly unnoticed. Inflation, retail sales and consumer confidence statistics are all due for release and the Fed-speak schedule is brimming with commentary. With markets now putting the probability of a June rate hike at over 95 percent however, all this means little. Upbeat results would only reiterate something the markets already envision. Soft ones would need to be truly abysmal to register a response after the Fed explicitly brushed off the first-quarter slowdown as "transitory".

A meeting of G7 finance ministers is something of a wild card. Potentially thorny issues including trade barriers and activist FX policies will no doubt feature prominently on the agenda. If US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his counterparts appear to be getting along, that may boost sentiment and weigh on the Yen. Alternatively, if Mr Mnuchin adopts his boss Donald Trump's combative posture, the anti-risk Japanese currency may find its way higher.

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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