Thu, Feb 21, 2019 @ 13:45 GMT
The April RBA meeting contained little surprise. Policymakers left the cash rate unchanged at 1.5% and made few changes in the policy statement. The central bank remained upbeat on growth and employment. Yet, it remained wary of the slow...
BOE voted 7-2 to leave the Bank rate at 0.50%. The members voted unanimously to leave to asset purchase program unchanged at 435B pound. The members were generally positive over the economic outlook, noting that "recent data releases are...
FOMC's rate hike of +25 bps is not news. What caught market attention the most was the median dot plot (which continued to project 3 rate hikes in 2018) and the upgrades in the economic projections. US dollar plunged...
Despite initial rally following the announcement of a Brexit transition deal, British pound has retraced much of its gains. Both UK and EU officials have hailed the agreement. While UK's Brexit negotiator Davis David noted that the deal contains...
Aussie remains under pressure although the RBA minutes contained little surprise. The minutes signaled that policymakers were encouraged by recent economic growth. However, subdued wage growth and elevated household debt have suggested that policymakers would keep the powder dry....
As widely anticipated, the SNB kept the sight deposit rate unchanged at -0.75%, while the target range for the three-month Libor stayed at between –1.25% and –0.25%. Again, the SNB maintained the commitment to intervene the FX market when...
As widely anticipated, BOC left the policy rate unchanged at 1.25% in March. The accompanying statement was more cautious than the previous one, over the trade outlook. Policymakers suggested that 'trade policy developments are an important and growing source...
As widely anticipated, RBA left the policy rate unchanged at 1.5% in March. A cooling property market signals that further rate hike is less urgent. On top of the central bank’s agenda has returned to boosting inflation and employment....
BOC raised the policy rate by +25 bps to 1.25% in January, as 'recent data have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity'. The move had been widely anticipated. As...
The December minutes turned out more hawkish than expected. While the policymakers generally judged that the existing monetary policy remained 'appropriate'. They also agreed that the forward guidance might warrant some adjustments as the pace economic recovery accelerated. The minutes noted that the 'transition would take place without a change in sequencing', suggesting that no rate hike would be implemented before the end of the asset purchase program. The minutes indicate that the forward guidance would be a key policy tool in the year ahead.
BOJ offered to buy 190B yen of JGBs with maturity of 10- 25 years, down 10B yen from the purchase made on December 28. It also reduced the purchase of JGBs with maturity of 25- 40 by the same amount to 90B yen. The move has heightened speculations that the central bank is preparing to trim its stimulus measures. The market reactions match with the speculations with USDJPY slipping -0.42% while EURJPY down -0.65% on Tuesday. Japanese longer- dated 20- and 40-year bond yields rose to their highest in a month. Longer- term US Treasuries were also affected by BOJ’s move with 10-year yields gaining +6 points to 2.546%. Of course, the movement of US Treasuries was also affected by the auctions this year.
The FOMC minutes for the December meeting revealed that policymakers were optimistic about the path of economic expansion. This was partly a result of the government's fiscal stimulus. On the tax cut, some members judged that it would help boost both capital and household spending, although the magnitude remains uncertain. The December rate hike of +25 bps was data-dependent but a key factor was the strong employment market. While wage growth was still "modest", a few members forecast it to accelerate as the job market tightened further. Many members expected that the tightening labor market would lead to higher inflation in the medium- term, but some continued to judge that core inflation would persistently stay below the 2% target. The rate hike in December was not unanimous as Chicago Fed President Charles Evans dissented.
As widely anticipated, BOJ again voted 8-1 to leave the monetary policies unchanged in October. The targets for short- and long-term interest rates stay at -0.1% and around 0%, respectively while the guideline for JGB purchases remains at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen. The central bank has turned more upbeat on the economic outlook, especially on Capex and consumption. Goushi Kataoka was again the lone dissent as he supported bond purchases so as to facilitate the decline of 10-year (or over) bond yields. Governor Kuroda's speech at the press conference has not tilted towards less easing/ policy normalization in the near-term
The RBA minutes for the December meeting revealed that policymakers were more upbeat on the global and domestic economic outlook. While maintaining a natural monetary policy stance, the minutes contained some hawkish ingredients, suggesting that recent data on employment and inflation have made the members more confident. The key concerns remained subdued wage growth and household consumption.
As widely anticipated, ECB left the policy rates unchanged, with the main refinancing rate, the marginal lending rate and the deposit rate staying at 0%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively. The focus of the meeting was on the updated economic projections and the press conference. For the former, accompanying the upbeat statement were upgrades of GDP growth and inflation forecasts. The staff has also unveiled the 2020 outlook for the first time. For the latter, little news revealed with President Mario Draghi refraining from discussing the internal division over the future of the QE program. He, however, reiterated that the monetary policy should remain accommodative as inflation has yet to be self-sustainable.
The BOE voted unanimously to leave the Bank rate unchanged at 0.5% in December, following a historic rate hike in the prior month. Policymakers also decided to leave the asset purchase program unchanged at 435B pound. Overshooting of inflation remains a key concern with the central bank putting its blame on British pound's weakness. Policymakers noted that recent macroeconomic data have been "mixed" and raised the concern that GDP growth might slow in 4Q17. The central bank also acknowledged the progress of Brexit negotiations, suggesting that it has helped support the pound. We expect the BOE would keep its powder dry at least for the first half of next year, unless abrupt changes in the growth and inflation developments.
While leaving the policy rates unchanged for another month and pledged to continue FX market intervention when needed, the SNB has turned less dovish in December. It has turned more upbeat over the economic recovery outlook and acknowledged the depreciation of Swiss franc and the euro and US dollar. the central bank revised modestly higher the inflation forecasts for this year and 2018, while leaving that for 2019 unchanged.
The greenback got dumped, as a result of a series events happened over the past day. Defeat of GOP Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race and the miss of the core CPI were followed by a final version of tax bill. The day culminated in the conclusion of the FOMC announcement, which saw a 25 bps rate hike as expected, but with two dissents. US dollar fell against major currencies with the DXY index losing -0.71% for the day. Treasuries firmed, sending yields higher with the 2-year and 10-year yields dropping -4 points and -5 points respectively.
SNB's FX reserve slipped to 738.17B franc, from a record high of 741.96B franc (revised from previous estimate of 741.32B franc), in November. The drop is in contrast with consensus of an increase to 745B franc and marks the first drop since June this year. Meanwhile, the sight deposit fell to 576.78B franc in the week ended December 1. Subsequent decline from the August peak has sent sight deposit to the lowest level since June 2017. The movements of both FX reserve and sight deposit have suggested that the SNB is not in a hurry to intervene with the recent weakness in Swiss franc. Separately, the country's unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 3% (seasonally adjusted) in November, compared with expectations of a rise to 3.1%. For the quarterly SNB meeting scheduled on December 14, we expect policymakers to maintain the status quo, i.e. keeping 3-month LIBOR target range unchanged, at between -1.25% and -0.25%, maintaining the interest rate on sight deposits with the SNB at -0.75% and reaffirming that the central bank is committed to intervene in the FX market as necessary. We believe the domestic economic developments since the September meeting have shown gradual improvements, leaving policymakers more room to wait and see.
The BOC left the policy rate unchanged at 1% in December. While acknowledging the strength in the employment situation, it warned of the slack in the labor market. While upgrading GDP growth forecast, it noted that it does not necessarily imply a narrower output gap. While admitting the policy rate would have to increase over time, it reiterated caution over any monetary decision. All in all, the central bank attempted to deliver a neutral to dovish message, so as not to cripple the recovery path – a lesson learnt after two consecutive rate hikes in July and September. Canadian dollar plunged after the announcement, with USDCAD jumping to as high as 1.2777, highest level in three days.
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