Thu, Feb 02, 2023 @ 18:01 GMT
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Dollar Recently Traded in Defensive and Still Looks Vulnerable to Bad Eco News


In the absence of important eco data, the new China Corona outbreaks and central bank speak were the main drivers for trading yesterday. In the end, it turned out to be a risk-off session with US indices losing about 1.50%. Fed and ECB Governors sounded rather hawkish. Even ECB’s Lagarde admitted that the it’s too early to already conclude that inflation actually reached its peak. Fed members (Bullard: markets are underpricing the risk the Fed will have to be more aggressive rather than less aggressive; Williams: a somewhat higher underlying inflation suggests a modestly higher interest rate path relative to September; Barkin: rates to be higher and for longer) also kept a hawkish tone. CB speak and technical considerations caused US and European yields to reverse earlier declines, but a substantial slide in US equities prevented yields to close really higher. US yields closed mixed with the 2-y and 30-y yield ceding 1.5/1.1 bps. The 5-y rose 1.7 bps. German yields also reversed the early decline to close less than 2 bps different from Friday. The German 10-y yield (1.99%) finished just below the 2.0% barrier. The dollar initially didn’t profit from the (mainly China driven) risk-off. EUR/USD even came within reach of 1.05, but returned intraday gains in US dealings to close at 1.0345. USD/JPY showed a similar pattern reversing an intra-day dip near 137.5, to close the day at 138.95. Sterling traders threw the towel, with EUR/GBP rebounding off the key 0.856 area to close at 0.865.

This morning, Chinese equities show a remarkable comeback (Hang Seng + 4.0%, CSI 300 +2.8%). Investors apparently hope for an easing of the strict Covid policy. The yuan rebounds (USD/CNY 7.1575). The dollar trades in the defensive (USD/JPY 138,6; DXY 106.20; EUR/USD 1.0385). Oil (Brent $84,75/b) is looking for a bottom after its recent sharp decline.

Later today, the calendar is becoming interesting. US consumer confidence (conf. board) is expected to ease from 102.5 to 100. US housing price data also are expected to ease further. In EMU CPI data from Spain, Belgian and Germany will give a preview for tomorrow’s Flash EMU CPI. The monthly dynamics are expected to slow sharply (0.1% expected for Spain and Germany), but y/y readings will stay high (German expected at 11.3% from 11.6%). The North Rhine Westphalia release this morning (-0.8%M/M and 10.4% Y/Y) suggests downside risks to the consensus.  Whatever the outcome, the market reaction will be interesting, with EMU/German yields showing tentative signs of bottoming after a decline of more than a month. Will the German 10-y yield sustainably regain the 2.0% barrier? On FX markets, the dollar recently traded in the defensive and still looks vulnerable to bad eco news. At the same time, key technical levels (DXY 105.3, EUR/USD 1.0479/1.05) might hold if global risk sentiment were to deteriorate further with US equity indices showing tentative signs of a topping out process. A return of EUR/USD to/below 1.0223 would call of the EUR/USD recovery/USD correction.

News Headlines

In comments published yesterday, Polish central banker Dabrowski said that she aligns with markets to assume that already next year we may see the first policy rates cuts. She puts forward a policy rate closer to 6% compared with the current 6.75%. Falling money supply, rising consumer deposits and weakening demand all point to abating price pressure even as Polish inflation currently stands at 18% Y/Y. Dabrowski adds that Poland isn’t experiencing a wage-price spiral as “workers feel we have a slowdown and they are not escalating their pay demands”. The Polish MPC remains a dovish stronghold around strongman Glapinski whose term expires early next year. The zloty didn’t react to the comments. Instead, EUR/PLN tested the November low at 4.67 despite a risk-off market climate.

The Japanese labour market remains tight. The job-to-applicants ratio climbed from 1.34 to 1.35 last month with the unemployment rate stable at 2.6%. A separate report showed retail sales growth decelerating to 0.2% M/M in October (4.3% Y/Y). Consumption is expected to slow further as wages can’t keep up with Japanese inflation.

KBC Bank
KBC Bank
This non-exhaustive information is based on short-term forecasts for expected developments on the financial markets. KBC Bank cannot guarantee that these forecasts will materialize and cannot be held liable in any way for direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this document or its content. The document is not intended as personalized investment advice and does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold investments described herein. Although information has been obtained from and is based upon sources KBC believes to be reliable, KBC does not guarantee the accuracy of this information, which may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute a KBC judgment as of the data of the report and are subject to change without notice.

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