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Forextime.com Daily Market Analysis

Discussion in 'Forex' started by FXTM Official, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. FXTM Official

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    Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

    BoE inflation report hearings in focus, Dollar powers higher



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    A sense of gloom was evident across financial markets today as worries over rising trade tensions and emerging market weakness weighed heavily on global sentiment.

    Looming U.S. tariffs set to be imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as soon as Thursday brings on oppressive feelings, while uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations has compounded anxieties. Caution can be reflected across global equity markets, with Asian stocks concluding mixed while European shares struggle for direction.

    Emerging market currencies witnessed further weakness on global trade tensions and Dollar strength. No prisoners were taken as the Turkish Lira, Argentina Peso, South African Rand and many other EM currencies felt the burn. The outlook for EM currencies remains gloomy, especially when considering the turmoil in Turkey and Argentina, trade war fears and prospects of higher US interest rates all present downside risks ahead.

    The British Pound had a rocky start to the week after Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned that he “strongly” disagreed with key sections of Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. Sellers attacked the Pound further this morning on reports that UK construction activity slowed in August.

    Much attention will be directed towards the UK’s inflation report hearings where Mark Carney and several MPC members are set to testify before parliament. Investors will be paying very close attention to any comments around monetary policy, economic outlook and ongoing Brexit developments. Will he stay or will he go? This remains a recurrent question on the mind of many investors. Lawmakers are likely to use this opportunity to quiz Carney about his future plans. The battered Pound could receive a knock out blow if Carney strikes a dovish tone and talks down rate hike prospects.

    In the currency markets, the Dollar was King as concerns over escalating US-China trade tensions boosted safe-haven demand for the currency. Another key driver behind the Greenback’s healthy appreciation is speculation over higher US interest rates this year. Taking a peek at the technical picture, the Dollar Index punched above the 95.50 level. A solid daily close above this region could inspire a move towards 95.80.

    Gold bears were back in action on Tuesday thanks to a broadly stronger US Dollar. With the mighty Dollar set to dim Gold’s shine and US rate hike expectations denting appetite for the zero-yielding metal further, the outlook remains tilted to the downside. Sustained weakness below the $1,200 psychological level could open a path towards $1,180.




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    Sterling weakens despite wage growth surprise



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    There was appetite for the British Pound on Tuesday morning following official data that showed UK wage growth accelerating faster than expected. However, gains were later surrendered as investors redirected their focus back toward Brexit developments.

    UK wage growth surprised to the upside by rising 2.9% in the three months to July while the unemployment rate remained steady at 4% - its lowest level since March 1975. Although the jobs report illustrates an encouraging picture of the UK economy, this is unlikely to convince the Bank of England to raise interest rates anytime soon. The central bank is poised to remain on hold until the thick smog of uncertainty created by Brexit fully dissipates.

    Sterling’s extreme sensitivity to Brexit headlines has clearly become a dominant market theme. The explosive price action witnessed yesterday following encouraging comments from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator is a testament to this fact. While a renewed sense of optimism over a Brexit deal possibly secured within 6-8 weeks could push Sterling higher, any hiccups during the talks are likely to expose the currency to downside shocks.

    Looking at the technical picture, the GBPUSD is turning bullish on the daily charts. Prices are trading above the daily 20 Simple Moving Average while the MACD is in the process of crossing to the upside. Bulls will remain in control as long as the GBPUSD is able to keep above the 1.3000 level. However, a breakdown below 1.3000 could inspire a decline back towards 1.2940.

    Across the Atlantic, the Dollar rebounded against a basket of major currencies as rising global trade tensions boosted its safe-haven demand. The Dollar is likely to remain king across currency markets on the back of US rate hike expectations and the bullish sentiment towards the US economy. Taking a peek at the technical picture, the Dollar Index could challenge 95.80 once bulls are able to secure a solid daily close above 95.50.




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    Chinese Yuan shows resilience, despite emerging markets pressured by trade concerns



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    Conflicting indications over the status of trade talks between the United States and China has contributed towards a subdued opening of the week for financial markets.

    Reports that President Donald Trump will most likely impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods have collided with other reports that Beijing was considering rejecting trade talks with Washington. This collectively resulted in a cautious start to the trading week for investors, where they prefer to remain on the side-lines and await clarity on this ongoing issue before deciding what step to take next with their portfolios.

    The atmosphere of caution and confusion has been reflected across the emerging market space with equities tumbling 1% while most EM currencies depreciated against the Dollar.

    The Indian Rupee was a clear casualty of the uncertain external environment as it depreciated roughly 0.90% against the Dollar. It has been a painful year thus for the Rupee which has tumbled 12% against the Dollar (YTD), making it one of the world’s worst performing currencies this year. A heavily depressed Rupee will have significant ramifications on the Indian economy, especially when considering how the nation is a major energy importer. With a depreciating Rupee potentially stoking inflationary pressures, the Reserve Bank of India could be forced to hike interest rates for the third time this year.

    Elsewhere, the Turkish Lira tumbled roughly 1.96% against the Dollar as concerns resurfaced over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s grip on the economy. It seems the “feel good” effect from last week’s bold rate hike by Turkey’s central bank has worn off with traders refocusing on the political and economic developments within the Turkish economy. Investors will be keeping an eye out for the Turkish government’s new medium-term program (MTP) to be announced on Thursday which could provide insight into the direction of Turkish economic policy. The Lira could roar back to life if the (MTP) shows signs of the authorities embracing a tighter fiscal program to support growth.

    In China, the Yuan fought back against the Dollar despite escalating trade tensions weighing on market sentiment. The Yuan’s resilience could be based on Dollar weakness, or that investors may be directing more of their energy to attacking currencies belonging to markets with high current account deficits. Looking at the technical picture, the USDCNY has the potential to challenge 6.8290 if bears are able to secure a daily close below 6.8500.

    Gold sparkled in the background as escalating trade tensions supported the flight to safety. A softer Dollar stimulated appetite for the yellow metal further with prices punching above the psychological $1200 level. While Gold could appreciate further in the near term, gains remain threated by key fundamental themes. With the Greenback heavily supported by “safe-haven” demand and the Fed poised to raise interest rates this month, Gold is destined for further pain.

    King Dollar tumbled into the trading week losing ground against a basket of major currencies despite global trade developments denting investor confidence. There is a possibility that the weakness observed could be on the back profit taking ahead of the possible announcement of additional tariffs on China. Technical traders will continue to closely observe how the Dollar Index behaves above the 94.50 support level. An intraday breakdown below this region could inspire a move towards 94.10.




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    Investors ignored the latest round of tariffs; For how long?



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    Equity markets do not seem to be concerned over the latest phase of the U.S.-China trade war. Investors have been pricing negative news for months which has led several emerging markets into bear territory. The 10% tariffs imposed by the U.S. on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods seemed to be a relief rather than a catastrophe given that markets were bracing for a 25% figure. Similarly, the Chinese response was a softer hit than anticipated after announcing that the nation won’t engage in currency devaluation.

    There’s no doubt that China’s economy will take a bigger hit if tensions escalated further. After all, China had a trade surplus of $375 billion with the U.S. in 2017. If China’s exports decline- significantly, the economy’s growth may slow down to 6% by 2019. However, there are no signs that Chinese officials are willing to wave the white flag anytime soon, especially with the U.S. mid-term elections being less than two months away.

    When looking at the performance of global stock markets this week, investors still seem to believe that a deal between the largest two economies will be struck instead of a further escalation of trade tensions. However, with President Trump in office I have doubts that an agreement will be reached.

    Although China cannot go toe-to-toe with the U.S. in a retaliatory tit-for-tat tariff war, they still have options to support their economy and hit back at the U.S. with non-tariffs weapons. China may simply put its deleveraging efforts on hold and begin a new round of fiscal and monetary stimulus to offset the damage created by trade. A reduction in corporate tax rates on manufacturing and other industries along with keeping interest rates low and a further cut in Reserve Requirement Ratio to support credit growth will keep the economy well supported for the foreseeable future.

    A gradual depreciation in the Renminbi is another tool to offset tariff impacts. The CNY has dropped more than 5.2% against the dollar so far this year, so it requires less than 5% depreciation to offset the current 10% tariffs imposed by the U.S. Despite Premier Li Keqiang vow not to pursue a policy of currency devaluation, officials can blame market conditions on the fall of the currency.

    Beijing still seems to be playing defensive so far, but if China decides to move on the offensive a new strategy will be followed. This may include boycotting U.S. products, increasing taxes on earnings of U.S. companies in China, refusing to grant approvals for M&A involving U.S. businesses, and reducing its U.S. debt holdings. Any signs of China following this path will be damaging for investors’ confidence and that’s what could lead to a steep selloff in global equities.




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    Could the Dollar be turning the corner?


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    Currencies throughout Asia have welcomed the news that the Dollar has tumbled to a near 3-month low. A number of different currencies in the region have advanced against the Greenback, with the weakening momentum for the Dollar benefiting the Indian Rupee the most at time of writing. The indications that the market is turning more negative towards the Greenback would represent very positive news for emerging market currencies in particular, which have received a pounding over the past couple of months in response to the prolonged Dollar strength in the market. This can be seen during trading on Friday with the Thai Baht, Chinese Yuan, Philippine Peso, Indonesian Rupiah, Malaysian Ringgit and Indian Rupee all strengthening.

    The exact catalyst behind why the Dollar is weakening is not easy to point out, but the main contender is that fading fears over trade tensions are providing traders with a reason to take profit on Dollar positions that have been building for months. Another round of reassuring comments from authorities in China indicating that the Chinese Yuan will not be used as a weapon in the trade tensions has also been looked upon positively by the market.

    It does overall go without saying that the prospects for more potential weakness in the Dollar moving forward would of course be widely welcome news for a long list of currencies across the globe.

    As we head into the conclusion of trading for the week the South African Rand has benefited the most from weakness in the Greenback. The Rand has strengthened above 4% over the past five days, with traders looking very positively on the news that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) were able to leave monetary policy unchanged yesterday. The news that inflationary pressures in South Africa unexpectedly eased in August earlier this week allowed the SARB to maintain resilience and not follow the recent path of both the Russian and Turkish central banks to raise interest rates, which was needed in both the cases of Russia and Turkey to ease inflationary pressures and defend both the Ruble and Lira from further weakness.

    It is not surprising that the Turkish Lira remained volatile and has shifted between both gains and weakness in the aftermath of Turkey’s finance minister announcing his plan to combat the Lira currency crisis. The market as you would expect has looked upon the announcement negatively that there has been a sharp downgrade in GDP growth forecasts for both 2018 and 2019. Growth is now expected to slow below 4% this year and narrowly above 2% in 2019, which is a sharp contrast to the overall growth at 7.4% that the economy enjoyed last year.

    I would keep a very close eye on the British Pound over the upcoming sessions despite the news that the Cable has rallied to its highest levels in nearly three months. Traders appear to have repositioned in recent sessions that there will eventually be a breakthrough in the UK and EU negotiations over Brexit, but the latest summit in Salzburg failed to result in a positive outcome and the rally in the Pound can fall like a house of cards if the markets begin to reprice into the market a potential hard-Brexit eventuality.




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