Fed's hawkishness

A bright spot

Housing Cracks and Central Bank Considerations: Analyzing Vulnerabilities and Implications

Housing Cracks and Central Bank Considerations: Analyzing Vulnerabilities and Implications

Ipek Ozkardeskaya Ipek Ozkardeskaya 05.07.2023 08:22
Housing cracks...  Note that that's not the case elsewhere. The UK, Hong Kong and Commonwealth countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the most vulnerable to the cracks in the housing market because the share of houses bought on mortgages on shorter-term fixed rates or variable rates are higher. In New Zealand, for example, house prices fell the most in 8 months in June and are down by more than 10% since a year earlier.     Interestingly, the US dollar index remains broadly unresponsive to the Fed's hawkishness, but against the greenback could perform better against the Aussie, Kiwi, sterling, and the Loonie in the second half, because the central banks of all the cited countries will have to sit down and think of broader economic implications of a full-blast housing crisis. History shows that, going back to the 1990s' Japan, where the Bank of Japan (BoJ) raised rates to halt the housing bubble, and which then triggered a real estate crisis, the implications were a long and dark tunnel of asset devaluation, reduced consumer spending, bankruptcies, a weakened banking sector, deflation, and long-term economic stagnation. That's certainly why Japan prefers letting inflation run hot, rather than hiking the rates and send the country to another, and a very sticky deflationary phase.    USDJPY capped near 145  And speaking of Japan, the rally in dollar-yen remains capped at 145 level. The only direction that the BoJ could take from here is the hawkish path, therefore turning long yen will, at some point, become a star trade. Yet getting the timing right is crucial and it all depends on a greenlight from the BoJ. 
A Bright Spot Amidst Economic Challenges

A Bright Spot Amidst Economic Challenges

Ipek Ozkardeskaya Ipek Ozkardeskaya 25.09.2023 11:05
A bright spot If there is one bright spot in Britain with all this, it is the FTSE100. First, the rising energy prices are good for the energy-rich FTSE100. Second, softer sterling makes these companies more affordable for international investors, who should of course think of hedging their sterling exposure, and third, more than 80% of the FTSE100 companies' revenues come from oversees, which means that when they convert their shiny dollar revenues back to a morose sterling, well, they can't really complain with a stronger dollar. Consequently, if a more dovish BoE is bad for sterling, the combination of a hawkish Fed and a dovish BoE and a pitiless OPEC is certainly good for the FTSE100. The index has been left behind the S&P500 this year, as the tech rally is what propelled the American index to the skies, but that technology wind is now turning direction. The FTSE 100 broke its February to September downtrending trend to the upside and is fundamentally and technically poised to gain further positive traction, whereas, the S&P500 is heaving a rough month, with technology stocks set for their worse performance this year, under the pressure of rising US yields, which make their valuations look even more expensive.   Interestingly, the US 2-year yield peaked at 5.20% after the Fed's hawkish pause this week and is back headed toward the 5% mark, but the gap between the US 2-year yield and the top range of the Fed funds rate is around 40bp, which is a big gap, and even if the Fed decided not to hike rates, this gap should narrow, in theory. If it does not, it means that bond traders are betting against the Fed's hawkishness and think that the melting savings, the loosening jobs market, tightening bank lending conditions and strikes, and restart of student loan repayments and a potential government shutdown could prevent that last rate hike to happen before this year ends. And indeed, activity on Fed funds futures gives more than 70% chance for a third pause at the FOMC's November meeting, and Goldman Sachs now sees the US expansion slow to 1.3% from 3.1% printed in the Q3. KPMG also warned that a prolonged auto stoppage may precipitate contraction. And if no deal is inked by noon today, the strikes will get worse.   One's bad fortune is another's good fortune  The Japanese auto exports surged big this year, they were 50% higher in yen terms. The yen is certrainly not doing well, but yes, you can't have it all. That cheap yen is one of the reasons why the Japanese export so well outside their country. And in case you missed, the BoJ did nothing today to exit their hyper-ultra-loose monetary policy. They didn't even give a hint of normalization, meaning that the yen will hardly strengthen from the actual levels. In the meantime, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda shares are having a stellar year, and the US strikes will only help them do better. 

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