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EUR: Testing 1.0700 Support Ahead of ECB Meeting

A Week of Earnings and Central Bank Decisions: Fed, ECB, and BoJ Meetings in Focus

Ipek Ozkardeskaya Ipek Ozkardeskaya 24.07.2023 10:20
A week packed with earnings and central bank decisions Last week ended on a caution note after the first earnings from Big Tech companies were not bad, but not good enough to further boost an already impressive rally so far this year. The S&P500 closed the week just 0.7% higher, Nasdaq slipped 0.6%, while Dow Jones recorded its 10th straight week of gains, the longest in six years, hinting that the tech rally could be rotating toward other and more cyclical parts of the economy as well.   This week, the earnings season continues in full swing. 150 S&P500 companies are due to announce their second quarter earnings throughout this week. Among them we have Microsoft, which is pretty much the main responsible of this year's tech rally thanks to its ChatGPT, Meta, Alphabet, Visa, GM, Ford, Intel, Coca-Cola and some energy giants including Exxon Mobil and Chevron.   On the economic calendar, we have a busy agenda this week as well. Today, we will be watching a series of flash PMI figures to get a sense of how economies around the world felt so far in July, then important central bank meetings will hit the fan from tomorrow. The early data shows that both manufacturing and services in Australia remained in the contraction zone, as Japan's manufacturing PMI dropped to a 4-month low in July. German figures could also disappoint those watching the EZ numbers.   On the central banks front, the Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will meet this week, and the first two are expected to announce 25bp hike each to further tighten monetary conditions on both sides of the Atlantic.     Zooming into the Fed, activity on Fed funds futures gives almost 100% chance for this week's 25bp hike. But many think that this week's rate hike could be the last of this tightening cycle, as inflation is cooling. But the resilience of the US labour market, and household consumption will likely keep the Fed cautiously hawkish, and not announce the end of the tightening cycle this Wednesday. There is, on the contrary, a greater chance that we will hear Fed Chair Jerome Powell rectify the market expectations and talk about another rate hike in September or in November. Therefore, the risks tied to this week's FOMC meeting are tilted to the hawkish side, and we have more chance of hearing a hawkish surprise rather than a dovish one. Regarding the market reaction, as this week's Fed meetings falls in the middle of a jungle of earnings, stock investors will have a lot to price on their plate, so a hawkish statement from the Fed may not directly impact stock prices if earnings are good enough. Bond markets, however, will clearly be more vulnerable to another delay of the end of the tightening cycle. The US 2-year yield consolidates near the 4.85% level this morning, and risks are tilted to the upside. For the dollar, there is room for further recovery as the bearish dollar bets stand at the highest levels on record and a sufficiently hawkish Fed announcement could lead to correction and repositioning.  Elsewhere, another 25bp hike from the ECB is also seen as a done deal by most investors. What investors want to know is what will happen beyond this week's meeting. So far, at least 2 more 25bp hikes were seen as almost certain by investors. Then last week, some ECB officials cast doubt on that expectation. Now, a September rate hike in the EZ is all but certain. The EURUSD remains under selling pressure near the 1.1120 this morning, the inconclusive Spanish election is adding an extra pressure to the downside.   Finally, the BoJ is expected to do nothing, again, this week. Japanese policymakers will likely keep the policy rate steady in the negative territory and the YCC policy unchanged. The recent U-turn in BoJ expectations, and the broad-based rebound in the US dollar pushed the USDJPY above the 140 again last Friday, and there is nothing to prevent the pair from re-testing the 145 resistance if the Fed is sufficiently hawkish and the BoJ is sufficiently dovish.     By Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst | Swissquote Bank  
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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