Greenback Slides Despite RBA Rate Cut and 7-year Low in UK Construction PMI

The US dollar is offered against
the major currencies, but appreciating against many emerging market currencies,
include the South African rand and Turkish lira
.  Oil prices are
trying to stabilize with Brent near $42 and WTI near $40, but the recent losses
continue to weigh on the Malaysian ringgit and the Mexican peso.  

The dollar’s weakness against the major currencies is partly a correction
to recent gains scored over the past month that was
helped by the re-pricing of the risk of a Fed hike this year after a string of
stronger than expected data.
  However, the extent to which current
demand was being met through inventories
rather than new production came as a rude surprise to investors in the initial
estimate of Q2 GDP last week.  

The negativity toward the US dollar is offsetting the rate cut in
Australia and further evidence that the UK
domestic economy is taking a hit in the immediate post-referendum period.
 
The rate cut by the RBA was widely anticipated
The cash rate now stands at 1.5%.    There was no forward
guidance and the monetary policy statement at the end of the week is now looked upon for fresh
insight.  

On the face of it, the rate cut would appear to push the central bank
back into a holding pattern, for what may be an extended period. 
 
That said, the June economic data was particularly poor.  The trade
deficit widened to A$3.195 bln from a revised A$2.418 bln in May (from A$2.218
bln initially).  Separately, building approvals unexpectedly fell 2.9% in
June after a revised 5.4% drop in May (initially -5.2%).  The median
forecast was for an increase of nearly 1%.  

On the rate cut, the Aussie spiked lower by about half a cent to $0.7490
but quickly rebounded.
  It is now back above the $0.7560 area, where
it generally held above in North American
yesterday before breaking down in late dealing ahead of the
decision.   Offers near yesterday’s highs (~$0.7620) may stem today’s
advance.    The Australian dollar’s gains may be being helped by flows in the bond market.  The 1.8% yield on the
benchmark 10-year bond, a triple-A credit may be
drawing
foreign interest. A month ago it was yielding around
2%.  

Sterling is trading inside yesterday’s range, which is inside last
Friday’s range.
  It has been bid
to session highs near $1.3250 in the European morning.  The weaker US
dollar environment is offsetting the poor UK news.  Today it comes in the
form of the construction PMI.   The slippage is minor from 46.0 to
45.9.  It is the second month below the 50 boom/bust level.  It is
consistent with the recent string of surveys pointing to a palatable shock to
sentiment and forward-looking plans
triggered by the Brexit decision.     

The derivatives market shows high confidence that Carney and Co. will
deliver a rate cut later this week, and announce additional measures as well.
  
Similar to the Australian dollar, we suspect sterling
can probe yesterday’s highs, but we are not convinced that greater strength can
materialize yet. 


One of the most important developments today is the continuation of the JGB
sell-off. 
The yield was near minus 30 bp last Wednesday. 
Today it traded at minus one
bp.  The yield rose six basis points today.  The poor reception to today’s
10-year auction did it no favors, but the move was in place.   The
failure of the BOJ to either manage expectations better or announce more JGB
purchases has unleashed dramatic volatility in the bond market.  

The sell-off in the JGB market appears to be having knock-on effects in
Europe, where bond markets are also under pressures.
  Core yields are
up 4-6 bp, with Gilts underperforming.  Peripheral yields are up 1-3
bp.  The US 10-year yield is a little more than a basis point
firmer. 

The euro poked through the $1.12
level in early European turnover for the first time since June 24.
  However, it found some offers, and may have
to retreat a bit to get a running start at it again. The next technical objective
is in the $1.1230-$1.1265 area.   

The US reports personal income and consumption
data for June.
  It contains no new information
since the Q2 GDP.  The core PCE deflator
may draw interest if it deviates from the 1.6% year-over-year pace seen in
May.  To the extent that July data will
matter to the FOMC when it meets next in late-September, today’s auto sales
report may show that after a shopping spree
in Q2; consumers were not tapped out at
the start of Q3.  

Disclaimer

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