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OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam and Head of Trading Asia Steve Innes review the week’s business and market news with Jazz FM Business Breakfast presenter Nick Howard.

This week’s big stories: rate hike from the Bank of England, Apple market cap hits $1 trillion, China moves to shore up the yuan, and US job figures (non farm payroll numbers) miss expectations.

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Big revisions offset July miss on payrolls

Another strong US jobs report expected today

The PBoC giveth the PBoC taketh

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Trade war breakthrough?

US markets are off to a rousing start in the wake of a report that US and China are said to restart talks to avert the escalating tit for tat trade war but renewed selling in large-cap tech companies has tempered gains. But indeed any tempering of this confrontational issue ahead of the Presidents 200 billion trade threat will be viewed in a favourable light and provided parties remain at the table, where there’s a will there is a way.

Currency Markets

As expected there was no hawkish midsummer nightmare but rather \he BoJ did not change rates nor did they show any signs of shifting from ultra-loose monetary policy and predictably USDJPY has been grinding higher while taking the NKY is tow. The BoJ announced minuscule adjustments: Firstly, no surprise here that both GDP and CPI expectations were revised lower. Secondly, they increased the band around the 0.0% target for 10y JGBs from 10bps to 20bps, permitting more movement in rates. They changed the ETF program, maintaining purchases at JPY6.0tn but adjusting the allocation more to Topix rather than Nikkei. Finally, the BoJ adopted a forward guidance strategy as traders view incredibly subtle shift towards policy normalisation definitively dovish and topside USDJPY is now in play.

Chinese Manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI’s were slightly below expectations but did not seem to have a notable market impact. If anything, base metals are trading mixed this morning after the data.

On the highly watched USDCNY post, the overnight the fix came out in line with expectations at 6.8165, +34 pips but on the positive trade headlines long USDCNH positions are buckling from 6.84+ to sub 6.80 as long dollar positions are running for the exits.

The AUD dollar was trading bid after residential building approvals came in better than expected overnight, But on the back of this morning move below 6.80 USDCNH has seen an exodus from arguably the market most crowded trade, short Aussie.

The National Post report overnight indicating US diffidence for Canada to join the current US/Mexico trade talks saw USDCAD spike back towards 1.31 but provided traders with an excellent opportunity to re-engage CAD longs as the outlook remains favourable for the Loonie,.And local dealers were rewarded after the positive GDP overwhelmed the negative NAFTA news.

With an apparent easing on Trade tensions, the Malaysian Ringgit should find some support on improving risk sentiment, but as we enter the two days Fed policy meeting, the USD is holding up its end of the bargain. But in addition to the Fed policy meeting, traders have payrolls on their mind which should continue to lend support to the Greenback and will limit MYR gains.

Oil Markets

Oil prices were back peddling out of the gates this morning ahead of today’s contract expirations in September Brent, after reports from Interfax pointed to increased supply, specifically from Russia, whose oil production was up to 11.22mm bpd this month. However, both Brent and WTI have reversed tack and are moving higher on the positive US-China trade headlines which are easing global growth concerns.

Gold Markets

Gold prices bounced off session lows with the Yuan rallying. However, with the Fed expected to stay the course with two interest rates rises in 2018 which should underpin near-term USD sentiment, speculators will continue to fade upticks in the absence of haven and sluggish physical demand.

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The sell-off in GBPUSD (cable) has been losing momentum for a couple of months now, with the pair having stalled around 1.30 despite one attempt to break below a couple of weeks ago, something that now looks like a false breakout.

The move has coincided with a general improvement in sentiment towards the greenback, with the already hot US economy getting an additional fiscal boost from tax reforms, leading to an increase in expectations for rate hikes in the near to medium term.

GBPUSD Weekly Chart

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It has also coincided with a slowdown in other countries which has forced their respective central banks to take a more gradual approach to tightening plans, with the Bank of England being one of those to have adopted such an softening in stance.

The dollar has also benefited from its renewed safe haven appeal, with US Treasuries being favoured in trade-related risk averse environments thanks in part to the higher yield that is now on offer.

DAX trading sideways as eurozone inflation within expectations

This pair is not short of potential catalysts this week, with the BoE meeting on Thursday – or Super Thursday as it has now become known – being at the very top of these (Fed rate decision Wednesday and US jobs report on Friday also clearly stand out).

The UK central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points at the meeting – 87% priced in – the second post-financial crisis rate hike but the first time rates will be above 0.5% which for some time was seen as the lowest they could reasonably go.

BoE Interest Rate Probability

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Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

While the decision to raise interest rates has been met with confusion and even criticism, due to the economy very much not firing on all cylinders and Brexit talks now at a crunch point and likely to be much clearer in only a few months, policy makers have done nothing to correct markets interpretation of events which if anything makes investors even more confident that it will happen.

This comes after policy makers backtracked on a rate hike in May due to the first quarter slow down, despite being confident at the time that it was largely weather related, something recent data has gone some way to confirming.

BoJ new script supports the carry-trade

This determination to raise rates may be one of the things supporting the pound recently but if a hike is so priced in, has sterling peaked? I’m not sure. For one, any progress in Brexit negotiations should be good for the pound. The same applies to the economy, with both providing comfort to the central bank. Something it can’t have much of right now given the sheer amount of uncertainty.

GBPUSD Daily

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From a purely technical perspective, the sell-off appears to have potentially run its course. The pair has found support around a notable technical support level – 50 fib from lows to highs, previous support and resistance and a big round number just to complete the hatrick.

What’s more, upon reaching here, momentum had already started to decline and has continued to do so, with the MACD and stochastic making higher lows even as price made lower ones. This divergence, while not being a buy signal, is a sign that all may not be as bearish as it was and that there may be some profit taking or even buying creaping back in (remember, if this is a corrective move, then the recent weakness should prove only temporary and bulls become increasingly interested once again).

The pair may be flat on the day after US inflation, income and spending figures brought some life back to the dollar, but should it find some upward momentum again and break back above 1.32 – and the falling channel – it could be a bullish signal in the near-term.

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Wall of worry builds around the tech sector 

US equity markets continue to absorb Facebook’s swoon which is weighing down FAANG’s ahead of Apple earnings announcement on Tuesday. Indeed the markets heavyweight champions are having a rough day, but US markets pruned much of their losses as bank stocks and surging oil prices boosted producers. But all eyes will remain on NASDAQ as the Wall Street wall of worry continues to build around the tech sector.

Interest rate markets are predictably in flux ahead of the numerous central bank announcements this week with the BOJ tomorrow, the US FOMC on Wednesday and the BOE on Thursday. No one is expecting any rate changes, but as always the statements will be closely analysed for any shifts in policy.

But the US dollar is still suffering a bit of a GDP hangover after squeezing higher vs G-10 peers on whisper numbers that were running exceptionally hot. But in the GDP  aftermath, the USD bears continue to remind that 4.1% print was below consensus but more significantly, core PCE came in below expectations  And while the GDP print keeps the Fed on a path for two more rate hikes in 2018, the markets are not buying in wholeheartedly given the lack of inflationary pressures.

Oil Markets

Oil markets are starting the week on a very positive tone with prices trading bid throughout the NY session as supply concerns are making headlines once again  Both Brent and WTI contracts are seeing strong support after three UK oil fields, Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin are shutting down due to labour strikes. All the while middle east geopolitical tensions recur as Saudi Arabia continues to halt their shipments via the vital Red Sea shipping lanes as ongoing attacks from Houthi rebels take their toll.

Also, Trump’s auto plan continues to influence prices as the rollback in US efficiency requirements is projected to increase fuel consumption by some 500 K barrels per day.

Gold Markets

The markets are trying to turn bullish on the hope for some type of relief rally, but prices remain entirely at the fate of the US dollar. The Yuan has continued to weaken throughout the day and has pressured prices lower.  It’s taking little to spook gold longs suggesting as the markets remain decidedly bearish ahead of the critical central bank decisions.

Currency Markets

Not making much of current price actions given summertime liquidity feel to FX markets as the subtle ebb and flows are more apt to little more than position driven given the tricky calendar of events in the days ahead. And to complicate matters, month end is approaching with quant signals suggesting USD selling portfolio adjustments.

USDJPY still hovering around 111 ahead of the highly anticipated BoJ policy meeting. And while it’s unlikely the BoJ will lay a summertime hawkish horror story on the markets, there has been enough noise to suggest that something is afoot. And while USDJPY could gap higher on the lack of hawkish inference, but the markets will likely continue to bank on a fall review which should temper upside moves. At this point, the general market consensus is for a downgrade on CPI forecast to 1.5 % from 2 %

USDCAD with WTI surging, its been playing positively into CAD trading sub 1.300 before midday profit-taking set in and WTI traded off intraday highs.

EURUSD: The Euro has been trading firmer today on the back of higher EU Zone yields suggesting we could see a move to the top side of the current ranges.

GBPUSD: Cable has been rangy” but with the lack of Brexit noise Sterling shorts are being pared.

AUDUSD: The Aussie short remains a crowded trade but with month-end dollar selling likely to develop into month end shorts are getting covered.

USDCNH Spot continues to move higher even though the fix was lower than market expectation. There is little news, but the lack of progress on the trade war front coupled with little pushback from the PBoC suggests the USDCNH has room to run higher.

USDMYR: Oil prices have been mildly supportive, but the MYR continues to be weighed down by the weaker Yuan and uncertainty over trade war. But with the plethora of central banks taking the stage this week. The local trader is waiting to take their cues from both BoJ and the FOMC forward guidance.

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Investors encouraged by Trump/Juncker meeting

Equity markets are trading slightly in the red in what has been a slow start to an otherwise very busy week in financial markets.

Stock markets have been gradually rising in recent weeks, making their way back to the record high levels they achieved earlier in the year before the numerous trade conflicts involving the US heated up. The apparent progress made at the White House last week between Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker has eased some concerns for now but the threats generally remain.

Earnings season has delivered a positive distraction for investors, with companies once again reporting stellar quarterly results aided by the obvious benefit of tax cuts. We’ll get results from another 144 S&P 500 companies this week as US corporates look to continue the positive momentum of earnings season so far and potentially propel the index to a new high.

DAX ticks lower, German CPI next

BoE seen raising rates while Fed and BoJ also meet

There’s also a number of central bank meetings this week, the most notable of the lot probably being the Bank of England with investors widely expecting a rate hike, taking the benchmark rate above 0.5% for the first time since early 2009. A rate hike is now 86% priced in which could trigger a lot of volatility if policy makers once again hold off, as they did back in May.

BoE Interest Rate Probability

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Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

The Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan will also hold meetings this week although these events may be less eventful, with neither seen adjusting policy this month. The Fed is also on a very clear tightening path and with the economy performing in line with expectations and the trade conflicts not yet biting, I don’t expect there to be any change in the central bank’s stance.

G7 FX moves look to central banks for direction

There has been speculation that the BoJ may look to slightly remove accommodation by increasing the yield it will allow the 10-year to reach, although I’m not sure that will come this week. Investors appear to be testing the BoJ’s resolve, with the yield having hit its highest level since February last year. Should the central bank reject the speculation, I would expect this to quickly reverse course.

This week also sees the release of the US jobs report which is widely regarded to be the most important economic report of the month and is typically a trigger for market volatility.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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podcast-9197943

OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam reviews the week’s business and market news with Jazz FM Business Breakfast presenter Jonny Hart.

This week’s big stories: US/EU set for tariff deal, US GDP boost, Facebook shares plummet, Brexit blow for May.

Craig also previews the week ahead with interest rate decisions coming from the Bank of England, Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan, as well as the July US jobs report.

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USD/JPY – Japanese yen gains ground on strong inflation report

U.S. Economy grew 4.1% rate in Q2

Easing trade fears provide boost ahead of US GDP

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Markets buoyed by easing trade war risks

European markets are trading in the green once again on Friday, with futures pointing to a similar open in the US, as an apparent easing in trade tensions between the US and European Union boosts risk appetite.

While only the outline of an agreement on trade between the two – which account for more than half of global GDP – was released, it was widely viewed as an important first step towards more cooperation and closer ties, and away from protectionism. For Donald Trump, the concessions offered by the EU represent an important victory at home ahead of the midterm elections – although the real benefits of them may not be known for some time.

Juncker on the other hand will be a relieved man, returning to Europe having avoided tariffs being imposed on the auto industry and with apparent assurances both sides will work towards removing those already imposed, while lowering other tariffs and non-trade barriers in the future. This was also ultimately the goal of Trump as well when imposing the tariffs so both will feel they have come out of this better off.

U.S dollar firmer on GDP expectations

Strong week of earnings despite Facebook horror show

Ultimately, the biggest winner here may be investors as the meeting now potentially sets a precedent for how other trade conflicts can be resolved, although the feud with Beijing is more complex and may take much longer to repair. The protectionist measures adopted by Trump as a tool to fight other countries on trade – and then by those countries in retaliation – have weighed on markets since the start of the year, keeping the S&P 500 and Dow off their highs despite companies having reported huge earnings growth – primarily driven by tax cuts – in the first two quarters.

It’s been a big week for earnings season, with a third of S&P 500 and Dow companies reporting on the second quarter. While the general trend has remained, with companies reporting strong figures, it hasn’t passed without its casualties, with Facebook closing almost 20% lower yesterday after reporting disappointing numbers and forecasts. Today is looking a little quieter on the earnings front, although there are still 18 S&P 500 companies reporting, including Exxon Mobil and Twitter.

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US GDP eyed as Trump hopes for more than 4%

On the data side, the US will release GDP figures for what is expected to be a bumper second quarter after a modest first few months of the year. The economy is expected to have grown 4.1% on an annualised basis, which will naturally be championed by Trump as being rewards for his hard work. It will be interesting to see how markets react, should the economy outperform expectations, with the Federal Reserve already on course to raise rates twice more this year.

Economic Calendar

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For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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In this week’s FX webinar, Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam discusses the latest events that are moving financial markets – Trump attacks the Fed, Brexit plans widely criticized etc – and previews the week ahead.

Craig also gives his live analysis on EURUSD (9:22), GBPUSD (11:48), EURGBP (18:45), AUDUSD (19:34), USDCAD (21:04), GBPCAD (22:14), NZDUSD (23:31), USDJPY (24:38), GBPJPY (27:41) and EURJPY (29:09).

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podcast-9197943

OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam reviews the week’s business and market news with Jazz FM Business Breakfast presenter Jonny Hart.

This week’s big stories: Trump attacks Fed over rate rise, UK inflation figures hit sterling, Barnier dismisses Brexit white paper , Google fined record sum.

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USD Weaker After Trump Interest Rate Comments

Canada: Inflation Hit Six-Year-Plus High

Dollar Rally Ends With Trump Monetary Policy and Currency War Comments

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GBP bounces back after data driven selling

European markets are trading in the red early in the session on Thursday, with the FTSE 100 the only major index in the green, supported by weakness in the pound after the release of some more disappointing data for the UK.

The UK retail sales data this morning may have dealt another major blow to the Bank of England’s hopes of raising interest rates in August, bringing an end to what has likely been a very frustrating week for policy makers. In recent weeks it has appeared that the Monetary Policy Committee had once again come around to the idea that raising interest rates in August is appropriate after plans in May were derailed by a frustratingly weak first quarter, something policy makers appeared to have correctly assumed would prove to be a temporary lull.

The data this week may have thrown another spanner in the works, with labour market figures showing a tight labour market by uninspiring wage growth, core inflation falling below 2% and now modest retail sales growth in what was expected to be a stellar month. This is clearly not the platform policy makers were hoping for when preparing investors for a rate hike but they may still seize the opportunity before it’s taken away from them for a prolonged period.

DAX takes pause from recent gains

Traders still convinced of rate hike despite week of bad releases

There may well be a strong feeling in the MPC that the central bank should have pushed ahead with a hike in May and stood by its belief that weather had a negative but temporary impact on the economy which would have given it the freedom to be patient through the rest of the year. Instead, it now finds itself in a position were the most recent data hasn’t been great and Brexit talks are not progressing as hoped, meaning it would make far more sense to hold off until November, something that would likely result in another backlash against the policy of forward guidance.

UK Interest Rate Probability

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Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

While holding off would make sense, there is clearly a view in the markets that this will not happen and the central bank may stick to plans to hike in two weeks. Despite numerous setbacks this week, a hike is still currently 68% priced in and after initial selling, the pound is showing some resilience and holding above 1.30 against the dollar. It seems traders are awaiting any hint from the BoE that plans have been put on hold again, at which point the resilience will likely break and possibly aggressively.

GBPUSD Daily Chart

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US earnings, data and Fed speakers eyed

Over in the US, futures are tracking the majority of Europe lower, with the major indices currently seen opening around a tenth of one percent lower. This comes after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell once again gave an upbeat assessment of the economy on Wednesday, in his appearance in front of the House Financial Services Committee. With the Fed on a quite clear and consistent course on interest rates, there wasn’t a huge amount learned in either appearance that we already didn’t know.

‘Footy’ dented U.K retail sales and pounds sterling

Today it’s looking a little quiet for the US. There are a couple of pieces of data that traders will be looking out for ahead of the open – Philly Fed manufacturing index and jobless claims – and we’ll also hear from Powell’s colleague at the Fed, Randal Quarles. With the season now up and running, there’ll also be a big focus on US earnings with 21 companies reporting including Microsoft and BNY Mellon.

Economic Calendar

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For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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