FX Trading focus: Rates trump risk sentiment as USD driver.
As noted on Friday, the near-term focus for FX traders is where and when the USD finds support, if it is going to find support. I suspect that the USD will only properly roll over for the cycle once the Fed has turned back toward easing – at least in a relatively sense, and perhaps this only becomes clear as a reduction in the perceived end-point of this rate hike cycle. In that sense, the market seems in a rush to declare that we have reached that point and that inflation is set to fade from here. Breakeven inflation rates peaked back In late March and have really swooned since the beginning of May. Yields at the short end of the US yield curve remain elevated, but are below the peak reached just before Fed Chair Powell took jumbo hikes of greater than fifty basis points off the table at the May 4 FOMC meeting. The longer end of the US yield curve has consolidated even more and I suspect the combination of the easing back of US yields and inflation expectations, combined with hefty long-USD speculative positioning, that have the USD on its back foot. I have a hard time that peak Fed rate expectations are in the rear view mirror a week before actual quantitative tightening has even begun, but let’s see
From here, there is still some room for the USD to fall further without reversing the well-established bull trend, but the comfortable (for USD bulls) portion of that room has been about reduced by half in today’s trade. The yield-fixated USDJPY is in its own category (given BoJ yield-cap policy and the enormity of the move since the pair broke above the 116.35 range top back in March) . For other major USD pairs, the next major area for EURUSD is into 1.0800+, for USDCHF is 0.09525, for USDCAD last gasp support is into 1.2660-1.2715, AUDUSD is discussed below. GBPUSD has a little resistance at the 1.2638 pivot high, but has a lot more wood to chop to suggest a trend reversal, as this downtrend started on the break below 1.3000.
The AUDUSD has carried through higher after bobbing back above the pivotal 0.7000 level, one that has served as both support and resistance on many occasions since early 2019. Supporting the AUD are the structural shift in the country’s external imbalances for the better, the recent rebound in risk sentiment, a solid recovery in some industrial metal prices associated with Australia’s traditional export mix, and hopes that China is set to stimulate. Working against the Aussie’s favor are a new left turn from the Australian government at the margin, rising concerns that the global economy is set to slow, and the risk that we are far from the end of the asset market deleveraging cycle. From here, bears, for an ideal fresh trading hook, need a quick rejection of today’s action and for the price action to dip back below 0.7000. On the flipside, if this rally persists into 0.7250+ area (most recent major pivot high in that area and just ahead of the 200-day moving average) the latest down-wave would have been rejected and this would suggest the softening up of the bearish risk has been neutralized for now – the next figure (100 pips) in either direction looks very important here for the pair.