European politics in the spotlight – with Germany dealing with a new Covid ave and the ongoing natural gas and power crunch, it is time for the government coalition to announce itself and begin ruling. An announcement of the “stoplight” coalition could be imminent and we’ll have to watch the awkward combination closely, particularly the LDP Lindner’s attitude toward spending as the traditionally liberal party’s supply side principles are at odds with its Social Democratic and Green coalition partners inclinations, although energy emergencies are not political, but must be dealt with. Elsewhere, Italian president Mattarella announced he will be stepping down. If, as some believe, an effort is made to replace his mostly ceremonial role with Mario Draghi, elections would have to be held. And the French election season will only heat up from here, where we watch whether Macron can keep the populists Zemmour and Le Pen at bay. The Euro is getting very cheap – bigger fiscal, an ECB reverse repo facility, and a non-Covid constrained outlook by spring could have EURUSD in a very different place by then.
Antipodean action- the Aussie has risen sharply versus the kiwi (NZD) over the last couple of sessions as the news flow for the Aussie has improved notably, with China’s central bank possibly signaling it is ready to bring stimulus, some of the news flow in the property sector improving, and especially as iron ore prices have jumped sharply, particularly overnight, on all of the above plus anticipation that China will have to increase steel output soon.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand was one of the quickest central banks to turn hawkish over the summer and abandon QE and was only delayed slightly in hiking rates by New Zealand’s first Covid outbreak in many months over the summer. The central bank chief Adrian Orr has made it clear that the bank is on the path or many more rate hikes to come and the market has priced in a policy rate of 1.50% by the April meeting of next year versus the current 0.50%. Most believe that the central bank will only hike 25 bps tonight but a significant minority believe that the bank will hike 50 bps. As important will be the market mood (if risk sentiment is weak on further US yield rises, for example, the impact of any RBNZ move may be muted) and whether guidance is able to meet lofty expectations for further tightening. The NZ 2-year yield has traded flat at elevated levels since late October, while NZDUSD has declined, arguably on the fresh momentum in Fed expectations, so moving the needle may require that the RBNZ deliver a 50 basis point hike and even more hawkish guidance.
Turkish lira move getting downright disorderly – Turkish President was out yesterday complimenting the recent Turkish Central Bank chief’s decision to cut rates another 100 basis points and declaring that the Turkish government would concentrate on policies that encourage economic growth. In rather dire language, he drew parallels between the current situation and the struggle to form the modern Turkish state in 1923 in the wake of World War I. As of this writing, USDTRY traded near 12.50 after starting last week near 10.00, a breathtaking move. Much more of this kind of price action, and the risk of hyperinflation will swing into view.
Table: FX Board of G10 and CNH trend evolution and strength
The most important trend shift was yesterday’s huge dump in precious metals – look at the momentum scores for the last 2- and 5 days. Otherwise, most trends of late are extending with the exception of the badly fading NZD.