Biden proposed massive US capital gains tax increase
To pay for future social spending initiatives, US President Biden will propose a near doubling of the capital gains tax for those earning more than $1 million, a policy that, if it succeeds, would represent the largest shift in the US tax code since the Reagan Revolution in trying to reverse the widening inequality gap of the intervening forty years. This will be a part of his American Families Plan to be announced before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday. It will be critical to track this story for whether the votes in Congress are there before the 2022 Mid-term election for this and his other tax code proposals. It is generally USD and US-asset negative, although in trying to pay for future spending, it does allay the worst fears of MMT-style profligate spending that would present the worst outcomes for US real yields. Biden also proposed a staggering goal of reducing US CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 at a climate summit yesterday and a Politico article outlines how he will pursue climate goals even if Congress won’t move on policy.
Russian ruble losing some of its geopolitical discount
The ruble rallied sharply yesterday on the news that Russia will pull its troops back from the Ukrainian border to end its “military exercise” there. This allowed a dramatic reduction in the “geopolitical discount” the currency has suffered in recent months. Today, the Russian Central Bank is expected to announce a 0.25% rate hike that would take the policy rate to 4.75%. USDRUB trades near the 200-day moving average just above 75.00 and could be set for a bout of further strength if oil prices stay stable to higher here and the Russian central bank hikes as expected today and continues to signal further hikes to come. (Just before screen-time update: the central bank hiked 50 bps, a solid support for the RUB, though guidance is for a rate hike at "one of next two meetings" and 2021 average anticipated rate 4.8%-5.4%, suggests they see a pause in hike trajectory soon.)
USDJPY at a technical crossroads
The USDJPY pair has reached a technical crossroads as it traded down to a nearly exact touch of the 38.2% retracement of the huge rally wave off the January lows at 107.79. In this morning’s Saxo Market Call, I also noted that the lows also coincide with the current top of the Ichimoku cloud on daily charts. The key coincident indicator remains the long end of the US treasury yield curve, where the recent consolidation of bond yields lower has boosted the yield-sensitive yen (which is set to stay very yield sensitive on the Bank of Japan’s recent capping of 10-year yields at 0.25%). A further drop in US yields would see the focus shift to perhaps the 105.75 area 200-day moving average, where the key 61.8% Fibo retracement also sits, although that would require a considerable further US treasury rally. A fresh sharp rise in yields is likely required to get the bulls back on board, meanwhile.
Busy calendar next week
The macro calendar heats up next week with interesting inflation (Germany Thursday and Euro Zone Friday) and GDP (Germany and France data, while an FOMC meeting is up on Wednesday, the same day as Biden is set to speak for the first time before Congress as noted above. Surely by the end of the week we get a firmer sense of whether the USD is set to tilt lower again (the default position if risk sentiment avoids a train-wreck and US real yields remain sidelined).
Table: FX Board of G-10+CNH trend evolution and strength
Trend signals are still mostly weak on the FX Board, with the USD registering the strongest reading on its recent dip. Sterling is not doing well either as momentum has shifted strongly negative over the last two days, while CAD has shifted positive in the wake of the BoC meeting.