FX Update: : Soft US CPI sparks significant kneejerk USD selling, but... FX Update: : Soft US CPI sparks significant kneejerk USD selling, but... FX Update: : Soft US CPI sparks significant kneejerk USD selling, but...

FX Update: : Soft US CPI sparks significant kneejerk USD selling, but...

Forex 4 minutes to read
John Hardy

Head of FX Strategy

Summary:  The market was happy to adjust US yields higher recently on stronger than expected US data points, but failed to take the USD lower, which in perfect hindsight suggests that the USD was set for a sharp drop on a soft CPI print today. And that’s what we got, with the headline CPI figure flat on month-on-month comparisons and the core rising less than expected. But how far can the market run on a single data print as data reactions have been fickle and fleeting of late.


FX Trading focus: USD bears celebrate weak CPI print, but…

The US CPI print came in weaker than expected for both the headline and for the ex Food and Energy figure. The headline softness was driven by huge drops in energy prices from June levels, with the entire energy category market -4.6% lower month-on-month and gasoline down -7.7%, much of the latter on record refinery margins collapsing. The ex Food & Energy category was up only +0.3% vs. the +0.5% expected, with soft prices month-on-month for used cars and trucks (-0.4%) and especially airfares (-7.8%) dragging the most on figure.

Risk sentiment is off to the races as this fits the market’s Goldilocks soft-landing scenario, particularly given recent stronger-than-expected activity data. It’s hard to tell how far the market can take the reaction function to a data point like this when we are trading in an illiquid month and some very volatile categories are behind the surprise inflation number today, and recent data reactions have failed to hold beyond the end of the day. But for now, the USD has triggered lower and taken out some important local support. We suspect it is far too early in the cycle to call the aggressive shift from the Fed that the market has been pricing, as this July CPI data point has seen the market marking the September FOMC decision down close to 50 basis points now and taking more of the tightening out of the meetings beyond. The market’s interpretation of a profound shift in the Fed, the Fed’s own protestations notwithstanding, has driven a strong easing of financial conditions since mid-June. Could this result in the economy showing a heating up in the coming months, also as the shock of higher gasoline price in particular may have eased the pressure on consumer sentiment? The preliminary Aug. University of Michigan Sentiment survey could be an interesting test on that front.

For now, USDJPY posted the biggest reaction to the data point today as one would expect on the big move in treasury yields – more on USDJPY below. EURUSD has broken above the local resistance just below 1.0300, but faces a more significant resistance level in the 1.0350 area – one that could lead to a return to 1.0500+ if this move sticks through the Friday close. Again, as mentioned recently, it is too early to call an end of the EURUSD bear – the market’s view will have to play out as currently priced, with all of the Goldilocks implications, etc., for the USD to shift to a sustained and broad bear market here. Elsewhere, AUDUSD has vaulted above 0.7000, the tactical bull/bear line, with a huge zone up into 0.7150-0.7250 the more structural area of note for direction. Gold not holding above 1,800 in reaction to this data point as of this writing is already a weak performance, and I am watching much of the treasury market kneejerk reaction higher seeping out of the US treasury market as well – so some of the reaction is already fading fast – stay tuned!

A US treasury auction is up today at 1700 GMT – the longer end of the US yield curve may be the most important coincident indicator for all markets here – if yields pull back higher, for example the US 10-year benchmark moving back above 2.87% and especially toward 3.00%, today’s reaction in the USD and the JPY, etc.. should quickly reverse.

Chart: USDJPY
The bottom dropped out of USDJPY on the softer than expected US July CPI data this afternoon, just as it vaulted higher on Friday on the stronger than expected US July jobs report – with US yields the key coincident indicator. On that note, the US Treasury market reaction fading fast in the wake of today’s data point suggests USDJPY bears should be cautious here – if the US 10-year benchmark closes back above 2.75% and especially above 2.87% in coming days, this move may be quickly neutralized, although if we do close down here well south of 133.50, the candlestick looks rather bearish for a test lower. If the pair closes back well above 134.00, the next step would be a move above 136.00 to suggest the bull market is back on (likely as US 10-year treasury yields pull to 3.00% or higher).

Source: Saxo Group

Table: FX Board of G10 and CNH trend evolution and strength.
Let’s have a look at how the market behaves after the knee-jerk reaction to the US data point today before drawing conclusions. As noted above, some important coincident indicators for the US dollar are suggesting caution for USD bears here.

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group

Table: FX Board Trend Scoreboard for individual pairs.
Today’s USD moves important if they stick into the close today and the close to the week – data reactions have been fickle and fleeting of late – so some patience may be required.

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group

Upcoming Economic Calendar Highlights (all times GMT)

  • 1600 – UK Bank of England economist Pill to peak
  • 1700 – US Treasury to auction 10-year notes
  • 1800 – US Fed’s Kashkari (non-voter) to speak
  • 2301 – UK Jul. RICS House Price Balance
  • 0100 – Australia Aug. Consumer Inflation Expectations

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 07

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • The rise of populism: Far-right parties will influence the future

    The disheartening cycle of unresolved geopolitical conflicts, the rise of polarizing political parties, and the stagnation of productivity.

    Read article
  • Investing in China: Navigating Q1 amid economic challenges

    Understand China's political landscape in Q4 2023 and the impact on counter-cyclical initiatives, with a focus on the pivotal Q1 2024.

    Read article
Disclaimer

The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-hk/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-hk/about-us/awards.

The information or the products and services referred to on this site may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and services offered on this website are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.