The USD dollar and muddle of stimulus and post-election logic
Risk sentiment suggests the market is hopeful that a US stimulus deal will arrive before the election, but time is running awfully short and although Trump has made overtures on specific limited stimulus efforts, there is no sign of softening yet from the Democrats, as House leader Pelosi has dismissed Trump’s push on stimulus as an attempt to get checks with his name on them in the mail to every American just before the election.
The US dollar was nearer support late yesterday than it is as of this writing, and it is tough to dissect the narrative for the greenback here. On the one hand, signs are increasing that the Biden/Harris ticket is pulling away in the polls, with the latest polls in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Florida (both of which Trump won in 2016) showing widening margins in the Democrats’ favor. This is USD positive on the notion that the election could prove far smoother than recently feared and less contested than would be the case in a close election.
But longer term, the narrative is supposed to be that Biden is a negative for the US dollar on the risk of higher MMT-driven spending and higher taxes, and should equity markets celebrate a smooth election if there are longer term inflation and taxation concerns? The answer could be that the markets prefer to simply own stocks rather than bonds if inflation is set to pick up with the Fed pre-declaring that it is unwilling to hike rates. The more positive spin on the USD, meanwhile, is perhaps the hope that Biden will prove more fiscally responsible than the Trump administration by raising taxes to finance some portion of the spending. I am not convinced that serious flows have been generated on the above logic, as traders may be sitting on their hands and awaiting the equally important question of whether the Democrats can take back the Senate, the only way for Biden’s domestic agenda to see the light of day. We may be none the wiser on near-term USD direction until after Election Day.
A TRY-ing time for the lira
In spite of the positive mood across global markets and a solid bid under many EM currencies, the Turkish lira has been pounded for further sharp losses today, which have taken the USDTRY rate closer to the next round figure of 8.00. US senators from both parties are urging sanctions on Turkey’s purchase of a Russian anti-aircraft system, as Turkey is said to be readying a test of that system. Interestingly, the currency weakness has outpaced the credit market, as Turkish bonds don’t appear under local stress here.
The G-10 rundown
USD – head-scratching noted above on the USD and we could be in directional lock-down until after Election Day. The FOMC minutes drew little focus.
EUR – new partial lockdowns in parts of Europe, but sentiment is failing to crater here. Watching for the degree of disagreement among EU governing council members in today’s ECB meeting account.
JPY – the recent rise in yields and strong risk sentiment are a double whammy against the yen’s favour, and USDJPY jumped above local resistance, although the bigger picture chart implications are lacking in a hopelessly choppy chart – arguable mean-reversion is the name of the game (selling and assuming no upside break will sustain)
GBP – as noted above, sterling choppy with a consensus complacency afoot that a deal will be struck – the two-way risk is prominent, with the worst case a temporary collapse in talks if October 15 passes with no deal, even if brinksmanship can continue all the way up to December 31.
CHF – no need for safe havens with the current backdrop and paint is busily drying on the EURCHF chart. The EURCHF 1.0600-1.0900 range is the limbo zone for the franc and has been since June.
AUD – watching the 0.7200 area in AUDUSD for whether this triggers new buying interest on the technical implications (a reversal of the September sell-off). See our Eleanor Creagh’s breakdown of Australia’s latest budget.
CAD – USDCAD slipping below the local 1.3250 pivot in today’s trade as oil has surged a bit again – the 1.3000 lows are the cycle key as well as the broader status of the USD, which has yet to break down.
NZD – RBNZ chief economist banging the dovish drum again in saying that it is better to err in the direction of doing too much rather than too little to bring further support. This jolted NZ rates a shade lower and AUDNZD back higher well above 1.0800, for now rejecting the bearish case that was building as that area faltered recently.
SEK – EURSEK needs a positive news in Europe and another surge in risk sentiment to punch back down through the 10.40 pivot area and suggest an end to upside risk.
NOK – the 10.75-89 level the key local pivot for EURNOK as we need a stronger boost to risk sentiment in Europe and a bigger surge in oil again if the pair is to work back lower.
Upcoming Economic Calendar Highlights (all times GMT)
- 1100 – Mexico Sep. CPI
- 1130 – ECB Meeting Minutes
- 1215 – Canada Sep. Housing Starts
- 1230 – Canada Bank of Canada’s Macklem to Speak
- 1230 – US Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims
- 1315 – US Fed’s George (Non-voter) to Speak
- 1610 – US Fed’s Rosengren (Non-voter) to Speak