Interesting reactions to two of the other central bank meeting yesterday, as the Bank of England merely hiked 50 basis points as the majority expected, but after a lean had developed in favour of a larger move, given the Riksbank and Fed hikes of larger magnitude this week. Ahead of the decision, the GBPUSD price action got caught up in the Bank of Japan intervention, but sterling trades relatively calmly despite the BoE’s decision if we have a look at EURGBP, as the BoE’s guidance for beyond this meeting was sufficiently hawkish to shift short UK yields sharply higher, likely in part on the plans to forge ahead with QT with plans to sell GBP 80 billion of holdings even as it surmised that the UK economy may already be in recession. GBPUSD reached remarkable new lows below 1.1200 this morning, while EURGBP is still sticky in the range. The flash Sep. UK Services PMI edged into contraction at 49.2 after 50.9 in August.
A bit more drama yesterday around the SNB decision, where many were rushing to price in an exceptionally large hike, given the quarterly meeting schedule of the SNB. Alas, the SNB only hiked 75 basis points and made cryptic comments about intervening in either direction, shocking the CHF lower after EURCHF had traded to new lows as it gave the impression of a bit of pushback against the SNB using the currency as forcefully as a part of its inflation-fighting arsenal. USDCHF positively soared. Could the SNB have some concerns about competitiveness of Swiss exporters? Regardless, the choppy EURCHF chart suggests that downside progress, if it continues, won’t be easy any more.
The Norges Bank meeting yesterday was a spectacle, as the bank hiked the 50 basis points expected, but forecast that further rate tightening may soon end. Certainly out of touch with other CB signaling, and just look at NOK drop against the US dollar, hitting 10.50 today after trading sub-9.00 as recently as May!
Looking ahead, we don’t have an awful lot on the US data calendar next week until the Friday August PCE inflation data, but we do have 2-yr, 5-yr and 7-yr treasury auctions set for Tue-Thu. As long as US treasury yields at 10-years continue posting new highs, that market will remain a key driver of sentiment, though it often (as in 1987 crash) in an extreme market volatility event suddenly changes character and attracts buying as a relative liquidity safe haven. Be careful out there.
Table: FX Board of G10 and CNH trend evolution and strength.
The former euro strength has decelerated, the CHF strength has decelerated even more post-SNB and the NZD and Scandies are the real weaklings of the lot. Gold playing the resilience card with all of this risk-off – stay tuned there.