The US May CPI data point up later today is critical here as it appears the market is getting nervous that the prior hopes for fading core inflation may be fading. The nominal expectations for today’s core US CPI print (ex food and energy) is +0.5% MoM with hopes that the YoY figure is set to drop to 5.9% vs. 6.2% in April and the cycle high of 6.5% in March. A cluster of strong CPI readings in April through June of last year are driving hopes that we are on the path lower core inflation prints, but a hot number today will spook this market and could drive another surge in the US dollar. A big pick-up in the US weekly jobless claims number to 229k raises the risk that the US labor market is rolling over (highest weekly print since January) and we are entering a stagflationary environment. Worth noting technically that AUDUSD breaking local support yesterday near 0.7150 and USDCAD reversing harder after the release of the Bank of Canada Financial System Review yesterday saw yields nudging lower. Comments on housing were prominent, as the review noted that many Canadians stretched to buy a home during the pandemic and sees heavily leveraged households as a key risk for the economy.
Next week we have an FOMC meeting on tap and leading indicators on the US housing market, like the NAHB survey for June. We also hear from the SNB on Thursday, which at minimum should be signaling a September rate hike.
This morning, Czechia reported a staggering 16.0% CPI rate for May, a new cycle high above the April 14.2% level. The Czech central bank remains one of the more credible in setting its rate policy and with a tremendous pot of reserves if the need arises for their mobilization. I would normally like the EURCZK carry trade with the Czech central bank backstopping CZK longs, but Czech president Zeman yesterday named three new central bankers to the central bank and refused to extend terms for two more hawkish central bank members. Last month, the president appointed a vocal dove, Ales Michl, to the governorship of the central bank starting in July. Zeman believes that inflation is due to external shocks and that a steep tightening trajectory could drive inflation higher still. Sounds a bit too Erdogan-esque for comfort. EURHUF is another CEE situation to watch as it pokes at record highs – negative real rates in Hungary are likely to get far worse.
The signals from Japan are worth watching more than ever next week, most obviously at the Friday Bank of Japan meeting, but we got signs already today that the discomfort level with the weak JPY is rising. A meeting of the BoJ, MoF and FSA today produced a statement saying that they would act appropriately if needed – likely meaning that anything resembling the price action we saw this week will elicit an escalating response if the market is not immediately impressed with first verbal intervention, then currency intervention, etc. Only a strong backing down of global yields or a Bank of Japan will do the trick in firmly resetting the JPY higher – volatility will prove more two-way from here.
Table: FX Board of G10 and CNH trend evolution and strength.
The euro’s budding wings clipped yesterday in the wake of the ECB. Watching whether the US dollar fully recovers its wings in the wake of the US CPI today. As noted above, the ability of the JPY weakness to intensify may be difficult as the intervention threat rises. Elsewhere, watching whether the CAD speed-bump develops into something more significant.