IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 19 January 2024 – IC Markets

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IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 19 January 2024

What happened in the US session?

In a similar fashion to his FOMC counterparts, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic’s speech at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce also pushed back against aggressive interest rate cuts as “he urged fellow policymakers to proceed cautiously given the potential impact of unpredictable events ranging from elections to conflicts”. Bostic, who is also a voting member this year, stated that he would like to see more evidence that inflation is on track to reach the Fed’s 2% target.

Meanwhile, unemployment claims in the US continue to trend lower with the latest figure of 187k beating the market estimate of 206k by a wide margin, signalling a robust labour market, allowing the Fed to maintain rates at current levels. The dollar index (DXY) rose as high as 103.60 following these two events.

What does it mean for the Asia Session?

Japan’s National Core CPI continues to trend lower with December’s reading coming in at 2.3% YoY, lower than 2.5% in November. The data showed further signs of easing inflationary pressures in Japan, taking the pressure off the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon, maintaining their ultra-dovish monetary policy stance as 2024 gets underway.

The Dollar Index (DXY)

Key news events today

UoM Consumer Sentiment (3:00 pm GMT)

What can we expect from DXY today?

The University of Michigan (UoM) will be releasing its preliminary findings on consumer sentiment for the month of January, where the current estimates point to continued improvement in sentiment albeit at a slower rate. The inflation expectations component will also be closely watched as December’s reading showed expectations easing from 4.5% in November to 3.1%. Stronger consumer sentiment could keep the dollar elevated today.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Federal Funds Rate target range remained unchanged at 5.25% to 5.50% for the third meeting in a row.
  • The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2.0% over the longer run.
  • The Committee will continue to assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy.
  • In determining the extent of any additional policy firming that may be appropriate to return inflation to 2.0% over time, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.
  • In addition, the Committee will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, as described in its previously announced plans.
  • Next meeting runs from 30 to 31 January 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


Gold (XAU)

Key news events today

UoM Consumer Sentiment (3:00 pm GMT)

What can we expect from Gold today?

The University of Michigan (UoM) will be releasing its preliminary findings on consumer sentiment for the month of January, where the current estimates point to continued improvement in sentiment albeit at a slower rate. The inflation expectations component will also be closely watched as December’s reading showed expectations easing from 4.5% in November to 3.1%. Stronger consumer sentiment could keep the dollar elevated and add downward pressure on gold today.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bearish


The Australian Dollar (AUD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from AUD today?

The Aussie once again found support around 0.6540 overnight before climbing higher as Asian markets came online. This currency was trading around 0.6580 and could retrace higher before resuming the downtrend.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The RBA kept the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%, marking the fifth pause out of the last six board meetings.
  • Inflation in Australia has passed its peak but is still too high and the progress in bringing inflation back to the target range of 2% to 3% was looking slower than earlier forecast.
  • Any further tightening of monetary policy to ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe will depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks.
  • Next meeting is on 6 February 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bearish


The Kiwi Dollar (NZD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from NZD today?

The Kiwi once again found support around 0.6100 overnight before climbing higher at the beginning of the Asia session. This currency was trading around 0.6120 and could retrace higher before resuming the downtrend.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee kept the OCR unchanged at 5.50% for the fourth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee is confident that the current level of the OCR is restricting demand. However, ongoing excess demand and inflationary pressures are of concern, given the elevated level of core inflation.
  • If inflationary pressures were to be stronger than anticipated, the OCR would likely need to increase further.
  • The Committee agreed that interest rates will need to remain at a restrictive level for a sustained period of time, so that consumer price inflation returns to target and to support maximum sustainable employment.
  • Next meeting is on 28 February 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bearish


The Japanese Yen (JPY)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from JPY today?

Easing inflationary pressures alleviates the pressure off the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to raise interest rates any time soon, allowing the BoJ to maintain their ultra-dovish monetary policy stance as 2024 gets underway and keep USD/JPY elevated.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank will continue with QQE with Yield Curve Control, aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2.0%, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner.
  • The Bank of Japan decided on the following measures:
  • Yield curve control: Negative interest rate of -0.1% on policy-rate balances and purchase of Japanese government bonds to keep 10-year JGB yields at around 0% while regarding the upper bound of 1.0% for 10-year JGB yields as a reference in its market operations.
  • Inflation expectations have risen moderately with underlying CPI inflation likely to increase gradually towards achieving the price stability target, as the output gap turns positive and as medium- to long-term inflation expectations and wage growth rise.
  • Japan’s economy is likely to continue recovering moderately for the time being, supported by factors such as the materialization of pent-up demand, although it is expected to be under downward pressure stemming from a slowdown in the pace of recovery in overseas economies.
  • Next meeting is on 23 January 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Euro (EUR)

Key news events today

ECB President Lagarde Speaks (10:00 am GMT)

What can we expect from EUR today?

ECB President Christine Lagarde will be participating in a panel discussion titled “The Global Economic Outlook” at the World Economic Forum in Davos where her statements and comments could have a profound impact on the direction of the Euro later during the European trading hours.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The ECB kept the three key interest rates unchanged for a second consecutive meeting, keeping the main refinancing rate on hold at 4.50%.
  • While inflation has dropped in recent months, it is likely to pick up again temporarily in the near term.
  • Underlying inflation has eased further but domestic price pressures remain elevated, primarily owing to strong growth in unit labour costs.
  • The past interest rate increases continue to be transmitted forcefully to the economy as tighter financing conditions are dampening demand, and this is helping to push down inflation.
  • The Governing Council will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction.
  • Next meeting is on 25 January 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Swiss Franc (CHF)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CHF today?

The Swiss franc continues to weaken significantly in 2024, driving USD/CHF as high as 0.8690 overnight. With several FOMC members pushing back against the market’s expectations of aggressive interest rate cuts in the US, this currency pair has maintained its bullish momentum.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The SNB kept the policy rate unchanged at 1.75% for a second consecutive meeting in December.
  • The inflation forecast puts average annual inflation at 2.1% for 2023, 1.9% for

2024 and 1.6% for 2025.

  • GDP growth is likely to be weak in the coming quarters; subdued demand from abroad and the tighter financing conditions are having a dampening effect.
  • Switzerland’s GDP is likely to grow by around 1% this year. For 2024, the SNB currently expects growth of between 0.5% and 1%.
  • Next meeting is on 21 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Pound (GBP)

Key news events today

Retail Sales (7:00 am GMT)

What can we expect from GBP today?

Retail sales grew strongly in November with sales increasing 1.3% MoM but December’s estimate points to a decline of 0.5%. Sales have been choppy over the last 12 months, reflecting mixed consumer spending. Should sales fall more than expected, the Pound could come under heavy selling pressure.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 6-to-3 to maintain its Official Bank Rate at 5.25%.
  • Three members preferred to increase the Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points to 5.5%.
  • CPI inflation remains well above the 2% target, with twelve-month CPI inflation falling sharply from 6.7% in September to 4.6% in October while services price inflation declined to 6.6%.
  • The decline in CPI inflation over recent months could largely be attributed to falls in energy, food, and core goods price inflation, as external cost pressures had continued to abate. Services price inflation had remained elevated, however.
  • The mean projection for CPI inflation is 2.2% and 1.9% at the two- and three-year horizons, respectively.
  • Next meeting is on 1 February 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Key news events today

Retail Sales (:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from CAD today?

Retail sales have grown strongly over the last couple of months but December’s estimate shows sales stagnating. Should sales actually decline on a monthly basis, it could create downward pressure on the Loonie and provide further lift to USD/CAD during the US session.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5.0% for the third meeting in a row while continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.
  • Canada’s economy stalled through the middle quarters of 2023 with real GDP contracting at a rate of 1.1% in the third quarter, following a growth of 1.4% in the second quarter.
  • The slowdown in the economy is reducing inflationary pressures in a broadening range of goods and services prices, leading to the easing of CPI inflation to 3.1% YoY in October.
  • The Governing Council is still concerned about risks to the outlook for inflation and remains prepared to raise the policy rate further if needed and would also like to see further and sustained easing in core inflation.
  • Next meeting is on 24 January 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


Oil

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from Oil today?

EIA crude oil inventories surprised market expectations by experiencing a much higher drawdown than the estimate of a 0.3M decline. Inventories fell by nearly 2.5M barrels, signalling higher crude demand in the US. Combined with a positive global demand outlook by OPEC, crude oil prices rose overnight with WTI oil gaining nearly 2% to briefly climb above $74 per barrel before pulling back slightly as Asian markets came online.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


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