IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 27 March 2024 | IC Markets


IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 27 March 2024

What happened in the US session?

Following two consecutive months of decline, durable goods orders beat market expectations in February by rising 1.4% MoM versus the estimate of 1.2% as orders for transportation equipment, machinery and fabricated metal products rebounded. However, recent data shows that orders have mixed over the last nine months, swinging between large monthly declines and relatively weak gains. 

Meanwhile, the Conference Board released its findings on consumer confidence for the month of March which indicated rising anxiety amongst respondents. Although consumers were more optimistic of the current situation, they also became more pessimistic about the future – this index has moved sideways over the last six months with no significant improvement and deterioration in confidence levels.

The dollar index (DXY) rebounded off the 104-level to rise as high as 104.33 overnight and this bullish momentum continued as Asian markets came online – this index was rising strongly towards 104.50 and is likely to remain elevated today.

What does it mean for the Asia Session?

Australia will release its monthly CPI indicator for the month of February with the estimate pointing to a slight increase of 3.5% YoY from 3.4% from the previous month. Although inflation has eased considerably through 2023, the current levels are still well-above the target of 2%. Should the latest CPI reading print higher than the estimate of 3.5%, the Aussie could receive a short-term boost.

The Dollar Index (DXY)

Key news events today

FOMC Member Waller Speaks (10:00 pm GMT)

What can we expect from DXY today?

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is due to speak about monetary policy at the Economic Club of New York where audience questions are expected. With the recent increases for CPI and PPI readings for the months of January and February, traders will be watching out for any hawkish rhetoric from Governor Waller which could potentially function as a bullish catalyst for the dollar.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Federal Funds Rate target range remained unchanged at 5.25% to 5.50% for the fifth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2% over the longer run and judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance.
  • The economic outlook is uncertain, and the Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks; inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated.
  • Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace while job gains have remained strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low.
  • In considering any adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will carefully assess incoming data, the evolving outlook, and the balance of risks and does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2%.
  • 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 April to 1 May 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


Gold (XAU)

Key news events today

FOMC Member Waller Speaks (10:00 pm GMT)

What can we expect from Gold today?

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is due to speak about monetary policy at the Economic Club of New York where audience questions are expected. With the recent increases for CPI and PPI readings for the months of January and February, traders will be watching out for any hawkish rhetoric from Governor Waller which could potentially function as a bullish catalyst for the dollar and thus put downward pressure on gold prices.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bearish


The Australian Dollar (AUD)

Key news events today

CPI (12:30 am GMT)

What can we expect from AUD today?

Australia will release its monthly CPI indicator for the month of February with the estimate pointing to a slight increase of 3.5% YoY from 3.4% from the previous month. Although inflation has eased considerably through 2023, the current levels are still well-above the target of 2%. Should the latest CPI reading print higher than the estimate of 3.5%, the Aussie could receive a short-term boost.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The RBA kept the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%, marking the seventh pause out of the last eight board meetings.
  • The headline monthly CPI indicator was steady at 3.4% over the year to January, with momentum easing over recent months, driven by moderating goods inflation. Services inflation remains elevated, and is moderating at a more gradual pace.
  • The central forecasts are for inflation to return to the target range of 2–3% in 2025, and to the midpoint in 2026.
  • While recent data indicate that inflation is easing, it remains high. The Board expects that it will be some time yet before inflation is sustainably in the target range.
  • The path of interest rates that will best ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe remains uncertain and the Board is not ruling anything in or out.
  • Next meeting is on 7 May 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 was one of the worst-performing currency pairs yesterday as it reversed from 0.6030 to drop towards the threshold of 0.6000 overnight. Overhead pressures continue to build for the Kiwi as it dropped below this key threshold as Asian markets came online.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee kept the OCR unchanged at 5.50% for the fifth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee remains confident that the current level of the OCR is restricting demand. However, a sustained decline in capacity pressures in the New Zealand economy is required to ensure that headline inflation returns to the 1 to 3% target.
  • Core inflation and most measures of inflation expectations have declined, and the risks to the inflation outlook have become more balanced.
  • However, headline inflation remains above the 1 to 3% target band, limiting the Committee’s ability to tolerate upside inflation surprises.
  • The outlook for the China economy, New Zealand’s top trading partner, remains particularly weak relative to recent historical norms, with structural factors constraining long-term growth.
  • Next meeting is on 22 May 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Strong Bearish


The Japanese Yen (JPY)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from JPY today?

Overnight strength for the dollar lifted USD/JPY as it hit 151.60 overnight. The bullish momentum for this currency pair continued at the beginning of the Asia session as it rose strongly towards 151.80.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank considers that the policy framework of Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control and the negative interest rate policy to date have fulfilled their roles. With the price stability target of 2%, it will conduct monetary policy as appropriate, guiding the short-term interest rate as a primary policy tool.
  • The Bank of Japan decided on the following measures:
    1. The Bank will encourage the uncollateralized overnight call rate to remain at around 0 to 0.1% while continuing its JGB purchases with broadly the same amount as before.
    2. In addition, the Bank will discontinue purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) and will also gradually reduce the amount of purchases of CP and corporate bonds and will discontinue the purchases in about one year.
  • Underlying CPI inflation is likely to increase gradually toward achieving the price stability target of 2%, 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 26 April 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Euro (EUR)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from EUR today?

The Euro came under selling pressures during the US session as it dropped from 1.0850 to dip under 1.0830. This currency pair extended its downward slide as Asian markets came online and it is likely to edge lower towards 1.0800.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The ECB kept the three key interest rates unchanged for a fourth consecutive meeting, keeping the main refinancing rate on hold at 4.50%.
  • Since the last Governing Council meeting in January, inflation has declined further while the latest ECB staff projections show inflation has been revised down, in particular for 2024, which mainly reflects a lower contribution from energy prices.
  • The projections for inflation excluding energy and food have also been revised down and average 2.6% for 2024, 2.1% for 2025 and 2.0% for 2026. Although most measures of underlying inflation have eased further, domestic price pressures remain high, in part owing to strong growth in wages. 
  • Financing conditions are restrictive and the past interest rate increases continue to weigh on demand, which is helping push down inflation. Staff have revised down their growth projection for 2024 to 0.6%, with economic activity expected to remain subdued in the near term.
  • The Governing Council will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction. In particular, the Governing Council’s interest rate decisions will be based on its assessment of the inflation outlook in light of the incoming economic and financial data, the dynamics of underlying inflation and the strength of monetary policy transmission.
  • Next meeting is on 11 April 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bearish


The Swiss Franc (CHF)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CHF today?

Selling pressures have intensified for the Swiss franc since the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly cut its key policy last week causing USD/CHF to surge strongly. This ongoing bullish momentum drove this currency pair to hit an overnight high of 0.9040 and it is all but certain to climb higher as the day progresses.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The SNB eased monetary policy by lowering its key policy rate by 25 basis points, going from 1.75% to 1.50% in March.
  • For some months now, inflation has been back below 2% and thus in the range the SNB equates with price stability.
  • According to the new forecast, inflation is also likely to remain in this range over the next few years.
  • The forecast puts average annual inflation at 1.4% for 2024, 1.2% for 2025 and 1.1% for 2026, based on the assumption that the SNB policy rate is 1.5% over the entire forecast horizon.
  • Swiss GDP growth was moderate in the fourth quarter of last year and it is likely to remain modest in the coming quarters.
  • Overall, Switzerland’s GDP is likely to grow by around 1% this year.
  • Next meeting is on 20 June 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Pound (GBP)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from GBP today?

Overnight strength for the dollar pushed the Pound lower as it reversed from 1.2655 to drop towards 1.2620. Selling pressures continue to build for GBP/USD as it edged lower towards 1.2600 at the beginning of the Asia session.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 8-to-1 to maintain its Official Bank Rate at 5.25% for the fifth consecutive meeting.
  • One member preferred to reduce the Bank Rate by 25 basis points to 5.0%.
  • Twelve-month CPI inflation fell to 3.4% in February from 4.0% in January and December while Services consumer price inflation has declined but remains elevated, at 6.1% in February.
  • CPI inflation is projected to fall to slightly below the 2% target in 2024 Q2, marginally weaker than previously expected owing to the freeze in fuel duty announced in the Budget.
  • In the February Report projection, CPI inflation had been expected to fall temporarily to the 2% target in 2024 Q2 before increasing again in Q3 and Q4, to around 2.75%.
  • Having declined through the second half of last year, UK GDP and market sector output are expected to start growing again during the first half of this year while the fiscal measures in Spring Budget 2024 are likely to increase the level of GDP by around 0.25% over coming years.
  • Next meeting is on 9 May 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bearish


The Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CAD today?

Higher demand for the US dollar caused USD/CAD to rebound from 1.3550 to as high as 1.3585 by the end of the US session. Strong tailwinds continue to push this currency pair higher as it rose towards 1.3600 as Asian markets came online.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5.0% for the fourth meeting in a row while continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.
  • Canada’s economy grew in the fourth quarter by more than expected, although the pace remained weak and below potential.
  • CPI inflation eased to 2.9% in January as goods price inflation moderated further but shelter price inflation remains elevated and is the biggest contributor to inflation.
  • Underlying inflationary pressures persist: year-over-year and three-month measures of core inflation are in the 3.0% to 3.5% range, and the share of CPI components growing above 3.0% declined but is still above the historical average. The Bank continues to expect inflation to remain close to 3.0% during the first half of this year before gradually easing.
  • The Governing Council is still concerned about risks to the outlook for inflation, particularly the persistence in underlying inflation and wants to see further and sustained easing in core inflation and continues to focus on the balance between demand and supply in the economy, inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behaviour.
  • Next meeting is on 10 April 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


Oil

Key news events today

EIA Crude Oil Inventories (2:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from Oil today?

Following yesterday’s surprise increase in API stockpiles, prices for crude oil came under pressure. The API stockpile increased by 9.3M barrels which was the largest inventory build since November 2023. Prices for WTI oil reversed strongly from $82.70 per barrel to drop below $82 by the end of the US session. This commodity extended its downward slide and was trading around $81.40 at the beginning of the Asia session.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bearish




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