IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 8 March 2024 – IC Markets

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IC Markets Asia Fundamental Forecast | 8 March 2024

What happened in the US session?

Unemployment claims remains at 217K, no change from forecasted and previous data. Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony for the second day before the House Financial Services Committee. Chairman Powell stated that it will likely begin this year if there is continued disinflation. Financial market showed little reaction to the hearing, which saw exchanges similar to Wednesday’s hearing.  

Overall, it was a mixed set of data out of the US which caused the dollar index (DXY) to slide lower from 103.20 to as low as 102.74. Fed officials would like to see future data continuing to show inflation’s steady deceleration as it will give them more confidence when the time finally arrives for rate cuts.

What does it mean for the Asia Session?

The DXY was trading around 102.74  as Asian markets came online and could continue to edge lower this morning while spot gold prices were rising towards the level of $2,161/oz.

The Dollar Index (DXY)

Key news events today

Unemployment Rate (1:30 pm GMT)

Non-Farm Employment Change (1:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from DXY today?

Unemployment claims reversed a three-week downtrend last Thursday as it rose up 215K which was higher than the estimate of 209K – higher claims suggest a potential softening of the US labour market. 

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Federal Funds Rate target range remained unchanged at 5.25% to 5.50% for the fourth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2.0% over the longer run.
  • Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace.
  • Job gains have moderated since early last year but remain strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low.
  • Inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated.
  • 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. The Committee does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2.0%.
  • 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 19 to 20 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bearish


Gold (XAU)

Key news events today

Unemployment Rate (1:30 pm GMT)

Non-Farm Employment Change (1:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from Gold today?

Unemployment claims reversed a three-week downtrend last Thursday as it rose up 215K which was higher than the estimate of 209K – higher claims suggest a potential softening of the US labour market. Which could keep the spot gold prices elevated. 

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Australian Dollar (AUD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from AUD today?

The Aussie rose strongly to climb past 0.6550 to hit an overnight high of 0.6629. This currency was pulling back slightly at the beginning of the Asia session but it is likely to remain buoyed today.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The RBA kept the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%, marking the sixth pause out of the last seven board meetings.
  • Inflation continues to ease in the December quarter but remains high at 4.1% YoY.
  • The central forecasts are for inflation to return to the target range of 2 to 3% in 2025, and to the midpoint in 2026.
  • The path of interest rates that will best ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe will depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks, and a further increase in interest rates cannot be ruled out.
  • Next meeting is on 19 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Kiwi Dollar (NZD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from NZD today?

The Kiwi jumped strongly from 0.6183 following the overnight release of the Unemployment Claims. This currency was pulling back slightly as Asian markets came online but it is likely to remain elevated today.

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

Medium Bullish


The Japanese Yen (JPY)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from JPY today?

The Japanese yen saw significant inflows causing USD/JPY to dive as low as 147.67 during the US session. This currency pair started to climb higher at the beginning of the Asia session and is expected to face some volatility as the day progresses.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank will continue with Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control (YCC), aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2.0%, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a sustainable and stable manner.
  • The Bank of Japan decided on the following measures:
  • YCC: 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 are expected to rise moderately toward the end of the projection period, with continued improvement in the output gap and changes in firms’ wage- and price-setting behaviour and in labour-management wage negotiations.
  • 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 19 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Strong Bearish


The Euro (EUR)

Key news events today

ECB Monetary Policy Statement (1:15 pm GMT)

ECB Press Conference (1:45 pm GMT)

What can we expect from EUR today?

The ECB left the interest rate unchanged at 4.50% for the fourth straight meeting. Should the statement and President Lagarde’s press conference both communicate a neutral hawkish tone, as economic growth bolstered expectations for cuts in June. This currency broke above 1.09548 overnight and could remain elevated for the rest of the day.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The ECB kept the three key interest rates unchanged for a third consecutive meeting, keeping the main refinancing rate on hold at 4.50%.
  • The incoming information has broadly confirmed its previous assessment of the medium-term inflation outlook.
  • Aside from an energy-related upward base effect on headline inflation, the declining trend in underlying inflation has continued, and the past interest rate increases keep being transmitted forcefully into financing conditions.
  • Tight 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 7 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Swiss Franc (CHF)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CHF today?

Due to the release of Unemployment claim and Chairmain Powell testimony, this currency pair tumbled to 0.8764. This currency pair retraced a little higher as Asian markets came online but reversed around 0.8772 to slide lower once more.

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

Weak Bearish


The Pound (GBP)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from GBP today?

Following the release of the Unemployment Claims as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony in the US, the Pound hit an overnight high of 1.2819. This currency pair could remain elevated as the day progresses.

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% for the fourth consecutive meeting.
  • Two members preferred to increase the Bank Rate by 0.25% to 5.50% while one member preferred to reduce Bank Rate by 0.25% to 5.00%.
  • CPI inflation remains well above the 2% target, with twelve-month CPI inflation increasing from 3.9% in November to 4.0% in December 2023 while wage growth has eased across a number of measures and is projected to decline further in coming quarters, although still elevated.
  • This downside news has been broad-based, reflecting lower fuel, core goods and services price inflation.
  • CPI inflation is projected to be 2.3% in two years’ time and 1.9% in three years.
  • Next meeting is on 21 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Key news events today

Employment Change (1:30 pm GMT)

Unemployment Rate (1:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from CAD today?

Employment Change and Unemployment Rate will be released later today. The previous release in February showed that Canada has a high employment rate at 37.3k, way above the forecast of 16.0k. They have raised the forecast to 21.1k for this month, we could expect the Canadian dollar to remain elevated as the day progresses. 

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 Bearish


Oil

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from Oil today?

Oil prices increased on Friday due to rising demand in the United States and China, the world’s biggest oil consumer, and as the Federal Reserve gave a positive signal on the possibility of rate cuts. 

Brent oil went up 0.45%, or 37 cents, at $83.32 a barrel. Crude oil rose 0.61%, or 48 cents, to $79.44.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


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