If we could sum up the catalyst behind this week’s market price action, it can probably be summed up in a single word, disinflation.
Starting with Chinese inflation numbers on Monday, to US CPI on Wednesday, and US PPI on Thursday, all of this week’s inflation numbers have pointed to one overarching theme, that of rapidly slowing prices, which has had markets pricing in the prospect that this month’s Federal Reserve rate hike is likely to be the last one for a while.
Unsurprisingly this has prompted a sharp decline in global yields, a big selloff in the US dollar, as well as giving equity markets a real boost in a complete reversal from the gloom of last week, with the Nasdaq 100 and S&P500 rising to their highest levels since January 2022.
European markets have also undergone a decent rebound on the basis that the multiple rate hikes that investors had been pricing in from the ECB and the Bank of England may now not happen.
That doesn’t mean we won’t see these central banks hike again, it's still very likely that the ECB will hike by 25bps this month and the Bank of England at the start of August. It is what comes after that which has started to become a lot less clear.
UK GDP numbers for May, were encouraging, despite showing a contraction due to the extra Bank Holiday, coming in better than forecast with the pound managing to post another daily gain, putting in its best run of gains this year, and reinforcing its position as the best performing G10 currency this year.
Yesterday’s UK data also showed that the services sector performed better than expected, coming in at 0%, showing that despite the challenges currently facing the economy it has continued to hold up reasonably well. This would suggest that the Bank of England still has room to push rates up further with 25bps already priced in for August and potentially 50bps if next week’s CPI doesn’t show a material slowing. Judging by the current trends around global inflation the feeling is that UK inflation could start to fall rapidly by the end of Q3.
The slide in the US dollar this week has been astonishing, and with the Federal Reserve set to go into a blackout period tomorrow, ahead of its next meeting, there has been little sign that this week’s data has swayed the FOMC’s stance when it comes to their view that further multiple rate hikes are likely to be needed between now and the end of the year. The problem now is the market isn’t buying it, with 2-year yields retreating sharply, as markets price in a goldilocks scenario of slowing prices and a resilient labour market.
Today’s only economic numbers of note are US import and export prices for June, which are expected to reinforce the deflationary narrative of this week’s data, with both month on month and annual numbers all expected to come in negative for the second month in succession.
We’ll also be getting the latest University of Michigan sentiment numbers for July, which have up until recently been market movers when it comes to forward inflation expectations. After this week’s CPI and PPI numbers they probably won’t get the same level of attention.
On the earnings front the focus will be on the release of the Q2 numbers for JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and their respective views of the health of the US consumer, and how much they set plan to aside in additional provisions. Their guidance on how they see the US economy in Q3 is also likely to be crucial.
EUR/USD – surged through this year’s previous peaks, and rising to its highest level since February 2022, the euro looks on course to test the 1.1500 area and the 2022 highs. The 1.1100 area should now act as support.
GBP/USD – having broken above the 1.3020 area, the pound should now head towards the 1.3300 area and March 2022 highs. Support remains a long way back at the 1.3020 area, and below that at 1.2850.
EUR/GBP – failed at the 0.8570/80 area yesterday as it continues to ping between this area of resistance and the lows this week at 0.8500/10.
USD/JPY – looks set to push lower as we move into the cloud support area with next support at the 200-day SMA at 137.20, and below that at 135.70. Resistance now comes in at the 140.20 area and 50-day SMA.