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US CPI expected to edge higher in July

European markets saw a decent rebound yesterday after the Italian government clarified the details around its windfall tax bombshell from earlier in the week.

The gains were also helped by a belief that deflation in China could lead to the end of further rate hikes from central banks here in Europe as well as the US.

US markets on the other hand, underwent another negative session as nervousness crept in ahead of today’s US inflation numbers, with Nasdaq 100 leading the falls, at the same time as US 2-year yields finished the day higher.  

The slowdown in China does raise the risk that central banks might over play their hand when it comes to further rate hikes, while any indication that inflation might start to baseline and turn higher could well complicate matters further as the Federal Reserve decides as to whether it has done enough, or whether they need to hike again in September.

This makes today’s US CPI for July and tomorrow’s PPI numbers extremely important in the decision-making process.

In the last 12 months we’ve seen US CPI fall from a peak of 9.1% in June last year, slowing to 3% in June, with the slowdown in prices being very much a one-way process. If we do see a move higher to 3.3% which is what is expected there is a concern that might prompt some concern that we’ve bottomed. Core CPI slowed to 4.8%, in June which was more encouraging, and it is here that the Fed may well choose to focus its attention.

With the Federal Reserve having hiked rates by another 25bps in July, there is this sense that further rate hikes beyond July could be a big ask, especially with PPI inflation on the cusp of going negative, when the July numbers get releases tomorrow.

That said anyone expecting a straight-line process when it comes to slowing inflation could find that further weakness towards 2% might not be such a straightforward process.

Expectations for July are for headline CPI to tick higher to 3.3%, while core prices are expected to slow to 4.7%.  

Any indication that we might be at a short-term base when it comes to headline inflation could prompt some concern that the Fed might think about another rate hike at its September meeting, with the next key focus likely to be on the annual Jackson Hole Symposium at the end of the month. 

US weekly jobless claims are expected to remain steady at around 230k.

EUR/USD – finding support just above the 50-day SMA, with resistance at the 1.1050 area which we need to break to have any chance of revisiting the July peaks at 1.1150. Support at the 1.0900 area.

GBP/USD – remains capped just below the 1.2800 area. We need to see a move back above the 1.2800 area to ensure this rally has legs. We have support at the 1.2620 area. Below 1.2600 targets 1.2400. Resistance at the 1.2830 area as well as 1.3000.    

EUR/GBP – continues to struggle near the 0.8650 area but we need to see a move below the 0.8580 area to signal a short-term top might be in and see a return to the 0.8530 area. Also have resistance at the 100-day SMA at 0.8680.

USD/JPY – continues to edge back towards last week’s high just below the 144.00 area, having rebounded from the 141.50 area. While below the 144.00 area the risk is for a move towards the 140.70 area. Main resistance remains at the previous peaks at 145.00.


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