A “Taxing” Day for Dealers

A “Taxing” Day for Dealers

As expected, the Trump administration rolled out the Tax reform roadshow on Wednesday. Given the market’s lofty expectations, traders are viewing it as little more than a road map, rather than the much ballyhooed “big announcement”, because the statement did not provide any comprehensive details. While the essence of the proposal is reflationary and indeed, dollar bullish in a very market friendly positive way, the argument remains for, and further clarity is required on how the tax cut’s deficit ramifications will be offset. Fiscal reforms present a real revenue drain amidst disquieting concerns of the current trajectory for the US deficit. Look for the US administration to revisit the contentious repeal of Obamacare, which also will present another hurdle for risk. Overall, an incredibly Taxing day for traders.

As for the government shutdown, chatter in the Foggy Dew suggests that the legislators will need another week to settle their differences to avoid a shutdown, this despite reports suggesting otherwise. It is all a bit confusing and will likely go down to Friday’s deadline.

While dealers were connecting the tax reform dots, commodity currencies were sideswiped by a report in Politico that the Trump Administration is weighing an executive order to withdraw from NAFTA by officially starting a six-month review period. Predictably, the CAD and MXN have weakened notably on this, but there has been lots of foreshadowing of this move, dating back to mid-March.

Amid all the soundbites, FOMC members have reiterated that they respond to data, rather than Trump uncertainty; yet the market is responding to latter.

Canadian Dollar

Another tough day on the Canada post. While the CAD initially benefited from a larger drop in crude inventories, it was steamrolled by the NAFTA headlines. The bounce in WTI was then unwound after a Bloomberg report that stated Saudi Arabia was losing market share to Iran and Iraq. Traders now think that maybe production cuts may not be extended, and so the balancing act goes on.


Japanese Yen

Despite the USDJPY move overnight, the currency of choice remains the EURJPY, which should underpin the USDJPY near term. We again find ourselves caught in a vortex of headlines driven trade, which tends to muddy the fundamentals. But with risk sentiment expected to reassert itself, it is challenging not to view the USDJPY higher in this environment.

On the BoJ front, no changes are expected, and it is far too early to expect any hawkish delivery from a BOJ that is likely erring on an inflation overshoot before signalling any hike.


Australian Dollar
The AUD has been beaten down after yesterday’s CPI report, which suggests that the RBA will remain accommodative for the foreseeable future and the acute bid that transpired on the USD post-US Tax rhetoric. The NAFTA talk has not only weighed on USDCAD overnight but commodity currencies, as the market re-visits US protectionism and possible announcements on import tax policy.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Stephen Innes

Stephen Innes

Head of Trading APAC at OANDA
Stephen has over 25 years of experience in the financial markets and currently based in Singapore as the Head of Trading Asia Pacific with OANDA. Stephen's market views focus on the movement of G-10 and ASEAN Currencies. His views appear in Bloomberg, CNBC.Reuters, New York Times WSJ and the Economist. His media appearances include Bloomberg TV & Radio, BBC International, Sky TV, Channel News Asia, ASTRO AWANI and BFM Malaysia. Stephen has an extensive trading experience in Spot and Forward FX, Currency and Interest Rate Futures, Money Market Derivatives and Precious Metals. Before joining OANDA, he worked with organisations like Nat West, Chemical Bank, Garvin Guy Butler, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Stephen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and holds a Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Stephen Innes