Inflation is the Key

Inflation is the Key

The shortened Memorial day week is chalk full of critical data, but  Tuesdays PCE and Friday’s Payrolls results will be crucial in shaping the markets near term structural view for the USD. Given the Fed’s concern about realised inflation, dealers will be directed to the Average Hourly Wages Friday as this week’s print can cause massive volatility in Financial Markets given the releases proximity to  the anticipated June US interest rate hike

Similarly, Wednesday’s  EU  inflation data will play a significant role in Euro fortunes.  Moreso given the market’s high expectations for a more hawkish change in the ECB’s forwarding guidance, While the markets have been watching ECB speeches more intently, ECB Draghi stuck to the script while addressing a committee of the European Parliament suggesting the ECB’s  extraordinary amount of monetary policy support is still required.

While most markets sleep walked through yesterday’s session the same can not be said for the CNH as volumes s were trading well above average.The fallout from last week’s stronger CNY fixing and the latest funding squeeze are taking their toll on newly minted dollar longs and dampening enthusiasm for CNH trade.  If this were the objective of the Pboc latest temper tantrum, after the Moody’s downgrade,  the job was well done, given the huge carry, investors would likely prefer short USDCNH exposure. If the non-existent funding conditions persist, with T/N trading at 175 at one stage, we may see the USDCNH eventually test the key psychological 6.80 level as this short term carry is too juicy to ignore.


In early Asia, the EURO  toppled from 1.1170 to 1.1130 after a  headline surfaced that Greece may opt out of next payment without debt deal ( BILD). With the war of words escalation between the ECB and Greece regarding the inclusion in ECB bond buying program, the uptick in Greece risk premium is weighing on Eurozone sentiment.

The Euro was trading a tad dark as Draghi’s latest comments suggest the EU still needs stimulus, sounding much less hawkish than the market lean. The headline saw fast short term money take advantage of  both market positioning and early morning liquidity to drive the Euro to lower with ease   Positioning is a bit stretched on the EUR and EUR crosses so there could be some additional follow through on the headlines

Australian Dollar

The Aussie is under the gun in early trade more so from a general view that downside risk to the commodity space abounds rather than any one particular headline. With this dispirited  near-term view  for iron ore prices and  the Feds all but certain to raise interest rates in June, the Aussie appears  poised for a significant move lower

Japanese Yen

USDJPY has extended its decline below 111 as EURJPY positioning unwinds on this morning Greece headline But overall risk, in general, is struggling this morning on Greece and the latest UK election poll. The uptick in risk aversion weighed on regional sentiment and was compounded by the latestReuters headlines ” North Korea warns of ” bigger gift package ” for US  which has USDJPY under some heat.  

The Pound

The Pound fell through 1.2800 in early Asia trade, but risk, in general, is struggling on the latest UK election poll.The gap between Conservatives and Labour parties is narrowing in the most recent polls in UK elections. The Times cites a Survation poll as showing that Conservatives are at 43% versus 37% for Labour- a lead of 6 points down from 9 points a week earlier.

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