Surprises Galore

Surprises Galore

Surprises galore are greeting Asia traders as we digest the astonishing overnight headlines.Betwixt by an incredible rate hike from the Bank of Canada (BOC), a sudden resignation of Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and a rare bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling, all caught market watchers by surprise.

Debt Ceiling 

In a move designed to put the focus back on tax reform likely, President Donald Trump sided with Democrats over fellow Republicans, to achieve a deal with congressional leaders to extend the U.S. debt limit until Dec. 15 as well as avoid a government shutdown and provide disaster relief. This outcome was our expected results in that the that this debt limit increase is tied to an aid package to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey relief. Republican back room squabbling aside I think we all have to agree with Senate Democrat Minority Lead Schumer that this was “a positive step forward.”

Stanely Fischer 

Vice Chair Stanley Fischer’s resignation helped to ignite a much-welcomed risk rally. While citing personal reason it’s not hard to read between the lines this move is more about clearing the way for Fed Yellen’s likely departure in February. Given that this move weakens the FED Troika ( Yellen, Dudely, Fischer) who were currently viewed as less dovish leaning members, his departure could eventually support a dovish Fed outcome throughout 2017.

Canadian Dollar

With the market pricing in only a 40 % chance of a rate hike from the BOC, USDCAD tumbled in the wake of the decision, down from 1.2400 to a low near 1.2140. This surprise will likely open the door to further gains for the Loonie as the market will start to price in a quicker pace of rate hikes from the Bank of Canada who is showing little concern for the high reaching Canadain Dollar. Unless the roaring Canadain economy takes an unexpected and abrupt U turn,  it’s more likely than not the BOC will be leading the global centeral bank charge towards interest rate normalisation this year.

It amazing how a rate hike can improve risk sentiment as EM and other commodity linked currencies rallied on the fact that at least from the BOC perspective, reflation is not dead a buried, and there are real macro concerns to focus on beyond the North Korea bluster.

Global centeral bankers were keeping close tabs on the Toronto Stock Exchange reaction in the wake of the surprise hike. And while the stock market reaction was not huge, it does italicise that stock market buoyancy is a direct result of central bank largess and perhaps a small foreshadowing of what’s in store for the ECB if the hawks take a flight of Draghi fails to temper the EURO.


Expect the EURO pre ECB positioning to dictate the pace today . But the market is struggling to reach a collective view heading into today’s  meeting. If there is a consistent look, it’s that the ECB will kick the can to October before making any serious policy announcement allowing them more time to digest both the N.Korea risk fall out and Federal Reserve Outlook.With that said, there remains a high chance that Super Mario will attempt to bludgeon Eur strength

Japanese Yen

The greenback received a modicum of support after the debt ceiling extension as USDJPY prices were lifted to a session high as US Treasury yields blipped higher. Other than the debt ceiling bounce there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of other reasons to buy UDJPY at present, so very questionable if this rally holds and I expect the market to be better seller on the average.

Australian Dollar

The Aussie regained some composure overnight on the mini risk revival, as the market refocuses on the reflationary trade after the BOC rate hike.

Yesterday, the Aussie tripped after a marginal miss on GDP. This slight data miss and the subsequent market reaction was
more a symptom of pent up expectations than anything else as the domestic GDP data has surprised the market consensus
in recent times.

The market is still in buy the Aussie dip mode.

Malaysian Ringgit
Are we finally getting our anticipated expansive shift in MYR sentiment ?? It appears the bulls are coming out on mass supported by a decent carry, a stable to a strong currency, the 1MDB risk is in the rear view mirror, and the Malay Macro fundamentals looking solid.

Yesterdays soaring exports is certainly not a sign of a struggling economy and bodes well for the MYR.

Firming Oil prices of late are also supporting the Ringgit cause.

The party may only be starting

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
Stephen Innes

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