Decision Time

Decision Time 

Month-end flow combined with Midterm elections uncertainty was more than enough to keep investors busy, and there were enough head fakes from the Trump camp regarding progress on a trade deal with China to keep political uncertainly boiling. While the equity market and risk sentiment stabilise around current levels and some of the worst-case scenarios around trade war hedges unwind, overall risk sentiment has failed to pick up.

Investors are far too wary of an empty promise, but ultimately, they will need to decide how much of President Trump’s olive branch to China was a ploy to boost equity markets ahead of the US mid-term elections on Tuesday and how much of it is a bona fide attempt to reach an agreement.

Speaking of unwinding of worst-case scenario bets, USDCNH posted a bearish outside week after fast money ran for the exit as a push above seven would be less likely ahead of November G-20. If US-China negotiation channels remain open, an escalation on the US tariff front remains less likely so China will be more incentivised to keep Yuan weakness in check. None the less, the rally in the RMB complex also helped other Asian currencies which had their best week since late January.

Asia Markets

Local Investor sentiment will remain nervous after local stock markets rallied hard on Friday, only to see fund managers selling US stocks on the numerous Trump trade headline twists and turns.

The Malaysian Ringgit

Although the government forecast a deficit of 3.7% for its 2018 budget, up from earlier forecasts of 2.8%. The Ringgit gained on Friday due to a stronger  Yuan, but investors were also cheering when the Government announced it was doubling its Dividend from Petronas.

Main focus today

PMI numbers will be released for Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The market’s attention will be on the Caixin China PMI numbers where a negative number will raise more hopes for stimulus.

Malaysia will report trade figures while Indonesian GDP will also be published.

Chinese President Xi will be addressing the first international import forum in Shanghai.

Earnings in the region are expected from Softbank, Westpac, DBS and State Bank of India.

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