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Macro Week Ahead: The news flow from Europe improved markedly of late, but risks are still ahead

Macro Week Ahead: The news flow from Europe improved markedly of late, but risks are still ahead

9.9.2013 9:39

The eco calendar is devoid of market moving releases. San Francisco Fed will speak before the black period surrounding the FOMC meeting kicks in (tomorrow), but he still spoke on Friday, making it unlikely he will still affect market thinking on tapering. That leaves Syria as the focal point. The US Senate (and House) returns from their Summer recess and will debate the joint resolution to authorize the limited and specified use of the US armed forces against Syria. According to press agencies, opposition against Obama’s plans is mounting. If he doesn’t get authorization, something we would surprise us, he would lose credibility. The dollar might get hit.

In a longer term perspective, there was not really a dominant theme to guide currency trading during this summer. 

Late June/early July, the dollar was supported by the expectation that the Fed would reduce the pace of asset purchases in a not that distant future. The ECB’s shift to forward guidance was a negative for the euro. The positive impact on the dollar faded from mid-July as mixed US data and soft Fed speak kept uncertainty on the timing and the pace of tapering alive. At the same time, the case for more ECB easing in the near future faded as Europe returned to growth. EUR/USD fully retraced the 1.3417/1.2755 June/July decline. Bond yield differentials between LT US and German bonds also remained quite stable over the previous two months. Global investors raising the relative weight of European assets in their portfolio might have supported the solid performance of the euro.

The news flow from Europe improved markedly of late, but risks are still ahead. We assume that the Fed will lead the ECB in reducing policy stimulation, but this was no big support for the dollar of late. At some point, this factor will come into play when a further improvement in US growth fuels market speculation on the need for a normalisation in US interest rates. For now there is no trigger available to kick-start this process. At the same time we don’t see a big case for further sustained EUR/USD gains from the current level. A cautious EUR/USD short bias is preferred.

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