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PIG TODAY-USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, NZD: Weekly Outlook - Morgan Stanley

USD: Buying the Dip. Bullish.

We believe the current USD correction is of a positioning adjustment nature and remain structurally bullish on the USD. Therefore, we use the USD dip to add long positions to our portfolio. US data has continued to come in on the strong side, most recently reflected in the NFIB small business optimism. The current period bears little resemblance to the beginning of last year which led to a lasting peak in USD for many months as the Fed turned more dovish. We still believe in the reflationary theme and expect a hawkish Fed, expectations around fiscal policy and the threat of protectionist measures to keep USD supported.

EUR: Selling EURUSD Bearish.

We use the recent rally in EURUSD to add a short position to our portfolio. Our arguments for a weaker EUR have not changed. In the absence of further political integration, the ECB may have to remain accommodative to support the struggling periphery even as the core overheats. As EMU inflation shows signs of rising, real yields may decline to weaken the EUR. The risk of rising populism with the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany will also be an undertone for the currency. This week, we watch CPI and the ECB rates decision, paying particular attention to the ECB's rhetoric on the recent upside surprise in inflation.

GBP: Weighed by Brexit. Bearish.

We expect GBP to continue weakening to reach the cyclical low of 1.17 this quarter, on the back of post-Brexit investment weakness surfacing in the data and concerns over upcoming exit negotiations. The start of the Brexit negotiation is likely to show a wide split between the UK and the EU's position, which markets may interpret as being difficult to bridge, increasing the risk premium on GBP assets. The widening of the current account deficit in the latest data also does not bode well for GBP as it makes GBP more vulnerable to rising US yields. GBP has moved back to being driven predominantly by politics, thus PM May's speeches this week should be watched.

CHF: Watching Global Risk. Neutral.

As we think the near-term USD correction could run for a little longer, USDCHF – which is predominantly driven by the USD leg – could retrace to around parity, which we would use to buy. The latest Switzerland CPI print was encouraging as inflation escaped negative territory, driven predominantly by imported inflation turning less negative, suggesting the SNB is unlikely to change their policy anytime soon. The key event that will affect CHF this week is President-elect Trump's inauguration speech. If global risk appetite weakens, CHF will benefit from safe haven demand.

CAD: Risks of Dovish BoC. Neutral.

We expect CAD to outperform other commodity currencies. CAD is not as vulnerable as MXN to trade protectionism given a prior free trade agreement which would take effect if the US backs out of NAFTA, though this remains a risk. However, a better US economic outlook (from other policies like fiscal stimulus) should benefit Canada. However, next week's BoC meeting is a key risk; the markets are pricing in a relatively hawkish path for the Bank which they may pushback on given the mixed data overall in Canada. Recent trade data and the 4Q business outlook survey were better than expected, but core inflation has decelerated and growth remains challenged. At the end of the day, we expect the BoC to adopt a neutral tone and emphasize a wait and see approach. But we do see dips in CAD from a more dovish BoC, and we see them as opportunities to buy.

AUD: Waiting for better levels to sell. Neutral.

The market is still in a position adjustment mode in regards to the USD and treasuries. In addition, commodity prices such as iron ore and other metals continue to rally, allowing AUDUSD to break out of the top end of a long held channel at 0.74. We see some further upside in the AUD in the short term as the market looks for a negative risk or bullish USD catalyst. Longer term we see the RBA becoming more dovish and even cutting rates as the economy’s overreliance on trade with China and its overextended housing market may start to reduce consumption. We closed short AUDNZD* and look for a rally to sell AUDUSD.

NZD: USD Drives NZDUSD Pair. Neutral.

We still see the NZD outperforming the AUD over the medium term but as the USD correction continues and metals prices rally, we have decided to close our short AUDNZD position and will wait for better entry points. Generally NZDUSD has been driven by the USD side of the pair, helping its outperformance and we expect that story to continue this week. The market has already priced in hikes from the RBNZ so we will be watching the CPI print at the end of the month to see if that could change.

Source: efxnews.com

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