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

 

USD: Fed to Weaken USD. Neutral.

We think a dovish Fed and a benign external environment over the next few months will help weaken USD. 3Q growth has bounced back but US data has been worse than expected, including last week's retail sales print, setting up for a weak 4Q quarter as the Fed contemplates additional rate hikes. We also think that even if the Fed hikes - which is not our base case - it will be a 'dovish' hike followed by a long pause and the neutral real rate will stay depressed, keeping risk supported and long-term yields low. A risk-off environment is certainly a risk but we don't expect higher yields and steeper curves to cause the months-long risk rally to be derailed. Therefore, EM should continue to perform well against USD.

EUR: Staying Bullish. Bullish.

We remain bullish on EUR and are adding a long EURUSD position today to express a bearish USD view into the Fed. EMU's financial institutions have weak balance sheets and their profitability has reduced due to low yields and flat yield curves. This reduces their willingness and ability to add risk onto their balance sheets, prompting them to reduce their foreign FX-denominated holdings. This results in the lack of long-term capital exports to offset the commercial demand from the EMU's 3% of GDP current account surplus, supporting the EUR. We promote buying EUR against USD, GBP and JPY.

JPY: Room for Sell-Off. Neutral.

We think JPY has room to weaken should the BoJ credibly raise inflation expectations at the upcoming meeting. The BoJ has shown signs of changing its approach by reducing long-term bond purchases, helping the JGB curve to steepen. A steeper yield curve helps improve banks' profitability, increasing their ability to take more foreign FX risk onto their balance sheets by buying foreign assets, generating outflows to weaken the JPY. However, we ultimately expect the JPY weakness to reverse if the BoJ sticks to its existing monetary toolbox at the September meeting.

GBP: Turning Cautious. Bearish.

While post-Brexit UK economic data has held up better than expected, we are turning more cautious on GBP. In the latest minutes, the BoE reiterated that it will continue to ease if inflation and growth come in line with their August forecasts. However, markets are only pricing in a 7bp rate cut for this year, giving room for GBP to weaken if data starts surprising to the downside and BoE rate expectations are repriced. In addition, even though recent economic data has held up well, we still expect Brexit to drive a growth slowdown which will play out over a longer time horizon. The government's negotiation position regarding Brexit also remains unclear, with risks titled towards a hard exit that significantly reduces the UK's access to the EU market.

CAD: Bearish Supported by BoC. Bearish.

We remain bearish on CAD, with the latest change in the BoC's stance adding support to our view. In its latest meeting, the BoC stated that inflation risks have tilted somewhat to the downside and growth may be somewhat lower than anticipated in July, softening the hawkish tone that it had been adopting so far despite weak economic data. This increases the possibility of the BoC cutting rates this year, especially since we are skeptical that exports can rebound enough in the second half of the year for the BoC to hit its forecasts. Given the markets are only pricing in 4bps of rate cuts for this year, and CAD has the largest long positioning in G10, we think further data weakness could weaken CAD significantly.

AUD: Further Upside. Neutral.

We think AUD has further room to appreciate against USD if risk remains supported as decent data is enough to keep the RBA on hold and investors seeking higher yielding assets. Gov. RBA assistant gov. Kent struck an upbeat tone this week and better than expected GDP growth (though with a mixed breakdown) as well as a falling UE rate are good enough to limit the risks of RBA rate cuts, despite a still worrisome inflation outlook. With AUDUSD at 0.75, it still has room to go higher before the RBA becomes too worried about overvaluation.

NZD: Economy Remains Strong. Bullish.

There are many reasons to be bullish on the NZD. The first one is technical, as the NZD is the highest beta currency in G10 so when the USD weakens, the NZD strengthens. Fundamentally, dairy prices continue to rise, the housing markets remains supported and consumption data is coming in strong. This week's 2Q GDP print shows the economy is accelerating again. Inflation remains low, but even if the RBNZ cuts rates, it is difficult for the central bank to weaken the currency in a time when markets are looking for anything high yield. However, NZD remains vulnerable to a risk-off period and from aggressive OCR cuts in response to a too high TWI.

Source: efxnews.com

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