News: USD 2022-11-30 13:49

Inflation reality check

USD: Holding pattern
Despite geopolitical challenges to the East, it has been a quiet start to the week for FX markets. The trade-weighted dollar index DXY is tracing out a relatively narrow range in the 105.30 to 108.00 area.

The next clear catalyst on the agenda is a speech by Fed Chair Powell tonight at 1930CET discussing the economy and the labour market. This comes at a time when the buy-side report two of their top three tail risks as: i) inflation staying high and ii) central banks staying hawkish. (The third being geopolitics.) We would say that Chair Powell has recently shown to be at the more hawkish end of the spectrum and that tonight’s event risk is a positive one for the dollar.

Dollar price action after Chair Powell’s speech should also tell us something about FX positioning. If the dollar fails to rally on a hawkish speech it may continue to tell us that the market is caught long dollars at higher levels and that some further consolidation may be due into December.

For the time being, however, we think the macro environment continues to favour the dollar and see Powell’s speech, the October PCE price data (Thursday) and November jobs data (Friday) as upside risks to the dollar.

Chris Turner

EUR: Inflation plays second fiddle to Powell
Spanish and German inflation came in lower than expected yesterday. The German CPI fell 0.5% to 10.0% in November, thanks primarily to the energy base effect and lower prices for leisure and entertainment following the autumn holiday period, while food prices continued to rise. Our economics team remains sceptical that this is the series' peak, and we expect inflation to accelerate again in December. Yesterday’s numbers mean that markets are expecting a lower reading in the eurozone-wide CPI today.

However, some impact on European Central Bank rate expectations has already occurred, as markets have trimmed around 7bp from December pricing, which is now at 54bp. President Christine Lagarde is scheduled to speak at least twice more before the 15 December policy announcement, but she may not change markets' expectations of a 50bp hike.

The impact of the inflation story on the EUR/USD has been, predictably, limited. External factors and dollar dynamics continue to drive the pair's performance, and we see downside risks today given that Fed Chair Powell is scheduled to speak later. A break below 1.0300 could fuel more bearish momentum, bringing EUR/USD back to the 1.0200/1.0250 levels seen earlier this week.

This morning, Norges Bank will publish daily FX sales for the month of December. Higher-than-expected NOK sales in 3Q22 contributed to NOK weakness, but the Bank unexpectedly reduced them in November from NOK 4.3 billion to 3.7 billion. Any further reductions may support the currency today.

Francesco Pesole

GBP: Lack of domestic drivers
Yesterday’s testimony by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey did not yield any market-moving headlines. Today we’ll hear from Chief Economist Huw Pill, who recently pushed back against a 75bp hike and may therefore keep BoE rate expectations in check.

Cable to test 1.1800 as Powell’s speech may support the dollar today.

Francesco Pesole

CEE: Polish inflation will test central bank dovish camp
Today's calendar offers November inflation in Poland, the first print in the CEE region. We expect inflation to be unchanged at 17.9% year-on-year, close to market expectations. However, as usual, the range of surveys is wide, and in addition, Polish inflation has by far posted the biggest surprise in the region over the past three months. Given the pause in the National Bank of Poland's hiking cycle, we can expect a lot of market attention. We will also see the second release of Poland's 3Q GDP, which surprised positively in the flash reading (0.0% vs 0.9% quarter-on-quarter) a few weeks ago.
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