Intraday Market Thoughts

A Central Bank Extravaganza

by Adam Button
Jan 21, 2015 0:29

Traders may have been looking for some paring of US dollar positions into a big day on the central bank calendar but the US dollar stormed ahead Tuesday after US traders returned from a long weekend. The pound kept pace with the dollar at the top of the FX leaderboard while the kiwi and loonie lagged. We look at what's expected in a big day for central banks.  

The first central bank decision is Japan. There's no set time for the BOJ but it's generally between 0230 GMT and 0330 GMT. A tip-off toward any surprise generally comes with a later release. We've heard some chatter about more easing but nothing from the BOJ suggested a shift. Instead, Kuroda will likely lower the inflation outlook to 1.3% from 1.7% for FY2015 but blame oil and leave 2016 unchanged at 2.1%. A one-year extension in the bank lending facility and measures to strengthen the facility have been leaked and shouldn't be a surprise.

In Europe, ECB expectations have grown so substantial and concrete that it leaves Draghi with little room to surprise and traders are fearful about euro selling on the 'fact' afterwards. However, if the amount of buying is left ambiguous or open-ended, it's a green light for fresh selling.

In Canada, USD/CAD rose to a fresh 5-year high above 1.21 with the BOC decision looming. Another nearly 5% drop in oil along with a soft manufacturing sales report (-1.4% vs -0.7% exp with downward revisions) were catalysts for the move but positioning ahead of Poloz was another factor.

 The BOC is likely to follow the IMF's lead in revising down Canadian growth forecasts but a key with Canada's central bank is the output gap. Last week Lane hinted the return to full capacity in the economy could be threatened and with oil down another $22 since the last BOC decision, there's a good chance of a shift to dovish from neutral. If so, the upside in USD/CAD continues to look attractive.

In addition to our Premium trades in CADJPY, NZDCAD and AUDJPY, We opened 2 new shorts in GBPNZD ahead of what ended up a stronger than expected Fonterra dairy auction but now the trade must contest with the weaker than expected NZ inflation figures. 
Act Exp Prev GMT
Manufacturing Shipments (NOV) (m/m)
-1.4% -0.7% -1.1% Jan 20 13:30

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