Friday 23rd February 2018
February 23rd 2018: John Hardy, head of FX Strategy at Saxo Bank says in today’s client note that: “The latest European Central Bank minutes showed a debate on leaving the door open to QE resumption if conditions warranted, ultimately leading to the dropping of this language in the forward guidance. The headlines have seized on the discussion of the volatility of the euro in the minutes and the phrase that this provided “a source of uncertainty that required monitoring". ECB president Draghi offered a stern rebuttal at the most recent ECB meeting to a (likely offhand) statement by US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that a weak dollar is a benefit to the US economy. The expectations for ECB policy unwinding have gone into neutral over the last couple of weeks, even with the recent recovery in risk appetite, and this kind of language from the ECB, heavy EUR long speculative positioning, and a rather sharp deceleration in the most recent PMIs are making it tough sailing for EUR bulls. Speaking of positioning, the JPY short is shrinking but still very large. Often, when the JPY is on the move, it is directly traceable to something else afloat in the markets, whether from direct signals from the central bank, or large swings in risk appetite or bond yields. But this recent move feels qualitatively different and rather significant, as if the market is changing its mind about its underlying assumptions (that the BoJ will forever be the policy laggard and as long as we aren’t seeing a market meltdown, carry trades versus the JPY are a no-brainer) and this could lead to a broad-based repricing of the G10’s cheapest currency” -

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