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IC Markets Europe Fundamental Forecast | 14 March 2024

IC Markets Europe Fundamental Forecast | 14 March 2024

What happened in the Asia session?

The dollar index (DXY) hovered above 102.75 before edging higher towards the 103-threshold as some demand for the dollar appears to be returning. Naturally, a firmer dollar is putting downward pressure on gold with spot prices pulling away from the level of $2,180/oz to fall under $2,170/oz. Meanwhile, crude oil prices remain elevated with WTI oil rising towards the threshold of $80 per barrel.

What does it mean for the Europe & US sessions?

The Producer Price Index (PPI) – which measures wholesale inflation – will be released today. Following larger-than-expected gains for the month of January, the forecast for February points to prices increasing at a slower rate on a monthly basis. Should the latest PPI data come in ‘soft’, demand for the dollar is likely to wane further. However, retail sales and unemployment claims will also be released at the same time and should these data points highlight strong consumer spending and a resilient labour market, it could inject higher volatility during this period.

The Dollar Index (DXY)

Key news events today

PPI (12:30 pm GMT)

Retail Sales (12:30 pm GMT)

Unemployment Claims (12:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from DXY today?

The Producer Price Index (PPI) – which measures wholesale inflation – will be released today. Following larger-than-expected gains for the month of January, the forecast for February points to prices increasing at a slower rate on a monthly basis. Should the latest PPI data come in ‘soft’, demand for the dollar is likely to wane further. However, retail sales and unemployment claims will also be released at the same time and should these data points highlight strong consumer spending and a resilient labour market, it could inject higher volatility during this period.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Federal Funds Rate target range remained unchanged at 5.25% to 5.50% for the fourth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2.0% over the longer run.
  • Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace.
  • Job gains have moderated since early last year but remain strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low.
  • Inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated.
  • In considering any adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will carefully assess incoming data, the evolving outlook, and the balance of risks. The Committee does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2.0%.
  • In addition, the Committee will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, as described in its previously announced plans.
  • Next meeting runs from 19 to 20 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bearish


Gold (XAU)

Key news events today

PPI (12:30 pm GMT)

Retail Sales (12:30 pm GMT)

Unemployment Claims (12:30 pm GMT)

What can we expect from Gold today?

The Producer Price Index (PPI) – which measures wholesale inflation – will be released today. Following larger-than-expected gains for the month of January, the forecast for February points to prices increasing at a slower rate on a monthly basis. Should the latest PPI data come in ‘soft’, demand for the dollar is likely to wane further and prop up prices for gold. However, retail sales and unemployment claims will also be released at the same time and should these data points highlight strong consumer spending and a resilient labour market, it could inject higher volatility during this period for both currencies and this precious metal.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Australian Dollar (AUD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from AUD today?

The Aussie hit an overnight high of 0.6635 before pulling back at the beginning of the Asia session – it was trading around 0.6620 and could drift lower today before resuming the uptrend.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The RBA kept the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%, marking the sixth pause out of the last seven board meetings.
  • Inflation continues to ease in the December quarter but remains high at 4.1% YoY.
  • The central forecasts are for inflation to return to the target range of 2 to 3% in 2025, and to the midpoint in 2026.
  • The path of interest rates that will best ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe will depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks, and a further increase in interest rates cannot be ruled out.
  • Next meeting is on 19 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Kiwi Dollar (NZD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from NZD today?

The Kiwi was one of the stronger performing currencies as it hit a high of 0.6175 as Asian markets came online – it pulled back slightly but is likely to remain elevated today.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee kept the OCR unchanged at 5.50% for the fifth meeting in a row.
  • The Committee remains confident that the current level of the OCR is restricting demand. However, a sustained decline in capacity pressures in the New Zealand economy is required to ensure that headline inflation returns to the 1 to 3% target.
  • Core inflation and most measures of inflation expectations have declined, and the risks to the inflation outlook have become more balanced.
  • However, headline inflation remains above the 1 to 3% target band, limiting the Committee’s ability to tolerate upside inflation surprises.
  • The outlook for the China economy, New Zealand’s top trading partner, remains particularly weak relative to recent historical norms, with structural factors constraining long-term growth.
  • Next meeting is on 22 May 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


The Japanese Yen (JPY)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from JPY today?

Stronger CPI data out of the US has lifted USD/JPY this week following a strong decline in the first week of March. This currency pair was rising towards 148 at the beginning of the Asia session and looks set to edge higher today.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank will continue with Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control (YCC), aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2.0%, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a sustainable and stable manner.
  • The Bank of Japan decided on the following measures:
  • YCC: Negative interest rate of -0.1% on policy-rate balances and purchase of Japanese government bonds to keep 10-year JGB yields at around 0% while regarding the upper bound of 1.0% for 10-year JGB yields as a reference in its market operations.
  • Inflation expectations are expected to rise moderately toward the end of the projection period, with continued improvement in the output gap and changes in firms’ wage- and price-setting behaviour and in labour-management wage negotiations.
  • Japan’s economy is likely to continue recovering moderately for the time being, supported by factors such as the materialization of pent-up demand, although it is expected to be under downward pressure stemming from a slowdown in the pace of recovery in overseas economies.
  • Next meeting is on 19 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Euro (EUR)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from EUR today?

The Euro hit an overnight high of 1.0965 before pulling back as Asian markets came online – it was trading around 1.0945 and could drift lower today before resuming the uptrend.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The ECB kept the three key interest rates unchanged for a fourth consecutive meeting, keeping the main refinancing rate on hold at 4.50%.
  • Since the last Governing Council meeting in January, inflation has declined further while the latest ECB staff projections show inflation has been revised down, in particular for 2024, which mainly reflects a lower contribution from energy prices.
  • The projections for inflation excluding energy and food have also been revised down and average 2.6% for 2024, 2.1% for 2025 and 2.0% for 2026. Although most measures of underlying inflation have eased further, domestic price pressures remain high, in part owing to strong growth in wages. 
  • Financing conditions are restrictive and the past interest rate increases continue to weigh on demand, which is helping push down inflation. Staff have revised down their growth projection for 2024 to 0.6%, with economic activity expected to remain subdued in the near term.
  • The Governing Council will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction. In particular, the Governing Council’s interest rate decisions will be based on its assessment of the inflation outlook in light of the incoming economic and financial data, the dynamics of underlying inflation and the strength of monetary policy transmission.
  • Next meeting is on 11 April 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Swiss Franc (CHF)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CHF today?

Stronger CPI data out of the US has provided some lift for USD/CHF this week – this currency pair was rising towards the 0.8800-level at the beginning of the Asia session and it could eventually hit this threshold today.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The SNB kept the policy rate unchanged at 1.75% for a second consecutive meeting in December.
  • The inflation forecast puts average annual inflation at 2.1% for 2023, 1.9% for

2024 and 1.6% for 2025.

  • GDP growth is likely to be weak in the coming quarters; subdued demand from abroad and the tighter financing conditions are having a dampening effect.
  • Switzerland’s GDP is likely to grow by around 1% this year. For 2024, the SNB currently expects growth of between 0.5% and 1%.
  • Next meeting is on 21 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Pound (GBP)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from GBP today?

Despite a ‘soft’ labour force survey that was released on Tuesday, demand for the Pound remains resilient keeping it buoyed thus far. It could resume the upturn today and potentially climb above the 1.2800-level.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 6-to-3 to maintain its Official Bank Rate at 5.25% for the fourth consecutive meeting.
  • Two members preferred to increase the Bank Rate by 0.25% to 5.50% while one member preferred to reduce Bank Rate by 0.25% to 5.00%.
  • CPI inflation remains well above the 2% target, with twelve-month CPI inflation increasing from 3.9% in November to 4.0% in December 2023 while wage growth has eased across a number of measures and is projected to decline further in coming quarters, although still elevated.
  • This downside news has been broad-based, reflecting lower fuel, core goods and services price inflation.
  • CPI inflation is projected to be 2.3% in two years’ time and 1.9% in three years.
  • Next meeting is on 21 March 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


The Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from CAD today?

Strong demand for crude oil overnight has increased demand for the Loonie, causing USD/CAD to fall from 1.3525 to as low as 1.3460 as Asian markets came online. Should demand for crude oil remain elevated, it is likely to add further downward pressure on this currency pair.

Central Bank Notes:

  • The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5.0% for the fourth meeting in a row while continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.
  • Canada’s economy grew in the fourth quarter by more than expected, although the pace remained weak and below potential.
  • CPI inflation eased to 2.9% in January as goods price inflation moderated further but shelter price inflation remains elevated and is the biggest contributor to inflation.
  • Underlying inflationary pressures persist: year-over-year and three-month measures of core inflation are in the 3.0% to 3.5% range, and the share of CPI components growing above 3.0% declined but is still above the historical average. The Bank continues to expect inflation to remain close to 3.0% during the first half of this year before gradually easing.
  • The Governing Council is still concerned about risks to the outlook for inflation, particularly the persistence in underlying inflation and wants to see further and sustained easing in core inflation and continues to focus on the balance between demand and supply in the economy, inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behaviour.
  • Next meeting is on 10 April 2024.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Weak Bullish


Oil

Key news events today

No major news events.

What can we expect from Oil today?

Following the larger-than-expected draw in the API stockpiles on Tuesday, the EIA crude oil inventories also followed suit by registering a surprise drawdown of 1.5M barrels of crude versus the estimate of a 1M-build. In addition, oil refineries in Russia suffered a second day of heavy drone attacks by Ukraine which could potentially result in Russia exporting less diesel fuel. Prices for crude rose overnight with WTI oil gaining nearly 2.8% to climb above $79 per barrel – this commodity looks set to break above the $80-threshold today.

Next 24 Hours Bias

Medium Bullish


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