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Idea of the Day
Friday was a strong example of the new world order in FX, something which we have written about for quite a while (see “From RORO to MORO”). You would have struggled to find a day when the yen was joined by the CAD and AUD as the weakest performers vs. the USD. At the same time, the euro was resurgent, having broken out of the established 2-week range. What was noticeable was the fact that sterling recovered the post-GDP losses, indicative of short-covering into the weekend. Meanwhile, the yen was nearly a one-way street, USDJPY breaking above 91 on USDJPY. The pull-back seen in the Asian session overnight means that USDJPY remains just beneath the top of the bull channel drawn from the middle of November. All in all, FX has become a lot more interesting in the past few weeks.
USD: Data focus is on new home sales, which have been on a modestly improving trend for the past 18 months now, but not a big risk for the dollar unless substantially out of line from expected.
GBP: Big focus on the Q4 GDP numbers. Recall that Q3 was strong (0.9%) owing to various one-off factors, not least the Olympics. Q4 is seen back to reality, which the market sees as -0.1%. Sterling would be vulnerable to weaker number, not least because talk would increase of a triple-dip recession.
Die Daten zu den Einkaufsmanagerindizes in Frankreich liegen mit ausgegebenen 42,9 deutlich unter den den erwarteten 45,1. Zudem gesellt sich mit einer 26%igen Arbeitslosenquote aus Spanien eine weitere, wenn auch erwartete, Hiobsbotschaft. Der DAX, seit einigen Tagen von wenig Bewegung und einer niedrigen Volatilität gezeichnet reagierte prompt und verlor zum Handelsstart rund 40 Punkte. Die Daten zeigen einmal mehr, das das jetzt von vielen Vertretern aus Politik und Wirtschaft herbeigeredete Ende der Euro-Krise etwas verfrüht war. Die wirtschaftlichen Daten müssen sich verbessern und dafür reicht zurückgekehrtes Vertrauen an den Finanzmärkten allein nicht aus. Die Bewegung im DAX könnte nun die Initialzündung für weiter fallende Kurse sein. Spannend wird dabei die Region um 7.600 Punkte.
USD: Lots of second and third-tier data out today, commencing with initial claims at 13.30. The latter fell to a 5yr low last week, at a time when the S&P 500 reached a 5yr high. Labour market news has mostly been supportive of the dollar in recent months.
GBP: Eagerly awaited is tomorrow’s initial estimate of Q4 GDP. Some analysts expect a decline of as much as 0.5%, which if confirmed would presumably weigh on the pound. That said, a relatively bearish figure is already priced in, so sterling has the potential to rally should GDP deliver an upside surprise.
EUR: Plenty of economic releases out of Europe today for traders to get excited about, with manufacturing and services PMIs for France/Germany and the EC.
Some much-needed cheer for sterling
Sterling shorts have scurried for cover this morning after some healthy macro news and a positive response to David Cameron’s speech on Britain in Europe. The jobs figures were another surprise, employment up 90K in the three months ended November and the unemployment rate dipping to 7.7%. Also, the latest MPC Minutes showed that a number of members did not see the need to engage in more asset purchases at this point. At the same time, the BOE is conscious that the real effective exchange rate is higher than necessary to rebalance the economy – in other words, some members could probably be convinced to vote for more QE should the need to weaken the exchange rate become more urgent. Finally, sterling was encouraged by the rousing speech from the Prime Minister, which promised to hold a referendum on Europe in the first half of the next Parliament while making a strong case for Britain remaining within the EU. For the third day running, cable has found strong buying support at the 1.58 level. For now, sterling bears are finding this 1.58 region very tough to crack.
Michael Derks, Chief Strategist