Daily Market Analysis and Forex News
Week Ahead: Lower dollar if Fed surprises with “smaller” 50bps hike
Are you ready for yet another jumbo-sized Fed rate hike?
Markets have been preparing for such an outcome at the upcoming FOMC policy decision, which will star in next week’s economic calendar
Monday, July 25
- EUR: Germany July IFO business climate
- GBP: UK PM candidates’ debate – Rishi Sunak vs. Liz Truss
Tuesday, July 26
- JPY: Bank of Japan June meeting minutes
- USD: US July consumer confidence
- IMF releases updated world economic outlook
- Alphabet 2Q earnings
Wednesday, July 27
- AUD: Australia Q2 CPI
- CNH: China June industrial profits
- USD: Fed rate decision
- US crude: EIA weekly oil inventory report
- Meta Platforms 2Q earnings
Thursday, July 28
- AUD: Australia June retail sales
- EUR: Germany July CPI, Eurozone July economic and consumer confidence
- USD: US Q2 GDP, weekly jobless claims
- Amazon 2Q earnings
- Apple 2Q earnings
Friday, July 29
- JPY: Japan June unemployment, retail sales, industrial production; July Tokyo CPI
- EUR: Eurozone July CPI, Q2 GDP
- USD: US June personal income and spending, PCE core deflator, July consumer sentiment
- Exxon 2Q earnings
- Chevron 2Q earnings
Markets have fully priced in a second consecutive 75-basis point hike at next week’s FOMC policy meeting, as the US central bank continues its battle against the hottest inflation in 40 years.
However, that 75bps hike is a relative step down from the 100-basis point hike that some segments of the markets were expecting. Hence the recent unwinding of gains in the equally-weighted USD index. Still, this instrument is well within its uptrend since Q1 2022.
Note that this index compares the US dollar’s performance against six of its major peers, all in equal weights:
- British Pound
- Swiss Franc
- Australian Dollar
- New Zealand Dollar
- Canadian Dollar
Any other outcome that deviates from the 75bps script would be a surprise.
- DOVISH: A “mere” 50bps hike, though still twice the size of the traditional 25bps rate adjustments per meeting deployed by central bankers worldwide, should prompt more declines in the USD index, potentially moving it closer to its 50-day simple moving average (SMA) around the 1.175 region.
- HAWKISH: Although the bar has been set high for a hawkish outcome at next week’s meeting, a 100bps shocker would reinvigorate dollar bulls into sending this USD index back above the 1.20 line. More dollar gains may also ensue if Fed Chair Jerome Powell, during his press conference, refuses to rule out a 100bps hike at upcoming meetings.
Ultimately, policymakers at the US central bank, as well as market participants, will continue to be guided by the inflation data.
And on that point, after the FOMC meeting concludes, next Friday’s release of the June PCE deflator will be closely watched, considering that it’s the Fed’s preferred way of measuring inflation.
The PCE deflator is forecasted to come in at 6.6% in June, which would mean that it has posted a reading of 6% or higher for every month so far this year. 6.6% is also more than three times the Fed’s 2% target, underscoring the tremendous task that the Fed is up against.
Further evidence of stubbornly elevated price pressures is set to force the Fed into triggering even more jumbo-sized rate hikes over the coming months. Such hawkish expectations could then see the USD index being restored to the last cycle high at 1.21859, or perhaps even higher.
Overall, as long as the Fed keeps the “pedal to the metal” while leaving other major central banks struggling to catch up with their own rate hikes, that should leave the buck with an easier path to climb even higher.