FOREXCOM:CADJPY   Canadian Dollar / Japanese Yen


1. The Monetary Policy outlook for the BoC

At the July meeting the BoC confirmed market’s speculation that they will continue to scale back asset purchases by tapering QE with another C$1bln reduction per week. Even though the bank’s language and overall tone was in line with overall consensus, the reaction in the CAD suggests that some participants might have been expecting more from the bank in terms of a hawkish tilt. The bank also reiterated that there is particular uncertainty in their projections and stressed that the economic recovery requires extraordinary policy accommodation, which arguably is something the bulls wanted to see removed in the statement.

2. Commodity-linked currency with dependency on Oil exports

Oil staged a massive recovery after hitting rock bottom in 2020. The move higher over the past few months has been driven by (1) supply & demand (OPEC’s production cuts); (2) improving global economic outlook and improving oil demand outlook (vaccines and monetary and fiscal stimulus induced recoveries); (3) rising inflation expectations (reflation). Even though further gains for Oil will arguably prove to be an uphill battle, the bias remains positive in the med-term as long as the current supportive factors and drivers remains intact. We will of course have short-term ebbs and flows as we’ve seen in recent weeks which could affect the CAD from an intermarket point of view, but as long as the med-term view for Oil remains higher that should be supportive for Petro-currencies like the CAD.

3. Developments surrounding the global risk outlook.

As a high-beta currency, CAD has benefited from the market's improving risk outlook over recent months as participants moved out of safehavens and into riskier, higher-yielding assets. As a pro-cyclical currency, the CAD enjoyed upside alongside other cyclical assets going into what majority of market participants think was an early post-recession recovery phase. As long as expectations for the global economy remains positive the overall positive outlook for risk sentiment should be supportive for the CAD in the med-term , but the recent short-term jitters and risk off flows once again showed us why risk sentiment is also a very important short-term driver for the currency.

4. CFTC Analysis

Latest CFTC data for the CAD (updated until 17 August) showed a positioning change of -3850 with a net non-commercial position of +2660. The CAD’s positioning has seen a substantial unwind in the past few weeks after the CAD got a bit frothy after the April BoC policy meeting where the bank took a substantial hawkish tilt. However, in the past few weeks a lot of the froth has been washed out and with the bias for the CAD still bullish in the med-term , the current positioning means we could see med-term buyers stepping back in gradually. The key risk of course this past week has been the deteriorating risk sentiment as well as the downside we saw in Oil , and until that reverses we want to be extra careful of the CAD in the short-term.



1. Safe-haven status and overall risk outlook

As a safe-haven currency, the market's risk outlook is the primary driver of JPY. Economic data rarely proves market moving; and although monetary policy expectations can prove highly market-moving in the short-term, safe-haven flows are typically the more dominant factor. The market's overall risk tone has improved considerably following the pandemic with good news about successful vaccinations, and ongoing monetary and fiscal policy support paved the way for markets to expect a robust global economic recovery. Of course, there remains many uncertainties and many countries are continuing to fight virus waves, but as a whole the outlook has kept on improving over the past couple of months, which would expect safe-haven demand to diminish and result in a bearish outlook for the JPY.

2. Low-yielding currency with inverse correlation to US10Y

As a low yielding currency, the JPY usually shares an inverse correlation to strong moves in yield differentials, more specifically in strong moves in US10Y . However, like most correlations, the strength of the inverse correlation between the JPY and US10Y is not perfect and will ebb and flow depending on the type of market environment from a risk and cycle point of view.

3. CFTC Analysis

Latest CFTC data for the JPY (updated until 17 August) showed a positioning change of -2551 with a net non-commercial position of -63208. The big net-short created some additional momentum to the upside for the JPY this week as risk sentiment soured and demand for safe havens rose. With positioning still the largest net-short among the majors we want to be very careful of the risks going into the Jackson Hole symposium next week. If the symposium doesn’t provide any hints of tapering though it could open up some opportunities in the battered currency pairs like NZDJPY and CADJPY etc.


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