OANDA:CADJPY   Canadian Dollar / Japanese Yen
CAD

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: NEUTRAL

BASELINE

The CAD has enjoyed far more upside in the past few weeks than we anticipated. We’ve been cautious on the currency given Canada’s dependency on the US (>70% of exports) where the clear signs of a faster than expected slowdown and possible recession should deteriorate the growth outlook for Canada. Apart from that, the risks to the Canadian housing market can negatively impact consumer spending as interest rates rise higher at aggressive speed. Potentially damaging the wealth effect created by the rapid rise in house prices since covid. However, despite the risks to the economy and the outlook, markets still price in a very favourable growth environment for Canada, also supported by a big push higher in terms of trade due to the rise in commodity prices. Furthermore, despite clear warning signals, the BoC has chosen to ignore the negatives and has stayed surprisingly optimistic and hawkish. We’ve missed most of the move higher in the CAD as our bias has kept us cautious, but the risks are still present and with the currency close to 9-year highs (at the index level) we have very little appetite for chasing it higher from here and will be actively looking for opportunities to trade the CAD lower with the right type of bearish catalyst.

POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

As an oil exporter, oil prices are important for CAD. Catalyst that sees further upside Oil (deteriorating supply outlook, ease in demand fears) could trigger bullish CAD reactions. The correlation has been hit and miss in recent weeks though. As a risk sensitive currency, and catalyst that causes big bouts of risk on sentiment could trigger bullish reactions in the CAD. With more market participants noticing cracks in the housing markets, a very solid House Price Index print could ease some of those concerns and provide some upside. Even though a lot of tightening has been priced in for the BoC , a big enough surprise in CPI that triggers further hike expectations could provide some short-term support.


POSSIBLE BEARISH SURPRISES

As an oil exporter, oil prices are important for CAD. Any catalyst that triggers meaningful downside in oil (deteriorating demand outlook, ease in supply shortage, less supply constraints) could be a negative catalyst for the CAD as well. As a risk sensitive currency, and catalyst that causes big bouts of risk off sentiment could trigger bearish reactions in the CAD. Since a lot of policy tightening has been priced into STIR markets, any negative catalysts that triggers less hawkish BoC expectations (faster deceleration in growth or inflation ) could trigger outsized downside for the CAD. In recent communication, Governor Macklem started to mention some hiccups in housing. A big miss in the House Price index could trigger more speculation of a less hawkish bank and could trigger some downside for the CAD.


BIGGER PICTURE

The bigger picture outlook for the CAD remains neutral for now. Given the clear risks to the growth outlook due to the slowdown in the US, as well as rising risks to the consumer and the housing market, we remain cautious on the currency, even though it’s move much higher than we anticipated. With a lot of upside priced into the CAD and Canadian yields, our preferred way of trading the CAD would be to look for short-term negative catalysts to trade the CAD lower instead of chasing it higher.


JPY

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: BEARISH

BASELINE

The Yen has seen a lot of depreciation this year driven by very negative fundamentals. Yield differentials has by far had the biggest negative impact . With other major central banks starting aggressive hiking cycles, it has lifted yields quite dramatically, which has seen yields like US10Y push considerably higher than 10-year Japanese yields capped at 0.25% by yield curve control. That means dovish monetary policy remains a key negative driver. Despite inflation starting to push higher in Japan, and despite the lessons from other central banks now struggling with inflation last seen since the 70’s, the bank has once again at their June meeting stayed stubbornly dovish keeping yields capped at 0.25%. At this stage the bank is playing a very dangerous game by allowing the JPY to weaken, further adding to inflationary risks. Their dovish persistence remains a negative for the JPY. Even though the JPY is considered a safe haven, the inflows has been more limited compared to other cycles. The main reason for that is that the bank’s current account surplus (a main reason for safe haven appeal) has deteriorated due to the rise in commodity prices. Japan imports over 90% of their energy commodities , so the continued rise in oil prices has added to the downside and eroded some of the classic safe haven appeal. The BoJ and MoF’s reluctance to intervene to stop the rapid depreciation in the JPY in recent weeks has been noticeable. As long as they just voice their dislike but fail to act, the market will keep testing them and shorting the JPY.

POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

Monetary policy is stubbornly dovish. Any catalyst that triggers speculation that the BoJ could drop YCC or hike rates or both (big upside surprises in inflation ) could trigger upside in JPY, which means Friday’s CPI print will be in focus. Catalysts that trigger meaningful corrections in US10Y (less hawkish Fed, faster deceleration in US CPI , faster deceleration in US growth) or meaningful bouts of risk off sentiment could trigger bullish reactions from the JPY. Any catalyst that triggers meaningful downside in key commodities like Oil (deteriorating demand outlook, ease in supply shortage) could trigger bullish JPY reactions as well. Any intervention from the BoJ or MoF to stop JPY depreciation (buying the JPY or giving firm and clear lines in the sand for USDJPY ) could offer decent reprieve for the JPY.


POSSIBLE BEARISH SURPRISES

With yield differentials playing such a huge role for the JPY, any catalysts that push US10Y higher (more aggressive Fed, further acceleration in US CPI , better-than-expected US growth data) could trigger further bearish price action for the JPY. Any catalyst that creates further upside in oil prices (further supply concerns, geopolitical tensions) poses downside risks for Japan’s current account surplus and could trigger further bearish reactions in the JPY. Further reluctance from the BoJ and MoF to address the concerning depreciation in the JPY is a continued negative driver for the JPY to keep on the radar.

BIGGER PICTURE

The bigger picture remains bleak for the JPY, especially after the BoJ once again stuck to the same overly dovish script this past week. As long as US10Y gains ground and as long as the BoJ stays unnecessarily dovish and no push back is made against the JPY weakness from the BoJ or MoF, the bias remains lower. Take note that positioning has been stretched (tactically and CFTC) for some time, which means we don’t want to chase the JPY lower from here.

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