thunderpips

EUR JPY - FUNDAMENTAL DRIVERS

OANDA:EURJPY   Euro / Japanese Yen
EUR

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: WEAK BEARISH

BASELINE

In recent weeks, the persistently high inflation has seen the ECB take a more hawkish turn with the bank hiking rates by 50bsp at their July meeting. But the bank quelled any hawkish excitement by explaining they are frontloading hikes and not signalling a higher terminal rate with their bigger than expected July hike. At their July meeting the bank also failed to ease spread fragmentation concerns with their new Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI) as the eligibility criteria means countries that will need the support the most might have a tough time qualifying. Combined with Italian political concerns, further spread widening looks likely. Right now, even though policy and spreads are important, the main story and driver for the EUR is the economic outlook. Recent growth data continues to surprise to the downside at a rapid pace further stoking recession fears for the Eurozone. Even though the bias remains lower, a lot of negatives have been priced in from a tactical point of view though.


POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

De-escalation or cease fire in Ukraine would open up a lot of EUR upside. Also keep Italian politics in mind where successful attempts to avoid a snap election could ease spread widening & support the EUR. Stagflation remain high and recent data has invigorated recession fears, but with lots of bad news priced any materially better-than-expected growth data could spark some relief. Spread fragmentation remains a concern, especially with Italian politics and the ECB’s failed attempt to reassure markets. Any TPI comments that convinces markets it can solve fragmentation issues should be supportive for the EUR. Energy concerns are still in focus, which means watching the Nord Stream 1 flows, if Russia increases gas flows to more regular levels it should ease some energy supply issues. Rhine river concerns are one to watch, any good news on water levels and resumption of normal transport could be a bullish catalyst for the EUR.


POSSIBLE BEARISH SURPRISES

Any escalation in the Ukraine war that risks including NATO would be big negative risks. Also keep Italian politics in mind, where any failed attempts to avoid a snap election should add further pressure on the EUR. Growth concerns continue to weigh on the EUR and means any major negative surprises in incoming growth data (German ZEW data next week) could trigger downside in the EUR. Spread fragmentation remains in focus, and if the ECB fails to act when we see big jolts higher in the BTP/ Bund spread it could trigger bearish reactions in the EUR. Energy concerns are still in focus, which means watching the Nord Stream 1 flows, if Russia decreases gas flows again it should increase concerns and weigh on the EUR. Rhine river concerns are one to watch, any bad news on water levels and continued breakdown in transportation could be a bearish catalyst for the EUR.


BIGGER PICTURE

The fundamental outlook remains bearish with recent leading indicators pointing to a much faster economic slowdown than markets had previously expected. The current bearish drivers (geopolitics, stagflation, spread fragmentation, energy supply concerns) far outweigh the positives from a hawkish ECB. Recession risks open up a narrative change for the EUR which will require markets to adjust forecasts to reflect higher recession probabilities which should weigh on the EUR. Having said that, with lots of bad news priced there is some asymmetric risk to incoming data which means chasing at the lows are dangerous.



JPY

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: BEARISH

BASELINE

In recent weeks, yield differentials have been the biggest negative driver for the JPY with the BoJ keeping 10-year JGB yields capped at 0.25% with yield curve control while other central banks are hiking rates aggressively. Thus, the BoJ’s reluctance to shift on policy even with inflation starting to push higher remains a negative driver for the JPY. Even though the JPY is considered a safe haven, inflows has been limited in the current bear market compared to other cycles. The reason is Japan’s current account surplus (a main reason for safe haven appeal) has deteriorated due to the rise in commodity prices. Japan imports the bulk of their commodities , so very high energy prices has added to downside. 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. Having said that, US10Y and commodities have been reacting more and more negative to the current negative cyclical growth outlook, and as a result has seen big players trim their massive JPY shorts. If this continues it should continue to support the currency on any negative data surprises from the US, especially given the size of current JPY short positions.


POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

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 inflation data will be important to keep on the radar. Catalysts that trigger meaningful corrections in US10Y (less hawkish Fed, faster deceleration in US inflation , 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. 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 inflation , 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, and further reluctance from the BoJ to pivot away from very dovish policy is a continued negative driver for the JPY to keep on the radar. If the BoJ pushes back against calls for a policy shift despite upside surprise in CPI could trigger further JPY downside.


BIGGER PICTURE

The fundamental outlook remains bearish for the JPY, especially after the BoJ once again stuck to the same overly dovish script at their July meeting. As long as US10Y remain elevated and the BoJ stays stubbornly dovish and no push back is made against the JPY weakness from the BoJ or MoF, the biasremains lower. But take note of positioning which means we don’t want to chase the JPY lower and bullish reactions can see outsized upside on big drops in US10Y & commodities . It also means watching incoming CPI data closely as any huge upside surprises could trigger speculation of a possible policy shift.

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