thunderpips

EUR USD - FUNDAMENTAL DRIVERS

FX:EURUSD   Euro / U.S. Dollar
EUR

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: WEAK BEARISH

BASELINE

At their previous meeting the ECB hiked by another 75bsp, and with HICP >9% it should keep the bank hiking for now. ECB sources notes the bank is planning to discuss QT at their Dec meeting. On spread fragmentation, the bank didn’t provide any new info or clarity on how the eligibility might impact countries like Italy and Spain. Until the BTP/ Bund spread breaches 2.55%, markets will have to wait and see whether TPI can make a difference. The main driver for the EUR is the economic outlook, but there are a few different conflicting drivers. Gas supply from Russia remain closed (EUR negative), but energy reform plans have seen EU gas prices lose ground (EUR positive). The war in Ukraine remains a risk (EUR negative), but recent victories by Ukraine and the recapture of the strategic city of Kherson has been a more positive development (EUR positive). In the week ahead, the main highlight will be Flash HICP data. With money markets pricing in 75bsp for the December meeting, any unexpected misses in HICP could see rates markets lower their expectations for the Dec meeting.

POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

De-escalation or cease fire in Ukraine. Stagflation risks remains, but with lots of bad news priced any materially better-than-expected data could spark some relief. Given the EUR’s DXY weighting, better overall risk sentiment that pressures the USD should be supportive for the EUR.

POSSIBLE BEARISH SURPRISES

Escalation in Ukraine war that risks NATO involvement. Stagflation risks remains, even with lots of bad news priced any materially worse-than-expected data could see more pressure. Given the EUR’s DXY weighting, continued sour risk sentiment that supports the USD should be negative for the EUR.

BIGGER PICTURE

The fundamental outlook remains bearish with recent data pointing to a higher likelihood of a EZ recession. Current bearish drivers (geopolitics, stagflation, spread fragmentation, energy supply) outweigh the positives. Recession risks remain high and means incoming data like growth & inflation will be watched closely. For now, the focus for the EUR is on multiple fronts from energy to policy to geopolitics, which means we don’t want to be hasty with looking for new EUR trades and want a very clear reason and catalyst to trade the currency in the short-term.


USD

FUNDAMENTAL OUTLOOK: BULLISH

BASELINE

The Fed is on a data-dependent (meeting-by-meeting) policy stance, meaning incoming growth, inflation and jobs data remains a key driver for short-term USD volatility where we expect a cyclical reaction for both the USD and US10Y (good data expected to be supportive for the USD and US yields while bad data is expected to pressure the USD and US yields). The Fed is still under pressure to continue hiking rates and ramping up QT, but last week’s decent deceleration in the OCT CPI report has given markets some solace from inflation angst. Money markets shed about 30bsp off the implied terminal rate. As a result of this the USD saw intense selling but has largely stabilized this week. Like we’ve said many times, right now is all about the data. The data will lead the Fed, which means the data is what we should follow for high probability short-term directional flows for the USD. In the week ahead, we have a few of important data points such as ISM Manufacturing PMI and NFP on Friday. However, also pay close attention to the scheduled speech from Fed Chair Powell on Wednesday.


POSSIBLE BULLISH SURPRISES

With the Fed signalling a data dependent policy stance, we expect a cyclical reaction from the USD with incoming US data. Thus, extremely good growth, inflation or jobs data is expected to trigger short-term bullish reactions in the USD. If the cyclical outlook continues to weaken, the USD’s safe haven status still matters. Any incoming catalysts that increase deep recession fears and triggers strong moves lower in risk assets & bonds can trigger safe haven flows into the USD. With a lot priced for the Fed and USD, the bar is high for hawkish Fed surprises, but any aggressive Fed speak talking up a >5.5% terminal rate can trigger further USD upside. The speech from Fed Chair Powell will be important. If he delivers the same stern hawkish tone that accompanied the prior FOMC presser, it can provide upside for the USD.


POSSIBLE BEARISH SURPRISES

With the Fed signalling a data dependent policy stance, we expect a cyclical reaction from the USD with incoming US data. Thus, extremely bad growth, inflation or jobs data is expected to trigger short-term bearish reactions in the USD. If the cyclical outlook starts to improve, the USD’s safe haven status still matters. Any incoming catalysts that decrease deep recession fears and triggers strong moves higher in risk assets & bonds can trigger safe haven outflows out of the USD. With a lot priced in for the Fed and the USD, it won’t take much to disappoint on the dovish side. Any big concerns about growth from Fed speakers could trigger outflows.

BIGGER PICTURE

The fundamental outlook for the USD remains bullish as long as the Fed stays aggressively hawkish and cyclical concerns put pressure on risk sentiment. However, it’s also important to remember that the data leads the Fed. That means, even though the USD remains fundamentally bullish in the currency negative cyclical environment, it’s short-term direction will largely be determined by the incoming data. Thus, in the current context, we prefer trading the USD in the short-term with scalps out of key US economic data points.

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