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Asia FX Outlook: Not the best of times

Annika LindbladAsian currencies have largely weakened in May on deteriorating global confidence after an optimistic start to the year and a calmer spring. The main risks we highlighted during the spring to the Asian currencies, i.e. weaker risk sentiment on especially weak data from China and an escalation of the European debt crisis, largely seem to have materialised.

The failed first attempt at elections in Greece soured the mood throughout the global markets, and the retreat in commodity prices has weighed on commodity currencies. Chinese data disappointed across the board especially in April, which weighed on global markets as well. The mood in the markets will remain uncertain at least up until the Greek elections on Sunday (June 17) – the outcome of which will largely determine the market mood over the summer.

In addition to the usual ”risk” currencies, also the CNY saw a significant weakening in May, as the authorities have started to prefer more two-way-flexibility. In India, on the other hand, the weak global risk sentiment only exacerbated the already worrying situation at home.
 
 Read more about these and other Asian currencies in the Asia FX Outlook below.

Annika Lindblad

Latest research

Denmark: Surprise surprise - the hike is here

A short while ago Nationalbanken announced that with effect from tomorrow, the deposit rate reads +0.05% rather than -0.1%. In the press release, Nationalbanken highlighted that capital outflow in the FX market was part of this decision. It is unclear to what extent Nationalbanken has intervened in the FX market in the current month.

Germany: improving confidence old news – next week’s inflation numbers more important

A rise in the German Ifo index, together with yesterday’s PMI numbers and an estimate that Spanish GDP growth picked up clearly in Q1 are further signs that the Euro-zone economy is picking up momentum. However, it will be next week’s inflation numbers that are more crucial in determining ECB easing expectations and thus the near-term course for markets.

Swedish Morning Briefing - Thursday, April 24

• IMF expected to endorse 17 billion dollar loan to Ukraine • Riksbank minutes from April meeting due out at 9:30 today

FI Eye-Opener: Dovish Draghi to deliver more soft words

Bonds record some gains – yields to fall further today. Euro-zone PMIs continue to show resilience – US new home sales plunge. Spain to revise its borrowing needs down. European Commission confirms Greek primary surplus – further debt relief ahead? German Ifo and Draghi’s speech ahead. Plenty of bond auctions in store.

Euro Rates Update

The latest Euro Rates Update is now available

TRY: Regime change?

Despite a clear recovery in the Turkish lira, the situation in Turkey continues to be riddled with uncertainties and the potential for market-unfriendly surprises – especially in the political arena, where Prime Minister Erdogan may be fiddling with an overhaul of the political system.

Volatility Watch

Was that a pre-warning of QE or just loose talk? The latest ECB meeting managed to both disappoint (by delivering nothing) and excite (by laying the groundwork for something big) action seekers in the market. The truth is likely in the middle, and we expect no immediate easing from the ECB. We have seen a rebound, albeit modest, in gamma vols. Early vega options (1y-2y expiries) are moving down quite quickly Overall we still see the gamma segment as cheap, whereas we’re rich/neutral on vega.

SEK Rates: SGBi auction preview

The Swedish National Debt Office will sell 1 bn SGBi 3108 (1 Jun 2022) on the 24th April

Euro area PMIs: a good start into Q2

Higher PMIs in April, both in manufacturing and the service sector. Germany strong, France weaker.

SEK FI & FX Strategy - Market Views

A re-cap of market views...

Swedish Morning Briefing - Wednesday 23 April

• Kerry warns Russia to tone down its rhetoric • Chinese PMI looks set to rise

China: Not yet spring for the PMI

China’s flash PMI rose unsurprisingly to 48.3 in April. On the backdrop of favourable policies to small companies, the improvement is likely to continue in the coming months, but PMI is likely to stay below 50 because of excess capacity and debt overload.

FI Eye-Opener: China not rebounding like it used to

Bond markets with a rather calm day after Easter. Bonds with more potential in the near term. Intra-Euro-zone spread narrowing not run its course. Chinese PMI still depressed. Downside risks to today’s PMIs. Portuguese and US auctions ahead.

Preliminary Prepayments

Preliminary Prepayments

RUB: mixture of capital outflow, Central Bank’s policy and geopolitics

RUB has been under pressure recently as tsunami of capital outflow, caused by the threat of sanctions against Russia, washed away optimists and buyers of RUB-denominated assets. The pace of capital outflow increased in Q1 2014, reaching unimaginable $51 bn. (compared with $62.7 bn. in 2013). The volatility stays high on the Russian markets and the rouble remains focused on geopolitics.

Sweden: March Labour Force Survey better than it seems

Unemployment remained unchanged at 8.1% in March (seasonally adjusted). This was above forecasts at 8.0%. However, employment rose more than forecast and was up 0.3% m/m after an uptick of the same magnitude in February. Thus, the higher than expected unemployment reading in March is (once again) explained by unexpected strong growth in the labour supply, +0.3% m/m.

Swedish Morning Briefing - Tuesday 22 April

• Deal clinched during Geneva meeting • Ingves says deflation not likely

FI Eye-Opener: Portuguese bond auctions back

US Treasuries with a beating ahead of the Easter. Some gains ahead for bonds today. US existing home sales out today – Euro-zone flash PMIs later. A flood of auctions on the agenda already today. Portugal to resume its bond auctions. Fresh cash injection to boost French bonds this week.

Euro Rates Update

The latest Euro Rates Update is now available

Swedish Morning Briefing - Thursday 17 April

• Separatists in Donetsk plan for a local referendum • A summit in Geneva to discuss the crisis in Ukraine