Although the European Central Bank is widely expected to keep monetary policy unchanged in June, investors are likely to be more concerned with the latest economic growth and inflation forecasts. Expectations remain somewhat elevated over the ECB potentially signaling an end to (quantitive easing) QE at the meeting. While hawkish comments from ECB officials and accelerating inflation have fuelled speculation over QE coming to an end, this could be a classic case where markets may be setting themselves up for disappointment.
Gold faces an important few days as three major central banks announce their respective policy decisions. All bar one is expected to make a rate change and that’s the Federal Reserve today. According to the to the CME’s FedWatch tool the probability of a 25 basis point rate increase is 96%, which means it is more or less already priced in. That may help explain why the dollar has stopped going up since the end of May.
With a rate hike in June considered a done deal, investors may be more concerned with the economic projections and press conference with Fed Chair, Jerome Powell. Markets are poised to closely scrutinize the Fed’s monetary policy statement for clues on how fast the Fed may raise interest rates during the second half of this year.
The jam-packed calendars for economic data and political events mean it is going to be a very busy week in the financial markets, perhaps the busiest of the year so far. This implies that the focus will be short-term with the longer-term themes likely to take a back seat. But the busy week has started quite badly for the British pound/U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) after the release of some poor UK economic data earlier today.
Ahead of next week’s major central bank meetings and key data releases, the market’s focus has turned to trade tensions as the G7 meetings get underway in Canada and it looks like U.S. President Donald Trump is taking on the whole world. While leaders of the “G7-1” are showing great unity, Trump continues to isolate himself by demanding “fair” trade agreements especially with Canada and the European Union.
Ahead of next week’s major central bank meetings and key data releases, there have been some interesting moves in the markets with the euro/U.S. dollar currency pair in particular showing relative strength. Although the Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise interest rates next week, it is the European Central Bank which all of a sudden is looking to be the more anticipated meeting.
Investors should buckle up for a potential showdown as trade is expected to be a major talking point throughout the summit. With escalating trade tensions seen as a significant threat to global economic growth, this could be a G7 meeting like no other.
It has been a day of two halves for the U.S. dollar. The greenback was initially lower and sharply so against some commodity currencies, before bouncing back in the second half of today’s session – most notably against the British pound but also versus the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen. Commodity currencies were still outperforming, however, no doubt boosted by the ongoing risk-on rally.
Friday’s “risk-on” rally, triggered in part by those strong US employment figures, followed through on Monday as Asian shares and U.S. index futures rose. Although Europe was also higher at the open, some of the major indices such as the German DAX gave up their earlier gains as investors considered the impact of U.S. import tariffs on metals and how this may impact European companies and their profits.
The week ahead is a big one for the Aussie dollar and it starts off quickly with Retail Sales among other economic data points Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. Central. Taking the cake is the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy meeting at 11:30 p.m. Central Monday night. Though rates are expected to stay unchanged, the RBA’s tone has stood firmly that the next move in rates is likely higher than lower.