1. The outlook for the BoC
At their September meeting the BoC delivered on market expectations by not providing any new information. The bank acknowledged the recent hit to growth has been bigger than expected, but also explained that they deem the hit to be temporary and still expect solid growth this year. They also reiterated that even though is currently high and expected to climb, they deem current price pressures as being mostly transitory. The meeting did nothing to change the market’s expectations that the bank will go ahead to announce another round of tapering of C$1 billion at their October meeting, especially after the recent jobs report painted a picture of a growing and recovering labour market, albeit at a slightly slower pace compared to June and July.
2. Commodity-linked currency with dependency on Oil exports
Oil staged a massive recovery after hitting rock bottom in 2020. The move higher over the past few months has been driven by (OPEC’s production cuts); improving global economic outlook and improving oil demand outlook, even though slightly pushed back by Delta concerns (vaccines and monetary and fiscal stimulus induced recoveries); rising expectations. Even though further gains for Oil will arguably prove to be an uphill battle from here, the bias remains positive in the med-term as long as current supportive factors and drivers remains intact. We will of course have short-term ebbs and flows as we’ve seen in recent weeks which could affect the CAD from an intermarket point of view, but as long as the med-term view for Oil remains higher that should be supportive for Petro-currencies like the CAD. The recent energy shortages facing large parts of the globe is a factor that has placed upside pressure in Oil , Gas and Coal prices and is a theme to keep track of for the CAD, both to the up and to the downside in the event that shortages start to ease. This past week’s rise in Oil prices saw solid support for the CAD and will remain a key short-term intermarket consideration for the oil-dependent economy and currency.
3. Developments surrounding the global risk outlook.
As a high-beta currency, the CAD benefited from the market’s improving risk outlook coming out of the pandemic as participants moved out of safe-havens. As a pro-cyclical currency, the CAD enjoyed upside alongside other cyclical assets supported by reflation and post-recession recovery best. If expectations for the global economy remains positive the overall positive outlook for risk sentiment should be supportive for the CAD in the med-term , but recent short-term jitters are a timely reminder that risk sentiment is also a very important short-term driver.
4. CFTC Analysis
Latest CFTC data showed a positioning change of -6631 with a net non-commercial position of -26866. With the solid beat in the September jobs report, we finally saw markets trading the CAD back in line with its fundamental bias, with USDCAD finally gaining enough momentum to push below key trend and psychological support levels. In the week ahead, with a very light economic data schedule coming up, the main focus and driver will fall on energy prices as well as overall risk sentiment.
1. Developments surrounding the global risk outlook.
As a safe-haven currency, the market’s risk outlook is the primary driver for the CHF with Swiss economic data or SNB policy meetings rarely being very market moving. Although SNB intervention can have a substantial impact on CHF, its impact tends to be relatively short-lived. Additionally, the SNB are unlikely to adjust policy anytime soon, given their overall dovish disposition and preference for being behind the ECB in terms of policy decisions. The market’s overall risk tone improved considerably after the pandemic as a result of the global vaccine roll out and the unprecedented amount of accommodation and fiscal support from governments. The Delta variant and subsequent impact on growth expectations is of course a sobering reminder that risks remain. Thus, there is still a degree of uncertainty and risks to the overall risk outlook remains which could prove supportive for the safe havens like the CHF should negative factors for the global economy develop. However, on balance the overall risk outlook is still positive in the med-term and barring any major meltdowns in risk assets the bias for the CHF remains in the med-term .
2. Idiosyncratic drivers for the CHF
Despite the negative drivers, the CHF saw some surprisingly strength from June. This divergence from the fundamental outlook didn’t make much sense, but the CHF often has a mind of its own and can often move in opposite directions from what short-term sentiment or its fundamental outlook suggests. Recent research from the team has revealed an interesting correlation between the CHF and simultaneous price action in both Gold and the USD which could explain some of the recent price action. We also need to be careful of the possibility of SNB FX intervention. Apart from that, ING investment bank has recently argued that recent CHF strength could be due to the lower in Switzerland compared to the EU which meant that the real trade-weighted CHF has been trading too cheap. They also expanded that the ECB’s bond buying has meant that their is expanding more rapidly compared to that of the SNB, which could have been reasons why the SNB did not see the need for any meaningful FX intervention lately. The bottom line is that there are often plenty of idiosyncratic drivers which might or might not impact the CHF and makes short-term price fluctuations a mixed bag for the most part.
3. CFTC Analysis
Latest CFTC data showed a positioning change of -4092 with a net non-commercial position of -15679. The CHF positioning continued to unwind some of its recent surprising strength over the past few weeks. The CHF is back inside net-short territory as one would expect from a currency with an overall med-term outlook. Even though we expect the currency to continue weakening in the med-term , any drastic escalation in risk off tones could continue to provide support for the safe-haven currency in the short-term and is always something to keep in mind.
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