Euro benefitting from the US Dollar downside risk
Fading political uncertainty in Europe alongside the improving growth profile is bolstering the Euro. Meanwhile, the US Dollar has failed to benefit in any significant way, despite the market pricing in a rate hike in June by the Fed. We expect that there is a downside risk for the US Dollar if the Fed disappoint in June, especially in view of FX market positioning. Euro benefitting from the US Dollar downside risk
Macron’s victory over Le Pen set the scene for a risk-on rally for European assets and particularly the Euro. Alongside the German state election win for the CDU, the decline in political uncertainty has reduced the risk of the collapse of Europe. The Euro could also experience further upside in coming months as the improvement in the Eurozone economic landscape prompts the ECB to begin discussing tapering the size of its balance sheet later in the year. Nonetheless, there is potential for some volatility for the Euro because the Italian – German 10yr government bond yield spread suggests there is still an elevated risk of a referendum on the country’s euro membership and potential early elections. Such volatility could Speculative positioning for the Euro is at the highest level in over three years and has turned positive for the first time during that period. Sustainably breaking above 1.10, could see the Euro begin to target to 1.15 level, a level that is more in line with real rate differentials.
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In contrast, there is a downside risk for the US Dollar if the US Federal Reserve disappoints investors by keeping rates on hold in June, contrary to market expectations. Fed communications have been even handed in recent weeks and we feel that the 75% (down from 95%) chance of a rate hike that is priced in seems elevated. Political uncertainty surrounding President Trump is also exacerbating the downward pressure for the USD. Policy paralysis remains the key risk for the Trump administration and any further delays could be reason enough for the Federal Reserve to wait until September for the next rate rise.
Martin Arnold joined ETF Securities as a research analyst in 2009 and was promoted to Global FX & Commodity Strategist in 2014. Martin has a wealth of experience in strategy and economics with his most recent role formulating an FX strategy at an independent research consultancy. Martin has a strong background in macroeconomics and financial analysis – gained both at the Reserve Bank of Australia and in the private commercial banking sector – and experience covering a range of asset classes including equities and bonds. Martin holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of New South Wales (Australia), a Master of Commerce from the University of Wollongong (Australia) and attained a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia.