EM Market Report

The only way is up… maybe?

Thanim Islam
Thanim Islam 18 May 2023

- US dollar continues to gain

- Euro weakens on easing of inflation

- Optimism building over debt ceiling talks


The theme for this week continues of weakness on the EUR with EURUSD now at 6-week lows, and GBPEUR back near 5-month lows after month-on-month inflation in the single-bloc dropped from 0.7% to 0.6% in April.

The USD index is now at the highest since the end of March, with 2-year treasuries continuing to climb after housing starts numbers came in higher than expected. Optimism increased in the debt ceiling talks after both President Biden expressed confidence on reaching a deal, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested reaching a deal this week was ‘doable’.

Early this morning there were unexpected job cuts in Australia, as well as the unemployment rate increasing up to 3.7% keeping the case alive that the RBA should hold interest rates where they are for the time being. GBPAUD gained initially but gave up gains swiftly after.


Market rates

* Daily move - against G10 rates at 5:00pm, 17.05.23

** Indicative rates - interbank rates at 5:00pm, 17.05.23

Table (18)

Data points

Table (20)-1


  • GBP: BoE Bailey and Pill

  • USD: Fed Jefferson, Barr, and Logan

Our thoughts

Market themes remain relatively the same with the USD continuing to be in demand on the back of data suggesting a more resilient economy, and the EUR weakening with lower inflation and economic sentiment in Germany. Today's focus will be on speakers from the BoE and the Fed as well as the jobless claims numbers, that last week broke out of the 250,000-claimant mark. Should the trend on jobless claims continue to rise then it would back the case by markets of seeing rate cuts by the Fed this year. However, rate cuts are largely priced into the market from the US, so if anything, should the data point come in lower, that seems more likely to have more impact on the USD, with gains over the last 8 trading days likely to continue.

Chart of the day

USD demand continues to be in place in the markets following better than expected data this week, and perhaps markets fully pricing in the potential for rate cuts this year. So could it be said that for the USD, the only way is up? The technical picture seems to suggest that after finding support around the 101 twice this year, as well as a break in the September downtrend, we could see the recent gains in USD continue to the 105.50 mark, the January and March highs, which is roughly 2.5% higher than now. Data points and Fed speak will obviously need to back this, but with the pricing of rate cuts this year easing, perhaps even peaking, then maybe, just maybe, there is more to come in this USD move.

18052023 cotdSource: Bloomberg Finance L.P.

Have a great day.