The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday left interest rate unchanged, even though the Federal Open Market Committee argued that the case for rate hike has strengthened, they agreed that further evidence of continued growth is needed to validate current economic progress. Also, the committee lowered its expectations for both inflation and economic growth this year, citing weak business fixed income and international developments (Brexit and slowdown in China) while hoping that “as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further” the 2 percent inflation target would be achieved.
However, housing starts declined by 5.8 percent to 1.14 million units in August, while building permits fell 0.4 percent to 1.14 million-unit rate. Even though, unemployment claims improved by 8,000 to 252,000 last week, the disparity in the data continued to create a mixed picture of the American economy. Particularly, when the drop in consumer spending that has been supporting the economy is factored-in. Hence, investors will look to seek clarity on future monetary policy when Fed Chair Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard speaks on Wednesday.
Also, the data for durable goods, new home sales, consumer confidence and final GDP that are due this week are other key economic data needed to decipher the economic direction going forward.
In Japan, the Bank of Japan left interest rate unchanged, but took a different turn when it introduced “yield curve control”, a policy that was formulated to keep the 10-year Japanese government bond yield at zero percent from the usual negative yield (a situation where bond buyers pay to lend Japanese government money) to steepen the difference between the yields of short-term bonds (which are negative in Japan) and long-term bonds.
While some analysts have said the whole policy is a sign that the Haruhiko Kuroda led team is running out of policy options, it was implemented in an effort to increase banking activity and subsequently boost their profitability through wider spread in rates to arbitrage profits. This is because an increase in banking activity means greater economic activity and higher consumer prices, but because the detail of the yield curve control was vague it is hard to succinctly tell to what degree the BOJ planned to steepen the yield curve or if the apex bank will expand its stimulus.
Nevertheless, the industrial production declined by 0.3 percent from 0.0 percent recorded previously. This signaled that the world’s third largest economy is still struggling with weak exports due to the continuous gain of the Japanese yen that has sapped profits of manufacturing companies.
In Canada, the economy is not just running at a 10-month low inflation rate (0.2%) but also weak retail sales (-0.1%) as consumers are not spending even after the federal government revamped its child benefit plan and distributed cheques in July. The same month, the consumer spending dipped against a widely forecast increase in retail sales, this was after the economy recorded its worst contraction since 2009. If global oil gut continued to weigh on growth, it is likely that the Bank of Canada will cut rates to stimulate the economy, maybe not in October meeting but in the fourth quarter if no improvement in key indicators.
Overall, the Bank of Japan will need the Federal Reserve to raise rates in order to halt the yen gains and boost its exports. However, the financial markets remained vague and highly speculative as central banks (US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa) refrain from excessive stimulus, but without clear cut monetary policy. This week, NZDJPY and NZDUSD top my list.
After the New Zealand’s second quarter GDP expanded at 0.9 percent three weeks ago, which was less than the 1.1 percent expected by economists. The New Zealand dollar has continued to slide against the Japanese yen, this I expect to boost the NZDJPY sell-off this week as Japanese yen continued to strengthen after the BOJ refused to expand its monetary policy.
Technically, this pair has been selling for the past three weeks and lost 309 pips in total. This week, as long as 73.90 resistance holds I am bearish on NZDJPY with 72.34 as the first target and 69.94 as the second target.
Although, various US data due this week could damp this pair outlook. I still believed that the US dollar is attractive enough to extend its gains against the New Zealand dollar. Nevertheless, it is advisable to monitor those data and FOMC speakers this week.
This pair peaked at 0.7484 three weeks ago, but since then it has lost 241 pips and closed as a bearish pin bar last week. This week, as long as 0.7362 resistance holds, I am bearish on this pair with 0.6989 as the target.
Naira Continues Downward Trend on Black Market, Trades at N465/$
Naira Extends Decline on Black Market, Exchanges at N465/$
Naira extended its decline against the United States dollar on Friday as scarcity amid devaluation persists.
The local currency lost N2 against the US dollar from N463 it traded on Thursday to N465 on Friday. Its lowest in almost three years.
Similarly, the Naira depreciated by N3 against the British Pound from N562 on Thursday to exchange at N565 on Friday.
While against, the European common currency, the Nigerian Naira lost N1 from N505 it was sold on the back market on Thursday to N506 on Friday.
The local currency has been on a downward trend since the news of foreign exchange unification broke out about two weeks ago. This coupled with 5.54 percent devaluation from N360 official Naira-US Dollar exchange rate to N380, compounded Naira woes.
On the Investors and Exporters’ Forex window, the Naira appreciated by 25 kobo or 0.06 percent against the US dollar to trade at N386.50 on Friday.
Activity on the window, however, improved from $11.96 million traded on Thursday to $25.19 million Friday.
Naira Declines Against Pound, Euro After Devaluation
Naira Plunges Against Euro and Pound After CBN Adjusts Official Exchange Rate
Following the devaluation of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the local currency declined against the British Pound and the Euro single currency on the black market.
The Naira lost N4 against the British pound to trade at N562 from the N558 it traded on Wednesday.
This decline continues against European common currency as the Naira lost N1 from N504 exchanged on Wednesday to trade at N505 on Thursday.
On the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex window, the Naira lost 0.06 percent or 25 kobo against the US dollar to trade at N386.75 after plunging to as low as N390 during the trading hours.
Activity on the I&E window declined by 86.4 percent from $103.37 million traded previously to $11.96 million as traded are reportedly stay off the market.
The FMDQ Group, who manages the I&E Fx window, on Wednesday adjusted its CBN’s Naira-USD official exchange rate from N361 on Tuesday to N381 despite the central bank maintaining N360/$ on its official website. Indicating that the apex back has officially implemented the N380 but without an official announcement, likely due to backlash — especially after the CBN has repeatedly said the nations have enough reserves to support the economy and blamed speculators and hoarders for the wide exchange of the local currency.
Naira Slides to N463 Against US Dollar on Black Market
Naira Falls Against Dollar, Trades at N463 on Black Market
The Nigerian Naira declined against the United States dollar on the black market following the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adjust the nation’s official foreign exchange rate.
The local currency depreciated by N2 against the US dollar from the N461 it exchanged on Wednesday to N463 on Thursday after the news of CBN adjustment became known.
The apex bank had adjusted the official foreign exchange rate from the N360 previously used for the US dollar to N380 due to the recent changes in macro fundamentals of the nation.
This is the Naira lowest exchange rate on the black market in almost three years and highlighted the nation’s precarious position especially when the escalating inflation rate of 12.4 percent is factored in.
On Tuesday, United Capital Plc said given current economic situation that the official exchange of the Naira is expected to slide to N430 to a US dollar by the end of the year.
The pan-African investment banking and financial services group said “On the exchange rate, we believe the odds are in favour of a further naira adjustment, which may take the official rate to N410/$ to N430/$ by year-end.
“However, we believe the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to defend the value of the local unit for as long as it can.”
It went on to predict that the economy will shrink by 2.69 percent in 2020, down from the 2.3 percent growth predicted earlier in the year.
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