Central banks are the key catalysts for currency directions. By setting interest rates and monetary policy, central banks generate either bullish or bearish expectations about the currency direction. Central bank statements are carefully constructed, where each word is compared to the previous statements. Any differences between statements impact immediate market reactions.
In September 2015, this column argued that Federal Reserve hikes are largely negative for the U.S. dollar once a tightening regime begins. Let’s look at how the U.S. dollar responded to each of the last three Fed tightening cycles (1994-1995, 1999-2000 and 2004-2006) as well as the existing one. One common theme was found.
Will the Chinese Year of the Goat see a prolonged weakness in the yuan by the People’s Bank of China? (PBOC) The yuan fell 3% against the U.S. dollar between October 2014 and mid-February 2015, and lost 4% during the first five months of 2014.
The forex market has swung into action recently with big moves taking place in the U.S. dollar. After a period of historically low levels of volatility, these recent trends are music to the ears of momentum traders.