Risk Barometer Today Is Japanese Yen

01/11/2018 11:36 am EST

Focus: CURRENCIES

Robert Savage

Partner & CEO, CCTrack Solutions

The flip-flop in bond moods hasn’t helped equities completely and that is worth watching but the real risk barometer today is in the Japanese yen (JPY), which needs to clear 112 to get bullish on risk again, writes Bob Savage, CEO of Track Research.

If Wednesday was about rumors that China would stop buying Treasuries and that the U.S. would kill NAFTA, today is about the counterfactuals, with China’s SAFE saying the news report on its portfolio review might have quoted a “wrong source.” Nasdaq leads as futures rebound, China tempers bond threat.

The White House Wednesday afternoon denied the talk from Canadian officials about the fate of NAFTA, saying talks are ongoing. Canada increasingly convinced Trump will pull out of NAFTA. The fact that Canada took the U.S. to the WTO over anti-dumping disputes could be the real problem.

Markets unwind rumors and search for facts in a world filled with counterfactuals. The start of any year is filled with the “what if” worries and Wednesday brought many of them out – bond yields are going up because of China or because of the BOJ stealth bond tapering, or because of the ECB actual tapering, or perhaps because the world is quickly filling the output gap and we are in the early stage of inflation, leaving the FOMC gradualism in doubt.


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Markets got some facts about economics and reacted more last night with Australia the first case as a rate hike there is pricing in for August.

Talk about a BOJ lifting of its 10Y target to 0.25% from 0% in September continues despite the BOJ last night keeping its buying of bonds unchanged.
Talk about the ECB ending its QE remains open with the ECB accounts today’s key report due at 7.30 am.

The U.S. and its stronger 10Y sale yesterday will see if it’s the same for the 30Y bonds today. Throw in the Producer Price Index slight decline and you have plenty of facts to counter the worries if only they cooperate.

The flip-flop in bond moods hasn’t helped equities completely and that is worth watching but the real risk barometer today is in the Japanese yen (JPY), which needs to clear 112 to get bullish on risk again.

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