Key Choice Today: Get Paid in Pounds or US Dollars?

04/16/2018 12:09 pm EST


Robert Savage

Partner & CEO, CCTrack Solutions

The Russian ruble (RUB) and the safe-havens continue, Japanese yen included – with the British pound (GBP/USD) outperforming despite the UK economy waffling lower. The key choice may be deciding to get paid in pounds or dollars, writes Bob Savage, CEO of Track Research.

Nothing worse than that Monday morning mental haze, where even the first cup of coffee only drives further confusion over why this isn’t Sunday, but work beckons and the weather is worse.

The headlines suggest that after the weekend bombing of Syria and the lack of quick retaliation from Iran or Russia, all is well, and risk returns to markets – U.S. dollar (USD/EUR) lower, stocks higher, oil lower.

We return to the uncomfortable Goldilocks global economy. However, there are some logical inconsistencies here and the other news that matters may rise to the top as the collective US morning coffee refocuses attentions.

  • U.S. new sanctions on Russia for supporting Syria chemical weapons use next geopolitical concern. Mnuchin will release these this morning
  • UK 1Q consumer spending measured by VISA dropped the most in 6-years -1.4% q/q. March drops -2.1% y/y after -1% in February. Clothing, leisure and transport led the drop. Weather was the first blame but data this week on jobs may reveal more issues.
  • U.S. Treasury keeps Japanese yen (USD/JPY) and Chinese yuan (USD/CNY) on currency monitoring list but doesn’t name anyone a forex manipulator. It does add India to list and keeps Germany – all good for Abe visit April 17-20.
  • Japan PM Abe on watch as his approval rating, the driver for Japan’s stimulus policies, fell to a record low of 26.7% in a survey by Nippon TV published Sunday.

An Asahi newspaper poll published on Monday put his rating at 31 percent. He’s been forced to repeat denials of involvement in scandals as thousands called for his resignation in a protest. This is fodder for the macro larder and the trades of selling the Russian ruble (RUB) and the safe-havens continue, Japanese yen included – with the British pound (GBP/USD) outperforming despite the UK economy waffling lower as fears for Europe, the U.S. and others remain worse. Blame the Italian election, the risk of Russia splits and Trump as usual.

The rise of macro trading in 1Q comes out clearly in the push of money into global macro funds receiving $11.87 billion out of $21.83 billion new money given by investors to all hedge funds so far in 2018, according to eVestment. One of the stand-out winners in money collection is the former Moore protégé Coffey.

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