After Rate Hike, Is Weaker US Dollar Still a Safe Haven?

09/27/2018 11:03 am EST

Focus: FOREX

Robert Savage

Partner & CEO, CCTrack Solutions

The stick-shift is not far from the 8-track tape: Dinosaurs in technology history wrapped around transportation and entertainment. They remain part of the history and culture. Describing neutral was much more straightforward when you had a clutch, says Bob Savage.

Perhaps that is the lesson for the Fed Chair Powell as the removal of the “accommodative stance” phrase sent markets into  overdrive yesterday and that despite a heavy slate of economic data, more central bank decisions and pronouncements, it’s the key driver with a solid second place to the Italian budget.

Latest headlines on Italy are that the coalition parties have agreed on a deficit above 2.0% of GDP, but that Fin Min Tria is holding to a target of 1.6% of GDP under threat of resignation with meetings ongoing today.

This leaves the euro (EUR) vulnerable and the U.S. dollar (USD) up on the day. The issue for the USD and U.S. bonds rests on how wide neutral rates are to the FOMC – 2-3% is the best guess after the dot plots with consensus for a December hike and 2-3 more in 2019 from the market.

The overall mood for a FOMC that bought wiggle room to be slower is surprisingly negative with central bankers clearly underscoring the global uncertainty of trade first and foremost. This puts the C/A and growth of the USD against the rate differentials and path of other central banks as the key for understanding the forecasts for forex but for risk overall, it’s less clear as a weaker USD is also less reliable as a safe-haven.

We are in neutral in trend and with the FOMC meaning a range with 92.50 against 95.50 key.

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