The main weight on the euro is presently not economic but political. Recent developments in France underscore our argument that the success of the populist-nationalist forces requires some sort of help from the mainstream parties. This was clearly the case in the US and UK, where no populist party was elected, but instead, the populist agenda co-opted by the center-right. The non-binding UK referendum turned into a binding decision with the smallest of majorities for such an important change. It has yet to be seen how President Trump relates with the Republican Party. However, it is strikingly different that what the Democrat leadership did in 1972. Then the left-wing of the Democrat Party succeeded in nominating McGovern, and the leadership of the party abandoned him, helping to produce a landslide victory for Nixon.
Following this morning’s soaring inflationary and retail sales data, and following Yellen’s hawkish tone yesterday, March rate-hike odds have soared from below 25% to over 40%. The Dollar Index is extending its recent winning streak on this move – now up 11 days in a row, the longest streak since May 2012.
Rate hike odds are ripping higher as The Fed gets its way of pricing in a March rate hike…
And The Dollar Index continues to rise…
This is the longest USD win streak since May 2012.
- July 1975 – 11 days in a row
- Sept 1975 – 11 days in a row
- May 2012 – 14 days in a row
- Feb 2017 – 11 days in a row
And notably, if extends to 12 days tomorrow, will be the second longest winning streak in dollar history.
After Credit Suisse reported yet another significant loss for the full year 2016, amounting to 2.35 billion Swiss francs, more than the CHF2.07bn expected, the Swiss banking giant said it was looking to lay off up to 6,500 workers and said it was examining alternatives to a planned stock market listing of its Swiss business.
“We’re setting a target now of between 5,500 and 6,500 for 2017,” Chief Financial Officer David Mathers said in a call with analysts on Tuesday after the bank published earnings. The bank did not specify where the extra cuts would come but said this would include contractors, consultants and staff, Reuters reported.
For the fourth quarter, Credit Suisse reported a 2.35 billion franc net loss, largely on the back of a roughly $2 billion charge to settle U.S. claims the bank misled investors in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. Despite the loss, Credit Suisse proposed an unchanged dividend of 0.70 francs per share, in line with market expectations.
CEO Tidjane Thiam, who took over at Switzerland’s second biggest bank just over 18 months ago, is shifting the group more toward wealth management and putting less emphasis on investment banking. As part of his turnaround plans, the bank is looking to cut billions of dollars in costs and cut a net 7,250 jobs in 2016 with more to follow this year.
The rouble had already been appreciating as oil prices have recovered over the last twelve months, and growing optimism since Donald Trump’s victory in the US election has helped it become the best-performing emerging market currency since the vote, up just shy of 10 per cent.
President Trump’s calls for a normalisation of relations with Russia raised hopes of a relaxation of economic sanctions and encouraged international investors to return to the country.
However, economists have been sceptical the bank would be able to have a big impact on the currency, and it has continued to rise a further 1.6 per cent since the announcement, including a 0.5 per cent rise this morning to take it to 57.99 per dollar.
With two months left until the French election, analysts and political experts find themselves in a quandary: on one hand, political polls show that while National Front’s Marine Le Pen will likely win the first round, she is virtually assured a loss in the runoff round against either Fillon, or more recently Macron, having between 20 and 30% of the vote; on the other, all those same analysts and political experts were dead wrong with their forecasts about both Brexit and Trump, and are desperate to avoid a trifecta as being wrong 3 out of 3 just may be result in losing one’s job.
Meanwhile, markets are taking Le Pen’s rise in the polls in stride, and French spreads over Germany are moving in lockstep with Le Pen’s rising odds. In fact, as noted earlier in the week, French debt is now the riskiest it has been relative to German in four years.
Verbatim on what Trump said on currencies in his press conference with Abe
Exactly what Donald Trump said regarding currency devaluation.
“As far as currency devaluations, I’ve been complaining about that for a long time. I believe that we will all eventually and probably very much sooner than a lot of people understand or think; we will be all at a level playing field. Because that’s the only way it’s fair. That’s the only way you can fairly compete on trade and other things. And we will be on that field and we will all be working very hard to do great for our country. But it has to be fair and we will make it fair. I think the United States is going to be an even bigger player than it is right now, by a lot, when it comes to trade. A lot of that will have to do with our tax policy, which you’ll be seeing in the not-too-distant future. We’ll have an incentive-based policy, much more so than we have right now. Right now nobody even knows what policy we have. We’re working with Congress, we’re working with Paul Ryan, we’re working with Mitch McConnell and I think people are going to be very, very impressed.”
Japan accounted for $68.9 billion of the U.S. trade deficit on goods in 2016, re-emerging as the second-largest contributor for the first time in three years for a potential flashpoint when the leaders of the two nations meet Friday.
The overall U.S. trade deficit on goods shrank by 1.5% to $734.3 billion last year on a Census basis, according to Department of Commerce data released Tuesday. Exports fell 3.2% to $1.45 trillion on a strong dollar, but imports decreased 2.6% to $2.18 trillion.
The goods deficit with Japan remained roughly flat and accounted for 9% of the U.S. total. The deficit on motor vehicles and parts — an area in which President Donald Trump claims Japan engages in unfair practices — jumped to $52.6 billion from $48.9 billion in 2015, making up nearly 80% of the total American deficit with Japan.
Japanese automakers are increasing production in North America. But cars sold from Japan to the U.S. tend to be higher-end models, and the average price per unit is rising.
China was the top contributor to the U.S. trade deficit on goods, accounting for $347 billion, or 47%. Germany ranked third and Mexico fourth. Trump, seeking to curb the deficit, has accused Japan, China and Germany of manipulating their currencies. The president also demands a renegotiation of NAFTA with Mexico.
Marine Le Pen’s plans to take France out of the euro would consign the country to impoverishment, one of the European Central Bank’s most senior French officials has warned.
Benoît Cœuré, executive board member at the ECB, called the notion of a ‘Frexit’, a choice for “impoverishment” that would “threaten the jobs and savings of the French people”.
Ms Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, is vowing to hold a referendum to take France out of the eurozone and redenominate the country’s €2tn of outstanding debt into a new franc after 18 years of membership should she become the country’s new president in May.
Should a Frexit occur, “debts incurred by French businesses and households would increase”, warned Mr Cœuré.
“Inflation, which would no longer be restrained by the ECB, would eat into savings, the fixed incomes of households and small pensions”, he added.
Despite Ms Le Pen’s assurances of an “orderly” exit, the French central banker said “leaving the euro would mean taking risks which have unpredictable consequences”.
The prospect of surging popularity for Ms Le Pen and the apparent demise of one of her main rivals for the job, the right-wing Francois Fillon, has sent the country’s 10-year bond yields to an 18-month at the start of the week.
Investors have dumped French debt, demanding the highest premium in four years to hold its benchmark bonds over Germany’s, as the likes of S&P Global Ratings have warned a Frexit would result in a likely downgrade of France’s sovereign borrower status.
With less than three months since the start of the first round presidential vote, Mr Cœuré said he could “not contemplate” a French vote in favour of leaving the euro, with the latest polling showing around 68 per cent of French people still back membership of the single currency area.
Amid promises by Ms Le Pen to restore monetary sovereignty to France and reverse the forces of globalisation, Mr Cœuré defended the euro, arguing it had proven to have had “greater benefits for the disadvantaged and the vulnerable”.
The European Central Bank rejected U.S. accusations of currency manipulation on Monday and warned that deregulating the banking industry, now being openly discussed in Washington, could sow the seeds of the next financial crisis.
Arguing that lax regulation had been a key cause of the global financial crisis a decade ago, ECB President Mario Draghi said the idea of easing bank rules was not just worrying but potentially dangerous, threatening the relative stability that has supported the slow but steady recovery.
“The last thing we need at this point in time is the relaxation of regulation,” Draghi told the European Parliament’s committee on economic affairs in Brussels. “The idea of repeating the conditions that were in place before the crisis is something that is very worrisome.”
The ECB supervises the euro zone’s biggest lenders.
Andreas Dombret, a member of the board of Germany’s powerful central bank, the Bundesbank, said that reversing or weakening regulations all at once would be a “big mistake”, because it would increase the chance of another financial crisis.
“That is why I see a possible lowering of regulatory requirements in the U.S., which is under discussion, critically,” said Dombret, who is also a member of the Basel committee drafting new global banking rules.
Sellers of assets in Europe and the US are becoming increasingly wary of large deals with Chinese buyers, according to people involved with several cross-border transactions involving China.
China notched up a record capital exodus last year, driven by expectations that the renminbi would continue to weaken against the dollar, and as slowing domestic growth diverted investment elsewhere.