Chinese Yuan Climbs as US Demands “Stable” Currency, EM’s Up

Michael Moran

Michael Moran is an experienced global markets professional who currently writes a daily markets commentary. Moran has traded currencies for over 30 years, having worked in dealing rooms of major banks all over the globe. He lives in Sydney with his wife, 5 children, 2 grandsons and another coming. He still loves trading and talking about the currency markets. All of them! Michael began his career as an assistant dealer in money markets and foreign exchange with Lloyds Bank. He has worked in Hongkong, Manila, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. He’s traded through the 1985 Plaza Accord, Paul Keating’s 1986 “banana republic” statement, the Asian Currency Crisis in 1997, and the 9/11 New York Twin Tower terrorist strike. He took the task of speaking to sales team of the banks he worked at (Lloyds, NAB, CBA) during the daily morning meetings. Other traders hated this job. But he developed a liking for commentating and putting forward his views on currencies, in the process helping others. Which he still does today. Moran wrote briefly for Invast Global before taking the position as senior analyst for Royal Financial Trading. He currently is a Responsible Manager in Compliance for Transferwise Ltd, Pty, a global money transfer firm where he advises the Treasury team. Having spent the last 10 years of his trading career managing the Emerging Markets and Asian currency desks of NAB and CBA, he formulates much of his market analysis from their movements. His favourite description for global markets today comes a 1968 hit tune from the group Blood, Sweat and Tears – “What goes up, must come down, spinning wheel got to go round.”


Chinese Yuan Climbs as US Demands “Stable” Currency, EM’s Up

February 21, 2019

Summary: The Chinese Yuan climbed to 3-week highs, up 0.6% to 6.7150 (6.7450) against the Dollar as the US pressed for a stable CNY as part of a trade deal. Emerging Market currencies extended yesterday’s gains, pushing the Dollar to 2-week lows against the Majors. A patient Jerome Powell reiterated that the FOMC remains on hold while the economic outlook is uncertain. The Fed also signalled that it may slow or finish reductions to its USD4 trillion balance sheet. The Dollar Index (USD/DXY) then rallied off its lows to close little-changed at 96.491 (96.53 yesterday). Bond yields were flat while stocks edged higher.

  • EUR/USD – The Euro climbed to an overnight and 2-week high at 1.13711 before easing post-FOMC, closing little-changed at 1.1338 in New York. Today sees the release of Euro-area and Eurozone PMI’s.
  • USD/JPY This Japanese Yen stayed relatively weak in all of this. USD/JPY rallied, against the trend to a high of 110.949 from its opening of 110.67 before closing at 110.85, up 0.23%. BOJ President Haruhiko Kuroda said they were not targeting exchange rates (following US demands on China and its currency). The Yen however has remained weak after Kuroda himself said earlier this week that a strong Yen could force the BOJ to boost stimulus.
  • AUD/USD – The Aussie Battler continued to grind its way higher, boosted by the strong Yuan and EM currencies. Commodities have also risen with Sliver and Copper both up around 1.0%. AUD/USD rose to 0.7182, just over 2-week highs before easing to close at 0.7170 (0.7165 yesterday). Australian Employment data is released today.
  • USD/CNH – The offshore Dollar/Yuan rate slid to 6.7069, Jan 31 lows following the report that the US wants a stable Chinese Yuan to be part of any trade agreement. USD/CNH opens at 6.7180 in early Sydney.
Daily FX.COM - USD CNH Chart - 21 Feb 2019
Daily FX.COM – USD CNH Chart – 21 Feb 2019

On the Lookout: After the FOMC release of its January meeting minutes, the Dollar stabilised. The Fed’s desire to announce a plan later this year to slow or stop reducing the balance sheet supported the Greenback, enabling a broad-based rally off lows. Today sees the release of more first-tier data economic data.
First up is the Japan’s Foreign Investment in Japanese Stocks for January. Australian Employment report for January follows. Forecasts are for a median Employment Gain of 15,000 (21,600 previous). The Unemployment rate is expected to remain at 5.0%. Japanese All Industrial Index is next. Europe sees Germany’s Harmonised CPI as well as Markit Composite, Manufacturing and Services PMI. French and Euro-Zone Manufacturing and Services PMI follow. The US releases the Philly Fed Manufacturing PMI data as well as Weekly Jobless Claims.

Trading Perspective: With the US now pressing for a “stable” Yuan to be part of any trade agreement, we can expect this with the other trade partners and their respective currencies as well. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda tried to avoid unwanted attention from the US with his statement that current policy was not to weaken the Yen. In the 90’s the Asian nations all had the policy of depreciating their currencies to spur exports.
The US has always wanted a weaker Dollar to offset its trade deficit. In this writer’s eyes, nothing has changed from the early days. In the 90’s the Asian nations all had the policy of depreciating their currencies to spur exports. Interesting to see how this plays out with market sentiment on the Dollar.

  1. EUR/USD – The Single Currency has rallied basically from 1.1270 to 1.1370 since a week ago. The overall weaker US Dollar has benefited the Euro. Topside momentum eased after the FOMC meeting minutes revealed a less dovish Fed than most had expected. Euro area PMI’s are expected to remain flat or show a small improvement from last month. EUR/UISD has immediate resistance at 1.1370/80 followed by 1.1400. Immediate support can be found at 1.1325 (overnight lows) followed by 1.1300. Expect consolidation with a likely trading range today of 1.1310-70.
  2. USD/JPY – BOJ Head Kuroda may have diverted the US attention from the Yen for now. The Japanese central bank may have been gearing for and outright easing following the global economic slowdown and change in tact from other global peers. However, trade remains paramount in the Trump agenda, and this may yet impact the Yen. For now, USD/JPY will stay supported with the market’s risk-on stance and slipping Yen bond yields. USD/JPY has immediate resistance at 111.00 followed by 111.30. Immediate support can be found at 110.60, with 110.30 next. Expect a likely trading range of 110.50-111.00. Prefer to sell any rallies to 111.00
  3. AUD/USDAussie battler defied the doomsday pundits who were looking for a clean break of the 0.7000 level not too long ago. Apart from a weaker overall US Dollar, Emerging Market currencies have stayed stable, and this is Aussie supportive. There have been gains in the Asian EM currencies such as the Singapore Dollar and Thai Baht. Metals have been strong. Today’s Australian January Employment data will impact the currency. December’s part-time Job gains will disappear, however full-time Employment should remain stable in January. Immediate resistance between 0.7180-0.7200 remains strong. However, a clean break of 0.7200 could sees stops triggered with 0.7230 next resistance. The 0.7230 should be good selling levels for Aussie bears. Immediate support can be found at 0.7150 followed by 0.7120. Looking like at 0.7130-80 trading day, which is the ideal for today.
Trading View - 3M AUD USD Chart - 21 Feb 2019
Trading View – 3M AUD USD Chart – 21 Feb 2019

Happy trading all.

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