Central Bank Roundup: Part II

In this second part of my central bank roundup, I’m covering those hanging around in the dovish camp. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out the first half of this series to figure out what’s next for forex trends!

European Central Bank (ECB)

Ahh, quite possibly the most dovish one in the bunch… Super Mario and his gang of policymakers at the European Central Bank! ECB officials ain’t even trying to be coy about their monetary policy plans, as a recently released interview by Reuters had two central bank policymakers confirming that the different options are already being discussed.

Forex junkies have been pricing in expectations of additional easing from the ECB for more than a month already, after Governor Draghi reiterated that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to ward off deflation. Analysts have now moved on to discussing which policy tools might be put to use, whether it’s another reduction in deposit rates, additional asset purchases, or possibly an unconventional approach.

Swiss National Bank (SNB)

Although SNB head Thomas Jordan hasn’t exactly been talking about additional easing from the Swiss central bank, he has jawboned the currency in a few instances ever since the ECB expressed its inclination for further easing. After all, the SNB wants to keep the franc weak against its forex peers (but mostly against the euro) in order to keep its exports competitive.

Before y’all think that the SNB is just all bark and no bite, lemme remind you that these central bankers actually dropped a bombshell on the forex market early this year by scrapping the franc peg while lowering deposit rates further. This shocking announcement had quite an aftermath on the industry so traders are on edge when there are factors that could lead to another SNB surprise.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)

RBNZ Governor Wheeler and his men have already been on a rate cut spree earlier this year, as the central bank scrambled to keep price levels afloat. Apart from being hit by the oil slump, New Zealand was also reeling from tumbling dairy prices back then. This led to lower payouts to farmers, weaker production levels, and a downturn in hiring and overall economic performance.

Now New Zealand did see some green shoots afterwards when the RBNZ’s easing efforts worked their magic on spending and investment activity later on, but the latest Global Dairy Trade auctions revealed another slowdown in the dairy industry. This suggests that the RBNZ might have one last easing hurrah before the end of the year or possibly in early 2016.

Bank of Japan (BOJ)

The BOJ didn’t really sound dovish in their latest monetary policy statement, as authorities tried to reassure forex market watchers that the Japanese economy is resilient. In fact, one policymaker has been consistently voting to taper asset purchases or reduce their easing efforts!

Economic data has been painting a different story, though, as Japan recently fell back in recession for Q3. Inflation has also been bleak, with the latest CPI readings printing declines in price levels and showing that Japan is digging a deeper deflationary hole. The tone of BOJ Governor Kuroda’s latest testimonies suggest that they’re hopeful that the Japanese economy could turn a corner sooner or later, but their actual decision still hinges on how upcoming data turns out.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous article, these monetary policy biases ain’t set in stone and anything can happen in the forex market. Still, it’s helpful to stay aware of the current central bank stance to figure out where trends might go. Stay on your toes!