Will the SNB follow in the ECB’s footsteps by easing monetary policy this week? And can the euro extend its rallies from last week? Here’s what’s coming up.
ZEW economic sentiment index (Sept. 17, 9:30 am GMT)
First up, we’ve got leading indicators in the form of the ZEW economic sentiment figures for Germany and the entire euro region.
Now this is one of the earliest previews for economic performance as it comes out around the second of week of the and is based on the outlook of around 300 investors and market analysts.
For the month of September, Germany’s ZEW index is slated to pull up from -44.1 to -38.0 to reflect a lower degree of pessimism. If so, this would also mark the reading’s first improvement in five months and possibly convince market watchers that the economic slowdown could be over soon.
Meanwhile, the euro zone ZEW index is also expected to improve from -43.6 to -37.4. This figure has been sliding since April, so an end to this streak would likely be welcomed by euro bulls.
SNB monetary policy statement (Sept. 19, 7:30 am GMT)
Now that the ECB already played their rate cut hand last week, the attention turns to the SNB that typically gets crackin’ to make sure the EUR/CHF exchange rate stays right where they want it.
This particular central bank isn’t one to shy away from dragging interest rates deeper into negative territory or intervening the forex market, so most market watchers are eagerly awaiting a big announcement this time. However, the SNB rate is already at a very low -0.75% so they might also opt to save this salvo for when things are much worse.
Or will they? Note that the franc has rallied to its two-year highs versus the euro earlier this month, keeping EUR/CHF down by roughly 2.5% this year and slightly outside the SNB’s comfort zone. Need we remind you of the SNB shocker in 2015?
Even with a handful of currency-specific factors likely to push the euro and franc around this week, there’s just no underestimating the power of overall risk sentiment as there are plenty of other top-tier events going on.
For one, there’s the ongoing Brexit saga and the slight pickup in risk-taking that recent developments have brought. So far it’s looking like a “no deal” Brexit might be blocked by lawmakers or at least delayed, possibly giving both the EU and the U.K. more time to get their transition act together.
Of course another major catalyst to look out for is the FOMC decision that would likely cause big waves across the markets. Keep in mind that the euro and franc typically act as proxy safe-havens, so a sharp selloff in the dollar might drive traders towards these currencies instead.
And then there’s also talks of a third trade truce between the U.S. and China, the BOJ interest rate decision, and a looming strike at General Motors. Exciting times indeed!
Missed last week’s price action? Read the EUR & CHF price recap for September 9 – 13!