If there’s anything we learned from last week’s BOE announcement, it’s that central bank events can definitely rock the forex boat. And that’s why I’ve got a quick rundown of upcoming ones for y’all!
RBA Meeting Minutes (Sept. 19, 2:30 am GMT)
First up, we’ve got the transcript of the latest monetary policy huddle by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Even though RBA head Lowe and his fellow policymakers have already shared their thoughts on the Australian economy during their official announcement a couple of weeks back, it’s important to look into the factors that influenced their decision to keep rates steady and read between the lines to gauge when they might adjust policy.
Since the September RBA statement was pretty much a rehash of their previous one, the minutes of their meeting might contain more insight on whether or not individual policymakers are shifting their biases. Keep in mind that head honcho Lowe and his buddies have reiterated how a higher AUD has dampened their outlook for output, employment, and inflation, so we could be in for another round of jawboning here.
Also, in its quarterly statement on monetary policy, RBA officials agreed to downgrade this year’s growth forecast from 3.00% to 2.50% while also lowering their estimate for 2018, so their minutes might not be too upbeat.
FOMC Decision & Presser (Sept. 20, 7:00 pm GMT)
Remember when most dollar bulls had their hopes pinned on the third Fed rate hike occurring in September this year? My, oh my, has the tide changed!
A quick look at the historical data on the CME FedWatch Tool reveals how September tightening expectations have tanked in the past few months, with nearly everyone and his momma counting on the FOMC to sit on its hands this week, keeping rates steady at 1.00-1.25%.
Of course that ain’t set in stone just yet (Nothing is guaranteed in the forex market!) and as noted in my U.S. Economic Snapshot, the economy has actually grown at its fastest pace in nearly two years. Then again, there are risk factors, such as the impact of the recent hurricanes and potential fiscal reform, so there could also be some updates in the central bank’s economic forecasts.
A good handful of forex junkies still have their sights set on a December hike, as indicated by the same FedWatch tool, with the latest CPI report bringing the odds to nearly 50/50. Because of that, traders are likely to hunt for clues based on even the tiniest changes in Fed wording in the official statement, revisions to economic forecasts, and Yellen’s responses to questions during the presser.
Also, keep in mind that Yellen’s stint as Fed Chairperson may be on the line since administration officials have mentioned that there are a lot of candidates up for the job. Think this means she could be extra careful with her remarks this time around?
BOJ Monetary Policy Statement (Sept. 21, Asian session)
Last but certainly not least is the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy statement on Thursday’s Asian trading session. No actual interest rate changes are expected for now, but there are speculations that BOJ Governor Kuroda and his gang might sound a tad more hawkish than before.A former BOJ economist suggested that BOJ policymakers might consider either raising the 10-year yield target or letting long-term rates to rise further by targeting the shorter segment of the curve. Note that the BOJ has started gradually reducing its JGB purchases, so any signal that they’d continue to move towards policy normalization could be yen bullish.
As for economic data, Q3 GDP came in at 0.6% versus the previous period’s 0.3% growth figure. Consumer spending has taken hits in August but business sentiment and activity remain robust, based on manufacturing surveys and capital investment data. Although core CPI readings remain far below the 2% target, the pickup in producer prices and recent yen depreciation could bring upward inflation pressure down the line.