Last week we saw the Kiwi drop following the RBNZ’s surprise rate cut while the euro RALLIED after the ECB cut its rates. Are we in for another volatile forex trading week? Let’s take a look at the FOUR central bank events that might rock forex price action over the next few days.
Bank of Japan (Mar. 15, Asian session)
Last month the BOJ caused a few spikes in the charts when it surprisingly cut its benchmark interest rate and joined the ECB and SNB in implementing a negative interest rate policy (NIRP). BOJ Governor Kuroda and his gang cited worries over inflation, China, and the global economy as reasons for their aggressive moves.
On Tuesday’s Asian session, market players are generally expecting the central bank to maintain its policies. After all, the BOJ would need time to assess the impact of its NIRP on the economy for now.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that the BOJ would react to Japan’s latest set of weak consumer confidence and inflation data and implement even more aggressive policies in an attempt to express its commitment to fighting Japan’s deflationary mindset. In any case, watch out for possibly volatility among the yen crosses!
FOMC Statement (Mar. 16, 6:00 pm GMT)
Next up on the stage is the Fed in the second half of the U.S. session on Wednesday. Janet Yellen didn’t conduct a press conference last month, but the FOMC statement itself left plenty of clues on the Fed’s dovishness.
As I mentioned in my update, the Fed is worried over its growth and inflation forecasts. More importantly, Yellen and her friends seem to be content enough to wait for more significant economic data improvements before raising their rates once more.
With Uncle Sam’s jobs reports printing more gains and consumer spending still showing improvements, analysts aren’t expecting any changes from the Fed. Instead, all eyes will likely tune in to its updated quarterly forecasts, as well as details on the policymakers’ interest rate expectations that will be printed along with the FOMC statement.
Janet Yellen will also conduct a press conference where we’ll likely find more clues of her team’s biases. Any indication that the FOMC doesn’t mind sitting on its hands and waiting might weigh on the Greenback some more while hawkish remarks from the Fed head could boost the Greenback across the board.
Swiss National Bank (Mar. 17, 8:30 am GMT)
On Thursday at 8:30 am GMT the SNB will print its first monetary policy decision and assessment for the year.
Back in December the central bank offered nothing new, as it left its current interest rates unchanged while SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan continued to jawbone the franc by saying that the currency is overvalued and that he and his buds “remain active in the forex market in order to influence the exchange rate fluctuation.” Lastly, the SNB maintained its growth forecasts and upgraded its inflation estimates.
Will the SNB sing a more aggressive tune this week? Since its December meeting the franc has gained MORE value against its counterparts, which could prompt the SNB to implement a few changes, if not become more specific with its threats.
Data released a few days ago already revealed a record loss of 23.3B CHF ($23.45) in 2015 for the SNB, mostly due to its foreign currency holdings losing more value against the franc. Looks like the SNB has more incentive to keep its currency low, huh?
Bank of England (Mar. 17, 12:00 pm GMT)
The BOE will serve as the finale for this week’s set of monetary policy decisions. Will we see more surprises from Mark Carney?
Recall that the BOE surprised the markets with a more dovish than expected monetary policy announcement last month. Aside from its lone hawk turning over to the
dark dove side, the BOE has also lowered its growth and inflation forecasts. Apparently, the U.K.’s weak wage growth trade outlooks are concerning enough to warrant dovish biases.
Carney tried to salvage the pound by adding that they’re still likely to raise than cut their rates, but the damage had already been done and the pound ended the day lower against its counterparts.
Forex fans aren’t expecting to see any changes from the BOE this week, so we’ll likely get our volatility fix from Mark Carney’s press conference. Keep an eye out for significant changes in its growth and inflation forecasts and possible clues on changes in biases!