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FX Special Report: Yes, it all makes sense

January 25, 2018
The lead market commentator of the Financial Times this morning writes that the dollar sell-off has “stopped making sense”. Indeed, viewed with the post-crisis lens of activist central banks and exceptionally tight correlations between FX and rates the dollar is entirely out of line with fundamentals. But currency moves over the medium-term ultimately boil down to one thing: flows. If inflows into an economy pick up the currency strengthens and vice versa. Looked at from a flow perspective, the dollar bear market makes complete sense: our outlook for FX 2018 argued that the flow picture is exceptionally supportive for EUR/USD and this positive dynamic is currently playing out. [more]

24 Documents
May 23, 2018
Region:
1
QE has been a controversial policy wherever it has been implemented, including in the euro zone. With the economy having expanded at the fastest rate in a decade in 2017, the ECB has already begun to scale back its asset purchases from EUR80bn per month at the peak to EUR30bn currently. The ECB is due to make its next decision on QE this summer. Our baseline expectation is that the ECB will announce in July the intention to finish QE at the end of this year. That will be a signal to markets and the economy that it is just a matter of time before the ECB’s other controversial monetary policy – negative deposit rates – is also withdrawn. [more]
May 10, 2018
2
Emerging Markets and the Global Economy in the Month Ahead: The source of the recent correction is benign: a repricing of US growth with the EU still poised to grow above potential. With few exceptions (such as Turkey and Argentina) EM inflation remains mostly near or below targets so that forex (FX) weakness is unlikely to trigger meaningful CB responses that could disrupt EM growth – which has yet to catch up with DM. However, USD strength poses a more binding and direct risk of tighter credit conditions for EM than US yields. Still, we would need to see EUR/USD closer to 1.05 for credit conditions to bind. [more]
May 10, 2018
Analyst:
3
The Panmunjom Declaration by the two Koreas reiterates their earlier calls not only for a permanent peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but also for economic cooperation as set forth in the 2007 Declaration. The latter identifies various infrastructure projects that would see South Korea integrated into the Eurasian continent through North Korea. These could result in significant cuts to South Korea's transportation and fuel costs. Moreover, broader economic cooperation between the two Koreas would give South Korea access not only to North Korea's cheap, literate, and highly organized labor but also its vast natural resources. Although the Panmunjom Declaration also calls for disarmament of the two Koreas, any significant progress in this area, as well as in broader economic cooperation, depends on a potential US-NK nuclear deal. Given past experience, the negotiation and implementation of a US-NK agreement is likely to take many months at least. In this report, we discuss potential benefits that South Korea could enjoy from economic cooperation with North Korea. [more]
May 2, 2018
4
With trillions in currencies exchanging hands every day, foreign exchange is indisputably the world’s largest and most liquid financial market. Yet in spite of its size, this report argues that it is also likely to be the least "efficient" compared to other asset classes. [more]
April 19, 2018
5
When will the next major default cycle occur? We assess lead indicators of previous default cycles in an attempt to predict the timing of the next one. Most indicators with a relatively short lead time suggest no imminent concerns of rising defaults through 2018. But some longer-term lead time indicators are starting to issue warning signs. Much can change over the next 12-24 months to shift the outlook, but H1 2020 looks a realistic start of the next major default cycle based on our analysis at this stage. [more]
March 7, 2018
9
Inflation data over the past year – and especially over the past week – have highlighted a critical point. Fluctuations in inflation rates for items that are typically insensitive to the busi-ness cycle — which we refer to as acyclical, such as health care and apparel — can drive the overall inflation trajectory and lead to regime shifts in the market’s inflation narrative. The plunge in wireless telephone services prices last March, followed by a string of downside surprises to other acyclical items, spawned a narrative that structural disinflationary forces would prevent inflation from rising. In the same way, recent stronger inflation data led by acyclical items may have revived the narrative that the Phillips curve is, in fact, alive and well and that risks are tilted toward inflation overshooting the Fed’s target. [more]
March 1, 2018
10
In the fourth part of our series on the impact of rising yields, we discuss the rising incidence of zombie firms in recent years. Bottom-up data of some 3,000 companies in the FTSE All World index show that the percentage of zombie firms has more than tripled to 2.0% of firms in 2016 from 0.6% in 1996. Such firms are defined as those with an interest coverage ratio under 1x for 2 consecutive years and a price to sales ratio under 3x. That matters because zombie firms are linked to fading business dynamism and because years of low interest rates should have led to fewer such firms, not more. There are early signs we are at a turning point, however. The numbers for 2017, with two-thirds of firms reporting, suggest that zombie firm incidence declined sharply last year. If this proves to be a real trend, it may give central banks confidence that continuing to raise rates and pull away from unconventional monetary policy will have some advantages. [more]
December 15, 2016
Region:
11
Germany remains an anchor of steadiness with an undisputed role as leader in Europe and is the only country that comes close to being on a par with America. This story of success is based on many structural factors, some of which complement and mutually reinforce each other. We group them as follows: (1) Macropolicies focused on stability and growth (2) Institutions grounded in German ‘ordoliberalism’ (3) Global companies with unique structures (4) An equitable system of social security and cooperative social partners (5) A long-term perspective by companies and citizens with the willingness to forgo immediate reward – in our view the most important factor in the success. The combination of innovative, multinational companies, functioning institutions and highly skilled workers will, in our view, maintain Germany’s competitiveness and prosperity into the future. German politicians are therefore confronted with the increasing challenge of holding the eurozone together. However, if anti-euro movements gain the upper hand in key partner countries, thereby increasing the disruptive risks, there may be a reassessment in Germany of the euro’s costs and benefits. [more]
November 1, 2016
Region:
12
While European central bankers commend themselves for the scale and originality of monetary policy since 2012, this self-praise is increasingly unwarranted. The reality is that since Mr Draghi’s infamous “whatever it takes” speech in 2012, the eurozone has delivered barely any growth, the worst labour market performance among industrial countries, unsustainable debt levels, and inflation far below the central bank’s own target. While the positive case for European Central Bank intervention is weak at best, the negative repercussions are becoming overwhelming. This paper outlines the five darker sides to current monetary policy. [more]