Market Drivers June 18, 2018
Markets very quiet at week’s open
Trade wars pressure USDJPY
Nikkei -0.75% Dax 0.74%
Europe and Asia:
FX markets were very quiet at the start of the week as most traders were more interested in FIFA than FX today, but what action there was clearly skewed to risk off side as the yen rose while euro fell in slow Asian and early European trade.
Trump Administration’s decision to add another $50 Billion worth of goods to the tariff list on Friday spilled over into Monday trade in Asia with bourses in the region slipping as Nikkei closed -0.74%. Investors are hoping that the tit for tat skirmish between China and US will end soon, but if the war of attrition escalates it can cast a pall on global growth.
USDJPY is already reacting to the underlying concerns as the pair fails ahead of the key 111.00 figure and could well serve as a barometer for broader risk-off sentiment in capital markets if it breaks 110.00 support. The pair has failed to respond to positive US economic data and hawkish Fed policy stance suggesting that investors may be looking past the rosy projections to a much more uncertain future six months down the road.
Meanwhile, Germany only added to the risk-off woes in FX as Angela Merkel’s coalition is coming under increasing strain over the migrant issue. Ms. Merkel is insisting that Germany abide by a pan-European solution while her partners are pressing for a German only policy response. The friction is so tense that markets are becoming genuinely concerned that her government could fall which would have hugely negative ramifications for euro as Germany is the de-facto anchor for the currency. The pair looks vulnerable to test 1.1500, but could fall much further if the crisis in Germany spins out of control.
For now, Ms. Merkel has managed to delay any decision on the matter, but if no compromise is found EURUSD could see a whole fresh selling sweep through it over the next several weeks.