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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/CAD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

This analysis will evaluate the endogenous factors that affect the domestic economy in both the UK and Canada. We’ll also cover exogenous factors that influence the price of the GBP/CAD pair.

Ranking Scale

After analysis, we will rank both the exogenous and the endogenous factors on a scale from -10 to +10.

Endogenous factors will be ranked after a correlation analysis with the GDP growth rate. If negative, it means that either the GBP or the CAD have depreciated. If positive, it means that the domestic currency has appreciated.

The exogenous factors are ranked based on their correlation with the GBP/CAD pair’s exchange rate. When negative, it means that the price will drop. The price will be expected to increase if the exogenous analysis is positive.

Summary – GBP Endogenous Analysis

-15 score on Pound’s Endogenous Analysis indicates that this currency has depreciated since the beginning of 2020.

Summary – CAD Endogenous Analysis

  • Canada Employment Rate

The Canadian employment rate measures the percentage of the labor force that is employed during a particular period. The developments in the labor market are a leading indicator of overall economic growth. When the economy is expanding, there are more job openings, hence a higher employment rate. Conversely, when the economy is going through a recession, businesses close down, leading to a dropping employment rate.

In November 2020, the employment rate in Canada rose to 59.5% from 59.4% in October. Although the employment rate has been steadily increasing from the lows of 52.1% in April, it is still lower than in January. Canada’s employment rate has a score of -6.

  • Canada Core Consumer Prices

This index measures the overall change in Canada’s inflation rate based on a survey of price changes for a basket of consumer goods. The rate of inflation gauges the increase in economic activity. Typically, when demand is depressed in an economy, prices drop, resulting in lower inflation. Conversely, when demand increases, prices tend to increase, resulting in a higher rate of inflation.

In November 2020, Canada’s core consumer prices rose to 136.6 points from 136.3 in October. Between January and November, the index has increased by 2 points. It has a score of 3.

  • Canada Manufacturing Production

This index measures the YoY change in the value of the output from the Canadian manufacturing sector. Canadian manufacturing is a significant contributor to the labor market and economic growth. In the age of the coronavirus disruption, changes in manufacturing production show how faster the economy is bouncing back.

In September 2020, the YoY manufacturing production in Canada dropped by 4.24%. This is an improvement compared to the 5.34% drop recorded in August. Canadian manufacturing production has a score of -2.

  • Canada Business Confidence

The Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) measures monthly business confidence in Canada. In the survey, private and public companies rate whether the current business activity is higher or lower than the previous month. The index survey aspects including inventories, purchases, deliveries from suppliers, output prices, and employment.

When the index is over 50, it means that purchases have increased from the preceding month. Reading of below 50 shows a decrease in purchases.

In November 2020, Canadian business confidence dropped to 52.7 from 54.5 in October. This was the lowest reading since May, when the economy began rebounding from the shocks of  COVID-19. Consequently, Canada’s business confidence has a score of 1.

  • Canada Consumer Spending

This measures the final market value of all household expenditures on goods and services. It also includes expenditure by non-profit organizations that serve households in Canada but excludes purchases of homes. Consumer spending plays a critical role in economic growth.

In Q3 of 2020, consumer spending in Canada rose to CAD 1.13 trillion from CAD 1 trillion in Q2. However, it is still lower than consumer spending recorded in Q1. Thus, Canada’s consumer spending has a score of -4.

  • Canada New Housing Price Index

The Canadian NHPI measures the changes in the selling price of newly built residential houses. The price measured is that paid by the home buyers to the contractors. Note that the price comparison is strictly between houses of the same specification. The NHPI shows the construction sector’s growth trends; hence, it corresponds to changes in the labor market and GDP growth.

In November 2020, the Canadian NHPI rose to 107.9 from 107.3 in October. Thus, we assign a score of 3.

  • Canada Government Budget Value

This indicator tracks the changes in the difference between the Canadian government revenues and expenditures. It shows whether the government is running a surplus or a deficit. It also breaks down the changes in the receipts by the government. This helps to show how the overall economy is fairing.

In October 2020, the Canadian government budget had a deficit of CAD 18.51 billion compared to CAD 27.59 billion in September. Throughout the year, the budget deficits have been due to the economic shocks brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The Canadian government had to ramp up expenditure through its Economic Response Plan, while revenues dropped in the same period. We assign it a score of -5.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
Canada Employment Rate -6 10 59.5% in November 2020 The employment rate is steadily increasing. It is, however, still below January levels
Canada Core Consumer Prices 3 10 136.6 points in November 2020 Since January, it has increased by 2 points. That shows demand in the economy has kept prices higher
Canada Manufacturing Production -2 10 YoY dropped by 4.24% in September 2020 A slight increase from -5.34% recorded in August. This shows that the manufacturing production is returning to the pre-pandemic levels
Canada Business Confidence 1 10 52.7 in November November level was the lowest since the economy began to recover in May. It’s expected to improve as mass vaccinations against COVID-19 rolls out
Canada Consumer Spending -4 10 Was CAD 1.13 trillion Q3 2020 Recovered from CAD 1 trillion in Q2 but still lower than Q1. This shows that demand is increasing in the economy
Canada New Housing Price Index 3 10 November NHPI was 107.9 It has been increasing, which shows that output in the construction industry is improving
Canada Government Budget Value -5 10 a budget deficit of CAD 18.51 billion in October The deficit widened in 2020, driven by unprecedented fiscal policies to curb recessionary pressure from the pandemic
TOTAL SCORE -10

A score of -10 indicates that the CAD has depreciated since the beginning of the year 2020.

In the next article, you can find the exogenous analysis of GBP/CAD where we have forecasted this pair’s future price movements. Cheers.

GBP/CAD Exogenous Analysis

  • The UK and Canada Current Account Differential

The current account differential between the UK and Canada can determine if the GBP/CAD pair is bullish or bearish. If the differential is positive, it means that the UK has a higher current account balance than Canada. This would imply that the GBP is in higher demand in the forex market than the CAD; hence, it is a bullish trend for the pair. Conversely, if the current account differential is negative, it means that the UK has a lesser current balance than Canada. It would imply that the GBP has a lower demand than the CAD in the forex market; hence, a bearish trend for the pair.

In Q3 of 2020, the UK had a current account deficit of $20.97 billion while Canada had a $5.83 billion deficit. Thus, the current account differential is -$15.14 billion. We assign a score of -2.

The interest rate differential is the difference between the Bank of England’s interest rate and that by the Bank of Canada. In the forex market, carry traders use the interest rate differential to decide whether to buy or short a currency pair. When the interest rate differential is positive, traders will earn the differential by going long. If the differential is negative, traders can earn the differential by shorting the currency pair.

Therefore, if the GBP/CAD pair’s interest rate differential is positive, the pair is bound to adopt a bullish trend. Conversely, if negative, the pair is bound to be bearish.

In 2020, the interest rate in the UK dropped from 0.75% to 0.1%. In Canada, the BOC cut the interest rate from 1.75% to 0.25%. Therefore, the interest rate differential is -0.15%. The interest rate differential between the UK and Canada has a score of -1.

  • The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Canada

This differential measures the changes in the growth rate between the two economies. It is a preferred method of comparison since economies are of different sizes. Naturally, the economy with a higher GDP growth rate will have its currency appreciate more. Therefore, if the GDP growth rate differential is positive, it means that the GBP/CAD pair is bullish. If negative, then the pair is bearish.

During the first three quarters of 2020, the UK economy has contracted by 5.8%, while the Canadian economy has contracted by 3.3%. This makes the GDP growth rate differential -2.5%. Hence, a score of -1.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Canada Current Account Differential -2 10 A differential of – $15.14 The UK has a higher deficit than Canada
The interest rate differential between the UK and Canada -1 10 -0.15% Expected to remain at -0.15% until either economy have recovered
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Canada -1 10 3.30% The Canadian economy contracted at a slower pace than the UK economy
TOTAL SCORE -4

 

The cumulative score for the exogenous factors is -4. This means that we can expect the GBP/CAD pair to trade in a downtrend in the short term. However, technical analysis shows the pair adopting a bullish trend with the weekly chart trading above the 200-period MA. More so, the pair is seen bouncing off the lower Bollinger band.

Keep an eye on the near-term changes in the exogenous factors.

 

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Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/AUD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/AUD Exogenous Analysis

  1. The UK and Australia Current Account Differential

In this case, the current account differential is derived by subtracting Australia’s current account balance from that of the UK. The current account shows the net value of a country’s exports. Remember that the value of a currency is determined by its demand. Theoretically, the country’s domestic currency with a higher current account balance will have a higher demand. Therefore, its value will be higher in the forex market than in currencies with lower current account balances.

In this case, if the current account differential is positive, it means that the GBP is in higher demand than the AUD, hence a bullish trend for the GBP/AUD pair. Conversely, if the differential is negative, the GBP/AUD pair will have a bearish trend.

Australia had a $7.5 billion current account surplus in Q3 2020, while the UK had a $20.97 billion deficit. The current account differential is -$28.47 billion. Consequently, the current account differential between the UK and Australia has a score of -4.

  1. The interest rate differential between the UK and Australia

This interest rate differential is the difference between the interest rate in the UK and Australia. Typically, investors prefer to buy currencies with a higher interest rate. Therefore, if the interest rate differential for the GBP/AUD pair is positive, it means that the UK offers higher interest rates than Australia. Traders would then sell AUD and buy the GBP, which implies that the GBP/AUD pair will have a bullish trend. Conversely, if the interest rate differential is negative, Australia offers a higher interest rate. Thus, traders would sell the GBP and buy the AUD, which will force the GBP/AUD pair into a downtrend.

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% and finally to 0.1% in December. The BOE cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.1%. As of December 2020, the interest rate differential for the GBP/AUD pair is 0%. Thus, we assign a score of -1.

  1. The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Australia

The differential in GDP growth rate measures the difference in domestic economic growth in the UK and Australia. It is expected that the domestic currency of the country whose GDP is expanding at a faster pace will appreciate faster. Therefore, if the GDP growth differential between the UK and Australia is positive, we should expect a bullish trend for the GBP/AUD pair. Conversely, we should expect a downtrend in the pair if the differential is negative.

The Australian economy has contracted by 4% in the first three quarters of 2020, while the UK has contracted by 5.8%. Thus, the GDP growth rate differential is -1.8%. Hence, the score of -3.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Australia Current Account Differential -4 10 A differential of – $28.47 Australia has a current account surplus while the UK is running a deficit. The differential is expected to increase as COVID-19 restrictions ease
The interest rate differential between the UK and Australia -1 10 0.00% Neither the RBA nor the BOE intends to change the interest rate policy in the near term. The differential of 0% is expected to persist in the near term
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Australia -3 10 -1.80% The Australian economy contracted slower than the UK’s
TOTAL SCORE -8

Since the cumulative exogenous score for the GBP/AUD pair is -8, we can expect the pair to continue a bearish trend.

According to the above picture’s technical analysis, this pair is trading below the 200-period MA and attempting to breach the lower Bollinger band, supporting our fundamental analysis. Cheers.

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Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/AUD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

This analysis will look into endogenous factors that influence economic growth both in the UK and Australia. We will also analyze the exogenous factors that impact the exchange rate of the GBP/AUD pair.

Ranking Scale

We will conduct correlation analysis, which we will use to rank the endogenous and exogenous factors on a scale of -10 to 10.

In ranking the endogenous factors, we will conduct a correlation analysis against the GDP growth rate. If the score is negative, the endogenous factor has resulted in depreciation of either the GBP of the AUD. Conversely, if the score is positive, then the factor has resulted in an appreciation of the local currency.

When the exogenous analysis is negative, the factor has resulted in a decline of the GBP/AUD exchange rate. If the score is positive, then the factor has led to an increase in the exchange rate.

Summary – GBP Endogenous Analysis

-15 score indicates that the Pound has depreciated since the starting of 2020.

Summary – AUD Endogenous Analysis

A score of -8 indicates that the Australian dollar has depreciated as well since the beginning of 2020.

Indicator Score Total State Comment
Australia Employment Rate -3 10 61.2% in October The employment rate hit 20-year lows during the pandemic. It’s expected to continue recovery as the economy recovers
Australia Core Consumer Prices 2 10 117.49 in Q3 2020 The inflation rate still lower than Q1, but the demand is increasing in the economy
Australia Manufacturing Production -3 10 Q3 projected to drop by 3.5% Q2 dropped by 6.2%. Production expected to improve in Q3 as business operation resume some normalcy
Australia Business Confidence 6 10 NAB business confidence was 12 in November It’s the highest level since April 2018. This shows that businesses are highly optimistic about their future operations
Australia Consumer Spending -3 10 Was 253.648 billion AUD in Q3 2020 Q3 levels still lower than Q1 domestic expenditure. Expected to increase further when the economy recovers to pre-pandemic levels
Australia Construction Output -3 10 Q3 output dropped by 2.6% Q3 drop caused by a reduction in residential and non-residential construction, engineering, and building works
Australia Government Budget Value -4 10 a budget deficit of 10.974 billion AUD in October The government budget deficit is improving. This shows that the revenue stream is improving as businesses resume operations
TOTAL SCORE -8
  1. Australia Employment Rate

This indicator shows the number of working-age Australians who are employed during a particular period. As an indicator of growth in the labor market, the employment rate shows if the economy is adding or shedding jobs. Thus, it is used to show periods of economic growth and contractions.

The Australian labor market has been recovering from the coronavirus pandemic shocks when the employment rate hit a 20-year low of 58.2%. In October 2020, Australia had an employment rate of 61.2%, up from 60.4% in September. However, it is still lower than January’s 62.6%. Australia’s employment rate has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Trimmed Mean Consumer Prices

This indicator is also called core consumer prices. It measures the price changes of goods and services that are frequently purchased by Australian households. The computation of the trimmed mean consumer prices excludes goods and services whose prices are volatile.

In Q3 2020, the core consumer prices in Australia rose to 117.49 from 117.04 in Q2. Q3 levels are also higher than the 117.17 points recorded in Q1. This shows that the economy is recovering since an increase in prices implies an increase in domestic demand for goods and services. We assign a score of 2.

  1. Australia Manufacturing Production

This indicator shows the YoY change in the value of output from the manufacturing sector. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on industrial production; hence, manufacturing production changes provides invaluable insights into the domestic economic growth. It also shows how the economy is recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

In Q2 2020, the YoY manufacturing production in Australia dropped by 6.2%, compared to 2.7% growth in Q1. Q3 YoY manufacturing production is expected to drop by 3.5%. Consequently, Australian manufacturing production has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Business Confidence

Business confidence in Australia is measured by conducting a monthly survey of about 600 businesses. They include small, medium, and large companies operating in non-agricultural sectors. The survey gauges the businesses’ expectations in terms of profitability, trading volume, and employees. The index is derived by considering the percentage of respondents who have good and very good expectations and those who have a bad and very bad outlook.

In November 2020, the NAB business confidence increased to 12 from 3 in October, which has been the highest since April 2018. Australia’s business confidence has a score of 6.

  1. Australia Consumer Spending

The indicator records the quarterly change in the value of goods and services consumed by domestic households. It includes expenditure by non-profit organizations that provide goods and services to Australian households and the value of backyard productions.

In Q3 of 2020, consumer spending in Australia rose to AUD 253.648 billion from AUD 235.131 billion in Q2. Although it’s lower than Q1 expenditure, domestic demand in the economy is rebounding from the slump of COVID-19. Consequently, Australian consumer spending has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Construction Output

This indicator shows the quarterly change in the value of construction work in Australia. The total value involves both private and public sector building and engineering work.

In the third quarter of 2020, Australia’s construction output dropped by 2.6% from a 0.5% growth in Q2. This drop was caused by output drop in residential and non-residential construction, engineering, and building works. Thus, we assign a score of -3.

  1. Australia Government Budget Value

The government budget value measures whether the Australian government has a budget surplus or deficit. A budget surplus implies that the government’s expenditure is less than its revenue. Similarly, a budget deficit means that the government spends more than it collects in terms of revenue.

In October 2020, Australia had a budget deficit of AUD 10.974 billion, up from a deficit of 33.613 billion in September. We assign a score of -4.

In the next article, you can find the Exogenous analysis of the GBP/AUD currency pair and also our forecast on its price movement in the near future. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/NZD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

In this analysis, we will analyze endogenous factors that influence both the UK and New Zealand economies. The analysis will also include exogenous factors that impact the exchange rate between the GBP and the NZD.

Ranking Scale

We’ll rank the endogenous and exogenous factors on a scale from -10 to +10.

The score of the endogenous factors will be determined from correlation analysis between the GDP growth rate. If the score is negative, the endogenous factor had a devaluing effect on the domestic currency. Conversely, if the score is positive, the factor led to the appreciation of the domestic currency.

Similarly, we’ll do a correlation analysis between the exogenous factors and the GBP/NZD exchange rate. If the correlation is negative, the factor results in a drop in the exchange rate. If positive, then the exogenous factor increases the exchange rate.

Summary – GBP Endogenous Analysis

-15 score on Pound’s Endogenous Analysis indicates that this currency has depreciated since the beginning of 2020.

Summary – NZD Endogenous Analysis

A positive 5 indicates that the New Zealand dollar has appreciated since the beginning of this year.

Indicator Score Total State Comment
New Zealand Employment Rate -7 10 66.4% in Q3 2020 The NZ labor market is yet to recover from the economic disruptions of the pandemic
New Zealand Core Consumer Prices 1 10 1054 points in Q3 2020 From Q1 to Q3, inflation has increased by 1 point
New Zealand Industrial Production 5 10 A 3.1% increase in Q3 The NZ industrial sector is rebounding from a 12.1% drop in Q2.
New Zealand Business Confidence 7 10 Was 9.4 in November November showed the first positive reading in ANZ business confidence since August 2018
New Zealand Consumer Spending 5 10 Q3 spending was 41.335 billion NZD. Q3 consumer spending was the highest recorded in 2020. This shows that the domestic demand has recovered beyond the pre-pandemic period
New Zealand Construction Output -4 10 Q2 output dropped by 24.2% The worst decline in construction output in about 18 years. It’s bound to increase as COVID-19 restrictions ease
New Zealand Government Budget Value -2 10 2020 projected deficit of 4.5 billion NZD This would be a drop from a surplus of 7.5 billion NZD in 2019. Attributed to the increase in government spending during the pandemic
TOTAL SCORE 5
  1. New Zealand Employment Rate

The employment rate shows the growth in New Zealand’s labor market. The change in the labor market shows how the economy is performing – especially in the coronavirus pandemic. The labor market shows if the economy is churning out new jobs or if jobs are lost. Thus, the growth of the labor market is a leading indicator of economic growth.

In Q3 2020, New Zealand’s employment rate dropped to 66.4% from 67.1% in Q2 and 67.7% in Q1. This shows that the labor market is yet to recover from the economic shocks of the pandemic. The New Zealand employment rate has a score of -7.

  1. New Zealand Core Consumer Prices

This indicator samples the price changes in a basket of the most commonly purchased goods and services by households. The price changes represent the rate of inflation in the overall economy. Note that the computation of the core consumer prices excludes goods and services whose prices tend to be volatile. It helps avoid seasonal distortions in the index.

In Q3 of 2020, the core consumer prices in New Zealand rose to 1054 points from 1048 in Q2. The index had only increased by 1 point in 2020. Thus, we assign a score of 1.

  1. New Zealand Industrial Production

Industrial production in New Zealand refers to the YoY change in total manufacturing sales. It measures the YoY change in sales volume in the manufacturing sector. A survey of 13 industries across the manufacturing sector is surveyed to derive the YoY manufacturing sales data for the whole sector. Some of these industries include; petroleum and coal products, metal products, machinery, equipment and furniture, and food and beverage. Naturally, expansion in industrial production corresponds to the expansion of the economy.

New Zealand manufacturing sales rose by 3.1% in Q3 2020 from a drop of 12.1%. This is the largest YoY increase in manufacturing sales in three years. It shows that the economy is rebounding. We assign a score of 5.

  1. New Zealand Business Confidence

NZ business confidence is a survey of about 700 businesses. They are polled to establish their expectations about the future business operating environment and economic growth in general. Some aspects surveyed include; activity outlook, employment prospects, capacity utilization, and investment decisions.

In December 2020, the NZ ANZ business confidence rose to 9.4 from -6.9 in November. This shows an increased optimism in NZ businesses since it is the first positive reading since August 2018. Thus, we assign a score of 7.

  1. New Zealand Consumer Spending

This measures the value of the quarterly consumer expenditure in NZ. Changes in consumer expenditure go hand in hand with domestic demand changes in the economy, which drive GDP growth.

In Q3 2020, the NZ consumer spending increased to NZD 41.335 billion from NZD 35.197 billion in Q2. More so, the Q3 consumer spending is more than the NZD 40.04 billion recorded in Q1. Consequently, the NZ consumer spending has a score of 5.

  1. New Zealand Construction Output

This indicator shows the overall change in the value of all construction work done by contractors in NZ. It compares the YoY quarterly change, which helps to show if the economy is expanding or contracting.

In Q2 2020, the NZ construction output dropped by 24.2% compared to the 4.1% drop in Q2. This is the worst drop in over 18 years. Thus, we assign a score of -4.

  1. New Zealand Government Budget Value

This is the difference between the revenues that the NZ government collects and the amount it spends. Deficits arise if the revenues are less than expenditures, while surplus occurs when the revenues exceed expenditure.

In 2019, the NZ government had a budget surplus of NZD 7.5 billion. In 2020, it was projected that the budget would hit a deficit of NZD 4.5 billion. This is due to increased government expenditure to alleviate the pandemic’s economic shocks while revenues have been depressed due to nationwide shutdowns. Thus, we assign a score of -2.

For the exogenous analysis of both of these currencies, you can check our very next article. In case of any queries, let us know in the comments below. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/CHF Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/CHF Exogenous Analysis

  1. The UK and Switzerland Current Account Differential

A country’s current account shows the sum of its net exports, net secondary income, and net primary income. In this case, the current account differential is the difference between the UK’s current account balance and Switzerland.

In international trade, when a country has a current account surplus, it means the value of its exports is higher than imports. Thus, its domestic currency is in higher demand in the forex market. Therefore, if the current account differential is positive, it implies that the UK has a higher current account than Switzerland. We can then expect that the price of the GBP/CHF pair will increase. Conversely, a negative differential would mean that Switzerland has a higher current account than the UK. In this case, the price of the GBP/CHF pair is expected to drop.

Switzerland had a current account surplus of $10.11 billion in the third quarter of 2020, while the UK had a $20.97 billion deficit. The current account differential is -$31.08 billion. Hence a score of -7.

  1. The interest rate differential between the UK and Switzerland

Interest rate differential is the swiss interest rate subtracted from the interest rate in the UK. Forex carry traders use a pair’s interest rate differential to establish whether to buy or short the pair. For GBP/CHF, if the interest rate differential is positive, it means that the UK’s interest rate is higher than in Switzerland. This makes traders and investors go long on the pair; hence, a bullish trend.

Conversely, if the interest rate differential is negative, it means that Switzerland’s interest rate is higher than in the UK. Thus, forex traders will short the GBP/CHF pair; hence, a bearish trend.

The Swiss National Bank has maintained the interest rate at -0.75%, while the UK’s interest rate is 0.1%. Therefore, the GBP/CHF interest rate differential is 0.85%. It has a score of 3.

  1. The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Switzerland

GDP growth rate differential is the difference between the economic growth in the UK and Switzerland. A negative differential means that the UK’s economy is expanding faster than that of Switzerland. Consequently, the GBP/CHF pair will adopt a bullish trend. Conversely, if the GDP growth rate differential is negative, the swiss economy is growing faster than that of the UK. Hence, the GBP/CHF pair will adopt a bearish trend.

The UK economy has contracted by 5.8% in the first three quarters of 2020, while the swiss economy has contracted by 1.5%. That means the GDP growth rate differential is -4.3%. We assign a score of -3.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Switzerland Current Account Differential -7 10 A differential of – $31.08 Switzerland has a $10.11 billion current account surplus, while the UK has a deficit of $20.97 billion
The interest rate differential between the UK and Switzerland 3 10 0.85% The differential is expected to remain at 0.85% all through 2021
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Switzerland -3 10 -4.30% Switzerland’s economy contracted by 1.5% in the first three quarters of 2020 while the UK by 5.8%
TOTAL SCORE -7

The exogenous analysis of the GBP/CHF pair has a cumulative score of -7. Thus, we can expect a short-term downtrend in the pair.

In technical analysis, GBP/CHF’s weekly price is seen bouncing off from the upper Bollinger band.

We hope you find this analysis informative. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/CHF Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

In conducting the global macro analysis of the EUR/CHF pair, we’ll focus on endogenous economic factors that contribute to the growth of GDP in the EU and Switzerland. Exogenous factors that influence the exchange rate of the EUR/CHF in the forex market will also be analysed.

Ranking Scale

A sliding scale of -10 to +10 will be used to rank the impact of endogenous and exogenous factors.

The ranking of the endogenous factors will be based on their correlation analysis with the GDP growth rate. A negative score implies that they resulted in the contraction of the economy hence depreciating the domestic currency. A positive score implies that they led in economic expansion hence appreciation of the domestic currency.

The exogenous factors are ranked based on their correlation with the EUR/CHF exchange rate. A positive score means that the pair lead to an increase in the exchange rate, while a negative ranking means that the exchange rate has decreased.

EUR Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The EUR’s endogenous analysis has a score of -3. This implies that the Euro had marginally depreciated in 2020.

CHF Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The change in the level of employment covers the quarterly developments in the labour market in Switzerland. The statistic includes the changes in both fulltime and parttime employment. Typically, changes in employment is a result of changes in business activities.

In Q3 of 2020, 5.08 million people were employed in Switzerland compared to 5.02 million in Q2. The employment level is still below the 5.11 million registered in Q1. We assign a score of -4.

  • Switzerland GDP Deflator

Switzerland GDP deflator is used to calculate the change in real GDP in terms of prices of all goods and services produced within the country. This is a comprehensive measure of inflation compared to measures like CPI and PPI, which only focus on a small portion of the economy.

In Q3 2020, Switzerland GDP deflator rose to 98.8 from 98 in Q2.  Up to Q3, the GDP deflator has increased by 0.8 points. The increase in inflation can be taken as an indicator that the economy is bouncing back from the economic shocks of the coronavirus pandemic. We assign a score of 3.

  • Switzerland Industrial Production

This indicator shows the changes in output for firms operating in the manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and electricity production. Although Switzerland is not heavily dependent on industrial production, it is still an integral part of the economy.

In Q3 2020, the industrial production in Switzerland increased by 5% from a drop of 9% in Q2. The YoY industrial production for Q3 was down 5.1%. For the first three quarters of 2020, the industrial production is down 3.8%. We assign a score of -3.

  • Switzerland Manufacturing PMI

This is an indicator of the economic health of the Swiss manufacturing sector. The purchasing managers are surveyed based in a questionnaire which covers the output in the sector, suppliers’ deliveries, inventories, new orders, prices, and employment. A PMI of above 50 shows that the Swiss manufacturing sector is expanding, while below 50 shows that the sector is contracting.

In November 2020, Switzerland manufacturing PMI rose to 55.2 from 52.3 in October. This is the highest reading since December 2018 and the fourth consecutive month of expansion since July. We assign a score of 7.

  • Switzerland Retail Sales

The retail sales measure the consumption of final goods and services by households in Switzerland. The expenditure by households drives the aggregate demand in the economy, which results in the changes in GDP.

In October 2020, Switzerland retail sales increased by 3.2% from a drop of 3.2% in September. YoY retail sales increased by 3.1% in October from 0.4% in September. Up to October 2020, the average retail sales has increased by 0.84%. We assign a score of 1.

  • Switzerland Consumer Confidence

About 1000 Swiss households are surveyed in January, April, July and October. They are evaluated based on their opinions about the economy, job security, financial status, inflation, and purchases. Consumer confidence tends to be higher when the economy is expanding and low during recessions.

In Q4 2020, the Swiss consumer confidence dropped to -12.8 from 12 in Q3. Although it is higher than it was in Q2 at the height of the pandemic, it is still lower than in Q1. The expectations on households’ financial situation also dropped to -6.6 from -4.2 in Q2. Households were increasingly pessimistic about the labour market and their job security. this can be attributed to the uncertainties that surround the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We assign a score of -2.

  • Switzerland Government Gross Debt to GDP

This is the total amount that the Swiss government owes to both domestic and international lenders is expressed as a percentage of the GDP. It helps us to understand and evaluate the size of the debt relative to the size of the economy. At below 60%, the government is seen as being able to service its debt obligations and have room to acquire more debt without straining the economy.

In 2019, the Switzerland government gross debt to GDP was 41% same as in 2018. In 2020, it is expected to range between 49% and 51% due to aggressive expenditure to alleviate the shocks of coronavirus pandemic. We assign a score of -1.

In the very next article, you can find the exogenous analysis of the EUR/CHF Forex pair. Please check that and let us know if you have any questions below. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/JPY Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

The global macro analysis of the EUR/JPY forex pair will involve the analysis of endogenous and exogenous economic factors. The endogenous analysis will cover indicators that drive economic growth in the EU and Japan. Exogenous factors will cover the analysis of factors that impact the exchange rate between the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

Ranking Scale

We will use a scale of -10 to +10 to rank the impact of these factors. When the endogenous factors are negative, it implies that they resulted in the depreciation of the local currency. a positive ranking implies that they led to an increase in the value of the domestic currency. The ranking of the endogenous factors is determined by their correlation with the domestic GDP growth.

When the exogenous factors get a negative score, it means they have a bearish impact on the EUR/JPY pair. A positive score implies they’ve had a bullish impact. The ranking of the exogenous factors is determined by their correlation to the exchange rate of the EUR/JPY pair.

EUR Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The endogenous analysis of the EUR has an overall score of -3. Based on the factors we have analyzed, we can expect that the Euro had marginally depreciated in 2020.

JPY Endogenous Analysis – Summary 

A score of -12 implies a strong deflationary effect on the JPY currency pair, and we can conclude that this currency has depreciated this year.

  • Japan Employed Persons

This indicator measures the changes in the number of workers over a particular period. It only tracks the section of the labor force that has attained the minimum working age. Changes in the labor market are seen as leading indicators of economic development.

In October 2020, the number of employed persons in Japan increased to 66.58 million from 66.55 million in September. The number of employed persons in Japan is still lower than the 67.4 million recorded in January. We assign a score of -5.

  • Japan GDP Deflator

The GDP deflator is used to measure the comprehensive changes in the overall inflation of the Japanese economy. Since it measures the price changes of the entire economic output, it is used as a key predictor of future monetary and fiscal policies. An increase in GDP deflator means that the economy is expanding, which may lead to the appreciation of the JPY.

In Q3 of 2020, the Japan GDP deflator dropped to 100.4 from 103.5 in Q2. Up to Q3, the Japan GDP deflator has marginally increased by 0.2 points. We assign a score of 1.

  • Japan Industrial Production

This indicator covers the changes in the output value of mining, manufacturing, and utility sectors. The Japanese economy is highly industrialized. The industrial sector contributes approximately 33% of the GDP. That means the GDP growth rate in Japan is sensitive to the changes in industrial production.

The MoM industrial production in Japan increased by 3.8% in October 2020 while the YoY dropped by 3.2% – the slowest since February 2020. On average, the MoM industrial production in Japan is -0.15%. We assign a score of -5.

  • Japan Manufacturing PMI

About 400 large manufacturers are surveyed monthly by The Jibun Bank. These manufacturers are classified according to the sector of operations, their workforce size, and contribution to GDP. The overall manufacturing PMI is an aggregate of employment, new orders, inventory, output, and suppliers’ deliveries. The Japanese manufacturing sector is seen to be expanding when the PMI is above 50 and contracting when below 50.

In November 2020, the Japan Manufacturing PMI was 49 compared to 48.7 in October. The November reading is almost at par with the January levels. We assign a score of 1.

  • Japan Retail Sales

The retail sales measure the change in the monthly purchase of goods and services by Japanese households. Since it is a leading indicator of consumer demand and expenditure, it is best suited to gauge possible economic contractions and expansions.

In October 2020, Japan retail sales rose by 0.4% from 0.1% recorded in September. YoY retail sales increased by 6.4%, which marks the first month of increase since February 2020. The growth of retail sales is mainly attributed to an increase in motor vehicle sales, machinery and equipment, and medicine & toiletry. On average, the first ten months of 2020 have had a 0.4% increase in MoM retail sales. Thus, we assign a score of 2.

  • Japan Consumer Confidence

This is a monthly survey of about 4700 Japanese households with more than two people. The survey covers the households’ opinion on the overall economic growth, personal income, employment, and purchase of durable goods. An index of above 50 shows that the households are optimistic, while below 50 shows that they are pessimistic.

In November 2020, Japan’s consumer confidence was 33.7 – the highest recorded since March. It is, however, still lower than the pre-pandemic levels of 39.1. We assign a score of -3.

  • Japan General Government Gross Debt to GDP

Prospective domestic and international lenders use the government debt to GDP ratio to determine the ability of an economy to sustain more debt. Among the developed nations, Japan has the highest government debt to GDP ratio. However, it has minimal risk of default since most of the debt is domestic and denominated in Japanese Yen, which poses a low risk of inflating the domestic currency in the international market.

In 2019, the general government gross debt to GDP in Japan was 238%, up from 236.6% in 2018. In 2020, it was projected to hit a maximum of 250%. We assign a score of -3.

In our upcoming article, we have performed an Exogenous analysis of the EUR/JPY Forex pair and gave our optimal forecast. Make sure to check that out. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/AUD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

EUR/AUD Exogenous Analysis

  • The EU and Australia Current Account to GDP differential

The current account to GDP shows the percentage of a country’s international trade that makes up the GDP. Countries with higher current account surplus have a higher current account to GDP ratio while those running deficits have a negative current account to GDP ratio.

In this case, if the GDP differential is positive, it means that the exchange rate for the EUR/AUD pair will increase. But if the differential is negative, then the exchange rate for the pair will drop.

In 2020, the current account to GDP ratio in the EU is expected to hit 3.4% and -1.5% in Australia. Thus, the current account to GDP differential is 4.9%. We assign a score of 3.

Typically, investors put their money into financial instruments that offer higher interest rates. Therefore, the country with a higher interest rate should be expected to have more inflow of funds than that with a lower interest rate. Note that when foreign investors invest in the local economy, they have to convert their money into the domestic currency. This conversion increases the demand for the domestic currency in the forex market hence increasing its value.

In forex trading, if the EUR/AUD pair has a positive interest rate differential, it means that the exchange rate of the pair will increase. Conversely, a negative interest rate differential implies that the pair has a bearish outlook.

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate from 0.75% to 0.1%, while the ECB has maintained interest rates at 0%. Therefore, the interest rate differential for the EUR/AUD pair is -0.1%. We assign a score of -3.

  • The EU and Australia Growth Rate differential

In any economy, the value of the domestic currency is mostly determined by the growth of the local economy. Therefore, a country whose economy is growing faster will see its domestic currency appreciate faster.

If the growth rate differential is negative for the EUR/AUD pair, we can expect a bearish outlook. If it is positive, it implies that the exchange rate for the pair will rise.

For the first three quarters of 2020, the Australian economy contracted by 4% and the EU economy by 2.9%. The GDP growth differential is 1.1%. We assign a score of 2.

Conclusion

The EUR/AUD exogenous factors have a score of 2. If the conditions observed in the exogenous factors persist, we can expect that the pair will adopt a bullish trend in the short-term.

The technical analysis of the EUR/AUD shows the weekly price chart bouncing off the oversold region of the lower Bollinger bands. More so, the pair is still trading above the 200-period MA. All the best.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/NZD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

EUR/NZD Exogenous Analysis

  • The EU and New Zealand Current Account to GDP differential

An economy’s current account comprises the balance of trade, net transfer payments, and net factor income. In international trade, a country with a higher current account surplus experiences higher demand for its domestic currency. That means the value of its currency will be higher. Typically, a higher current account to GDP means that the country has more current account surplus.

For the EUR/NZD pair, if the differential of the current account to GDP is negative, it means that the pair’s exchange rate will fall. If it’s positive, we can expect the pair’s exchange rate to increase.

In 2020, New Zealand’s current account to GDP is forecasted to reach -0.8% while that of the EU 3.4%. Thus, the current account to GDP differential between the EU and New Zealand is 4.2%. We assign a score of 4.

The prevailing interest rate in a country determines the flow of capital from foreign investors. Naturally, the country that offers a higher interest rate will attract more foreign investors who seek higher returns. Similarly, a country with lower interest rates will experience an outflow of capital by foreign investors. In the forex market, a currency pair with a positive interest rate differential tends to be bullish since traders are buying the base currency – which offers a higher interest rate and sell the quote currency – which has a lower interest rate. Conversely, a currency pair is expected to be bearish if the interest rate differential is negative since investors will sell the base currency and buy the quote currency.

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut the official cash rate to 0.25%, while the ECB maintained the interest rate at 0%. Hence, the interest rate differential for the EUR/NZD pair is -0.25%. We assign a score of -3.

  • The EU and New Zealand GDP Growth Rate differential

The value of a country’s domestic currency is impacted by the growth rate of the local economy. Thus, comparing the growth rate between countries’ GDP growth rates helps determine which currency appreciated or depreciated more than the other.

The New Zealand economy contracted by 3.2% in the first three quarters of 2020 and that of the EU by 2.9%. The GDP growth rate differential is 0.3%. We assign a score of 2.

Conclusion

The EUR/NZD exogenous analysis has a cumulative rank of 3. This means that the pair is expected to trade in a bullish trend in the short-term.

The bullish trend can also be observed from the technical analysis of the weekly price charts. The pair is trading above the 200-period MA and the weekly price rebounding from the lower Bollinger Band.

We hope you found this analysis informative. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below. Cheers!

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/NZD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

In conducting the global macro analysis for the EUR/NZD pair, we will analyze the endogenous factors that impact the EU and New Zealand economic growth. We’ll also analyze exogenous economic factors that affect the EUR/NZD pair’s exchange rate in the forex market.

Ranking Scale

We will rank the effects of the endogenous and exogenous factors on a sliding scale of -10 to +10. The endogenous factors will be ranked based on correlation analysis with the GDP growth rate. When the endogenous ranking is negative, it means that the domestic currency will depreciate and appreciate when positive.

Similarly, the exogenous factors are scored based on correlation analysis with the EUR/NZD pair’s exchange rate. A positive score means that the EUR/NZD pair’s price will rise and drop if the score is negative.

Summary – EUR Endogenous Analysis

Based on the factors we have analyzed, we have got a score of -3, and we can expect the Euro to be marginally depreciating in 2020.

Summary – NZD Endogenous Analysis

A score of -4 on NZD Endogenous Analysis implies that in 2020, the NZD has depreciated as well.

Employment change measures the quarterly change in the number of people who are gainfully employed. It can be used as a comprehensive measure of the labor market changes, which corresponds to economic growth.

In Q3 of 2020, Employment in New Zealand dropped by 0.8%, from a 0.3% drop in Q2 to 2.709 million. The Q3 reading is the largest drop in QoQ employment since Q1 of 2009. We assign a score of  -6.

  • New Zealand GDP Deflator

This indicator measures the quarterly changes in the price of all economic output in New Zealand. It is regarded as the most specific inflation measure since it covers price changes for every good and service produced.

In Q2 of 2020, the New Zealand GDP deflator dropped to 1238 points from 1242 in Q1. This shows that the economy contracted in Q2. Hence, we assign a score of -3.

  • New Zealand Manufacturing Sales

New Zealand manufacturing sales track the change in the volume of total sales made in the manufacturing sector. The indicator tracks the sales in 13 industries, which comprehensively represents New Zealand’s economy. The changes in the volume of sales are directly correlated to the growth of the economy.

In Q3 of 2020, the YoY manufacturing sales in New Zealand increased by 3.1% after dropping by 12.1% in Q2 and 1.9% in Q1. The increase in Q3 is the largest recorded since January 2017. However, since the overall industrial production is still at multi-year lows, we assign a score of -6.

  • New Zealand Manufacturing PMI

This index is aggregated from a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector. It is a composite of scores regarding output in the sector, prices, expected output, employment, new orders, and inventory. When the PMI is above 50, it means that the manufacturing sector is expanding. A PMI score below 50 shows that the sector is contracting. Naturally, these periods of expansions and contractions are leading indicators of changes in the GDP growth rate.

In November 2020, the New Zealand manufacturing PMI rose to 55.3 from 51.7 in October. The rise was due to increased new orders, inventory, production, and deliveries, as uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 decreased. We assign a score of 4.

  • New Zealand Retail Sales

The retail sales track the changes in the quarterly purchase of final goods and services by households in New Zealand. Although retail sales are often affected by seasonality and tend to be highly volatile, it is a significant measure of the overall economic growth since consumer expenditure is one of the primary drivers of GDP growth.

In Q3 of 2020, New Zealand retail sales increased by 28% from 14.8% recorded in Q2. Historically, the Q3 retail sales increase is the largest rise recorded in New Zealand since 1995. The increase was driven by increased expenditure on groceries, vehicles, and household goods. On average, the QoQ New Zealand retail sales figure has grown by 4.1%. We assign a score of 4.

  • New Zealand Consumer Confidence

The New Zealand consumer confidence is also called the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index. The index measures the quarterly change in consumers’ pessimism or optimism about the performance of the economy. When the index is above 100, it shows increased optimism by households, and that below 100 shows pessimism.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, New Zealand consumer confidence rose to 106 from 95.1 in Q3. The increased optimism was driven by higher readings in both the current and expected financial situation. We assign a score of 2.

  • New Zealand Government Net Debt to GDP

Investors use this ratio to determine if the economy is capable of servicing its debt obligations. Consequently, the government’s net debt to GDP affects the government securities yield and determines a country’s borrowing costs. Typically, levels below 60% are deemed favorable.

In 2019, the New Zealand Government Net Debt to GDP dropped to 19% from 19.6% in 2018. In 2020, it is projected to range between 27% to 32%, which would be the highest since 1998. We assign a score of 1.

In the next article, we have done the exogenous analysis of both EUR and NZD pairs to accurately forecast this currency pair’s future trend. Please check that out. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/GBP Global Macro Analysis – Part 1

Introduction

A global macro analysis attempts to analyze the endogenous factors that influence the value of a country’s domestic currency and exogenous factors that affect how the domestic currency fairs in the forex market. The endogenous analysis will cover fundamental economic factors that drive GDP growth in the UK and the Euro Area. The exogenous factors will analyze the price exchange rate dynamics between the EUR and the GBP.

Ranking Scale

Both the endogenous and the exogenous factors will be ranked on a scale of -10 to +10. A negative ranking for the endogenous factors means that they had a deflationary effect on the domestic currency. A positive ranking implies that they had an inflationary impact. Similarly, a negative score for the exogenous factors means the EUR/GBP is bearish and bullish when the score is positive.

EUR Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The endogenous analysis of the EUR has an overall score of -3. Based on the factors we have analyzed, we can expect that the Euro has marginally depreciated in 2020.

This is a quarterly measurement of the changes in both part-time and full-time employment in the EU. It includes individuals working for profit or pay and those who perform family work unpaid. Changes in employment help put economic growth in perspective since an expanding economy corresponds to increased employment opportunities and a contracting economy leads to job losses.

In the third quarter of 2020, employment in the EU increased by 0.9% compared to the 2.7% drop in Q2. Up to Q3 2020, employment in the EU has dropped by 2.1 %. Based on correlation with GDP, we assign a score of -5.

  • European Union GDP Deflator

The GDP deflator is an in-depth measure of the rate of inflation. It measures the changes in the price levels of all goods and services produced in an economy. Therefore, it is the perfect measure of the changes in real economic activities. i.e., it filters out any nominal changes in price.

In Q3 of 2020, the EU GDP deflator rose to 107.17 from 106.37 in Q2. Cumulatively, the EU GDP deflator in 2020 has increased by 2.45. We assign a score of 3 based on the weak correlation between the inflation rate and GDP.

  • European Union Manufacturing Production

In the EU, manufacturing production accounts for about 80% of the total industrial output. With most EU economies heavily reliant on manufacturing, the sector forms a significant portion of the GDP and the labor market.

In September 2020, the YoY manufacturing production in the EU decreased by 6.1%. This is an improvement from the decline of 6.3% in August. The overall industrial production reduced by 5.8% during the period.

We assign a score of -5 based on its correlation with the GDP.

  • Euro Area Manufacturing PMI

Markit surveys about 3000 manufacturing firms. The Markit manufacturing PMI comprises five indexes: new orders accounting for 30% weight of the index, output 25%, employment 20%, delivery by suppliers 15%, and inventory 10%. The Euro Area manufacturing is seen to be improving when the index is above 50 and contracting when below 50. At 50, the index shows that there is no change in the manufacturing sector.

In November 2020, the IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI was 53.8, down from 54.8 registered in October. The October reading was the highest ever recorded in the past two years. Despite the November drop, the manufacturing PMI is still higher than during the pre-pandemic period. We, therefore, assign a score of 5.

  • European Union Retail Sales

Retail Sales measures the change in the value of goods and services purchased by households for final consumption. In the EU, food, drinks, and tobacco contribute to the highest in retail sales – 40%. Furniture and electrical goods account for 11.5%, books and computer equipment 11.4%, clothing and textile 9.2%, fuel 9%, medical and pharmaceuticals 8.9%, non-food products and others 10%.

In October 2020, the MoM EU retail sales increased by 1.5%, while the YoY increased by 4.2%. Based on our correlation analysis with EU GDP, we assign a score of 3.

  • Euro Area Consumer Confidence

The consumer confidence survey in the Euro Area covers about 23,000 households. Their opinions are gauged from issues ranging from economic expectations, financial situation, savings goals, and expenditure plans on households’ goods and services. These responses are aggregated into an index from -100 to 100. Consumer confidence is a leading indicator of household expenditure, which is a primary driver of the GDP.

In November 2020, the Euro Area consumer confidence was -17.6, down from -15.5 in October. It is also the lowest reading since May – primarily because of the new lockdown measures bound to impact the labor market. Based on correlation with GDP, we assign a score of -3.

  • Euro Area Government Debt to GDP

This is meant to gauge whether the government is over-leveraged and if it might run into problems servicing future debt obligations.

The Euro Area Government Debt to GDP dropped from 79.5% in 2018 to 77.6% in 2019. In 2020, it is projected to hit 102% but stabilize around 92% in the long run. Based on correlation with GDP, we assign a score of -1.

In our very next article, we have performed the Endogenous analysis of GBP to see if it has appreciated or depreciated in this year. Make sure to check that and let us know in case of any questions in the comments below. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

USD/CHF Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

USD/CHF Exogenous Analysis

The exogenous analysis covers fundamental indicators that can compare the performance of the US and Swiss economies. Note that this comparison between the two economies is what drives the exchange rate of USD/CHF. They are:

  • US and Swiss interest rate differential
  • The difference in the GDP growth in the US and Switzerland
  • Balance of trade differential

Balance of trade differential

For each country, the balance of trade shows the demand for the domestic currency in the international market. When a country has a surplus of the balance of trade, it means that its currency is in high demand in international trade. The rationale behind this is that when a country exports more than it imports, other countries will need more of that country’s currency to participate in international trade.

The balance of trade differential measures the difference between the balance of trade in Switzerland and the US. If the Swiss balance of trade is higher than that of the US, the USD/CHF pair will be bearish.

In October 2020, Switzerland had a trade surplus of CHF 2.9 billion while the US a deficit of $63.1 billion. Throughout 2020, the US trade deficit has been widening from $37 billion in January, while the Swiss trade surplus has increased from CHF 2.8 billion.

Based on the correlation with the USD/CHF pair, we assign the balance of trade differential a score of -5.

US and Switzerland interest rate differential

Typically, the country with a higher interest rate attracts more foreign capital seeking superior returns. A higher interest rate increases the domestic currency demand, which makes it appreciate in the forex market. More so, forex traders tend to be bullish on the currency with the higher interest rate.

The interest rate by The Swiss National Bank is -0.75% since January 2015. In the US, the federal funds rate is 0.25%. That makes the interest rate differential 1% for the USD/CHF pair.

Based on the correlation analysis with the USD/CHF pair, we assign the interest rate differential a score of 3.

The difference in the GDP growth in the US and Switzerland

A country’s GDP is primarily driven by domestic consumption. Although the GDP size differs in absolute terms, we can compare the US and Swiss GDP in terms of growth rate. An expanding economy is accompanied by appreciating currency. Therefore, if the US growth rate is higher than Switzerland’s, we can expect a bullish trend for the USD/CHF pair.

In Q3 of 2020, the Swiss economy expanded by 7.2% and the US by 33.1%. It means that the US economy is recovering faster than that of Switzerland. We, therefore, assign a score of 2. This implies that the GDP growth rate differential between the US and Switzerland has led to a bullish USD/CHF.

Conclusion

The USD/CHF pair has an exogenous score of -2. This implies that we can expect the pair to continue with its current bearish trend in the near future.

Note that the USD/CHF pair has breached the lower Bollinger band. Therefore, we can expect the downtrend to continue for a while, which supports our fundamental analysis. All the best.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

AUD/USD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

In the global macro analysis of the AUD/USD pair, we will look at the endogenous economic factors that drive GDP growth in both Australia and the US. We’ll also analyze the exogenous factors that affect the exchange rate dynamic between the AUD and the USD.

Ranking Scale

We will use a sliding scale from -10 to +10 to rank the impact of the endogenous and exogenous factors. When the endogenous factors are negative, it means that they resulted in the depreciation of either the USD or the AUD. When positive, it implies they resulted in the appreciation of the individual currencies. Similarly, negative endogenous factors result in a bearish trend for the AUD/USD and a bullish trend for when they are positive.

USD Endogenous Analysis – Summary

A -19.1 score on Endogenous analysis on USD implies a deflationary effect on this currency. It means that the US Dollar has lost its value since the starting of 2020.

You can find the complete USD Endogenous Analysis here.

AUD Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The endogenous factors have an overall score of 3, implying that the AUD has appreciated in 2020.

  1. Australia Inflation Rate

The consumer price index in Australia is calculated quarterly. Housing accounts for 22.3% of the total CPI weight, food and non–alcoholic drinks 16.8%, recreation 12.6%, transportation 11.6%, household goods and services 9.1%, alcohol and tobacco 7.1%, healthcare 5.3%, financial service 5.1%, clothing, education and communication 10.2%.

In Q3 of 2020, the YoY Australian CPI increased by 0.7% from a drop of 0.3% in Q2. The QoQ CPI rose by 1.6% compared to 1.9$ in Q2. Note that the Q3 CPI is marginally lower than in the pre-pandemic levels in Q1. Based on inflation’s correlation with GDP growth, we assign a score of -1.

  1. Australia Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that is actively looking for employment opportunities. The unemployment rate can be used to show the state of the economy. When high, it means that the economy is shedding jobs faster and can be said to be contracting.

In October 2020, the Australian unemployment rate was 7% up from 6.9% in September. The increase in the Australian unemployment rate can be attributed to the prolonged COVID-19 crisis. Note that during the period, the employment rate increased to 61.2% from 60.4% in September. This was mainly driven by the surge in full-time, part-time job numbers coupled with a drop in the underemployment rate to 10.4% from 11.4% in September.

From January to date, the unemployment rate has increased by 1.7% while the employment rate has dropped by 1.4%. Based on its correlation with GDP, we assign a score of -5.

  1. Australia Mining Production

The Australian economy significantly relies on mining, which accounts for up to 11% of the GDP. Australia is among the top producers of precious metals in the world. Therefore, a significant portion of the labor market is dependent on the mining sector.

The YoY mining production increased by 1.2% in the second quarter of 2020, down from a 5.1% increase in Q1. In Q3, it is projected to increase by at least 2.5% and 5% by the end of 2020. This would mean that the end of year levels would be equivalent to the pre-pandemic levels.

Based on our correlation analysis, we assign Australia mining production a score of -3.

  1. Australia Business Confidence

The National Australia Bank (NAB) surveys about 350 leading companies in Australia to establish the prevailing business conditions. Typically, the present business sentiment can be used as a leading indicator of future business activities such as hiring, spending, and investments. We can say that business confidence is a leading indicator of GDP change.

Reading above 0 shows that business conditions are improving, while below 0 shows that business conditions are worsening.

In October 2020, Australian business conditions improved to 5 from -4 in September. The October reading is the highest since August 2019. The increase was primarily driven by improvement in sentiment profitability and employment in the mining and transportation sectors.

Based on correlation with GDP, we assign a score of 8.

  1. Australia Consumer Confidence

The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank aggregate consumer confidence in Australia. The survey 1200 households representative of the entire households in Australia. The index is based on the five year average of these components: anticipated economic conditions, personal finances, and purchase of essential household goods. Consumer confidence is a leading indicator of consumer expenditure, which is a significant driver of the GDP.

In November 2020, the Australian consumer confidence increased to 107.7 from 105 in October. This is the highest level in 7 years, indicating that consumers are highly optimistic about the future despite the COVID-19 challenges.

Based on correlation analysis with the Australian GDP, we assign it a score of 5.

  1. Australia Government Debt to GDP

This measures the levels of indebtedness of the Australian government. Domestic and foreign lenders use this ratio to estimate the ability of the government to service its debts without straining the growth of the economy. Generally, a ratio of below 60% is considered to be ideal.

In 2019, the government debt to GDP in Australia jumped to 45.1% from 41.5% in 2018. In 2020, it is projected to reach 50%. Therefore, we assign a score of -3.

  1. Australia Retail Sales

The change in retail sales shows the trend in household expenditure on final goods and services in the economy. An increased expenditure corresponds to an increase in GDP levels.

In October 2020, the MoM retail sales increased by 1.4% compared to a 1.1% drop in September. Based on the correlation with the GDP growth rate, we assign a score of 2.

Now we know that USD has depreciated and AUD has appreciated according to their respective endogenous indicators. In the very next article, let’s see if this pair is bullish or bearish according to the exogenous indicators.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

USD/JPY Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

Global macro analysis of the USD/JPY pair involves the analysis of endogenous factors that impact both the USD and the JPY; and exogenous analysis for the USD/JPY pair.

In the endogenous analysis, we’ll focus on domestic macroeconomic factors that drive the domestic growth in the US and Japan. The exogenous analysis will involve the analysis of global macroeconomic factors that define the dynamics of the USD/JPY pair.

Ranking Scale

We will rank both the endogenous and the exogenous factors on a sliding scale of -10 to +10. Whenever the ranking is negative, it means that the macroeconomic indicator led to the depreciation of the currency. A positive ranking means that the indicator had an inflationary impact.

USD Endogenous Analysis – Summary

A score of -19.1 implies a clear deflationary effect on the US Dollar. This means that USD has lost its value since the beginning of 2020, according to these indicators.

You can find the complete USD Endogenous Analysis here.

JPY Endogenous Analysis – Summary

The endogenous analysis for the Japanese economy resulted in an overall inflationary score of 3. Based on this analysis, we can expect that the JPY had appreciated marginally in 2020.

  • Japan Inflation Rate

The inflation rate in Japan is measured by the consumer price index  (CPI). The CPI weights various consumer expenditures depending on their level of importance. Food is weighted at 25%, Housing 21%, transport and communication 14%, recreation 11.5%, energy and water 7%,  medical care 4.3%, and clothing 4%.

A higher rate of inflation is necessary for economic growth. It also forestalls a possible interest rate hike, which is accompanied by currency appreciation.

In October 2020, the MoM inflation rate in Japan decreased by 0.1% constant change since August. The YoY inflation rate decline by 0.4%, the first decline in about four years.

Based on our correlation analysis, we assign Japan’s inflation rate, a deflationary score of -2.

  • Japan Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate measures the number of Japanese citizens eligible for employment who are currently seeking gainful employment opportunities.

An increasing rate of unemployment means that more jobs are lost in the economy faster than new jobs are being created. That’s an indicator that the economy is contracting.

In October 2020, Japan’s unemployment rate increased to 3.1%, representing 21.4 million people, the highest recorded since May 2017.

Due to the high correlation between the unemployment rate and GDP, we assign it a score of -5.

  • Japan Manufacturing PMI

The Japan manufacturing PMI is also known as the Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing PMI. The PMI is compiled through a series of monthly questionnaires surveying about 400 manufacturers. The manufacturers are segregated depending on their industry’s contribution to GDP, and their responses aggregated into a diffusion index. When the index is above 50, it means that the manufacturing activity increased while a below 50 reading implies a slow-down in the manufacturing sector.

Japan is a highly industrialized economy, and its manufacturing activities have a high correlation with its GDP growth rate.

In November 2020, the Japan Manufacturing PMI was 49, inching closer to the highest recorded 49.3 in January. Since the manufacturing PMI has been steadily increasing from the lows of 38.4 in May, we assign it an inflationary score of 6.

This PMI is also known as Jibun Bank Japan Services PMI. It is a survey of over 400 services companies operating in the Japanese services industry. A Survey of the purchasing managers is used to track industry changes in employment, inventories, sales, and prices. Sectors covered by the survey include transport and communication, personal services, financial services, hotel industry, and IT. The responses are weighted based on the sector’s size and aggregated into an index from 0 to 100.

When the index is above 50, it signals that there is an expansion in the services industry, while below 50 shows contraction.

In November 2020, the Japan services PMI dropped to 46.7 from 47.7 in October. Although the index is above the lows of 21.5 recorded at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it is still lower than the levels observed in the pre-pandemic period.

Based on our correlation analysis, we assign Japan services PMI an inflationary score of 2.

  • Japan Retail sales

The monthly retail sales measure the change in the value of goods consumed directly by households. In any economy, the growth in GDP is primarily driven by the demand by households. Thus, retail sales can be considered a significant indicator of economic growth.

In October 2020, the MoM retail sales in Japan increased by 0.4%, while YoY retail sales increased by 6.4%. The increase in October is the first time the YoY retail sales have increased since February. This shows demand in the Japanese economy is growing after the easing restrictions implemented in the wake of the pandemic.

Due to its high correlation with the GDP, we assign Japan retail sales an inflationary score of 5.

  • Japan General Government Gross Debt to GDP

This is the ratio between the amount of debt, both domestic and foreign, that the Japanese government has accumulated to national GDP. Typically, lenders use this ratio to determine if a country’s economy is overly leveraged and if the government might default in the future.

Note that Japan has the largest national debt to GDP in the world. However, although it is heavily indebted, unlike many other countries, Japanese debt is denominated in Yen. More so, foreigners only hold about 6.5% of the total debt. That is why Japan can continue to accumulate such massive debts without any fears of hyperinflation or default risks. But that doesn’t mean that the debt isn’t weighing down on the economy.

In 2019, the Japan national debt to GDP was 238%, an increase from 236.6% in 2018. In 2020, it is projected to exceed 240% due to the measures implemented to fight the pandemic. Based on our correlation analysis, we assign it a deflationary score of -3.

Please check our next article to find the Exogenous analysis of both USD and JPY currencies. We have also come to a conclusion on whether you should expect a bullish or bearish trend in this pair.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/USD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

Introduction

The exogenous analysis will cover international aspects that impact both the UK and the US and how they influence the GBP/USD price. These factors include:

  • Good trade balance
  • Interest rate differential
  • GDP growth differential

GBP/USD Exogenous Analysis – Summary 

The score for the exogenous analysis of the GBP/USD pair is -3. This deflationary score implies that we should expect that the pair will adopt a bearish trend in the near term.

Goods trade balance

The goods trade balance is the difference between the value of goods a country imports and its exports. When the balance is negative, it means that the country is importing more than it exports. If the goods trade balance is a surplus, it means that a country’s value of exports is more than its imports.

In September 2020, the UK’s goods trade deficit increased to £9.35 billion while that of the US increased to $80.29 billion. Based on the correlation between t goods trade balance and the price of GBP/USD, we assign it an inflationary score of 2. It means if the goods trade balance keeps widening between the two countries, we can expect that the GBP/USD pair will continue being bullish.

The UK and the US Interest rate differential

This is the difference between the interest rate set by the Bank of England and the interest rate fixed by the US Federal Reserve. Capital tends to flow towards the economy with a higher interest rate since investors are bound to earn higher returns.

The BOE has set the interest rate at 0.1%, while the FED has it at 0.25%. therefore, the interest rate differential for the GBP/USD pair is 0.1% – 0.25% = -0.15%. Based on the interest rate differential, the GBP/USD pair should have a bearish trend. Therefore, we assign it a score of -3.

GDP growth differential

The actual size of the GDP varies from country to country. However, we can compare the rate at which they grow and analyse the impact of this growth rate on the exchange rate.

In the third quarter of September 2020, the UK GDP expanded by 15.5% while that of the US expanded by 33.1%. Over the years, we can observe that the US GDP growth has been at a faster rate than that of the UK. In this case, we assign a deflationary score of -2 on the UK and the US GDP growth rate differential. That means if the US economy keeps expanding at a faster rate, we can expect a bearish GBP/USD in the near term.

Our technical analysis also supports the forecasted bearish trend in the near term. Note that the GBP/USD pair has failed to breach the upper Bollinger band forming a resistance level for the past two years.

We hope you found this analysis useful and informative. Let us know if you have any questions by commenting below. All the best.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions’ Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

When foreign investors prefer investing in the domestic economy, they strongly believe that they can get better returns than in any other market. The US is considered the leading economy in the world; therefore, hence US securities are highly trusted by most investors. Similarly, since the USD is the most traded currency in the international market, its value would fluctuate depending on investors’ optimism in the capital and money market of the US.

Understanding US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions

As an economic indicator, the US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions measures the net flow of financial securities in the US economy. The financial securities under consideration include; Treasury and agency securities, corporate bonds, and equities.

Therefore, the ‘net’ in the US TIC Net Long-term Transactions means the difference between US financial securities’ gross purchases and sales by foreign investors. This data provides a vivid overview of the participation of foreigners in the US capital and money markets. When the US TIC net long-term transactions data is positive, it means that more foreigners are buying into the US economy than those selling. Similarly, when the US TIC net long-term transactions data is negative, it means more foreigners are exiting the US economy compared to those buying into the economy.

So, what is TIC? TIC stands for Treasury International Capital, a financial report from the US Department of Treasury. It shows the flow of capital into and out of the US in both the short and long term. The TIC report is published monthly and quarterly; it details the flow of capital explicitly in the sale and purchase of US financial securities.

According to the TIC reports, the classification of foreigners does not necessarily mean individuals and institutions from abroad. Foreigners in this context also include foreign branches of US institutions. For example, if a US bank has a branch in London, that branch is considered a foreigner.

Using US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions in Analysis

The main point of the US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions Report is it shows the demand for USD stocks and investors’ sentiment towards the US economy. Let’s break down the US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions depending on the market.

If the US TIC net long-term transactions, it could signal that the US treasuries and bonds are in high demand. First, you should know why investors would demand more of US treasuries. The US treasuries and bonds are considered to be risk-free. The reason for this is because investors are guaranteed to receive a fixed amount of coupon rate until maturity.

More so, the US treasuries also come with an inherent guarantee that the US government will not default the interest payment and that investors will receive their principal upon maturity. Furthermore, the US’s interest rates are relatively higher than other developed nations; this means that investors in the US government securities stand to profit more by investing in the US.

The level of purchase of the US TIC net long-term transactions also says a lot about the expected inflation. In the long term, most investors worry that if the rate of inflation increases rapidly, it will reduce their profits. Thus, any investor would prefer to invest in a country with stable inflation, which would ensure that their returns are not severely affected.

Therefore, when the US TIC net long-term transactions are positively increasing, it means that foreign investors expect the US economy to be relatively stable over the long term. It is taken as confidence that the Federal Reserve will keep long term inflation in check.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Conversely, if the US TIC net long-term transactions are negative, it implies that there are more sellers than buyers. This scenario could imply that foreign investors believe that the long-term inflation rate will exceed the rate of returns they will receive from their investments. Since their expected real returns will be diminished, they prefer to invest their money in other economies.

The US TIC net long-term transactions can also be used to show impending recessions and optimism about economic recoveries. Let’s use the recent coronavirus pandemic as an example. In the first quarter of 2020, the US TIC net long-term transactions plunged to historic lows. It means that more foreign investors were exiting the US capital and money markets and presumably investing their funds elsewhere. This net outflow was a result of the uncertainty of what the pandemic might bring.

 Source: Trading Economics

In the second quarter of 2020, the US TIC net long-term transactions jumped back to positive territory, implying that foreign investors were pouring back into the US capital and money markets. Note that this net inflow coincides with the passing of the $2 trillion stimulus package. Therefore, we can argue that the net inflow of US TIC net long-term transactions was a vote of confidence by foreign investors that in the long term, the US economy will rebound from the pandemic-induced recession.

Impact of US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions on Currency

The impact of the US TIC net long-term transactions on the USD is pretty straightforward. In the international market, foreigners are obliged to convert their currencies into the USD. Therefore, an increase in the US TIC net long-term transactions means that the demand for the USD increases as well. Consequently, the increase in the demand for the USD makes it appreciate relative to other currencies.

Conversely, when US TIC net long-term transactions show net outflows, the USD will depreciate relative to other currencies. This is because when foreigners sell the US financial securities, they will convert the USD to their domestic currencies when repatriating their money.

Data Sources

The US Department Of The Treasury is responsible for collating and publishing the monthly and quarterly US TIC net long-term transactions. Trading Economics has detailed historical data on the US TIC net long-term transactions.

How US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The latest monthly publication of the US TIC net long-term transactions was on October 16, 2020, at 4.00 PM EST. The release can be accessed at Investing.com. Moderate volatility on the USD can be expected when the US TIC net long-term transactions report is released.

In August 2020, the US TIC net long-term transactions were $27.8 billion compared to $11.3 billion in July 2020. In theory, this increase should be positive for the USD.

Let’s see how this release impacted the GBP/USD pair.

GBP/USD: Before US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions Release on October 16, 2020, 
just before 4.00 PM EST

Before the publication of the US TIC net long-term transactions, the GBP/USD pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. The 20-period MA was almost flattened with candles forming just above it.

GBP/USD: After US TIC Net Long-Term Transactions Release on October 16, 2020, 
at 4.00 PM EST

After the publication of the US TIC net long-term transactions, the pair formed a 5-minute bearish candle. Subsequently, GBP/USD adopted a bearish trend showing that the USD significantly strengthened against the GBP. The 20-period MA steeply fell as candles formed further below it.

Bottom Line

From this analysis, it is evident that the US TIC net long-term transactions release has a significant impact on the forex market. The report shows the confidence of investors in the US economy and the demand for the US Dollar.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Economy Watchers Current Index’ Economic Indicator

Introduction

It has long been posited that in any economy, the first people to experience growth or contraction are those who provide basic-everyday services to the households. These service providers are considered to be “in touch” with the realities of the economy since they directly interact with their customers. While most people do not pay close attention to this index, its fluctuations could provide valuable insights into the economy.

Understanding Economy Watchers Current Index

For this analysis, we will focus on the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index. This index attempts to measure the present economic conditions in Japan, especially from the perspective of households. From its name ‘economy watchers,’ it directly measures the mood of businesses who are in constant touch with the final consumers.

The index is compiled by surveying about 2050 employees in every sector of the economy. Here is the list of the sectors surveyed in the economy.

  • In household activity related sectors
    • Retail establishments like supermarkets and automobile sellers
    • Food and beverage establishments like restaurants
    • Services to households such as transportation, telecommunication, and leisure facility operators
    • Housing services
  • Corporate activity related sectors, including:
    • Operators in the manufacturing sectors
    • Employees and operators in the nonmanufacturing sector
    • Employees in the primary sectors like agriculture, mining, and fishing
  • Employee-related sectors such as;
    • Temporary labour placement agents
    • Job magazine editors
    • Staffing agencies
    • Professionals who understand labour market trends

In all the above sectors, the data is compiled as per the regions in which it was collected. It is to say that the survey is divided based on the area being surveyed in japan. It covers the 11 regions in Japan.

The people who are surveyed are well-placed in positions that enable them to observe first-hand the changes in economic activities. These are the questions that the survey asks.

  • How they assess the current economic conditions and detailed reasons for their answer
  • Their assessment of future economic conditions and their reasons for this assessment

The survey is conducted monthly from the 25th to the end of that month. Note that the Japanese Cabinet Office selects regional research organisations to administer these surveys. Based on the responses obtained, a ‘diffusion index’ is compiled. This diffusion index is then converted into a percentage to give the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index. Here’s how the responses are weighted in the diffusion index.

  • Better is +1
  • Slightly better is +0.75
  • Unchanged is +0.5
  • Slightly worse is +0.25
  • Worse is 0

Using Economy Watchers Current Index in Analysis

Any value above 50 indicates that respondents are optimistic about the future, while values below 50 show that they are pessimistic. Now, note that a rise in the Economy Watchers Current Index doesn’t mean that all sectors of the economy are optimistic. It just means that majority of the sectors in the economy are optimistic.

For example, economy watchers in every other sector might be optimistic, but those in the nonmanufacturing sectors are pessimistic. This scenario means that majority of economy watchers are optimistic. Similarly, when the Economy Watchers Current Index shows pessimism about the economy, it doesn’t mean that every sector in the economy shows pessimism. Some economy watchers could be optimistic.

When the economy watchers are optimistic about the future, it means that they expect the economy to grow. Remember that these economy watchers are sampled from virtually every sector of the economy in every region of Japan. For example, let’s say that economy watchers in the manufacturing sector are optimistic about the economy.

This means that they expect the manufacturing sector to expand, which means that the output from the sector will increase. Going back to the basic knowledge of the economy, we know that suppliers and producers take their cue from consumers. Therefore, an increase in production in the manufacturing sector, or any other sector, means that consumer demand has also increased.

Let’s think of the factors that drive an increase in consumer demand. The primary factor is the increase in money supply in the economy, which is driven by easy access to cheap finance or an increase in the employment rate. Here, consumers have increased disposable income, which means that the economy is expanding.

Conversely, when the Economic Watchers Current Index is decreasing and showing increased pessimism, it could mean that the economy is contracting. Let’s use the example of household activity related sectors. When they are pessimistic, it means that they are experiencing a shortfall in demand for their goods and services. Since we have established that household demand drives these sectors, a decrease in demand could mean that households are cutting back on their expenditures.

This reduction in consumption is a direct consequence of lower disposable income in the economy. When households have reduced disposable income, they will prioritise expenditure on only the most essential goods and services. It means that consumer discretionary industries will take a hit, as will the overall economy – GDP will fall as the economy contracts.

Observe in the graphs below that the fall in the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index corresponds to the drop in Japanese GDP in Q1 2020.

Source: Trading Economics

Source: St. Louis FRED

Impact of the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index on the JPY

We have seen that the Economy Watchers Current Index can directly be linked to the money supply in the economy.; which means it can also be used as a leading indicator of inflation.

When the Economy Watchers Current Index is continually rising, it can be taken as a sign that there is increasingly more money supply in the economy. In this case, governments and central banks might step in to implement contractionary policies like hiking interest rates. In the forex market, this will increase the value of JPY. Conversely, when the Economy Watchers Current Index steadily drops, it might trigger expansionary policies, which will make the JPY depreciate.

Data Sources

The Cabinet Office of Japan is responsible for the survey and publication of the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index. In-depth and historical data is also available at Trading Economics.

How the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index Affects The Forex Price Charts

The recent publication from the Cabinet Office of Japan was on October 8, 2020, at 2.00 PM JST. The release is available at Investing.com. The publication of the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index is expected to have a low impact on the JPY.

In September 2020, the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index was 49.3 compared to 43.9 in August 2020.

Let’s find out how this release impacted the JPY.

AUD/JPY: Before Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index Release on 
October 8, 2020, just before 2.00 PM JST

The AUD/JPY pair was trading in a weak uptrend before the publications of the Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index. The 20-period MA was merely slightly rising with candles forming just above it.

AUD/JPY: After Japanese Economy Watchers Current Index Release on 
October 8, 2020, at 2.00 PM JST

The pair formed a 5-minute “Doji” candles immediately after the publications of the index. Since the index showed pessimism in the Japanese economy, the JPY is expected to be weaker compared to the AUD. As expected, the pair subsequently traded in a renewed uptrend with the 20-period MA steeply rising and candles forming further above it.

Bottom Line

The article has shown the importance of the Economy Watchers Current Index in the Japanese economy. More so, the significance of the index has been evidenced by the price chart analysis. Note that although the index is usually a low-impact indicator. However, its significance is observed in the current coronavirus pandemic since it can be used as a leading indicator of economic recovery.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Does ‘Retail Sales Monitor’ (RSM) Economic Indicator Impacts The Forex Market?

Introduction

The level of demand can be said to be the primary driving factor in any economy. In the long run, the fiscal and monetary policies that are implemented by governments and central banks can be traced back to the aggregate demand within the economy. The consumption by households accounts for over 65% of the national GDP. Since retail sales account for most of the consumption by households, monitoring retail sales data can provide a useful predictor of the GDP and inflation.

Understanding Retail Sales Monitor

The Retail Sales Monitor is a precise measure of the performance in the retail sector. The RSM is measured monthly in the UK by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), whose participating members represent about 70% of the UK’s retail industry.

Source: The UK Office for National Statistics

The BRC is comprised of over 170 major retailers and thousands of independent retailers. The BRC member businesses have sales of over £180 billion and with 1.5 million employees. Since the RSM measures the change in the actual value of same-store sales in BRC-member retail outlets in the UK, the data can be used as a confident measure of the UK’s retail sector health and the broader economy.

In the UK, the retail sector is the largest employer in the private sector, which means that tracking the retail sector changes gives an overview of the economy and business cycles and insights into the labor market.

Using Retail Sales Monitor in Analysis

The RSM data couldn’t be more relevant in the current climate of Coronavirus afflicted economy and post-Brexit operating environment. Here are some of the ways this data can and is used for analysis.

In any economy, growth is driven by demand. Household purchases account for over 65% of the GDP, which makes the RSM data a vital leading indicator of economic health. When the retail sales monitor shows an increase in households’ consumption, it means that more money is circulating in the economy.

Several factors can be attributed to increased demand by households. Firstly, increased employment levels in the economy or an increase in real wages mean that the economy’s overall disposable income also increases. As a result, households can now consume more quantities of goods and services. More so, the increased disposable income tends to lead to the flourishing of discretionary consumer industries and a general rise in the aggregate demand.

An increase in aggregate supply leads to the expansion of production activities hence overall economic growth. Secondly, increased demand can be a sign of easy access to affordable funding by the households. Generally, if households and businesses have easy access to cheaper financing sources, it forebodes an increase in economic activities, which leads to economic expansion.

As an economic indicator, the retail sales monitor can be used as an authoritative leading indicator of recessions and recoveries since its data covers over 70% of the retail sector. For example, when the economy is at its peak, it is characterized by RSM’s historical highs and lower unemployment levels. When the RSM begins to drop consistently, this can be taken as a sign that the economy is undergoing a recession. The period of recession is characterized by an increase in the rate of unemployment and lower disposable income, which makes households cut back on their consumption and prioritize essential goods and services.

Source: Retail Economics

Conversely, when the economy is at its lowest during recessions or depressions, it is characterized by historical lows RSM and a higher unemployment rate. In this scenario, when the RSM begins to rise steadily, it could be taken as a sign that the economy is undergoing recovery. This period will be marked by improving labor market conditions hence increased demand that drives the RSM higher.

Using the RSM as a leading indicator of recessions and recoveries can help governments and central banks implement fiscal and monetary policies. When the RSM drops and shows signs that the economy could be headed for a recession, expansionary fiscal and monetary policies could be implemented. These policies will help to stimulate the economy and avoid depression.

On the other hand, when the RSM is continually rising at a faster rate, contractionary monetary and fiscal policies could be implemented. These policies are meant to mop up excess liquidity of the money supply and increase borrowing costs, thus avoiding an unsustainable rate of inflation and an overheating economy.

Impact on Currency

There are two main ways in which the RSM data can impact a country’s currency. By showing the economic growth and as an indicator for potential monetary and fiscal policies.

When the RSM has been steadily increasing, forex traders can anticipate that contractionary policies will be implemented to avoid unsustainable economic growth. One of such policies involves interest rate hikes, which make the currency appreciate relative to others. Conversely, expansionary monetary and fiscal policies can be anticipated in the event of a persistent drop in the RSM. Such policies include cutting interest rates, which depreciates the local currency.

The currency can be expected to be relatively stronger when the RSM is increasing. In this case, economic conditions are improving, unemployment levels are dropping, and a general improvement in households’ welfare. On the other hand, a dropping RSM is negative for the currency because it is seen as an indicator of a contracting economy and worsening labor conditions.

Sources of Data

In the UK, the RSM data is collated by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. The data is published monthly by the British Retail Consortium.

How Retail Sales Monitor Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The recent publication of the retail sales monitor data was on October 12, 2020, at 11.00 PM GMT and accessed at Forex Factory.

The screengrab below from Forex Factory; as can be seen, a low impact on the GBP is expected when the RSM data is published.

In September 2020, the BRC increased by 6.1%. This change was greater than the 4.7% change recorded in August 2020 and higher than the analysts’ expectation of a 3.5% change. Theoretically, this positive RSM is expected to have a positive impact on the GBP.

Let’s see how this release impacted the GBP/USD forex charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Retail Sales Monitor Release on October 12, 2020, 
Just Before 11.00 PM GMT

Before the publication of the RSM data, the GBP/USD pair was trading in a neutral pattern. As shown by the 5-minute chart above, the 20-period MA had flattened with candles forming just around it.

EUR/USD: After the Retail Sales Monitor Release on October 12, 2020, 
at 11.00 PM GMT

The pair formed a 5-minute ‘Inverted Hammer’ candle after the RSM data publication. However, the release of the data did not have any noticeable impact on the pair. The GBP/USD pair continued trading in the previously observed neutral trend with the 20-period MA still flattened.

Bottom Line

Most forex traders tend to pay attention to the retail sales data, which is usually scheduled for ten days after the RSM publication. The retail sales data are considered to cover the entire economy hence the low-impact nature of the retail sales monitor as an indicator in the forex market.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Analysing The Impact Of ‘Wholesale Trade Sales’ On The Forex Market

Introduction

When it comes to households’ consumption, the retail sales data is usually considered the best leading indicator. Most people rarely have wholesale trade sales in mind. However, the importance of wholesale trade sales data should not be underestimated. Whenever retailers face an increase in demand by consumers, their next stop is to the wholesalers. Furthermore, when retailers anticipate increased demand, they stock up directly from wholesalers. Thus, wholesale trade sales data can be used as a leading indicator of retail sales and the overall demand in the economy.

Understanding  Wholesale Trade Sales

A wholesaler is a business whose core operations strictly involve selling to institutions, governments, or other businesses. A wholesaler rarely deals with the end consumer. Wholesalers usually conduct their businesses from warehouses and do not market their services to households. Their place in the supply chain is to provide retailers and vendors with goods.

As an economic indicator, the wholesale trade sales measures the monetary value of the inventories and sales made by registered wholesalers over a particular period.

How are the Wholesale Trade Sales Measured?

In the US, the Census Bureau conducts a sample survey to determine the national wholesale trade sales and publishes its findings in the ‘Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales And Inventories’ report. This report contains end-of-month inventories, monthly sales, and inventories-to-sales ratios. These aspects of the reports are segmented by the type f business that the wholesale operates. Some of the wholesalers covered by the report include; jobbers or wholesale merchants, exporters and importers, and distributors of industrial goods. The report excludes agents who market products for mining firms, refineries, and manufacturers.

The samples contained in the monthly report are selected through the strata design, which is defined by the type of business sampled and the annual sales for the businesses. In this report, wholesalers of all sizes are included. It is updated quarterly to capture the changes in the sector.

Since the sampling method is used to create the final monthly report, the estimates on the inventories and sales are arrived at by the summation of the collected, weighted data. These estimates are then seasonally adjusted and benchmarked to the annual surveys. Note that the report is susceptible to sampling and non-sampling errors.

Using Wholesale Trade Sales for Analysis

The wholesale trade sales data can be used as a leading indicator of retail sales and consumer spending, estimated to drive up to 70% of the GDP.

Source: St. Louis FRED

The wholesale sector is an integral intermediary in the distribution of goods to the final consumer. Therefore, an increase in sales can be seen as an increase in demand by households. As an economic indicator, this increase could signal that the welfare of households is improving and they have more disposable income hence the increase in demand. The increased disposable income could result from increased employment levels in the economy or higher wages received by households. In either scenario, more money is circulating in the economy. It shows that the economy is expanding.

On the other hand, if the wholesale sales are continually decreasing, it could be considered a sign of depressed demand in the economy. The decrease in demand might be resulting from the lower circulation of money in the economy. An increase in unemployment levels or a decrease in household wages can be attributed to the depressed demand. In this instance, it shows that the economy is contracting.

Suppliers and manufacturers can also use wholesale sales data to determine their level of output to match the demand, hence avoid distorting the equilibrium prices. When wholesale trade sales are increasing, the manufacturers and producers will increase their output to match the level of demand in the economy. When the sales are increasing more than the inventories, producers, and manufacturers will have to scale up their production. Increasing production entails hiring more labor hence a decrease in the unemployment levels. This instance shows that the overall economy is expanding.

Conversely, when inventories are increasing more than the wholesale sales, it indicates that demand is falling. The producers and manufacturers will be forced to scale down their operations to avoid having excess supply than demand, which will distort the market prices. As a result, jobs will be lost in the economy making households worse off. Furthermore, corporate profits will b expected to take a hit.

Impact on Currency

Economic growth and the rate of inflation are the two ways wholesale trade sales data can impact the forex market.

An increase in wholesale sales shows that there is an increase in aggregate demand. In this case, the economy is poised to perform well in the coming months, with discretionary sectors flourishing. The increased demand drives the economic growth towards expansion, which might be accompanied by increased demand-driven inflation. Therefore, in the forex market, a sustained increase in wholesale trade sales can be seen as a potential trigger of contractionary monetary and fiscal policies. These policies are implemented to ensure that economic growth is within sustainable levels and the rate of inflation stays below the target rate. As a result, the currency appreciates relative to others.

Conversely, a continuous decline of the wholesale trade sales will lead to the depreciation of the currency. In the forex market, falling wholesale trade sales show a decline in the aggregate demand, which might result in deflation and, eventually, a stagnating economy. To prevent this from happening, governments and central banks might adopt expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. Although these policies are meant to stimulate the economy, they result in the depreciation of the currency.

Sources of Wholesale Trade Sales Data

The US Census Bureau publishes the monthly ‘Wholesale Trade: Sales And Inventories’ report. St. Louis FRED publishes a comprehensive historical coverage of wholesale trade sales in the US.

Source: St. Louis FRED

How Wholesale Trade Sales Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts?

The US Census Bureau published the latest monthly ‘Wholesale Trade: Sales And Inventories’ report on October 9, 2020, at 10.00 AM EST. This released can be accessed at Investing.com. As shown by the screengrab below, low volatility is expected upon releasing the wholesale trade sales data.

In August 2020, wholesale trade sales grew by 1.4%. This growth was lower than the 4.8% growth recorded in July 2020 and lower than analysts’ expectation of a 2.0% growth.

Theoretically, this lower-than-expected growth should be negative for the USD.

Let’s see how this release impacted the EUR/USD forex charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Wholesale Trade Sales Data Release on October 9, 2020, 
Just Before 10.00 AM ET

The pair can be seen to be trading in a steady uptrend before the news release. The 20-period MA is steeply rising with candles forming above it.

EUR/USD: After the Wholesale Trade Sales Data Release on October 9, 2020, 
at 10.00 AM ET

After the news release, the EUR/USD pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle, as expected. This candle showed that the USD weakened against the EUR immediately, the worse than expected wholesale trade sales data was released. Subsequently, the pair continued trading in a renewed uptrend.

Bottom Line

Although the wholesale trade sales data is regarded as a low-impact economic indicator, it is significant in the current economy. The data can be used to show the rate of economic recovery after the coronavirus induced recession.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Business Investment’ Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

The economy is intricately woven. Although consumption accounts for about 70% of the GDP, this consumption wouldn’t be met if the supply was cut short. The point here is – all aspects of the economy are intertwined. Therefore, a change in one aspect of the economy is bound to influence the others significantly. In this article, we will see how investments by businesses influence the economy and how it impacts the forex market.

Understanding Business Investment

In the most basic sense, business investment is defined as spending money to acquire assets, start a business, or expand a business with the anticipation of making profits.

As an economic indicator, Business Investment’ represents the change in capital expenditure in the private sector. This expenditure is an inflation-adjusted value.

Source: Ernst & Young UK

In the UK, for example, business investment data is published quarterly. The data in this report is usually segregated depending on the asset type. These categories include; private sector business investment, investment in transport equipment, investment in ICT equipment and machinery, investment in buildings and structure, and investment in intellectual property products. Cultivated biological resources and the manufacture of weapons are included in the calculation. Note that the following are excluded from the calculation of the data in this report: expenditure on residential dwellings, expenditure on land and existing building, and the cost of ownership or transfer of non-produced assets.

In the calculation of the Business Investment’ in the UK, the data from the Annual Business Survey (ABS) is used to establish a benchmark on investment for various industries.

Using Business Investment in Analysis

As we mentioned earlier, business investment is part of the GDP and is also correlated with other economic aspects. The fact business investment data measures the value of the inflation-adjusted value of capital expenditure gives us a dependable ‘real’ figure of the economic activities over a specific period.

The primary effect of business investment will be on the labor market. When business investment increases, it could mean that new business ventures are being set up or the existing ones are being scaled up and expanded. In both instances, it means that more labor will be required. Remember that business investment encompasses investments made in any profit-making venture; it could be in agriculture, in the financial markets, or the informal sector. As a result, increased business investment lowers the rate of unemployment in the economy.

Furthermore, the increased production leads to the growth of output hence higher levels of GDP.

Source: Ernst & Young UK

Conversely, when business investment decreases, it could imply that economic activities are being scaled down. Scaling down operation implies that less labor will be needed. The result is an increase in unemployment levels. More so, scaling down operations implies low economic outputs hence lower levels of GDP.

Business investment goes hand in hand with the level of demand in the economy. Business investment can be said to be responding to levels of demand. Therefore, when business investment increases, it means that there is a higher demand in the economy. By itself, the increased demand means that other aspects of the economy, such as the labor market, are performing well. On the other hand, decreasing business investment means that demand is falling. Demand Reduction is synonymous to a contracting economy.

The business investment data can also be used to analyze the business cycles and, as a result, help in forecasting recessions and recoveries in the economy. Using historical data on business investment, we can establish a pattern. This pattern will show us periods when business investments were slowing down, when they were stagnating, and when they were rapidly increasing. Naturally, periods when business investments are increasing can be regarded as the expansion stage. The recession stage is characterized by a continuous fall in business investments. When business investments have stagnated, this period could be considered the peak of the business cycle.

In predicting recessions and recoveries, let’s use the example of the coronavirus pandemic. Towards the end of the first quarter of 2020, business investments dropped continuously. The continuous drop in business investment was because investors anticipated the demand in the economy to be severely depressed, especially in the consumer discretion industry. While other sectors of the economy saw some increased investments, most sectors experienced a drastic reduction in business investments. The primary goal when making any investment is to earn profits. In this instance, due to the social distancing rules, massive losses were forecasted across the economy. As a result, business investment reduced as investors looked to reduce their exposure to a contracting economy.

At the beginning of the third quarter of 2020, business investment started increasing. This period signified the beginning of economic recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession. The recovery was prompted by a host of expansionary monetary and fiscal policies implemented by governments and central banks. These policies included lowering interest rates and offering economic stimulus packages of trillions of dollars. These policies signified the revival of the economy to the private sector, hence the increase in business investment.

Impact of Business Investment on Currency

In the forex market, the level of business investment can be used to foretell the policy actions of governments and central banks.

In any economy, the private sector is the single largest employer. Therefore, when the business investment is continuously falling, it can be anticipated that the labor market conditions will worsen, and demand in the economy will be severely depressed. This scenario may trigger expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate the economy and avoid a recession. Such policies make the domestic currency depreciate relative to others.

Conversely, the currency will appreciate when business investment increases. This increase can sign that the economy is performing well with an increase in the money supply. Contractionary monetary and fiscal policies may be implemented to avoid runaway inflation and prevent the economy from overheating. These policies make the domestic currency appreciate.

Sources of Data

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics publishes the quarterly business investment data. Trading Economics has in-depth and historical data on the UK business investment. It also publishes data on global business investment.

How Business Investment Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts?

The most recent publication of the UK’s business investment data was on September 30, 2020, at 6.00 AM GMT. The release can be accessed from Investing.com. Moderate volatility is to be expected on the GBP when the data is released.

In the second quarter of 2020, business investment in the UK decreased by 26.5%, which was better than the -31.4% expected by analysts.

Let’s see how this release impacted the EUR/GBP pair.

EUR/GBP: Before the Business Investment Data Release on September 30, 2020, 
just before 6.00 AM GMT

The EUR/GBP pair was trading in a weak uptrend before the publication of the UK business investment data. As shown in the above 15-minute chart, candles are forming just above the 20-period MA.

EUR/GBP: After the Business Investment Data Release on September 30, 2020,
at 6.00 AM GMT

The pair formed a 15-minuted bearish ‘Doji’ candle after the news release. Subsequently, the pair adopted a bearish trend.

Bottom Line

While business investment is a significant indicator in the forex market, we may not entirely know the extent of its impact on the GBP. This is because its publication is scheduled at the same time as the GDP – which is a high-impact economic indicator.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Impact of ‘Commodity Prices’  On The Forex Market

Introduction

Thanks to international trade, some countries prosper disproportionately than others. The disproportionality in the balance of payments is mostly owed to the type of exports a country produces. Countries that are net exporters of precious commodities tend to have a better balance of payment than net importers. For this reason, the fluctuation of these commodities tends significantly affect their economy.

Understanding Commodity Prices 

A commodity can be defined as any physical product that can be traded in any form of exchange. With commodities, there is little differentiation, if any, regardless of where they originate. For example, we can say that an ounce of gold from South Africa is the same as an ounce of gold from Australia.

Naturally, different parts of the world are endowed with different types of natural resources. Furthermore, since commodities are inherently used to produce other goods and services, their value entirely depends on their rarity and demand. Take Copper and Wheat, for example. Both are commodities. But you cannot compare the value of a kilo of copper and a kilo of wheat. Copper is a rare and limited precious commodity, while wheat is readily cultivated. Therefore, a country that is a net exporter of copper will have a better balance of payment than a country that is a net exporter of wheat.

Furthermore, let’s take an example of country A with the largest deposit of commodity X in the world. In this case, country A is basically a monopoly; if it wanted to control the commodity prices, it would reduce the production of the commodity. By doing so, the demand for commodity X would exceed the supply, which means that country A will receive higher prices. Now, imagine a scenario where vast deposits of commodity X are discovered in country B. It now means that the supply of commodity X in the international market will increase, and as a result, the price of commodity X will decrease.

For countries whose economies heavily dependent on commodity exports, the fluctuation of commodity prices heavily impacts the earnings. Furthermore, the changes in the demand for these commodities also affect the GDP of these countries. Note that the price of these commodities also varies depending on their quality. For commodities which are used for trading in the future market, the minimum quality accepted is called the basis grade,

Using Commodity Prices  in Analysis

The commodity prices usually tend to impact the economies which heavily rely on the export of commodities to fund public expenditures.

An increase in commodity prices means that the producing country will receive more income. In turn, this translates to increased wages for workers involved in the production or mining of the commodity. Since households are well compensated, their welfare will significantly increase. Note that for countries heavily dependent on commodity exports, these commodities’ mining or production usually employs a majority in the labor market. Therefore, an increase in wages will significantly impact the changes in the aggregate demand in the economy for consumer goods and services.

This increase in demand tends to lead to an increase in the production of consumer goods. As a result, there will be an expansion of the consumer industry. More so, the expansion of these sectors leads to more job creation hence lowering unemployment levels. Other sectors of the economy will also benefit from this increase in wages. The real estate sector will also flourish since the increase in wages means that households can now afford to fund the purchase of homes or qualify for mortgages.

Conversely, a decline in the prices of commodities means that the labor involved will be compensated lesser. The resultant effect will be a contraction in demand for consumer goods and services since households will be forced to prioritize expenditure on essential products. Consequently, the consumer discretion industry will contract as producers scale down operations to match the decreased demand. As a result, some jobs in these sectors will be lost, contributing to increased unemployment. Therefore, we can see there is a direct link between the changes in commodity prices to the growth of the domestic economy and changes in the domestic employment levels.

Let’s look at another scenario. Say the economy of country A is intertwined with that of country C – country A imports multiple commodities from country C. Since country A’s economy heavily relies on commodities, the prices of these commodities increase, which means that the balance of payment of country A improves and that its citizens are well off. Thus, country A can afford to import more products from country C. therefore, country C’s economy will prosper. Increased imports from A means that production in C will increase, expand its economy, and improve labor market conditions.

Conversely, when commodity prices fall, it means that economic conditions in country A might deteriorate. Consequently, imports from country C will decrease, leading to either C’s economy to contract or a slowdown in its growth. This is usually the case with Australia and New Zealand, whose economies are close to each other.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Therefore, commodity prices do not just affect the economy of countries whose exports are majorly comprised of commodities.

Impact on Currency

The impact of the changes in the commodity price in the forex market is pretty straightforward.

When a country exports a commodity to the international market, it is paid in its currency. Therefore, when the commodity prices increase, it means that the domestic currency will be in high demand. Importers of the commodity will have to convert more of their currencies into the domestic currency. As a result, the value of the domestic currency will appreciate relative to other currencies.

On the other hand, a fall in the commodity means fewer amounts of the domestic currency will be required to purchase the exports. Consequently, the domestic currency will marginally depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

In Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia publishes the Index of Commodity Prices report monthly.

Source: RBA

Trading Economics has a comprehensive list of commodity prices in both the spot and futures market.

How Commodity Prices Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts?

The latest publication of the Index of Commodity Prices report by the RBA was on October 1, 2020, at 6.30 AM GMT and can be accessed at Invetsing.com. The release of the commodity prices is expected to have a low impact on the AUD.

In September 2020, the YoY the Australian commodity index decreased by 5.8% compared to a 10.2% decline in the YoY index for August 2020.

Let’s see if this release had an impact on the AUD.

GBP/AUD: Before Commodity Price Release on October 1, 2020, 
just before 6.30 AM GMT

The GBP/AUD pair was trading in a neutral pattern before the publication of the Australian commodity index. The 20-period MA was flattened with candles forming just around it.

GBP/AUD: After Commodity Price Release on October 1, 2020, at 6.30 AM GMT

The pair formed a 5-minute bullish candle when the commodity prices were released. Subsequently, the 20-period MA steadily rose with candles forming above it, showing that the AUD weakened against the GBP.

Bottom Line

In Australia, commodity exports account for about 50% of the export income. While this report plays a vital role in forecasting the Australian economy, it is a low-impact economic indicator in the forex market.

Categories
Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Jobs to Applications Ratio’

Introduction

For any economy, one of the best indicators of health in the labor market is how quickly the unemployed get absorbed into the job industry. This would indicate if the current economy is expanding at par with the growing number of job seekers. Apart from showing the absorption rate in the job market, it can also be used as a coincident economic indicator.

Understanding Jobs to Applications Ratio

The jobs to applications ratio help to put into perspective the number of job vacancies available vs. the number of job applications made during a particular time.

The job vacancies, in this case, represents the totality of the existing Job Vacancies from the previous reporting period that haven’t been filled and the new vacancies in the current period. For example, the total job vacancies for October 2020 would include the unfilled vacancies from the previous months in 2020 and the vacancies that became available in October 2020. The number of job applications does not necessarily need to be those that directly applied for these vacancies. This number is the totality of job seekers who have registered with employment bureaus across the country seeking employment.

Therefore, the formula of the jobs to applications ratio is 

When the number of active job openings is higher than that of active job seekers, the jobs to applications ratio will be higher than 1. Furthermore, the jobs to applications ratio will increase if the number of job openings increases faster than that of active job seekers. Conversely, if the number of active job seekers is higher than that of active openings, the jobs to applications ratio will be lower. Similarly, when the number of active job seekers grows at a faster pace than that of active job openings, the jobs to applications ratio will decrease at a rapid rate.

In most countries, the number of graduates from tertiary academic institutions is usually high. For this reason, most jobs to applications ratio reports usually exclude new school graduates and part-time job seekers. The primary reason for doing this is to smoothen the data since it is not expected that the labor market will absorb all graduates.

Using Jobs to Applications Ratio in Analysis

The Jobs to Applications Ratio shows the health of the labor market and is also a coincident indicator of economic growth. The best way to use the jobs to applications ratio in the analysis is by viewing it as a time series. It will enable you to compare the change in the economy over time easily.

To understand the implication of the Jobs to Application Ratio, we must first understand how job openings and unemployment come about. When the economy is expanding, the unemployment levels go down. An expanding economy is mainly driven by an increase in demand in the economy. Usually, household demand is the primary driver of the increase in aggregate demand.

When the aggregate demand rises, producers of goods and services must also scale up their operations to take advantage of the increasing demand and to avoid distortion of equilibrium price. When they expand their operations, they will need to hire more workers; this is where the unemployment levels go down. Also, note that when the unemployment rate reduces, it means that households’ expenditure increases, which also leads to the expansion of the economy. It is a feedback loop.

It also means that when the economy is contracting, it is a sign of a decrease in aggregate demand. This decrease force producers of consumer goods and services to cut back their production, which results in fewer job openings and increased unemployment.

Now let’s see what jobs to application ratio has to do with all this. When the Jobs to Applications Ratio is increasing over time, it implies that the number of active job openings is growing faster than that of the active job seekers. If, for example, the jobs to applications ratio has been increasing steadily over the past couple of months or years, it would mean the economy has been expanding. This increase shows that increasingly more jobs have been created in the economy.

Alternatively, it could mean that the rate of job retention in the economy is higher since fewer people lose their jobs and begin seeking employment all over again. Conversely, when the Jobs to Applications Ratio is continually decreasing, it means that the economy is contracting and the economy is creating fewer jobs. It could also mean that more jobs are lost in the economy hence the higher number of new job seekers.

The Jobs to Applications Ratio can also show the business cycles and periods of recession and expansion in the economy. When the Jobs to Applications Ratio continually drops, it implies that the economy has been contracting over an extended period with a growing number of unemployed in the economy. This is a clear sign of economic recession. In Japan, for example, the persistent drop in the job to application ratio coincided with the coronavirus-induced recession of the first half of 2020.

Source: Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training

In times of economic recovery, businesses are presumed to gradually increase their operations, which means that the jobs to applications ratio will steadily increase.

Impact of Jobs to Applications Ratio on Currency

The value of the currency fluctuates depending on the perceived economic growth. Thus, the direct impact that jobs to applications ration has on currency is its inherent ability to show economic expansions and contractions.

The domestic currency will be expected to appreciate when the jobs to applications ratio increases. The increase in the jobs to applications ratio shows that the economy has been growing hence improved living standards.

Conversely, the domestic currency will depreciate when the jobs to application ratio are steadily decreasing. The continual decrease shows that the domestic economy has been contracting.

Sources of Data

In Japan, the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training is responsible for conducting surveys of the Japanese labor market. The institute publishes the data on Jobs to Applications Ratio monthly.

Trading Economics has a historical review of the Japanese jobs to applications ratio.

How Jobs to Applications Ratio Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training published the latest jobs to applications ratio on October 2, 2020, at 8.30 AM JST. The release is accessed from Investing.com. Moderate volatility is expected on the JPY when the data is published.

In August 2020, the jobs/applications ratio was 1.04 compared to the 1.08 recorded in July 2020. Furthermore, the August ratio was less than the analysts’ expectations of 1.05.

Let’s see how this release impacted the JPY.

USD/JPY: Before Jobs to Applications Ratio Release on October 2, 2020, 
just before 8.30 AM JST

Before the release of the ratio, the USD/JPY pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. The 20-period MA was only slightly rising.

USD/JPY: After Jobs to Applications Ratio Release on October 2, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM JST

The pair formed a 5-minute bearish “hammer” candle immediately after the release of the ratio. Subsequently, it traded in a neutral pattern before adopting a bullish trend.

Bottom Line

The Jobs to Applications Ratio plays a significant role in establishing the health of the labor market. However, in the forex market, the unemployment rate is the most-watched economic indicator when it comes to the health of the labor market.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Germany Ifo Business Climate Index’ Forex Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

Although government expenditures play an important role in the economy, investments by the private sector can be said to be the backbone of any economy. Therefore, when the private sector businesses have a rosy outlook on the economy, it can be expected that they will increase their investments. For governments, economists, financial analysts, and forex traders, tracking investors’ expectations can help understand and even predict the future economy.

Understanding Germany Ifo Business Climate Index

The Ifo business climate index is used to rate the current business climate in Germany and also rates the expectations of businesses for the next six months. Thus, we can say that the Ifo Business Climate is a leading indicator of economic development in Germany.

Source: Ifo Institute

Since Germany is the largest economy in the Euro area, this index plays a vital role in influencing the E.U’s overall economic activity.

Calculating the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index

The Ifo Institute for Economic Research conducts a monthly survey of about 9000 businesses operating in Germany. The businesses operate in the construction, wholesaling and retailing, manufacturing, and service sectors – i.e., the survey covers the entirety of the German economy.

In the survey, the respondents are required to give their assessments of the current business environment and what they expect over the coming six months. In their responses, they can say that the current business environment is “good,” “satisfactorily,” or “poor.” For their expectations, they can respond as either “more favorable,” “unchanged,” or “more unfavorable.”

The Ifo then weighs these responses. The weight attached is based on the importance of the industry’s contribution to the overall economy. Their importance is gauged by the percentage of employees they have and their contribution to the GDP.

The balance in the current business situation is determined by the difference between the percentage of “good” and “poor” responses. Similarly, the balance business expectations are the difference between the percentage of the “more favorable” and “more unfavorable” responses. The business climate is calculated by taking the average of the balances of the current business situation and the expectations.

The Ifo index is seasonally adjusted to ensure that some of the recurring patterns are eliminated from the time series. To seasonally adjust the data, the Ifo Institute employs the X-13ARIMA-SEATS procedure developed by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Using the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index in Analysis

There are several ways in which this index can be used to show how the German economy is progressing.

When the index increases over time, it shows that the businesses are more inclined to increase their capital expenditure and investments in various projects in the economy. In doing so, they effectively ensure that the economic output will increase, which leads to higher GDP. Similarly, an increase in investments into economic projects and capital expenditures leads to an increase in production activities, which leads to higher employment levels.

Therefore, we can say that when the Ifo business climate index increases, it is expected that the rate of unemployment will reduce. Conversely, the rate of unemployment should be expected to rise when the Ifo business climate index drops. This is because the drop in the index implies that businesses expect business conditions will be more favorable. They will be prompted to cut back on investments and scale down core operations to mitigate losses. The resultant effect is lower levels of GDP and a higher unemployment rate.

Over the long term, the Ifo business climate index may be used to show the trends in business cycles and even used to predict recessions and economic recoveries. One of the primary drivers of any business is profiteering, which comes from their products’ demand. When businesses anticipate the demand to fall, their expectations are “more unfavorable.”

We know that the aggregate demand depends on the households’ demand. Therefore, when the demand is expected to fall, households are expected to have lesser disposable income, which could result from low wages and prevalent job losses; these are characteristics of a contraction. Therefore, when the Ifo business climate is continuously dropping, we can expect that the economy might go through bouts of recession.

On the other hand, if the Ifo business climate is steadily rising, it shows that the economy will undergo a steady period of expansion. This expansion comes from the fact that businesses will expect the demand for their goods and services to increase. This instance implies that households have more disposable income, which means wages have increased or employment increased.

Furthermore, when the economy has been through depression or recession, an improvement in the Ifo business climate index shows that the future is “more favorable.” It means that businesses do not expect the ongoing stage of recessions or depression to persist into the future. These expectations imply that businesses expect to increase their investments, a clear sign of economic recoveries.

 

Source: Ifo Institute

Impact of Germany Ifo Business Climate Index on the Euro

Germany is the largest economy in the E.U.; therefore, its economic outlook is bound to significantly impact the Euro since the EUR fluctuates depending on the economic performance of its member countries.

When the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index rises, it means that the German economy is expected to grow. Furthermore, the benefits of the resultant expansion of business operations in Germany might spill over to other countries in the E.U. in terms of job creation. As a result, the EUR will appreciate relative to other currencies.

Conversely, the EUR is expected to depreciate relative to other currencies when the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index continually drops. This drop signifies a potential contraction of the German economy, which may affect other EU-member countries.

Sources of Data

The Ifo Institute for Economic Research is responsible for conducting the surveys, aggregating data, and publishing the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index. Trading Economics has a historical time-series data of the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index.

How Germany Ifo Business Climate Index Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The Ifo Institute for Economic Research published the latest business climate index on September 24, 2020, at 8.00 AM GMT. The release can be accessed at Investing.com. From the screengrab below, we can see that the German Ifo business climate index is a high-impact indicator.

In September 2020, the German Ifo business climate index was 93.4, lower than the analysts’ expectation of 93.8.

Let’s see how this lower than expected release impacted the EUR/GBP price action.

EUR/GBP: Before Germany Ifo Business Climate Index Release on 
September 24, 2020, just before 8.00 AM GMT

Before the release of the index, the EURGBP pair was trading in a weak uptrend. The 20-period M.A. was almost flattening. They adopted a weak downtrend moment before the release.

EUR/GBP: After Germany Ifo Business Climate Index Release on 
September 24, 2020, at 8.00 AM GMT

After the release of the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle but adopted a strong downtrend afterward. The 20-period M.A. steeply fell with candles forming further below it. This trend shows that the EUR weakened against the GBP since the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index was weaker than expected.

As shown by the above analyses, the Germany Ifo Business Climate Index has a significant impact on forex price actions.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Foreign Securities Purchases Impact on Forex Currencies

Introduction

For the longest time, the performance of a country’s financial and capital markets has been touted as an indicator of economic health. On the other hand, foreign investors’ participation in the local financial and capital market can be taken as a sign of confidence in the local economy. Therefore, monitoring foreign securities purchases can be used as a gauge of investors’ confidence in the local economy.

Understanding Foreign Securities Purchases

Foreign securities purchases measure the involvement of foreigners in the domestic financial and capital markets. It includes the value of local bonds, stocks, and money-market assets bought by foreigners over a particular period.

The financial market is considered the backbone of any economy. Every sector of the economy is interconnected with the financial market, not just by transactions. Companies, businesses, and governments use the financial and capital markets as a source of funds. Through IPOs, companies can raise funds that will be used for business expansions. Governments issue bonds and treasury bills in the money markets, which are used to fund government expenditures. In the secondary markets, however, these financial assets’ prices tend to reflect investors’ sentiments.

Therefore, foreign investors’ level of participation in the local financial markets can be used as a leading indicator of economic sentiment.

Using Foreign Securities Purchases in Analysis

Primarily, the data of foreign securities purchases shows foreign interest in the domestic economy. This data has various applications to government agencies, investors, and even forex traders.

The stock and money markets are driven by sentiment. The basics of how the financial market works is that; you buy a financial asset when prices are low and sell when prices are high. For example, in the stock markets, the price of a company’s stock is tied to its financial performance. So, when its performance is well, the share price will rise, and when the performance is deteriorating, the share price will fall. Another critical factor that drives the fluctuation in share price is a sentiment about the company’s performance.

When traders anticipate that the company will have a windfall – either increased demand for its core products or the launch of a new product line – the share price will rise. The rise in the share price is driven by the fundamental laws of demand and supply. The price will rise when there is an increased demand from investors to buy the shares, which means that those buying exceed the number of those selling. The price will fall when investors are selling the shares, which increases its supply relative to those demanding to purchase it.

Using this aspect of the stock markets, when foreign investors flood the domestic market to purchase shares, it means that they anticipate that the companies will perform better soon. As we have explained, a better financial performance by a company could result from increased demand for its products or expansion in business operations.

Since the stock market is forward-looking, increased buying activity can be interpreted as a vote of confidence that economic conditions are going to improve. Let’s take the example of the S&P 500. On October 19, 2020, the index closed just above 3400 from lows of 2237 on March 23, 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, a rebound in the stock markets can be taken as a sign that investor confidence is increasing and improving economic conditions.

Source: St. Louis FRED

However, note that there is a disconnect between the GDP and the performance of the stock market. Most people tend to make the mistake of assuming that the growth of the stock market is synonymous to an increase in the GDP. While this might be true in some cases, it is purely coincidental, because the stock market is only one component of the economy. While the economy’s growth tends to encompass all aspects ranging from the growth of the labor market to household consumption, the stock market is majorly a reflection of corporate profits. For example, while the S&P 500 recovered from March to October 2020, the GDP was on a steady fall.

Source: St. Louis FRED

The other way foreign securities purchases can be used for analysis is through the purchases in the money markets, especially government bonds and treasury bills. When foreigners swam the domestic market to purchase government securities, it can be taken as a sign that the domestic economy is offering better returns compared to other international economies.

Furthermore, increased foreigner participation in the domestic money markets can be taken as a sign that the local economy is regarded as a safe heaven. It is a vote of confidence that the domestic economy is stable and comparatively less volatile, which means that their investments will receive a steady return and no chances of an outright loss of capital.

Impact on Currency

As a leading indicator of economic sentiment, foreign securities purchase data can show what investors think about economic recoveries. When the foreign securities purchases increase in times of economic recessions or slump, it can be taken as a vote of confidence by the investors that the economy will rebound in the near term. The logic behind this is that no one would want to invest in an economy bound to fall or one that has no signs of recovery. In such an instance, the currency will appreciate.

Similarly, the local currency will appreciate relative to others since an increase in foreign securities purchases implies that the domestic economy offers better returns. These higher returns could be a direct result of higher interest rates. Higher interest rates mean that the local currency will appreciate.

Conversely, when the foreign securities purchases data is on a decline, it shows that investors are fleeing the domestic economy. They can either get better returns on investment in other economies or believe that the local economy is headed for rough times. In this case, the local currency will depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

Statistics Canada collates and publishes foreign securities purchases data in Canada. The data published is of the prior two months. A more in-depth and historical review of the foreign securities purchases in Canada is available at Trading Economics.

How Foreign Securities Purchases Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

For this analysis, we will focus on the August 17, 2020, release of the foreign securities purchases data at 8.30 AM EST. The data can be accessed from Investing.com. Moderate volatility is expected when the data is released.

In June 2020, Canada’s net foreign securities purchases were -13.52 billion compared to 22.39 billion in May 2020.

Let’s see what impact this release had on the CAD.

GBP/CAD: Before Foreign Securities Purchases Release on October 17, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM EST

From the above 5-minute GBP/CAD chart, the pair was trading in a steady downtrend before the release of the data. The 20-period MA was steeply falling with candles forming further below it. This trend shows that the CAD was strong during this period.

GBP/CAD: After Foreign Securities Purchases Release on October 17, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM EST

The pair formed a long 5-minute candle upon the release of the data. As expected, the negative net foreign securities purchases in Canada resulted in the weakening of the CAD. Subsequently, the pair traded adopted a subdued uptrend with the 20-period MA slightly rising and candles forming just above it.

Bottom Line

The foreign securities purchases data is a moderate-impact economic indicator. Since it only serves to show investor confidence in the economy, it does not result in high volatility when released. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact of ‘Gross Domestic Product Estimate’ Economic Indicator On The Forex Market

Introduction

In most economies globally, the GDP data is published by governments or government agencies quarterly. This would mean that analysts, economists, and households would have to wait for a full quarter to know how the economy is performing. Naturally, this long wait can be frustrating and, in some cases, inconveniencing. Therefore, having some form of estimate as to what the GDP might be can be quite useful.

Understanding Gross Domestic Product Estimate

As the name suggests, the GDP estimate serves to estimate an economy’s GDP before the release of the official government-published GDP report.

These estimates are arrived at by surveying the industries within the country. In the UK, for example, the following industries are surveyed; production, manufacturing, mining and quarrying, agriculture, construction, private services, and public services. Most estimates adopted globally use the bottom-up methodology.

Source: National Institute of Economic and Social Research

In the UK, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) publishes a rolling monthly estimate of the GDP growth using the bottom-up methodology. Hence, its GDP estimate covers the preceding three months. Since the GDP estimates are published monthly, it means that NIESR releases at least four GDP estimates before the government’s publication. Using the bottom-up analysis to estimate the GDP, NIESR uses statistical models to aggregate the most recent trends observed within the GDP subcomponents. The statistical models are fed the latest trends, and they forecast the most probable outcome in these subcomponents. Note that these forecasts are only short-term.

While the GDP estimates are not always accurate to the exact decimal percentage, they provide an accurate GDP representation.

Using the Gross Domestic Product Estimate in Analysis

The GDP estimate data can be used in the timely analysis of economic performance. Here is how this data can be used.

In many countries, the macroeconomics policies are usually set more frequently than quarterly. However, since the economic performance is the centerpiece in any macroeconomic policy-making, it is vital to know the most recent GDP data. By tracking the trends of the top components of the GDP, the GDP estimates can provide the most recent data. Therefore, this will help the policymakers to implement more informed policies. Let’s see how the contrast between the GDP estimate and the actual GDP can make a difference in policy implementation.

For example, during the second quarter of 2020, governments and central banks wanted to implement expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. At this point, the only GDP data available to them is the actual GDP for the first quarter of 2020. But for most economies, the 2020 Q1 GDP showed economic growth. On the other hand, the more recent GDP estimates could show that contractions were already visible in the economy.

In this scenario, if policymakers were to use the actual data available to then – the Q1 GDP – they would have made undesirable policies. These policies would have further harmed the economy. On the other hand, if the GDP estimates would have been used to aid the policy implementation, chances are, the most suitable and appropriate monetary and fiscal policies would have been adopted. Here, the GDP estimate would have helped them make relevant policies and ensuring that these policies are implemented timely.

Furthermore, the GDP estimates can also be used to establish whether the policies implemented are working as expected. If expansionary policies are implemented, their primary goal is to spur demand and stimulate economic growth. Using the GDP estimate, policymakers can track to see if there are any changes experienced in the economy. Some aspects like inflation take a long time to adjust, but demand generated by households is almost instantaneous. Therefore, the GDP estimate can be used to gauge the effectiveness of the implemented policies. Take the stimulus packages adopted in Q2 2020 after the pandemic; they were meant to stimulate demand by households, which would lead to economic recovery. With the GDP estimate, we could tell whether the stimulus package worked or not.

When accurate, the advance GDP estimate can be a leading indicator of the actual GDP. Therefore, the GDP estimate data can be used to show the prevailing trends in the economy. For instance, it can be used to show looming periods of recession and any upcoming recoveries. Say that the trailing three months captured by the GDP estimate shows that the economy’s major subcomponents are struggling with demand and contracting. This data can be taken to mean that for that quarter, there is a higher probability that the overall economy would contract. Conversely, when the subcomponents being tracked show growth, it can be expected that the overall economy would have expanded in that quarter.

It’s not just the governments that can benefit from the GDP estimate data. The private sector as well can use the data to plan their economic activity. Take the example that the GDP estimate shows that a particular sector in the economy has been contracting for the previous three months. Investors in this sector can presume that the demand for goods or services from the sector is depressed. In this instance, to avoid venturing into loss-making businesses, investors can make informed decisions about where and when to invest their money.

Impact on Currency

When the GDP estimate shows that the short-term economy is expanding, the domestic currency will appreciate relative to others. A short-term expansion indicates that demand levels in the economy are higher, which implies that unemployment levels are low and households’ welfare is improving.

The domestic currency will depreciate if the GDP estimate shows that the economy is contracting. The primary driver of a contracting economy is decreased expenditure by households contributing almost 70% of the GDP. The decline in demand can be taken as a sign of higher unemployment levels.

Sources of Data

In the UK, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research publishes the monthly and quarterly UK GDP estimate.

How GDP Estimate Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The most recent UK GDP estimate published by NIESR was on October 9, 2020, at 11.10 AM GMT and accessed at Investng.com. Moderate volatility on the GBP can be expected when the NIESR GDP estimate is published.

During this period, the UK GDP is estimated to have grown by 15.2% compared to 8.0% in the previous reading.

Let’s see how this release impacted the GBP.

EUR/GBP: Before NIESR GDP Estimate Release on October 9, 2020, 
just before 11.10 AM GMT

Before the release of the NIESR GDP Estimate, the EUR/GBP pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. The 20-period MA transitioned from a steep rise to an almost flattened trend with candles forming just above it.

EUR/GBP: After NIESR GDP Estimate Release on October 9, 2020, 
at 11.10 AM GMT

After the GDP estimate release, the EUR/GBP pair formed a 5-minute bullish ‘inverted hammer’ candles with a long wick. This candle represents a period of volatility in the pair as the market absorbed the data. Subsequently, the pair traded in a neutral trend before adopting a steady downtrend with the 20-period MA steeply falling.

Bottom Line

The GDP estimate is not just relevant to investors and policymakers; as shown by the above analyses, it can result in periods of increased volatility in the forex market when it is published. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Should Know About ‘Job Cuts’ As A Forex Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

The labor market plays play a crucial role in determining the strength of the economy. Perhaps one of the most closely watched fundamental economic indicator is the unemployment rate since it is one of the leading indicators of demand. The growth of any economy is entirely dependent on the forces of demand and supply. Entire industries have been built by surging demand and crippled by lack of it.

Understanding Job Cuts

Job cuts represent the number of corporate employees who have been laid off over a given period. The job cuts report shows the national number of people who were laid off. This number is further broken down by industry, ranking those with the most job cuts to the least. The job cuts are compared monthly, quarter-on-quarter, yearly, and year-to-date. The report goes further to include the hiring plans announced by the various sectors, thus showing the potential number of job vacancies.

Therefore, we notice that the job cuts report serves to show job losses and future openings. Thus, it is a powerful indicator in the labor market and the economy since it can be used to predict whether recessions are coming, the state of economic recovery, and show the sentiment about the economy from employers’ perspective.

Using Job Cuts Report for Analysis

As an indicator of economic health, job cuts can signal the following.

An increasing number of job cuts is a precursor to higher unemployment levels and signals a shrinking economy. It is considered a leading indicator of unemployment. With more and more people losing their jobs, households’ disposable income will be on a decline. Consequently, the aggregate demand in the economy will decline, and with it, the aggregate supply. These declines imply that producers are scaling down their operations, matching the lowering demand to avoid market price distortion.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Since the job cuts report is categorized by industry, it serves to show which sectors of the economy are performing poorly. Job cuts are a result of the general challenging operating environment. It shows that companies are attempting to reduce operating costs as a result of a decline in demand. With this report, we can analyze which sectors are hard hit by tough economic times and which sectors are resilient. For investors, this analysis is instrumental in deciding which sector to invest in. the report can also be used to show which industries are worse affected by economic recessions.

It will be useful for policymakers to implement sector-specific policies to help cushion the labor market in the future. The job cuts report can be used to establish which economic sectors are susceptible to business cycles by analyzing which sectors have the most cuts in times of recessions. During a recession, the aggregate demand is falling, and when the economy is recovering, the aggregate demand increases. Thus, it is expected for job cuts to reduce in time of recovery and economic expansion.

Similarly, investors can use historical figures to help pinpoint the peak and trough levels of the business cycle. Typically, the economy has the most job cuts when the recession is at its worst. This point can be considered the trough – and it precedes a recovery. Here would be the optimal point of investing for investors who would want to capitalize on the effects of recovery. When the economic recovery is at its peak and unemployment levels are their lowest, it signifies that the economy might overheat.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Together with the analysis of business cycles, the job cuts report can provide a clear picture of the number of temporary workers in the labor market. It goes to reason that in times of recovery, businesses tend to hire more workers. However, businesses most impacted by the economic cycles would opt to engage temporary labor instead. In times of recession, most of these jobs are lost. Therefore, the job cuts report can be used to identify which industries hire the most temporary workers.

Job cuts could also be a result of automation, not entirely because of a decrease in the aggregate demand. It is worth noting that the automation of business processes results in improved efficiency, higher output, and possibly higher quality of goods and services. While all these might be good for the businesses and possibly the economy, the effects of the jobs lost will still be reflected in the economy.

Impact on Currency

When analyzing the labor market, most forex traders concentrate their attention on the employment report. However, job cuts report is released ahead of the employment situation report; it can provide leading insights. Here are some of the ways job cuts can impact the forex market. The job cuts are used to forestall recessions and recoveries.

When the job cuts are increasing, it signals that the aggregate demand in the economy will decline. Businesses scaling down operations implies low investor confidence in the economy, which could mean there is a net outflow of capital. Increasing unemployment levels, a shrinking economy, and more households relying on the government social security programs signal a recession. Expansionary fiscal and monetary policies will be implemented. One such policy includes lowering interest rates, which make the currency depreciate relative to others.

A reduction in the job cuts signals economic recovery, making the currency increase in value relative to others. When job cuts are steadily reducing, businesses are retaining more of their employees as time goes by. This retention is a sign of improving economic fundamentals.

Sources of Data

Challenger, Gray & Christmas publishes the US job cuts data. Challenger, Gray & Christmas is a global outplacement and career transitioning firm. Comprehensive historical coverage of the US job cuts is accessed at Trading Economics.

How Job Cuts Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts?

The most recent release of the US Challenger job cuts was on October 1, 2020, at 7.30 AM ET and accessed at Investing.com. The screengrab below is of the monthly Challenger job cuts.

Low volatility is to be expected when the job cuts report is released.

In September 2020, the number of US job cuts was 118.804K compared to 115.762K in August. In terms of the YoY change, the September job cuts represented a 185.9% change compared to a 116.5% change in August.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Challenger Job Cuts Release on October 1, 2020, 
Just Before 7.30 AM ET

Before the new release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a general uptrend. As shown in the above 5-minute chart, the candles were forming above a rising 20-period MA.

EUR/USD: After the Challenger Job Cuts Release on October 1, 2020, 
at 7.30 AM ET

After the US job cuts report release, the pair formed a bullish 5-minute candle as expected, due to the weakening of the USD. Subsequently, the pair continued trading in a subdued uptrend with the 20-period MA flattening.

Bottom Line

The job cuts report plays a vital role in the economy, especially now, by showing the state of economic recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession. However, in the forex market, the job cuts report is a low-impact indicator since most traders and analysts pay the most attention to the employment situation report. The low impact nature can be seen as the release of the Challenger job cuts report failed to advance the bullish momentum of the EUR/USD pair.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Public Sector Net Borrowing’ Forex Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

Every government runs a budget. It is rare to find a scenario where a government has a balanced budget, i.e., its revenues match expenditures. Economists, policymakers, financial analysts, and consumers pay close attention to budget analysis figures. This interest in the budget is helpful to determine if the government is running a surplus or deficit. This information is vital in determining the country’s global credit rating, which will impact future investment decision-making, trade, and value of the currency.

Understanding Public Sector Net Borrowing

Public sector net borrowing refers to the government budget deficit. The budget deficit occurs when the income earned by the government is less than the public expenditures. Thus, the government can be said to be spending more than it collects in the form of taxes and trade. Governments fund their budgets, primarily using debt and taxation. While different governments have different lines of expenditures, they can all be summed up under three categories: current expenditures, capital expenditures, and transfer payments.

The budget deficits run by governments can tell us a lot about the health of the economy and possibly the cost of future funding. The budget report might be a complicated and tedious document for the average forex trader to analyze in its entirety. Thus, while there is a relationship between budget deficits and the economy’s health, it is advisable to compare the budget deficits with other economic indicators to get the full picture.

Increasing the budget deficit can tell us two things, either revenue collection is decreasing or the government expenditure is increasing rapidly. Here’s a look at how the budget deficit occurs. It starts with a decline in revenue. It is worth noting that exceedingly high budget deficits are connected to worsening economic conditions. When the economy is performing poorly, job losses become prevalent, leading to decreased aggregate demand forcing most companies to scale down while some discretionary consumer firms collapse entirely. Consequently, fewer people pay income tax, and corporate tax declines since most companies are making losses or bankrupt.

Naturally, most people will have to depend on social security programs to get essential needs. This overdependency forces the government to increase its expenditure on such programs. Furthermore, to bring the economy from recession, the government will be forced to increase capital expenditure to create more jobs and spur demand in the economy. Expansionary monetary policies, such as lowering interest rates, can also be used to make cheap loans available to the public.

Using Public Sector Net Borrowing in Analysis

Increasing budget deficit implies that the economy is slowing down, and the government is attempting to revive it. Budget deficits differ for different countries and may not necessarily give the entire picture of the economy’s health. Therefore, it is prudent to combine budget deficit analysis with the analysis of other fundamental economic indicators to determine if the expanding budget deficit is justifiable. For example, using a combination of unemployment levels and the aggressive government expenditure is creating the intended multiplier effect in the economy. More so, it can be used as a scorecard for the government’s fiscal policies’ efficiency and the public sector financial management.

With this strategy, we can spot if the budgetary allocations are going into viable capital expenditures or being spent on non-income generating activities such as paying for a bloated civil service wage. Furthermore, this approach can help stem out corruption in the public sector and seal any public monies’ leakages.

Source: St. Louis FRED

If the government employs expansionary fiscal policies year after year, it may result in a continually increasing inflation rate. Pumping more money into the economy continually increases the rate of inflation. In the flow of income, government spending is an injection. The resultant increase in the aggregate demand drives up prices since demand changes faster than producers can increase their production. It may be more challenging to keep the rising inflation in check if the central banks do not counter the expansionary policies. If the central banks do not implement contractionary monetary policies, the resultant inflation will distort the real wage and real interest rate levels in the economy.

Impact on Currency

As we mentioned earlier, forex traders should analyze the public sector net borrowing data along with other fundamental indicators to get a more comprehensive outlook of the economy. However, here is how the budget deficit affects the forex market.

An expanding public sector net borrowing is negative for the currency. An increasing budget deficit means that the government has to rely heavily on debt to fund its expenditure. With debt accumulation, repayment burden, especially the annual interest rates, weighs heavily on the revenues. If this trend persists, a significant portion of the government’s revenues will end up being used for debt servicing instead of development projects. The government may also be forced to restructure its debts, which come with increased costs. More so, if the growth of debt exceeds that of GDP, it would imply that the budget deficit is reaching unsustainable levels.

Source: St, Louis FRED

In the international markets, the country’s credit ratings will deteriorate. The country’s bonds may be downgraded from investment grade to junk bonds. Consequently, taking debt from the international markets will be more expensive since investors will demand a premium for taking higher risks. Borrowing from the domestic markets using treasury bills will be expensive since investors will demand higher discounts. Similarly, multilateral lenders will insist that the government implement a series of stringent austerity measures to qualify for loans and grants. All these factors come with severe economic and financial consequences for the country.

Sources of Data

In the United Kingdom, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes the UK public sector net borrowing in its monthly Public Sector Finances reportTrading Economics publishes an in-depth review of the UK’s public sector net borrowing along with historical figures. A list of a country’s debt to GDP is also available at Trading Economics.

How Public Sector Net Borrowing Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The most recent release of the UK’s public sector net borrowing was on September 25, 2020, at 6.00 AM GMT and can be accessed at Investing.com.

The screengrab below is of the monthly UK public sector net borrowing from Investing.com. To the right, we can find a legend that indicates the level of impact this fundamental indicator has on the GBP.

As can be seen, this low volatility is expected.

In August 2020, UK’s public sector net borrowing worsened to 35.2B from 14.72B in July. This data was worse than analysts’ expectations of 35.05B.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

GBP/USD: Before Public Sector Net Borrowing Release on September 25, 2020,
Just Before 6.00 AM GMT

Before the news release, the pair was trading in a neutral trend as shown by the above 5-minute GBP/USD chart. The 20-period MA was flattened with candles forming just around it.

GBP/USD: After Public Sector Net Borrowing Release on September 25, 2020, 
at 6.00 AM GMT

The pair formed a 5-minute bullish candle after the data release. This trend is contrary to the expected negative impact on GBP. Consequently, the pair adopted a bullish stance as the 20-period MA started rising with candles forming above it.

Although the Public Sector Net Borrowing is considered a vital indicator of economic health, public sector net borrowing data has an insignificant impact on the forex price charts.

Categories
Forex Course

153. The Affect Of Monetary Policy On the Forex Market

Introduction

Fundamental analysis is one of the most reliable forex trading strategies in the world that considers economic releases and events. In fundamental analysis, many indicators provide a possibility of upcoming movement in a currency pair. Besides the economic release, some events like monetary policy decisions create an immediate impact on a currency pair.

What is Monetary Policy?

Monetary policy is an action or decision taken by the central bank to control the money supply and achieve the economic sustainability and macroeconomic goal. Every country has a strategic goal based on the current performance and upcoming economic growth of the economy. Therefore, most of the central bank changes the interest rate based on the economic condition.

Usually, the central bank sits quarterly for a monetary policy meeting to discuss the following four core areas:

  • Guideline for the money market
  • Interest rate decision.
  • Monetary policy measurement.
  • The outlook of the economic and financial developments.

How Monetary Policy Affects the Forex Market?

In a monetary policy meeting, the central bank discusses the present economic condition of a country. Therefore, any hawkish tone may create an immediate bullish impact on a particular currency. On the other hand, a dovish tone may create an immediate negative impact on a particular currency in any trading pair.

Besides the immediate effect, there is a long-term impact on the price of a currency pair. We know that any strength in an economy indicates a stronger currency. For example, if the ECB (European Central Bank) provides some consecutive outlook of the European economy saying that the inflation is under control, and the interest rate increased, which is likely to increase again in the next quarter. In that case, the influential European economy may create a Bullish impact on EURUSD, EURAUD, or EURJPY pair.

Moreover, there is some case where the central bank cut the interest rate where traders and analysts were expecting a rate hike. In this scenario, investors may shock at the news, and the effect might be stronger than before.

How to Trade Based on Monetary Policy Statement?

There is two way to trade based on the monetary policy decision. The first one is based on the immediate market effect, which is known as news trading. On the other hand, traders can evaluate the economic condition based on the recent monetary policy statement and see how the economy is growing in the long run. Based on this market scenario, traders can find a long term direction in the market based on economic performance as per the monetary policy statement.

Another way of trading based on the monetary policy decision is the fundamental divergence. If one fundamental indicator does not support another fundamental indicator, it creates fundamental divergence. For example, the US interest rate is increasing based on the strong employment report, but inflation does not support the rate hike. In this situation, traders can take trades with the possibility that the rate hike’s effect will not sustain.

Summary

Let’s summarize the effect of monetary policy in the forex market:

  • Monetary policy meeting happens quarterly where the central bank takes interest rate decision.
  • In the monetary policy meeting, the central bank provides an outlook of the economic and financial developments.
  • A hawkish tone makes the currency stronger, while the dovish tone makes the currency weaker.
  • Traders can identify the fundamental divergence based on the decision on monetary policy meeting.
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Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact Of ‘Money Supply’ Fundamental Indicator On the Forex Price Charts

Introduction

Inflation plays an undeniable role in influencing the fiscal and monetary policies implemented within an economy. These policies’ role is to either mop up money from the economy or inject more money into the economy. Primarily, the rate of inflation tends to fluctuate depending on the amount of money in circulation. When the money in circulation is high, so is the rate of inflation, and when it’s low, the rate of inflation lowers. For this reason, the money supply statistics are vital and can be used as a leading indicator of inflation.

Understanding Money Supply

The money supply is the totality of the cash in circulation within an economy, bank deposits, and other liquid assets that can quickly be converted to cash. Note that the money supply is measured over a specific period, and it excludes any form of a physical asset that must be sold to convert to cash, lines of credit, and credit cards.

There are three commonly used measures of the money supply in an economy. They are M1, M2, and M3.

M1 Money Supply

This measure of money involves the entirety of the cash in circulation, i.e., the amount of money held by the public. This measure includes travelers’ checks, checkable deposits, and demand deposits with commercial banks. The money held by central banks and depository vaults is excluded from this measure. The M1 money supply is also known as the narrow measure of the money supply and can be referred to as the M0 money supply in other countries.

Source: St. Louis FRED

M2 Money Supply

This measure of the money supply is the intermediate measure. It includes the M1 money supply as well as time deposits in commercial banks, savings deposits, and the balance in the retail money market funds.

Source: St. Louis FRED

M3 Money Supply

This measure of the money supply is broad. It includes the M2 money supply as well as larger time deposits depending on the country, shorter-term repurchase agreements, institutional money market funds’ balance, and larger liquid assets. Note that this measure of money mainly focuses on the money within an economy used as a store of value.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Monetary Base

As a measure of money supply, the monetary base measures the entirety of the money in circulation and those held by the central banks as deposits by the commercial banks.

How to use Money Supply in Analysis

As we noted earlier, both fiscal and monetary policies are influenced by the economy’s money supply. For companies and households, the analysis of money supply not only helps predict the interest rates but also to determine business cycles, expected changes in the price levels and inflation.

Money supply in an economy can be used to analyze and identify seasonal business cycles. When the economy is going through a period of recovery and expansion to the peak, the economy’s money supply will increase steadily. During recovery, there is an increase in aggregate demand, unemployment levels reduce, and households’ welfare improves. At this point, the money supply in the economy begins to increase. The supply rapidly increases during the expansion cycle than during recovery. At the peak, the money supply in the economy stagnates, and the increase is lower than the previous two stages.

Similarly, the money supply begins to drop when the economy is going through a recession to depression. These periods are characterized by a decrease in the GDP levels signaling a shrinking economy, accompanied by higher unemployment levels and diminished aggregate demand in the economy.

Furthermore, an increase in money supply in an economy leads to lower interest rates, which means that businesses and households can invest more in the economy. More so, increased money supply stimulates increased demand by consumers, which leads to increased production and demand for labor. The rise in aggregate demand is followed by increased aggregate supply, which leads to economic expansion and growth of consumer discretionary industries.

Impact on Currency

The most notable impact of the money supply is inflation. Inflation is the increase in the prices of goods and services over time.

When the money supply is increasing, it shows that households have more money to spend, which increases the aggregate demand. Since the supply doesn’t change at the same pace as demand, the resulting scenario is an increase in the prices of goods and services. In most countries, the central banks have a target rate of inflation.

Therefore, when inflation is increasing, the central banks will employ deflationary monetary policies, such as increasing interest rates. The deflationary policies are designed to increase the cost of money and discourage consumption. Therefore, in the forex market, an increase in money supply can be seen as a signal of a future hike in the interest rates, which makes the local currency appreciate relative to others.

Conversely, a decrease in the money supply signals an economic recession, loss of jobs, and a shrinking economy. For governments, preventing economic recessions is paramount. Thus, a constant decrease in the money supply will trigger the implementation of expansionary fiscal policies. The fiscal policies can be accompanied by expansionary monetary policies by the central banks. These policies aim to spur economic growth and are negative for the currency. Therefore, a decrease in the money supply implies a possible interest rate cut in the future, which makes the local currency depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

In the US, the Federal Reserve publishes the money supply data and releases it monthly in the Money Stock Measures – H.6 Release. An in-depth review of the US’s total money supply can be accessed at St. Louis FRED, along with the historical data on M1 money supply, M2 money supply, and M3 money supply. Trading Economics publishes data on global M1 money supply, global M2 money supply, and global M3 money supply. In the EU, the data on the money supply can be accessed from the European Central Bank.

How the Money Supply Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The most recent release of the EU’s money supply data was on September 25, 2020, at 8.00 AM GMT and can be accessed at Investing.com.

The screengrab below is of the monthly M3 money supply from Investing.com. To the right is a clear legend that indicates the impact level of the FI has on the EUR.

As can be seen, this low volatility is expected upon the release of the M3 money supply data.

In August 2020, the M3 money supply in Europe grew by 9.5% compared to the 10.1% increase in July. The August increase was lower than analysts’ expectations of 10.2%.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the M3 Money Supply Data Release on September 25, 2020, 
Just Before 8.00 AM GMT

Before the publication of the M3 money supply, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. Candles were forming just above a slightly rising 20-period MA.

EUR/USD: After the M3 Money Supply Data Release on September 25, 2020, 
at 8.00 AM GMT

The pair formed a 5-minute bearish candle after the release of the data. Subsequently, the pair adopted a strong downtrend as the 20-period MA fell steeply with candles forming further below it.

Bottom Line

The money supply data is generally expected to a mild impact on the forex price action. For this release, however, the worse than expected data was more pronounced in the markets. This effect could be attributed to the fact that the markets expected that the ECB’s pandemic stimulus program would have a visible impact on the money supply.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘Employment Trends Index’ and The Impact Of Its News Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

In any economy, the employment rate can be said to be the primary driver of economic growth. Due to its importance, several fundamental indicators track the labor market changes and many more attempting to predict the future of the labour market. Government and central banks’ policymakers may feel comfortable poring through all these economic indicators for the labour market, but for regular forex traders and households, keeping track of all these labour market indicators can be tiresome and even confusing. The Employment Trends Index (ETI), one of the most relevant labour market indicators, is making it easier to understand the labor market trends.

Understanding the Employment Trends Index

The Employment Trends Index is made by aggregating eight labour market economic indicators. The ETI report breaks down which labour market indicators positively impact the ETI and ranks them from the most positive to the least. Through the aggregation of these indicators, the “noise” in the labor market trend is filtered out. It is worth noting that these labour market indicators have shown to be accurate in their areas. These indicators are explained below.

Initial unemployment claims: This labour market indicator is collated and published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The indicator is published the Thursday of every week, and it shows the number of people who filed for the unemployment benefits for the first time. It is thus considered the latest indicator of unemployment.

Job openings: The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics publishes this economic indicator. These job vacancies show the gap in the labour market that needs to be filled. It indicates the unfulfilled demand in the labour market and the desirable skills sought by employers. It further shows the potential of households to be gainfully employed in the short term.

Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this statistic. It shows the relationship between the labour market and business cycles since most businesses hire more temporary workers during peak periods and expansion phases.
The ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers: Published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this indicator shows the number of employees who are forced to work part-time. The indicator can be correlated to sub-optimal economic conditions, which would make filling positions full time uneconomical. An increasing ratio indicates worsening economic conditions.
Industrial Production: This indicator shows the level of output in sectors such as mining, manufacturing, and energy. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board publishes it. An increasing industrial production indicates that the employment levels are increasing while dropping industrial production levels signals higher levels of job loss.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”: This indicator shows the scarcity of employment opportunities in the economy. Higher percentage signals either a stagnating or a shrinking economy. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey publishes it.
Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now: This statistic shows the lack of particular expertise in the labour market. It is published by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation.
Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales: This indicator shows the level of engagement in the labour market, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes it.

How to use the Employment Trends Index an analysis

The fact that the ETI aggregates most of the crucial labour market indicators makes it an ideal tool for analyzing the economy.

Since the labour market is considered one of the primary drivers of the economy, monitoring its trend can be used to detect the onset of recessions or recoveries. Here’s how. When the ETI is continually dropping, it indicates that the labor market conditions are worsening progressively. This condition is accompanied by a constant drop in the aggregate demand and supply, most consumer discretionary industries will go out of business, and the economy will progressively contract. Conversely, during a period of economic recession, an increase in the ETI signifies that the economy is on a recovery path.

An increase in the ETI does not necessarily mean that each of the underlying eight labour maker indicators improved. A higher ETI could mean that most of these indicators were positive, or they all were. In either of these instances, it means that the overall labour market is improving – it shows that labour conditions are improving. One of the most notable impacts of an improving labour market is the improvement of households’ welfare, which increases the aggregate demand and supply in the economy.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Conversely, a dropping ETI could be caused by a majority of the underlying labour market indicators being negative or all of them being negative. In either of these instances, the labor markets’ conditions are deteriorating, a condition usually punctuated with higher unemployment levels.

Impact on Currency

The ETI could be associated with contractionary and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Here are some of the ways that the ETI could impact a country’s currency. A continually increasing ETI means that the labour market has been enjoying a long period of constant growth. Such an instance signifies that the economy has been expanding, the welfare of households improving, and the unemployment levels low.

In any economy, if these conditions are not sustainable, an overheating economy with unsustainable levels of inflation becomes prevalent. In this case, the governments and central banks may be induced to implement contractionary monetary and fiscal policies. Thus, in the forex market, an increasing ETI can be a precursor for higher interest rates, which makes the currency appreciate relative to others.

A constantly dropping ETI is negative for the currency. The dropping ETI means that the overall labour market has been performing poorly. It means that more people are losing their jobs, wages are low, overall aggregate demand is dropping, and the economy is shrinking. With higher unemployment levels, governments and central banks tend to implement expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate demand and prevent the economy from sinking into a recession. These expansionary policies, such as lowering interest rates, makes the currency drop in value relative to others. In the U.S., the ETI data is published monthly by The Conference Board.

How the Employment Trends Index Report Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The latest release of the ETI report was on September 8, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET and accessed at Investing.com. The screengrab below is of the monthly ETI from Investing.com. To the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, low volatility is to be expected.

In August 2020, the ETI was 52.55 and increase from 51.37 in July 2020.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the ETI Report Release | September 8, 2020. Before 10.00 AM ET

As seen in the above EUR/USD chart, the pair went from trading in a neutral trend to a steady downtrend. The 20-period M.A. is steeply falling with candles forming further below it.

EUR/USD: After the ETI Report Release on September 8, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET

After the ETI report release, the pair formed a bearish 5-minute “Doji” candle. Subsequently, the pair adopted a weak bullish trend with candles forming just above the 20-period M.A.

Bottom Line

In the forex market, traders rarely pay close attention to the ETI. Most traders prefer gauging the underlying aggregated indicators separately, which explains the lack of impact by releasing the ETI report since the index shows what traders already know. It only serves to show the trend.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Social Security Rate For Companies’ Forex Fundamental Indicator?

Introduction

Social Security Program is one of the most extensive Government programs in the world that pays out billions of dollars to its citizens each year. Social Security is a macroeconomic program intended to act as a safe-net for active workers of the United States. Changes related to this program tends to affect the majority of the population. Hence, understanding its role and impact on the living conditions of people can give us a better insight into how such programs work.

What is Social Security Rate For Companies?

Social Security Program: The Social Security Program is designed to facilitate retirement benefits, survivor benefits, and disability income for the citizens of the United States. It is run by the federal agency known as Social Security Administration. Social Security is the word used for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

The program was born on August 14, 1935, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law of the United States. Since then, the program has continuously evolved and changed significantly over the years. It is a government insurance program designed to act as a safety net for the working population in the United States.

To be eligible for the Social Security retirement benefits, the worker must have an age of 62 at a minimum and should have enrolled and paid into the program for ten years or more. Workers who wait till later ages like 66 or 70 receive higher and higher benefits accordingly.

Apart from the worker himself, a divorced spouse can also be eligible for benefits provided she has not remarried, and their marriage lasted over ten years. Similarly, children of retirees can also be eligible until the age of 18, which can be longer in the case of disability or child being a student.

Social Security Tax: It is the tax levied upon both the employer and employee to fund the Social Security Program (SSP). It is collected as a payroll tax as mandated by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-Employed Contributions Act (SECA).

Social Security Rate: For the year 2020, the Social Security Rate is 12.4% that is evenly divided between the employee and the employer. It implies the Social Security Rate for Companies is 6.2%.  Social Security Tax is levied on the earned income of employees and self-employed taxpayers. Employers generally withhold this tax from the employee’s paycheck and forward it to the Government.

It is also worth mentioning that there is a tax cap to the Social Security Fund. For 2020, the Social Security tax cap is $137,700, meaning any income earned above 137,700 is not subject to the Social Security tax.

How can the Social Security Rate For Companies numbers be used for analysis?

Social Security is regressive, meaning it takes a more significant percentage of income from low-income earners than their higher-income counterparts. It occurs because of the tax cap, as mentioned earlier, due to which higher-income earner’s portion of income is not subject to this tax deduction.

The collected funds are not stored for the currently paying employee; instead, they are used for the retirees currently eligible for collection. Some have raised concerns on this way of approach when the baby boomer generation starts to collect its benefits, then the ratio of paying to the collecting people would be tipped off. It would mean that more people are collecting benefits than the people paying into it.

Hence, a common worry in the 21st century is the insolvency of the Social Security Funds due to the increased life expectancy of people and decreasing worker-retiree ratio. Proposed solutions to this from analysts were to increase the current rate to keep the program funded. Still, politicians are hesitant to endorse it due to fear of backlash or negative sentiment outburst from the public.

The 2020 report from the OASDI trustees projects that the retirement funds would be depleted by 2035 and disability funds in 2065. When that occurs, the taxes would not be enough to fund the entire Social Security program, and the Government needs to fill this gap. It may result in higher taxes on workers, fewer benefits, higher age requirements, or a combination of these.

For companies, an increase in Social Security Taxes directly cut down their profit margin, and hiring is more expensive. As a result, companies would be forced to keep employees only when required to avoid losses. Hence, Tax rates have a cascading effect on business profitability for companies as well as employment rates for the United States. When Social Security Taxes increase, the income offered to the employees is also affected, which can discourage personal consumption and spending for the working citizens.

Impact on Currency

The Social Security Rate for the Companies and the employees are revised every year. For consecutive years it tends to remain constant and tends to change in small incremental steps over a few years at a time. Hence, the volatility induced in the currency markets is almost zero to negligible most of the time unless significant changes occur. The changes also would be priced in through news updates into the market long before we receive official statistics.

Hence, Social Security Rate is a low-impact indicator and can be overlooked for more frequent statistics for the FOREX markets.

Economic Reports

The U.S. Social Security Administration provides the complete historical data of the Social Security tax rates for both the employee and employer on its official website. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also maintains the same for its member countries on its official website.

Sources of Social Security Rate For Companies

Social Security Rates for companies can be found on the Social Security Administration website.

Social Security Rates for employees can be found on the OECD’s official website.

Social Security Rates for companies (similar policies with different names) across the world can be found on Trading Economics.

How Social Security Rate for Companies News Release Affects Forex Price Charts

By law, companies are required to contribute half of the social security rate that their employees contribute. In the U.S., this rate for companies in 7.65% for each employee on the payroll for up to $ 137,700 per employee. This rate is reviewed annually and has remained unchanged in the U.S. for the past 25 years. For forex traders, this release of this rate in the U.S. is considered a non-news event since it is not expected to impact the forex market.

The screen capture below shows the current social security rate for companies in the U.S. taken from Trading Economics.

The latest review of the U.S. social security rate was on October 10, 2020, at 4.00 PM ET, and the press release can be accessed here.

Now, let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before social security rate release October 10, 2020, 
just before 4.00 PM ET

As can be seen on the above 15-minute EUR/USD chart, the pair is on a weak downtrend before the news release. This downtrend is evidenced by the candles forming slightly below the 20-period Moving Average between 12.00 PM and 3.45 PM ET. Furthermore, the Moving Average appears to be flattening.

EUR/USD: After social security rate release October 10, 2020,
at 4.00 PM ET

As expected, there was no market volatility after the news release about the social security rate for 2020. The chart above shows a 15-minute “Doji” candle forming after the news is released. The pair later traded on a neutral pattern as the 20-period Moving Average flattened. The news release about the social security rate for companies did not have any impact on the price action of the EUR/USD pair.

Let’s quickly see how this new release has impacted some of the other major Forex currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before social security rate release October 10, 2020, 
just before 4.00 PM ET

Before the news release, the GBP/USD pair is on a steady uptrend, as shown by the chart above. An hour to the release, the uptrend became subdued, and the pair adopted a neutral pattern.

GBP/USD: After social security rate release October 10, 2020, 
at 4.00 PM ET

After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute “Doji” candle. It continues to trade in the neutral pattern observed earlier.

AUD/USD: Before social security rate release October 10, 2020, 
just before 4.00 PM ET

 AUD/USD: After social security rate release October 10, 2020, 
 at 4.00 PM ET

The AUD/USD pair shows a similar neutral trading patter as the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs before the news release. This trend is evidenced by the 15-minute candlesticks forming around a flattening 20-period Moving Average between 1.00 PM and 3.45 PM ET. After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute “Shooting star” candle and continues to trade in the same neutral pattern as before.

From the above analyses, it can be seen that the news release of the social security rate for companies does not have any impact on the price action.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Should Know About ‘Government Budget Value’ Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

Regardless of the country, the respective governments have a pivotal role to play in economic growth for a given year. The vast resources at the disposal of the nation and state’s government, when combined with effective planning and action, has yielded phenomenal results for many countries’ growth. Understanding the government budget and its role in economic growth helps us to predict how conducive the market place will be for economic growth for the fiscal year.

What is Government Budget Value?

Budget: A budget is a periodic estimation of revenue and expenses for a specified period. The time-frame can be monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. A budget can be drafted for an individual, a group, a business, the government, or anything else that has cash in-flow and out-flow.

Government Budget: When we refer to the term budget, it is generally associated with the local or central government. The Government Budget refers to the estimated or forecast of its expenditures and revenue for a particular period. The time-frame generally for which it is estimated is for a financial year, which may or may not coincide with the calendar year. The combined income and outlays of a government for a fiscal year make up the government budget.

Government Budget Value: Here, the government budget value refers to the actual dollar value of the entire budget. We are referring here to the raw or direct numerical dollar value of the total budget. The budget is drafted as per the plans and obligations of the government for the fiscal year. The government has obligations like paying out social security funds, interests, and principal on its debts, purchasing military equipment for national security, and other mandatory spending programs. The government receives incomes from interests on its investments, revenue from taxes, fees collected from government services offered, etc.

All these income sources, outlays are all detailed in the government budget report. It is analogous to a bank statement of an individual except that it is for the entire government as a single entity, and the transaction values would be in millions and billions of dollars.

How can the Government Budget Value numbers be used for analysis?

In the budget report, if the revenues exceed the expenditures, then it is called a budget surplus. When the expenditures exceed the revenue, it is called a budget deficit. When both the revenue and expenditure level off and are equal, it is called a budget balance. All three scenarios have different meanings and implications.

When there is a budget surplus, the government has additional funds to create new infrastructure, improve the living conditions, raise salaries of government officials, and even provide support for new businesses to improve business growth. In developed economies, when the government experiences prolonged periods of excessive budget surplus, there may be outbursts from the public to reduce taxes levied on them to make sure money stays with the people who earned and not the government. Ideally, a budget surplus is preferred.

The budget balance is an ideal situation for any government where all their outlays are met through the revenues received, although any change of plans or additional programs, if needed to be taken up, would push them to a deficit. In general, all the expected expenditures would be factored in. A balanced budget would indicate every penny is accounted for and is very hard to achieve in real-world scenarios. There would always be some differences in income and outlays.

When the income does not suffice the expenditures, we have a budget deficit. It is the less preferred and more commonly occurring scenario, especially for developed economies like the United States. However, some arguments can be made where a deficit is not always bad, as the government can borrow extra funds from investors to set up the infrastructure for future returns. Temporary deficits for future surplus are acceptable. Deficits arising out of sustainable expenses, meaning expenses that will pay off in the future more than what they cost now, are seen as good signs for the economy.

On the other hand, when the deficit arises out of unsustainable expenses, which are likely to continue due to increasing debt, interest payments, inflation, etc. all are warning signs for the economy. The government plugs in the deficit by issuing securities and treasury bonds. Corporations and investors buy these bonds. A budget deficit can arise out of a multitude of reasons. When the economic growth of the native country is slower than its trading partners, it would spend more and earn less, leading to a deficit. High unemployment rates, recessions, tight lending environments, increased government spending, etc. all add to the deficit.

The United States has been facing a deficit crisis for many years in succession now. Things are only getting worse as the baby boomer generation is retiring, further increasing the weight on the social security program adding to wider deficits in the budget. An ideal government should maintain a surplus or at least a balance to be safe. Still, like any real-world scenario, a surplus or balanced budget does not ensure or indicate high economic growth. It just makes economic growth more conducive and likely for the nation or state.

The nation’s growth depends on many factors, and one amongst them is through government budget planning and allocation of funds. When it is played right, many things fall in order, and a significant boost for the economy can be induced.

Impact on Currency

The Government Budget values are useful for analysts to ascertain what proportion of funds will be allocated to each of the listed programs. The raw value of the budget in itself is not useful for traders as it is just a number and does not bear significance until there is something to compare. In general, budget or government spending as a percentage of GDP offers a more relative picture to forecast whether stimulus from the government side is relatively more or less. Through it, we can forecast the growth rate and market environment.

The government budget value alone is not enough to bring forth any significant economic conclusions or make an investment decision. Hence, it is a low-impact lagging indicator that does not bring much volatility in the currency markets.

Economic Reports

The Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget of the United States maintain the government budget reports on their official websites. Internationally, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund maintain the budget data for most countries.

Sources of Government Budget Value

Treasury department of the United States – Budget Reports and Office of Management and Budget – USA detail the budget reports

Government budget values for most countries are available on Trading Economics.

How Government Budget Value Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US, the Department of the Treasury is responsible for the release of the Monthly Treasury Statement. This statement contains the Federal Budget Balance, which is synonymous to the Government Budget Value. It measures the difference in value between the federal government’s income and spending during the previous month. The most recent release was on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET and can be accessed from Investing.com here. A more in-depth review of the Monthly Treasury Statement can be accessed at the US the Department of the Treasury here.

The screengrab below is of the monthly government budget value from Investing.com. On the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, the government budget value data is expected to have a medium impact on the USD upon its release.

The image below shows the recent changes in the monthly government budget value in the US. In July 2020, the government budget value changed from a deficit of $864 billion to $63 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of a $193 billion deficit. This change is positive and, in theory, should make the USD stronger compared to other currencies.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET

Before the budget data release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. As seen in the above chart, the 15-minute candles are forming closer to the 20-period Moving Average, whose steepness is decreasing.

EUR/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET

After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle, indicating that the USD weakened against the EUR contrary to the expectation. However, the data release was not significant enough to cause a shift in the trading pattern. The pair traded in a neutral trend with candles forming around a flat 20-period Moving Average.

AUD/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET

Before the data release, the AUD/USD pair traded in a steady uptrend with candles forming above a rising 20-period MA.

AUD/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET

The pair formed a 15-minute bearish “hammer” candle after the data release. Similar to the EUR/USD, AUD/USD subsequently traded in a neutral trend with the 20-period MA flattening.

NZD/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET

NZD/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release 
on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET

NZD/USD pair showed a similar steady uptrend as observed with the AUD/USD before the data release. The pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle. It subsequently traded in the neutral pattern observed with the other pairs.

Bottom Line

For economists, the monthly government budget value is an invaluable indicator showing the trends in government budget deficit, revenue, and expenditures. However, in the forex market, this fundamental indicator does not produce significant price action changes, as observed in the above analyses.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact Of ‘Total Vehicle Sales’ Data On The Forex Market

Introduction

Vehicle sales figures offer us much insight into the consumer demand and overall health of the economy. Changes in vehicle sales figures could also be used for predicting the near-future direction of economic growth. Understanding how vehicle sales figures can be used to infer upcoming trends in crucial economic indicators could always give us the advantage of being ahead of the market trend.

What is Total Vehicle Sales?

Total Vehicle Sales represent the overall number of domestically produced vehicles that have been sold. The reports could be monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, depending on the reporting vehicle manufacturing companies. In other words, Total Vehicle Sales is the annualized new vehicles sold count for a given month.

The automotive industry represents a vital component of the United States economy. It makes up about 3% of the total GDP and remains the largest industry in the manufacturing sector. It is responsible for employing lakhs of people in the United States and transacts in billions each year.

How can the Total Vehicle Sales numbers be used for analysis?

At first, the importance of the vehicle sales figure may not be apparent, but vehicle sales serve useful for economic analysis. A vehicle is a significant purchase for people. People buy vehicles when they are confident about their ability to make payments. It is possible only when they have considerable disposable income or procure loans at lower interest rates.

When people’s disposable income is considerable, it means the people are affluent financially and reflects the good health of the economy. On the other hand, when loans are available to more people at lower interest rates, it means there is sufficient monetary stimulus from Central Banks to promote economic growth and money is easy to come by. Such inflationary pressures stimulate economic growth and indicate that the economy is likely to grow steadily.

The increase in vehicle sales figures reinforces the positive affirmations forecasted by other economic indicators like consumer spending or interest rates. As consumer spending comprises more than two-thirds of the GDP, an increase in vehicle sales likely indicates a healthy two or three quarters that are going to continue in the economy.

Equity markets respond and perform exceptionally well around the Total Vehicle Sales figures, as the increasing figures in sales imply increasing profits for the related companies. The increase in profits due to sales is doubled down by the stock prices soaring higher, and vice-versa also holds. Hence, the vehicle sales figures are given much-deserved attention every month by the equity traders and the media. To some degree, currency markets feed off from the equity markets, but the effect is noticeable only when the changes are significant.

Vehicle purchases are considered to be discretionary spending, and when people are paying for such items, it indicates the economy is flourishing. The relation between vehicle sales and economic growth also becomes more apparent during recessions, where vehicle sales drop significantly. During the Great recession of 2007-2009, vehicle sales fell by 3 million.

With rapid development in the automobile industry, more durable vehicles that last longer, unlike older models, are coming into the market.  It means people need not buy new vehicles as frequently as before. Hence, recent trends should incorporate this factor also into the statistics.

Alongside this, there is a shift in the industry due to disruptive brands like Tesla introducing electric cars as a contrast to combustion engines. It affects the industry and the dependent oil and gasoline industries as well. Self-driving and Artificial Intelligence equipped automobiles are catching up with the people, and this could soon invalidate many traditional jobs that came as a result of the regular gasoline cars and trucks.

The current COVID-19 pandemic already cost the economies of most countries much than they could handle, and many industries suffered heavy losses. The silver lining for the automotive industry is coming from the fact that as people resume their regular life by going back to their work require a safe commute. Things are looking brighter for the automobile industry as more people are considering the safety assured through private commute over the risk involved in the public transportation system.

Impact on Currency

Vehicle Sales acts as a coincident indicator that reflects the health of the economy at the current state. The currency markets are focused more on the leading indicators before the trends pick up. Total vehicle sales prove to be more useful for the equity markets for trading on the automobile and other related industries, but currencies require more than just vehicle sales.

Hence, overall Total Vehicle Sales are a low-impact indicator for the FOREX market and are useful in double-checking or reaffirming our leading indicator predictions. Economists and business analysts will use total vehicle sales data to report current economic health, but currency traders can overlook this indicator for other macroeconomic leading indicators.

Economic Reports

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides monthly reports on total vehicle sales on its official website. Apart from this, the St. Louis FRED website also details the same figures historically in a more comprehensive and visually depictive way.

Sources of Total Vehicle Sales

We can obtain Total Vehicle Sales figures for the United States from BEA.

For analysis purposes, the St. Louis FRED website offers better resources and ease of access for Vehicle Sales figures.

We can obtain Global Total Vehicle Sales figures for the majority of the countries from Trading Economics.

How Total Vehicle Sales Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US economy, total vehicle sales data is an important leading indicator of consumer spending and consumer confidence. It measures the annualized number of new vehicles sold domestically in the reported month. The most recent data related to this was released on August 3, 2020, at 7.00 PM ET. The total vehicle sales is a combination of all car sales and all truck sales data and can be accessed from Investing.com here. The historical data of total vehicle sales can be accessed from Trading Economics here.

The screengrab below is of the monthly total vehicle sales from Investing.com.

As can be seen, the total vehicle sales data is expected to have a low impact on the USD upon its release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the monthly total vehicle sales data in the US. In July 2020, the monthly total vehicle sales were 14.5 million compared to 13.1 million in June 2020. This increase is expected to be positive for the USD.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August 
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

From the above 15-min EUR/USD chart, the pair can be seen to be trading on a neutral trend before the release of the total vehicle sales data. This trend represents a period of relative market inactivity with candles forming near a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

After the data release, this Forex pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle, indicating that the USD became stronger as expected due to the increase in total vehicle sales. The data release was, however, not significant enough to cause any market volatility as the pair continued to trade in a neutral trend with the 20-period Moving Average flattening.

GBP/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August 
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

Similar to the trend that we have observed with the EUR/USD pair, the GBP/USD was trading in a neutral pattern before the data release with candles forming around a flattening 20-period MA.

GBP/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

After the news announcement, this pair formed a 15-min bearish candle but continued trading in the neutral trend observed before the data release.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

AUD/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

As observed with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD traded within a subdued neutral trend before the data release. The pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle after the news release, but unlike the other pairs, it continued trading in a weak uptrend.

Although it plays a vital role as an indicator within the economy, it is evident that the total vehicle sales indicator does not cause any significant impact on the price action in the forex markets.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Importance of ‘Wages’ In Determining The Economic Condition of a Nation

Introduction

It is completely fair to say that it would be difficult to sustain a country’s economy in the absence of households’ consumption. The amount of money that employees are typically paid determines their purchasing power and their level of demand. Wages can, therefore, be said to be the best leading indicators of consumer inflation. More so, we can establish a direct correlation between the wages paid and the growth of the economy. For this reason, forex traders need to understand how wages drive the economy and the currency.

Understanding Wages

Wages are compensation that an employer pays their employees over a predefined period. It is the price of labour for the contribution to the production of goods and services. Thus, wages can be regarded as anything of value an employer gives an employee in exchange for their services. Wages include salaries, hourly wages, commissions, benefits and bonuses.

There are two categories of wages: nominal and real wages.

Nominal wages: are the amount of money that an employee is paid for the work done. Nominal wages are expressed in terms of pure monetary value.

Real wages: are the wages received by the employees adjusted for the rate of inflation. Real wages show the purchasing power of money. They are meant to guide on how the overall living standards have changed over time.

Therefore, Real wages = nominal wages – inflation

How Wages can be used for analysis

Their levels of disposable income determine the purchasing power of the households. The disposable income is directly proportional to the wages received. Therefore, the amount of wages paid for labour affects not only the quality of life of the households but also economic growth.

Growth in the wages received can be considered as a source of demand. Wages contribute a significant proportion of income for the middle- and low-class households who do not have other sources of income from investments. Assuming no corresponding increase in taxation, an increase in the wages corresponds to an increase in the amount of disposable income. Higher wages also give households the capacity to borrow more from financial institutions at competitive rates. The cheaper loans significantly contribute to increased aggregate demand. In this case, more goods and services will be demanded. The increase in aggregate demand compels producers to increase their scale of production to match the supply and demand. Consequently, the employment levels increase while the economy expands.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Conversely, decreasing wage growth implies that a decrease in disposable income. A reduction in the aggregate demand and supply will follow. Producers will be forced to scale back their operations, increasing the unemployment rate and consequently a slow-down in the economic growth.

Investments and savings rate rise with the growth in wages. These investments create employment opportunities and spur innovation within the economy. Contrary to this, the decrease in wages forces households to prioritise consumption over investments and saving. The resultant effect is fewer new job opportunities and stifled innovation. As can be seen, changes in the level of wages have a multiplier effect on the economy.

A rise in the rate of inflation is primarily driven by a disproportionate increase in demand driven by a rise in wages. Rising wages lead to a wage push inflation. This particular type of inflation is a result of an increase in prices of goods and services by producers to maintain corporate profits after an increase in the wages. Furthermore, since the responsiveness of supply to an increase in demand is not instant, increasing wages results in inflation since more money will be chasing the same amount of goods.

Impact of Wages on Currency

Forex traders monitor the fundamental indicators to gauge economic growth and speculate on the central banks’ policies. Central banks set their average inflation targets which guide their monetary policies. In the US, the inflation rate target is 2%.

When the wages increase, it forestalls a growth in the economy due to increased investments, aggregate demand and supply. An increase in employment levels also accompanies it. Since the value of a country’s currency is directly proportionate to its economic performance and outlook, wages growth leads to the appreciation of the currency. More so, consistent growth in wages is accompanied by wage push inflation. To keep this inflation under control, the central banks may implement contractionary policies to increase the cost of borrowing money and encourage savings and investments. These policies appreciate the currency.

A decrease in wages implies that the economy could be contracting due to declining aggregate demand and supply within the economy. If the central banks fear that this might result in a recession, they will implement expansionary monetary policies such as lowering interest rates. These policies tend to depreciate the currency.

Sources of Data

This analysis will focus on Australian wages. The comprehensive indicator of wages is Australian Wage Price Index which measures Wages, salaries, and other earnings, corrected for inflation overtime to produce a measure of actual changes in purchasing power. Thus, it measures the change in the price businesses, and the government pay for labour, excluding bonuses.

The real earnings data is released quarterly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The statistics can be accessed here.

Statistics on the global wages by country can be accessed at Trading Economics.

How Real Earnings Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The most recent real earnings data in Australia was released on August 12, 2020, at 1.30 AM GMT. A summary review of the data release can be accessed at the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. The screengrab below is of the monthly real earnings from Investing.com.

As can be seen, the release of the real earnings data is expected to have a moderate volatility impact on the AUD

The screengrab below shows the most recent change in the Australian wage price index. In the second quarter of 2020, the wage price index grew by 0.2%. This growth is slower than the 0.5% increase in the first quarter of 2020. More so, the change in the second quarter was lower than analysts’ expectations of a 0.3% increase.

In theory, this improvement should lead to depreciation of the AUD relative to other currencies.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts of a few selected pairs

AUD/USD: Before the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release on 
August 12, 2020, Just Before 1.30 AM GMT

From the above 15-minute chart of AUD/USD, the pair can be seen trading in a subdued downtrend before the data release. This trend is evidenced by candles forming just below an almost flattening 20-period Moving Average.

AUD/USD: After the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release 

After the data release, the pair formed a long 15-minute bearish candle indicating the weakening of the AUD as expected. The weak wages price index data resulted in the selloff of the AUD, which led to the pair adopting a steady trend. This downtrend is shown by the steeply falling the 20-period MA with subsequent candles forming further below it.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/AUD: Before the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release on 
August 12, 2020, Just Before 1.30 AM GMT

The GBP/AUD pair traded in a neutral trend before the wages data release. As shown above, the 15-minute candles are forming just around an already flat 20-period MA. This trend indicates that traders were inactive waiting for the data release.

GBP/AUD: After the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release 

As expected, the GBP/AUD pair formed a long 15-minute bullish candle indicating the selloff of the AUD due to the weaker than expected data. Subsequently, the pair adopted a bullish trend as the 20-period MA steadily rising with candles forming further above it.

EUR/AUD: Before the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release on 
August 12, 2020, Just Before 1.30 AM GMT

EUR/AUD: After the Wage Price Index QoQ Data Release

The EUR/AUD pair traded in a similar neutral pattern as the GBP/AUD pair before the wages data release. 15-minute candles can be seen forming just around a flattened 20-period MA. Similar to the GBP/AUD pair, the EUR/AUD formed a long 15-minute bullish candle immediately after the wages data release. Subsequently, the pair adopted a strong bullish trend as the 20-period MA rose steeply with candles forming further above it.

Bottom Line

From the above analyses, it is evident that the wages data has a significant effect on price action. Although the wage price index is categorised as a medium-impact indicator, its impact was amplified by the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The worse than expected wages data indicated that the Australian labour industry is yet to recover from the economic shocks of Covid-19.

Therefore, traders should avoid having significant positions open with pairs involving the AUD before the release of the quarterly wage price index.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Should Know About ‘Retail Sales YoY’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

The computation of gross domestic product takes into account the consumption by households. In the households’ consumption, the retail sales data is considered to be the best leading indicator. Retail sales account for the majority of consumption by households. Retail sales are estimated to account for up to 70% of the US economy. It is, therefore, important for forex traders to understand how it affects the economy and the currency.

Understanding Retail Sales YoY

Retail Sales: the definition of retail sales is the purchase of finished goods and services by the end consumers. As an economic indicator, retail sales are used to measure the changes in the value of the goods and services bought at the retail level. This change can be monthly (retail sales MoM) or over the previous twelve months (retail sales YoY).

Retail Sales YoY: covers the retail sales made to consumers for the preceding 12 calendar months. It measures the rate of change in the value of purchases made by households.

How Retail Sales YoY is Measured

The data collected for the YoY retail sales cover all retail outlets from physical stores to e-commerce. It also includes data from the services sector, such as hotels and restaurants. According to the US Census Bureau, retail sales are divided into 13 categories, which include: e-commerce retailers, department stores, food and beverage stores, health and beauty stores; furniture stores; hospitality, apparel, building stores, auto dealers, and gas stations.

In the US, the measurement of the annual retail sales is done using the Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS). The ARTS is aimed at giving the estimates of the national total annual sales, sales taxes, e-commerce sales, end-of-year inventories, purchases, total operating expenses, gross margins, and end-of-year accounts receivable for retail businesses. This survey is conducted annually.

The retail sales YoY tends to be influenced by the seasonality of the economic activities since it covers more extended periods. These seasons including the holiday shopping seasons account for about 20% of the retail sales YoY. As a result, retail sales YoY cannot be expected to provide the most current and up-to-date retail data.

How Retail Sales YoY can be used in Analysis

As aforementioned, the retail sales account for about 70% of the GDP, making it a vital leading indicator.

Consumer spending drives the economy. An increase in retail sales implies that more money is circulating in the economy. This increase could be a result of increased wages, which increases the disposable income, increase in the rate of employment; and accessibility to loans and credit. All these factors increase the aggregate demand within an economy. The increase in demand leads to an increase in aggregate supply. This increase leads to the creation of more employment opportunities due to the expansion of businesses. Therefore, a steady increase in the retail sales YoY signifies that the economy has been steadily expanding over the long term.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Declining retail sales YoY is an indicator that the economy might be contracting. The decrease in retail sales implies that there is less disposable income within the economy, either as a result of low wages or job cuts. Subsequently, there will be reduced demand for the finished goods and services in the economy, which will, in turn, compel producers to cut the output to avoid price distortion. The reduction in the production will force them to scale down their operations, leading to more unemployment. Thus, a continually decreasing retail sales YoY could be an indicator of a looming economic recession.

Since the retail sales YoY are spread out over 12 calendar months, it provides a comprehensive outlook for the central banks to monitor the effectiveness of their monetary policies. In the US, the Federal Reserve Board uses the accounts receivable data in monitoring retail credit lending.

Monitoring the retail sale YoY enables the Federal Reserve to keep an eye on the rate of inflation. A continually increasing retail sales YoY, if left unchecked, could lead to an increased rate of inflation beyond the target rate. Thus, to ensure this does not happen, the central banks consider this data when making the interest rate decision.

Conversely, since a continually decreasing retail sales YoY forebode a possibility of a recession, this data encourages governments and central banks to implement expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. These policies, such as cutting the interest rates, are meant to reduce the cost of borrowing and increase access to credit hence spurring demand within the economy.

Impact on Currency

As established, an increase in the retail sales YoY is synonymous with an increase in economic activities and an expanding economy. A country’s economic growth leads to an increase in the value of its currency. Thus, increasing retail sales YoY results in currency appreciation.

Conversely, the declining retail sales YoY forebodes a looming recession and a possible interest rate cut in the future. More so, this decline signifies an increase in the unemployment levels and a contracting economy. All these factors contribute to the depreciating of a country’s currency.

In the forex market, the retail sales YoY is a low-level economic indicator. It is overshadowed by the MoM retail sales data, which represents the more recent changes observed within the economy.

Sources of Retail Sales YoY Data

In the US, the retail sales YoY data is released monthly by the United States Census Bureau, along with the monthly updates. A comprehensive breakdown of the US retail sales YoY can be accessed at St. Louis FRED website. Statistics on the global retail sales YoY can be accessed at Trading Economics.

How Retail Sales YoY Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The most recent retail sales YoY data was released on August 14, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET. A more in-depth review of the data release can be accessed at the US Census Bureau website.

The screengrab below is of the retail sales YoY from Investing.com. On the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, the retail sales YoY data release is expected to cause low volatility on the USD.

In the 12 months to July 2020, the retail sales YoY in the US increased by 2.74%. This increase is higher compared to the previous increase of 2.12%. In theory, this increase should appreciate the USD relative to other currencies.

The screengrab above shows the simultaneous release of the monthly retail sales data and the retail sales YoY data. It is to be expected that the monthly retail sales data will dampen any impact that the retail sales YoY would have had on the price action.

EUR/USD: Before the Retail Sales, YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, Just Before 8.30 AM ET

As we can see from the above 15-minute EUR/USD chart, the pair was trading in a weak uptrend. This trend is proved by the 15-minute candles crossing above the slightly rising 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After the  Retail Sales, YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET

After the news announcement, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle. This candle indicates that the USD weakened against the EUR. Subsequently, the pair continued trading in a renewed uptrend as the 20-period MA rose steeply.

GBP/USD: Before the Retail Sales YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, Just Before 8.30 AM ET

Before the data release, the GBP/USD pair was trading in a steady uptrend. This trend is evidenced by a steeply rising 20-period MA, with bullish candles forming further above it.

GBP/USD: After the  Retail Sales, YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET

Similar to the EUR/USD, the GBP/USD pair formed a long 15-minute bullish candle after the news release. The pair continued to trade in the previously observed uptrend before peaking and slowly flattening.

NZD/USD: Before the Retail Sales, YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, Just Before 8.30 AM ET

NZD/USD: After the  Retail Sales, YoY Data Release on 
August 14, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET

Before the retail sales YoY data release, the NZD/USD pair was trading in a similar trend as the EUR/USD pair. The 15-minute candles were crossing above a flattening 20-period Moving Average. After the news announcement, the pair formed a  long 15-minute bullish candle as did the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs. Subsequently, the pair traded in a renewed uptrend as the 20-period MA rose steeply with candles forming further above it.

Bottom Line

The retail sales YoY provides vital long-term data about the economic outlook of the households and their consumption patterns. In the forex markets, however, the retail sales YoY data is overshadowed by the retail sales MoM data, which is release concurrently. From this analysis, the increase of the retail sales YoY data for July 2020 had no impact on the price action since the markets reacted to the negative monthly retail sales data.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What is Producer Prices Change and what should you know about it?

Introduction

For forex traders, the producer prices change come as an afterthought. The changes in the prices of the output by domestic producers is a vital macroeconomic indicator since it is considered a leading indicator of inflation. Therefore, understanding how these changes impact the economy, the rate of inflation, and the currency can be useful to forex traders.

Understanding Producer Prices Change

Producer prices change in the United States is measured using the producer price index (PPI). The PPI is a weighted index that measures the change in the price of finished goods and services sold by producers.

The consumer price index is the most cited metric for measuring inflation. However, PPI can be used as a measure of inflation; because it tracks the changes in prices from the perspective of producers. CPI tracks price changes from the consumers’ perspective. Therefore, PPI can be used as the foremost tracker of inflation since it measures the changes in the prices of output before it is distributed to the consumers. PPI can be considered to the purest change in the prices of output since it does not include the changes caused by sales taxes and mark-ups by retailers. Hence, PPI is predictive of the CPI, as shown by the correlation in the chart below.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Since the PPI does not represent the general and final changes in the prices of goods and services in an economy, it is regarded as a weak economic indicator in the forex market.

How PPI is measured

Although the PPI is quoted as the change in the price of the producers’ output, it is measured in three distinct stages based on the level of production. They include the PPI Commodity Index, which measures the changes in the price of input materials, PPI Processing Index, which measures the changes in the price of intermediate goods, and Core PPI, which measures the finished output.

It is worth noting that the prices of food and energy are considered to be highly volatile and are therefore not included in the computation of the core PPI. This omission is justified by the fact that their prices are reliant on the short term supply and demand, which makes it difficult to compare these prices in the long-run.

As mentioned earlier, PPI is a weighted index. Weighting means the size and importance of the items sampled are used. The changes in prices compared to those of 1982 as the base year.

How can the PPI be used for analysis?

The inflation data is among the most-watched economic indicators because the rate of inflation informs the monetary and fiscal policies in a country. Being a leading indicator for the CPI, the PPI serves an important role. This role is precipitated by the fact that inflation is one of the primary drivers of monetary and fiscal policies.

Rising inflation signifies the availability of cheap money, which encourages spending and investments. The Federal Reserve then raises interest rates to reduce the amount of money in circulation. At higher interest rates, borrowing money becomes expensive hence reducing consumption. Similarly, it becomes lucrative for households to save money since they earn more. Postponing consumption tends to reduce the amount of money I circulation hence lower rates of inflation.

Inarguably, low rates of inflation result in a stagnant economy. Although inflation is good for the economy, when it gets out of hand, it results in a rapid depreciation of a country’s currency. It is for this reason that the central banks use interest rate policies to set the desired maximum and minimum inflation rate. In the US, for example, the Federal Reserve has set the country’s inflation target at an average of 2%.

An increase in the PPI signifies that the overall rate of the CPI will also increase. This increase will reduce the purchasing power of the country’s currency since the same amount of money will afford a lesser quantity of goods and services. Therefore, an increasing rate of inflation encourages consumption within an economy because savers will be afraid that their money will lose value.

This increased consumption leads to growth within an economy. Conversely, a decreasing PPI signifies that the overall inflation is likely to reduce. This reduction, in turn, encourages people to save their money hence reducing the rate of consumption in an economy.

Inflation can result in a feedback loop. Hence, rising inflation will encourage more expenditure and investment in an economy leading to further inflation. This feedback loop occurs when savers opt for consumption to avoid the depreciation of their money; this, in turn, increases the amount of money in circulation, which causes the purchasing power of money even to reduce further.

Impact on Currency

The end goal for any forex trader is to establish whether a change in any fundamental indicator will lead to an interest rate hike or cuts. This anticipation is what primarily impacts the price action in the forex market.

A rising PPI  signifies rising inflation, which would be accompanied by an increase in the interest rates. Since the increasing interest rate is good for the currency, an increase in PPI results in appreciation of the currency relative to others.

Conversely, dropping levels of PPI signifies that the overall rate of inflation will fall. Therefore, a steadily dropping PPI forestall a drop in the interest rate. Therefore, decreasing levels of PPI leads to a depreciating currency.

Sources of Producer Price Changes

The producer price changes data can be accessed from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with the monthly updates. A comprehensive look into the US PPI data can also be accessed from St. Louis FRED website. Statistics on global producer price changes can be accessed at Trading Economics.

How PPI Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The most recent PPI data was released on August 11, 2020, and can be seen at Forex factory here. A more in-depth review of the PPI report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be accessed at the BLS website.

As can be seen, both the monthly PPI and core PPI data are expected to have a high impact on the USD upon release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the MoM PPI and core PPI in the US. In July 2020, the monthly PPI increased by 0.5% compared to a 0.3% decrease in June. The core PPI increased by 0.6% in July compared to a 0.2% decrease in June. Both changes in the MoM PPI and core PPI were better than analysts’ expectations of 0.1% and 0.3% increase, respectively.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts of a few selected pairs.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

As can be seen from the above 15-minute chart of EUR/USD, the pair was on a steady uptrend before the release of PPI data. This trend is evidenced by candles forming above the steeply rising 20-period MA. However, 30 minutes before the release, the steady uptrend tapered with the 20-period MA peaking.

EUR/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

After the PPI data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle followed by a period of volatility. The pair later adopted a bearish trading pattern with the 20-period MA steadily sloping downwards, showing that the USD became stronger as expected.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

Before the news release, the GBP/USD pair showed a similar steady uptrend as observed with the EUR/USD pair. As seen above, the 20-period MA is steeply rising with candles forming above it.

GBP/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

After the PPI release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish “hammer” candle. As with the EUR/USD, the pair subsequently reversed the uptrend and traded in a steady downtrend, the 20-period MA sloping downwards.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

AUD/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

Unlike the strong uptrend observed with the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD pair traded in a weak uptrend before the PPI data release. This trend is evidenced by candles forming just around the slightly rising 20-period MA. After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute “bearish Doji” candle signifying a period of volatility. The pair subsequently reversed the trend adopting a steady bearish stance with the 20-period MA sloping downwards.

Bottom Line

Although the PPI is a relatively low impact fundamental indicator compared to the CPI, this analysis has proved that its release has a significant impact on the price action. Forex traders should avoid having any significant positions open before the release of the PPI.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding The ‘Inflation Rate MoM’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

The GDP and Inflation rate are two of the most closely watched macroeconomic statistics by economists, business analysts, investors, traders, government officials, and the general population. The inflation rate has an impact on everyone, and no one is exempt from it. Understanding its effect on the currency, economy, living conditions, and how to use it for our analysis is paramount.

What is Inflation Rate, MoM?

Inflation: The increase in the prices of commodities over time is called inflation. It is the rise in the cost of living over time where the purchasing power of the currency depreciates. Inflation erodes the value of the currency, meaning a unit of currency can procure lesser goods and services than before.  Inflation occurs when more currency is issued than the wealth of the country.

Inflation Rate: The percentage increase in price for a basket of goods and services for a particular period is called the inflation rate. It is used to measure the general increase in the cost of goods and services. It is contrasted by deflation, which refers to the appreciation of the currency and leads to decreased prices of commodities. When more currency chases, fewer assets inflation occurs.

Inflation Rate MoM: The general measure of the inflation rate is YoY, i.e., Year-over-Year. It serves as a means to measure how currency has faired over the year against inflation. The rate tells how fastly prices increased. The inflation rates are often low and incremental over time and hence make more sense for a YoY comparison for general use. However, for traders and investors, MoM is more useful for close monitoring to trade currencies.

How can the Inflation Rate MoM numbers be used for analysis?

As inflation continues, the standard of living deteriorates. Inflation is an essential economic indicator as it concerns the standard of living. Hence, it requires much attention to understand and analyze. Inflation can occur due to the following reasons: cost-push inflation, demand-pull inflation, and in-built inflation.

Demand-pull inflation: When too few goods are chased by too much money, we get demand-pull inflation. It is the most common form of inflation. The demand for commodities is so high that people are willing to pay higher prices.

Cost-push inflation: It occurs when there is a limit or constraint on the supply side of the demand-supply equation. A limited supply of a particular commodity makes it valuable, pushing its price higher. It can also occur when the cost of manufacturing or procuring raw materials increase that forces businesses to sell at higher prices.

Built-in inflation: It occurs out of people’s adaptive expectations of future inflation. As prices surge, workers demand higher pay due to which manufacturing costs increase and form a feedback loop. It forms a wage-price spiral as one feeds of another to reach a new higher equilibrium.

Inflation mainly affects middle-class and minimum wage workers as they immediately experience the effects of inflation. Generally, the monthly inflation rates would be less than 1% or 0.00 to 0.20% in general. Such increments can be useful for currency traders to short or long currency pairs by comparing relative inflation rates.

Central authorities are committed to ensuring a low and steady inflation rate throughout. The policies are also drafted to counter inflation or deflation. The central authorities would likely intervene with a loose-monetary policy to inject money into the system and induce inflation when the economy is undergoing a slowdown or deflation. A tight monetary policy (withdrawing money from the economy) would be used to induce deflation to counter hyperinflation.

Impact on Currency

The monthly inflation rates are essential economic indicators for both equity and currency traders. It is an inversely proportional high-impact coincident indicator. An increase in the inflation rate deteriorates currency value and vice-versa. As it has a direct impact on the currency, the volatility induced as a result of significant changes in the inflation rate is also high.

Economic Reports

There are multiple indices to measure the inflation rate. The CPI, Producer Price Index (PPI), Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), GDP Deflators are all popular statistics used for measuring inflation in a variety of ways.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the United States releases the CPI and PPI reports on its official website every month. The GDP Deflator is published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) every quarter. The PCE is also published by BEA every month.

Sources of Inflation Rate MoM

BLS publishes the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) on its official website. The data is available in seasonally adjusted and non-adjusted versions, as inflation is also affected by business cycles. A comprehensive and visual representation of these statistics is available on the St. Louis FRED website. The BEA releases its quarterly GDP deflator statistics and monthly Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) on its official website for the public. Consolidated statistics of monthly inflation reports of most countries are available on Trading Economics.

How the Monthly Inflation Rate Data Release Affects The Price Charts

For this analysis, we will use the monthly consumer price index (CPI) to measure the rate of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the MoM CPI data in the US. It measures the change in the price of goods and services from the perspective of the consumer. The most recent data was released on August 12, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET and can be accessed at Forex factory here. An in-depth review of the latest CPI data release can be accessed at the BLS website.

The image below shows the most recent changes in the MoM CPI in the US. In July 2020, the US CPI changed by 0.6%, the same increase as that of June.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

From the above 15-minute chart of the EUR/USD, the pair can be seen to be on a steady uptrend before the CPI data release. The 20-period MA in steeply rising with candles forming above it.

EUR/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

After the data release, the pair formed a long 15-minute bullish candle indicating that the news release negatively impacted the USD. The pair subsequently continued trading in the previously observed uptrend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

The AUD/USD pair traded in a subdued uptrend before the data release. The 15-minute candles are forming just around an almost flattening 20-period MA.

AUD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

Like the EUR/USD pair, the AUD/USD formed a long bullish 15-minute candle after the news release. Afterwards, the 20-period MA steeply rises as the pair adopted a steady uptrend.

NZD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

NZD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

Before the data release, the NZD/USD pair traded within a neutral pattern with the 15-minute candles crisscrossing an almost flattening 20-period MA. As observed with the other pairs, the NZD/USD formed a long 15-minute bullish candle after the news release. It subsequently traded in a steady uptrend with the 20-period MA steeply rising.

Bottom Line

In theory, an increasing rate of CPI should be a strong USD, but as observed in the above analyses, a high CPI resulted in a weakening USD. The CPI is often considered a leading indicator for interest rate; hence, a rising CPI is accompanied by a rising interest rate. However, since the US Fed had already indicated that it has no intention of increasing the interest rate, a high CPI implies a depreciating USD. It is, therefore, imperative that forex traders have the Fed’s decision in mind while trading with CPI data.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About Industrial Production MoM Forex Indicator?

Introduction

Before the Service sector dominated the Industrial sector as a significant contributor to the GDP, it was the industrial production alone that was seen as a measure of economic growth. It still holds for many developing economies. Economies like China, Japan, India, etc. all had significant industrial revolutions that helped their countries to improve their economy. The industrial sector still contributes a considerable percentage to the economy and employs millions of people.

What is Industrial Production MoM?

Industrial Production: It refers to the total output produced by the industrial sector. Here the industrial sector consists of the mining, manufacturing, electric, and gas utility sectors. It is like a mini-GDP report for the industrial sector. By definition, it must be apparent that it primarily deals with tangible commodities or physical goods. On the other hand, The Service sector comprises of non-tangible entities largely.

The Industrial Production Index goes as back as 1919 if required, and is published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the United States. The extended time-frame availability of data makes it a more robust, reliable economic indicator as more data points are available relative to other sectors.

The data is aggregated by combining data in different units. Some of the data may be in dollar terms, some may be in tonnes (e.g., the weight of barrels of oils and steel), or inferred by the number of hours worked. The logged-in hours are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is expressed as a percentage of real output relative to a base period. The base year is currently 2012. The methodology incorporated to calculate the Industrial Production is the Fisher Ideal Index, where the contribution of each sector is weighted (the higher the contribution, the higher is the weightage in the index calculation).

Industrial Production Indices comes in YoY and MoM versions comparing production size with the previous year and month, respectively. The YoY figures deem more use to analysts and government officials to analyze the performance of the industrial sector for this financial year. The MoM (Month over Month) figures are useful for closely monitoring for the expected uptrends or downtrends during business cycles. The MoM figures are more useful for investors in this regard.

How can the Industrial Production MoM numbers be used for analysis?

We have to understand the significance of this statistic historically. Before the development of the service sector, i.e., before the era of computers and the internet, the most industrialized countries were the most advanced economies. Countries that had many factories manufacturing tons of commodities were seen as highly advanced economies back in the day. Hence, it is no surprise that at such times the Industrial Production figures were a direct measure for the economy’s economic activity and growth.

The general trend in economic growth has been that underdeveloped economies have the primary sector as a significant contributor to the GDP. The developing economies have the secondary sector (industrial sector) as the primary contributor to the GDP, while the developed economies have the tertiary (or service) sector.

For the United States, the Industrial Sector now contributes less than 20% to the overall GDP, while more than 80% comes from the Service sector itself. Although it may sound like only 20%, it is only in comparison, but individually the industrial sector is in itself huge and employs millions of people. 15-20% is still a significant contribution, and that is the reason why it is still being published as well as analyzed by investors, traders, analysts frequently to infer significant economic conclusions.

With machine automation, the advancement of technologies, and the introduction of artificial intelligence, many traditional jobs in the industrial sector are getting replaced. This trend is likely to continue further down the line. As of now, the Industrial Production figures bear some relevance, though it is only a matter of time that its contribution further falls and is overlooked by investors and analysts.

(Image Credit: St. Louis FRED)

The industrial sector is more sensitive to business cycles as well as economic shocks, as evident from the historical plot. The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a more significant impact on the industrial sector than the service sector due to the nature of business.

Impact on Currency

Since the Industrial Production figures only account for a few sectors of the economy, hence it is not a macroeconomic indicator encompassing all industries into its statistics. For this reason, the relative significance of this indicator in the currency markets is less. Whereas, investors looking to invest in stocks of companies belonging to the Industrial sector use Industrial Production MoM figures to make investment decisions. Overall, it is a low-impact coincident indicator that bears no significant volatility in the currency markets but has a significant influence on the equity markets.

Economic Reports

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System publishes reports of the Industrial Production statistics as part of its monthly “G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization” report on its official website. It is released around the 15th of the month for the previous month. It is a preliminary estimate and is annotated with a superscript ‘p’ in the tables. It is subject to revision in the subsequent five months as more data becomes available. The report details both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted versions for our convenience.

Sources of Industrial Production MoM

The Federal Reserve publishes Industrial Production MoM reports on its official website. The same statistics are available with more tools for analysis on the St. Louis FRED website. Similar Industrial Production MoM statistics for most countries is available on the Trading Economics website.

How the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US, the monthly industrial production data is released by the Federal Reserve about 16 days after the month ends. It measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines, and utilities. The most recent data was released on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET and can be accessed at Investing.com here. An in-depth review of the industrial production data release can be accessed at the Federal Reserve website.

The screengrab below is of the monthly industrial production from Investing.com.

As can be seen, the industrial production data is expected to have a low impact on the USD upon its release.

The screenshot below represents the most recent changes in the monthly industrial production in the US. In July 2020, the US industrial production increased by 3% down from a 5.7% increase in June. This change was in line with analysts’ expectations of a 3% change. Therefore, this is expected to be positive for the USD.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

Before the data release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a renewed uptrend with the 15-minute candles forming above a steadily rising 20-period Moving Average. This pattern indicates that the USD was weakening against the EUR.

EUR/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

As expected, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle after the data release indicating a  momentary strength in the USD. The data was, however, was not significant enough to bring forth a change in the trading pattern. The pair continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steadily rising.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

NZD/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

Similar to the trend observed with the EUR/USD pair, the NZD/USD was trading in an uptrend before the data release. The 20-period Moving Average can be seen to be steadily rising in the above 15-minute chart.

NZD/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle. As observed with the EUR/USD pair, NZD/USD continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steeply rising.

AUD/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

AUD/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

Before the data release, the AUD/USD pair was trading in a similar uptrend pattern as the EUR/USD and NZD/USD pairs. After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle and subsequently continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend similar to the other pairs.

Bottom Line

The monthly US industrial production data an important leading indicator of the economy’s health. From this analysis, however, while the data release affects the USD, it is not significant enough to cause a shift in the prevailing market trend.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Households Debt to Income’ as a Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

Households Debt to Income is another metric that is used to assess the relative wealth and standard of living of people in the nation. It can give us hints on the spending patterns and circulation of currency and liquidity of the nation overall. Hence, Households Debt to Income ratio is beneficial for economists, investors, and also to deepen our foundation in fundamental analysis.

What is Households Debt to Income?

Debt-to-Income (DTI): The DTI is an individual financial measure that is defined as the ratio of total monthly debt payments to his monthly gross income.

Gross income refers to the income received from the employer or workplace and does not include any of the tax deductions.

The DTI is calculated using the below-given formula.

Disposable Personal Income (DPI): Disposable Personal Income, also called After-Tax Income, is the remainder of an individual’s income after all federal tax deductions. Hence, It is the amount people are able to spend, save, or invest.

Household Debt Service Ratio and Financial Obligations Ratio: The household Debt Service Ratio (DSR) is the ratio of total household debt payments to Disposable Personal Income (DPI).

Mortgage DSR: It is the total quarterly required mortgage payments divided by total quarterly Disposable Personal Income.

Consumer DSR: It is the ratio of aggregate quarterly scheduled consumer debt payments to total quarterly Disposable Personal Income (DPI). The Mortgage DSR and the Consumer DSR together form the DSR.

Financial Obligations Ratio: It is a broader measure than the Debt Service Ratio (DSR) as it takes into account rent payments, auto lease deductions, house owners’ insurance, and property tax.

How can the Households Debt to Income numbers be used for analysis?

DTI is a personal financial metric that is used by banks to determine the individual’s credit eligibility. A DTI ratio should be no more than 43% to be eligible for mortgage credit, but most banks prefer 36% as a healthy DTI ratio to lend money.

The household Debt Service Ratio & Financial Obligations Ratio is more useful, and large scale public data releases for fundamental analysis. The proportion of income that goes into servicing debt payments determines Discretionary Income, Personal Savings, and Personal Consumption Expenditures. Higher the Households Debt to Income ratio, the lesser the money available for other needs.

The Households Debt to Income measures the degree of indebtedness of Households, or in other words, it measures the burden of debt on Households people. The higher the numbers, the greater the load and lesser freedom to spend on other things. As debt burden increases, Discretionary Spending (i.e., for personal enjoyment) decreases, and the income is used entirely to meet the necessities only.

An increase in DPI or decrease in debt payment (by foreclosure or servicing all installments at once) is the two ways to reduce the Debt to Income percentage.

The Households Debt to Income is an essential metric for Government and Policymakers as dangerously high levels in these figures is what led to the financial crisis of 2008 in the United States.

Impact on Currency

High Households Debt to Income figure slows down the economy as debt durations are usually serviced for years. Higher numbers also indicate decreased spending as people spend more money to save and to maintain repayments. This cut back on expenditures results in slowing down businesses, especially those based on Discretionary items (ex: Fashion, entertainment, luxury, etc.) take a severe hit. The overall effect would be a lower print of  GDP, and in extreme cases, it can result in a recession.

Households Debt to Income is an inverse indicator, meaning lower figures are good for economy and currency. The numbers are released quarterly due to which the statistics are available only four times a year, and the limitations of the data set make it a low impact indicator for traders. It is a long-term indicator and shows more of a long-term trend. It is not capable of reflecting an immediate shift in trends due to which the number’s impact is low on volatility and serves as a useful indicator for long-term investors, economists, and policymakers.

Economic Reports

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the United States releases the quarterly DSR and FOR reports on its official website. The data set goes back to 1980.

DSR & FOR Limitations: The limitations of current sources of data make the calculation of the ratio especially tricky. The ideal data set for such an estimate requires payments on every loan held by each household, which is not available, and hence the series is only the best estimate of the debt service ratio faced by households. Nonetheless, this estimate is beneficial over time, as it generates a time series that captures the critical changes in the household debt service burden. The series are revised as better data, or improved methods of estimation become available.

Sources of Households Debt to Income

The DSR and FOR figures are available here:

DSR & FOR – Federal Reserve

Graphical and Comprehensive summary of all the Households Debt related are available here:

St. Louis FRED – DSR & FOR

Households Debt to Income for various countries is available here:

Households DTI – TradingEconomics

How Households Debt to Income Affects The Price Charts

Within an economy, the household debt to income is vital to indicate the consumption patterns. In the forex market, however, this indicator is not expected to cause any significant impact on the price action. The household debt to income data is released quarterly in the US.

The latest release was on July 17, 2020, at 7.00 AM ET. The screengrab below is from the Federal Reserve website. It shows the latest household debt service and financial obligations ratios in the US.

The debt service ratio for the first quarter of 2020 decreased from 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 9.67%. Theoretically, this decline in the debt to income ratio is supposed to be positive for the USD.

Let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17,
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release of the household debt to income, the EUR/USD pair was trading on a steady downtrend. This trend is evidenced by the 15-minute candles forming below the 20-period Moving Average, as shown in the chart above.

EUR/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17,
2020, 7.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a bullish 15-minute candle indicating that the USD had weakened. The weakening of the USD is contrary to a bearish expectation since the households’ debt to income had reduced, the USD would be stronger. The pair later continued to trade in the previously observed downtrend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release, the GBP/USD pair had been attempting to recover from a short-lived downtrend. This recovery is evidenced by the candles crossing above a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

GBP/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, 7.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish “Doji star” candle. The pair traded within a neutral trend afterward with the 20-period Moving Average flattening. As observed with the EUR/USD pair, GBP/USD did not react accordingly, as theoretically expected, to the positive households’ debt to income data.

AUD/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

AUD/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release, the AUD/USD pair showed a similar trend as the GBP/USD pair attempting to recover from a short-lived downtrend. As can be seen, the 20-period Moving Average has already started flattening before the news release.

After the data release, the AUD/USD pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle. The pair continued trading in a neutral trend with candles forming on a flat 20-period Moving Average.

From the above analyses, the news release of the household to debt income data produced contrary effects on the USD. More so, the indicator’s impact on the currency pairs is negligible.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About Food Inflation & The Impact Of Its Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

Capitalist economies achieve economic growth using inflation as the primary fuel. Low and steady inflation rates are essential for achieving target GDP each year. Not all commodities inflate steadily and proportionally. Disproportional inflation amongst different sectors leads to over and underpricing of commodities. Food and Energy are the most basic of necessities in today’s modern society. Understanding how food inflation affects the population and the overall economy will help us better understand the inflation trends and their consequences.

What is Food Inflation?

Inflation is the typical increase in prices of commodities and a decrease in the purchasing power of money over time. Inflation is required to motivate people to work better to be able to afford it. If prices were stagnant, the necessity to grow or earn more would cease, thus halting the growth of a nation on the macro level. When that happens, people will remain in their current financial state and would not progress. Hence, inflation is the “necessary evil” or the required fuel for capitalist countries to achieve economic growth.

Food Inflation refers to the general increase in prices of food commodities. As prices inflate, our current income’s purchasing power erodes. Food and Energy are the necessities for us in this modern society. Although to some extent, Energy can be cut back on to get on with life, we cannot cut back on food.

Food is the fundamental right to every human being. Accessibility and affordability to food and water is a must for every individual regardless of their country. Food inflation monitors the affordability aspect of food within the nation; the consequences associated with it are more intricate than we might anticipate.

How can the Food Inflation numbers be used for analysis?

As people can procure fewer goods for a unit of currency over time, people can either cut back on expenses or earn more to compensate for inflation. Food expenses are mandatory expenditure part of income. High food inflation will take up a more substantial chunk out of the disposable income of individuals leaving less room for discretionary spending.

As the affordability of food decreases due to high food inflation, consumer spending is negatively affected. Consumer Spending is the primary component of GDP accounting for more than two-thirds of the nation’s GDP. In the same case, more people who are working on minimum wages find it more difficult to afford food and would be below the poverty line even when their wages are not.

Political implications would also be severe. The backlash from the public over Government’s inadequacy to control inflation would be severe and, at times, have led to strikes and bans in many countries over the years. The Government at such times faces severe criticism both from the public and the opposition parties and would likely lose the next elections.

Food inflation could also occur due to adverse weather conditions destroying crops, or mismanagement of supply and demand by the authorities, or even politically manipulating supply and demand for profit by local dealers. There have been incidents where supplies of grains were withheld to boost up the prices for better profits artificially.

In developing countries, there are incidents where Government-issued rations are also sold illegally for profit by some corrupt groups. Lack of proper support to farmers in terms of resources like electricity, water, seeds, loans could also impair them to produce a good yield. All such factors add to food inflation, whose burden falls upon the ordinary people.

It is necessary to understand that all other commodities excluding Food and Energy generally have at least some alternatives (or different brands) to choose from in case price inflates. For instance, people looking to buy clothes from a brand may switch to another brand to avoid paying the new inflated price. Food inflation effect cannot be avoided as quickly as was the previous case.

Government officials closely monitor the inflation levels and are politically committed to keeping inflation in check through fiscal and monetary levers at their dispense. Food and Energy prices are given special attention, and almost all the time, the response is quick and practical from the Government during times of disruption in the food supply.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries’ governments released relief packages to make sure there is no food shortage. Despite the fact many people slipped through the cracks of these protection measures, nonetheless, Governments did everything they could to avoid starvation.

 Impact on Currency

Food inflation is part of overall consumer inflation. Consumer inflation is the primary macroeconomic indicator for currency traders to assess relative inflation amongst currency pairs. Hence, food inflation is overlooked by currency traders for the broader inflation measures like the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE).

Nonetheless, food inflation is beneficial for the government officials to keep it in check all the time and also for the economic analysts to report the same. Overall, food inflation is a low-impact coincident indicator in macroeconomic analysis for currency trading that is overlooked for broader inflation measuring statistics, as mentioned before.

Economic Reports

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly inflation statistics as part of its Consumer Price Index report for the United States. This report has the food inflation statistics as the first criteria.

The St. Louis FRED also maintains the inflation statistics on its website and has many other tools to add to our analysis.

Sources of Food Inflation

Consumer Price Index from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is available on its official website along with monthly updates.

We can find the same indexes along with many others with a comprehensive summary and statistics on the St. Louis FRED website.

We can find the global food inflation statistics of most countries on Trading Economics.

How Food Inflation Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US, the food inflation data is released simultaneously with the overall consumer price index (CPI) data. The data is released monthly about 16 days after the month ends. The most recent release was on August 12, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET and can be accessed at Investing.com here. A more in-depth review of the monthly report can be accessed at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

It is worth noting that since the food inflation numbers are released together with the over CPI, it will be challenging to determine the effect it has on price action.

The screengrab below is of the monthly CPI from Investing.com. On the right, is a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, the CPI data is expected to have a medium impact on the USD upon its release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the monthly CPI data in the US. In July 2020, the monthly CPI increased by 0.6% better than analysts’ expectations of a 0.3% change. This positive change is therefore expected to make the USD stronger compared to other currencies.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

 

As can be seen from the above 15-minute chart, the EUR/USD pair was on a steady uptrend before the inflation news release. Bullish candles are forming above a steeply rising 20-period Moving Average, indicating the dollar was weakening before the release. Immediately before the news release, the uptrend can be seen to be weakening.

EUR/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 
2020, 8.30 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle. Contrary to the expectations, the USD became weaker against the EUR since the pair continued to trade in the previously observed uptrend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, Just Before 8.30 AM ET

The AUD/USD pair shows a similar trading pattern as the EUR/USD before the inflation news release. The pair is on an uptrend, which heads for a neutral trend immediately before the news release.

AUD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

As observed with the EUR/USD pair, the AUD/USD formed a bullish 15-minute candle after the news release. Afterward, the pair traded in a renewed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steeply rising.

NZD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

NZD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

Unlike the EUR/USD and the AUD/USD pairs, the NZD/USD traded within a subdued neutral trend with an observable downtrend immediately before the news release. However, after the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle and traded in a steady uptrend, as seen with the other pairs.

Bottom Line

In theory, a positive CPI data should be followed by an appreciating USD. From the above analyses, however, the positive news release resulted in the weakening of the USD. This phenomenon can be choked to the effects of the coronavirus expectations, which have made fundamental indicators less reliable.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About Deposit Interest Rate as a Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

Deposit Interest Rates play a crucial role in controlling the flow of money within the economy and the international market. The interest rate differentials have always directed the flow of speculative money in and out of countries, thereby affecting the currency exchange rates. Hence, it is crucial to understand Deposit rates as an economic factor in the FOREX industry.

What is Deposit Interest Rate?

Deposit Interest Rate: It is the money financial institutions pay the depositing party. The deposit account holders put some money in the bank for which the bank pays out interest. Deposit accounts can be a savings account, Certificates of Deposit (CD), and self-directed deposit retirement accounts.

Banks give loans to its customers at a higher rate than the interest they pay out on their deposit accounts. It is this spread between the lending rate and deposit rate that banks make their profit and is called Net Interest Margin.

How can the Deposit Interest Rate numbers be used for analysis?

Potentially, banks are free to set their deposit rates at whatever rate they desire, but they have to keep competition and business into account. Deposits provide financial institutions with the necessary liquidity to maintain business and give out more loans. Banks need to give out loans to make a profit, but also needs to have depositors to provide the required liquidity. Within the country, when the deposit interest rates are low, people would be more interested in investing their money in stocks or other money markets where there is a possibility of a higher return on their capital.

Conversely, banks may increase their deposit rates to attract investors to deposit their capital providing banks with the necessary liquidity to fund their loans. Investors see bank deposits as a safe bet against the risky stock or money markets where they are subjected to a potential loss. Customers are also encouraged to save more and spend less when they get a higher return on their deposits. In the international markets, investors check and compare the lending and deposit rates of major banks in different countries. When the deposit rate of a bank in one country is higher than the lending rate of a bank in another country, there is a chance of making money.

Investors, traders, or some institutions may borrow money from a low-interest rate country and deposit in another country where the rates are high. This difference in the lending and deposit rates amongst banks of different countries is called Interest Rate Differential or ‘Carry.’ For example, let us assume when the deposit rate in Australia is 5%, and the lending rate in the United States is 3.5%. The difference of 1.5% return will move the speculative or “hot” money out of the United States and into Australia. When the Australian Dollars start to flow into the country, the global FOREX market is deprived of the AUD currency, and, hence, it is appreciated.

The below plot also shows the historical difference between the interest rates differential (AUS IR – USA IR) and the AUD USD exchange rate. As we can see, whenever the difference between the interest rates rises in favour of AUD, the exchange rate tends to follow. There is a good correlation between both in the long run. Whenever the direction changes in favour of the United States, so does the exchange rate.

Hence, the “carry” essentially directs the flow of “hot” money in and out of countries whenever there is an increase in interest rates differentials. The larger the difference and consistent the direction of the differential in the plot (positive or negative) more will be the inflow of money in that direction.

When the differential is near or close to zero, then the speculative money may be forced into other options to generate revenue. The interest rate differential may be prominent when paired against small and developing countries to that of developed countries in general. As most of the developed economies are struggling to maintain their growth and have been forced to keep interest rates low, it indeed is a little tricky to find currency pairs to generate a significant carry.

Impact on Currency

Deposit rates have a definite impact on the currency markets. It is one half of the money flow equation. When the lending rates and deposit rates are checked and compared, money flow starts in favour of the higher deposit rate country that appreciates the currency value and vice-versa.

Therefore, deposit rates alone do not determine currency value fluctuations. But in general, it is safe to say that higher deposit rates tend to appreciate currency’s value as the market is deprived of that currency. Conversely, low-interest rates on deposits discourage saving and thereby go into spending, which contributes to inflation and currency depreciation.

Economic Reports

The deposit interest rates of local banks can be found on the respective banks from which we would want to borrow money. But in general, the deposit rates and lending rates due to market forces are subject to be close to the country’s Central Bank’s target rate.

For the United States, it is the Fed Funds target rate, and the actual rate is called the effective Fed Funds rate. The Federal Reserve publishes Monday to Friday the daily Interest Rates in its H.15 report at 4:15 PM on its official website. Weekly, Monthly, Semi-annual and Annual rates of the same are also available.

Sources of Deposit Interest Rate

The United States Fed Rates are available here. The monthly effective Fed Funds rates are available in a more consolidated and illustrative way for our analysis in the St. Louis FRED website. Consolidated Deposit Interest Rates of different countries are available here.

How Deposit Interest Rate Affects Price Charts

For forex traders, monitoring other economic indicators is usually meant to help them predict what interest rates are going to be in the future. However, since the deposit interest rates largely depend on the federal funds rate, they rarely have any significant impact on the forex markets by itself. It is worth noting that the US FOMC only meets eight times in a year to determine the federal funds’ target rate. This explains the lack of impact by the deposit interest rate.

In the US, the Fed Funds target rate, on which deposit interest rates are based on, are published every weekday at 4.15 PM ET. Below is a screengrab of the Fed Funds target rate from August 11 to August 17, 2020.

As can be seen, the rate has remained the same at 0.1%. The screenshot below is from Forex Factory, showing that the latest FOMC decision recommended that the Fed Funds target rate remains between 0% and 0.25%.

Now that we’ve established the impact that the deposit interest rate has on the economy and the currency valuation let’s see how it impacts the price action of some select currency pairs.

EUR/USD: Before Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17, 
2020, Just Before 4.15 PM ET

The 15-minute EUR/USD chart above shows that the market between 10.15 AM and 4 PM ET on August 17, 2020, had no specific trend. The market has adopted an almost neutral stance with the candles forming just around the flattening 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17, 
2020, 4.15 PM ET

As can be seen on the chart above, immediately after the daily update on the Effective Fed Funds rate, there is a slightly bullish 5-minute candle forms. The news, however, is not significant enough to the market to cause any spikes or change the prevailing market trend. As can be seen, the pair continued with its neutral trend and a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

Let’s see how this new release has impacted some of the other major Forex currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17,
2020, Just Before 4.15 PM ET

The neutral trend observed with the EUR/USD pair before the daily release of the Effective Fed Funds Rate can be seen on the GBP/USD chart above. The candles formed just around the flattening 20-period Moving Average.

GBP/USD: After Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17, 
2020, 4.15 PM ET

After the news release, a 15-minute bullish candle forms. However, the same neutral trends persist with the pair indicating that the news was not significant enough to move the markets and cause a change in the trend.

AUD/USD: Before Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17, 
2020, Just Before 4.15 PM ET

AUD/USD: After Effective Fed Funds Rate Release August 17,
2020, 4.15 PM ET

Unlike with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD pair had a clear uptrend before the daily release of the Effective Fed Funds Rate. This uptrend was not a steady one since the candles formed just above an almost flattening 20-period Moving Average. After the news release, a bullish 15-minute candle is formed. The news was, however, not significant enough to alter the prevailing market trend.

While the deposit interest rate is vital in determining the flow of money in an economy, it plays an almost insignificant role in moving the forex markets. Cheers.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Impact of ‘Bankruptcies’ News Release On The Forex Assets

Introduction

A bankruptcy on paper and in reality differ in several meaningful ways. The short and long-term implications both have to be fully taken into the picture before forming an opinion or drawing any inference from the Bankruptcy statistics. Contrary to popular belief, it is not as bad as it sounds and is more frequent for businesses to file for bankruptcy as a means to reset their business to become profitable. Correctly understanding bankruptcy, its implications, and its statistics can help us make better trade decisions in the long run.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is the legal state of an individual or a company that has become insolvent. When an individual or a company is unable to repay its debt, it can file a petition for bankruptcy in the federal court. When individuals lose their income source or when a business takes on continued periods of losses are likely to file bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy process starts when a petition is filed by the debtor or the creditor, although it is more common for the debtors to file for bankruptcy. Successful processing of a bankruptcy petition can benefit the debtor to be discharged of their debts, thus giving them the freedom from the overburdening debts and restart.

When a bankruptcy petition is processed, the assets of the debtor are evaluated, and an appropriate portion may be allotted to repay the creditors. Whether all of the assets are sold off to repay debt or not depends on the types of bankruptcies filed. Many a time, creditors may need to reorganize the debt to allow the debtor to pay off the debt in smaller installments over three to five years.

How can the Bankruptcies numbers be used for analysis?

On paper, all this may seem favorable to the debtor offering immediate relief from the overwhelming debts.  The debtor may not be required to pay at all if the debtor does not have assets or income or at least greatly waive off their debt installments. Successful proceeding of a bankruptcy petition can partially or entirely waive off debts for a chance to save your home or business from going-under.

Such an exemption comes at a cost, though. As mentioned, on paper, it seems like a favorable option for the debtor in a tight spot, but in the long-run, it has far-reaching implications. If a debtor is filing bankruptcy, chances are, their credit score has already gone wrong due to failed payment dues in past months. When the bankruptcy is filed, it will stay on the record of that individual or company for ten years. In this process, the credit rating goes low, and a remark of bankruptcy on record prevents you from being eligible for future credits, loans, mortgages, or even credit cards.

When lending sources are all cut off, then it is challenging for both individuals and businesses to become profitable. Some may even end up borrowing from sources where interest rates are much higher than the standard rates, ending up in deeper trouble than before.

Filing bankruptcy is more frequent for businesses to reorganize their remaining assets and come up with a new strategy to be profitable. All the bankruptcy cases are handled in the federal courts by a bankruptcy judge. They are classified as per the bankruptcy code that details different chapters for different types of bankruptcy case scenarios.

From a macroeconomic perspective, bankruptcy filing gives both the debtors and creditors a fresh start by allowing debtors to be eligible for credit and creditors to recover some portion of the credit. Having such a system that can accommodate failures of individuals and companies is a sign of a fair and inclusive economy that embraces and tolerates both ups and downs of individuals and businesses.

From a purely business and growth perspective, increasing bankruptcy cases is just plain bad for the economy as it indicates businesses are shutting down, and people are losing jobs. Both of those scenarios do no good for the economic growth and contribute negatively to both growth and consumer & business sentiment within the nation. Filing of bankruptcy thrashes the equity market performance of corporations as investors lose confidence in the business.

Recessions, war-times, or times like global pandemic observe an increasing number of bankruptcy cases indicating that the economy is not faring well. Hence, from an economic standpoint, the “fewer the better” would be the goal for a prosperous economy.

Impact on Currency

Filing Bankruptcy is often the last resort for the debtor when all other options are closed. Hence, the bankruptcy statistics are backward-looking or a lagging indicator confirming an ongoing past trend which could have been deduced from the past poor performance. Bankruptcy statistics would then be useful for economic analysts for analysis but does not serve as a useful indicator either for the equity or the currency markets. Hence, bankruptcy figures could be overlooked for other leading macroeconomic indicators for the currency markets.

Economic Reports

The United States Courts provide historical data of the quarterly reports of bankruptcy filings in the country on its official website. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also maintains bankruptcy statistics for reporting members. Moody’s analytics also provide personal and corporate bankruptcy filings on their official website.

Sources of Bankruptcy Statistics

The US Courts maintain bankruptcy filings records on its website.

The OECD Bankruptcy statistics are also helpful for quick reference of the OECD member countries.

Global Bankruptcy statistics are available on Trading Economics.

Moody’s analytics also report personal bankruptcies.

How Bankruptcies’Data Release Affects The Price Charts

Estimating the exact impact of bankruptcies on an economy is hard to quantify. Since the bankruptcies data is released quarterly, its impact on the forex market tends to be negligible because the data is backward-looking. The most recent data was released on June 30, 2020, at 8.00 AM ET and can be accessed from the United States Courts website here. The historical bankruptcies’ data in the US can be accessed at the Trading Economics website.

The screengrab below is from the quarterly bankruptcies’ data from Trading Economics.

As can be seen, the total number of bankruptcies in the United States decreased to 22,482 companies in the second quarter of 2020 from 23,114 companies in the first quarter of 2020.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 
Just Before 8.00 AM ET

As can be seen in the above 15-minute EUR/USD chart, the pair was trading on a weak downtrend. This trend can be affirmed since the 20- period Moving Average is decreasing in the steepness of its decline with candles forming closer to it.

EUR/USD: After the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 8.00 AM ET

After the release of the bankruptcies data, the pair formed a 15-minute “hammer” candle. This pattern indicates that the USD became weaker against the EUR. This trend is contrary to the expectations since the number of bankruptcies had declined from the previous quarter. The pair adopted a bullish stance with the candles crossing above a now rising 20-period Moving Average.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 
Just Before 8.00 AM ET

The GBP/USD pair showed a similar weakening downtrend trend as observed with the EUR/USD pair before the release of the bankruptcies data. The 15-minute candles can be seen, forming closer to the 20- period Moving Average, whose downward steepness is decreasing.

GBP/USD: After the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 8.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish “Doji star” candle. Similar to the EUR/USD pair, GBP/USD  adopted a bullish stance with the candles crossing above a now rising 20-period Moving Average.

AUD/USD: Before the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 
Just Before 8.00 AM ET

AUD/USD: After the Quarterly Bankruptcies Data Release on August 2020, 8.00 AM ET

Unlike the downtrends observed with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD traded within a subdued neutral trend before the bankruptcies data release. The 15-minute candles were forming around an already flattened 20-period MA. After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish “Doji star” candle. It later traded in the same bullish pattern as observed in the other pairs.

Bottom Line

In the current age of the coronavirus pandemic, data on bankruptcies provide a vital indicator of the economic conditions. However, in the forex market, these data do not carry much significance, as shown by the above analyses.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Is ‘Interbank Rate’ and What Impact Does It Have On The Forex Market?

Introduction

The Interbank rate is an essential tool used by the central authorities to control the money flow within the economy. Changes in the interbank rate can add or withdraw money from the system overall, which can stimulate growth or slow down the economy, respectively. The Interbank rate drives interest rates for bank loans, which are the significant sources of capital for businesses and the general public. The understanding of the Interbank rate is crucial for our analysis.

What is the Interbank Rate?

The interbank rate is the percentage rate at which the United States banks lend each other money. A country’s Central bank dictates the banking practices for the banks within the nation. For the United States, it is the Federal Reserve which decides the interest rates and the banking practices. The central banks, in general, demand 10% of their total deposits be held as reserves to maintain liquidity and meet withdrawal needs.

Based on the interbank rate, banks having excess cash can lend money to the banks, which are falling short of capital to meet their immediate requirements or to maintain their minimum reserves.

What is the Interbank Rate – Second Definition?

The interbank rate also refers to the rate at which banks exchange currencies in the global forex market. The forex market consists of an interbank market, which is a significant part of the forex market system overall. This interbank market consists of big players. Most of those are banks, large financial institutions, investment banks, and mutual funds corporations and do not include retail forex institutions or traders.

The interbank rate numbers are what you see when you search in Google the currency exchange rate for a particular pair, but this is not the rate at which you can trade a pair. This rate is only available for the interbank market participants who are usually big financial corporations trading in millions and billions. The price you see is a jacked-up price of the interbank rate in your platform. Your rate is the sum of interbank rate and the spread which your platform charges for trade as profit.

The minimum transaction in the interbank market is in millions; hence the retail traders will not be able to afford the interbank rate. The interbank market participants trade currencies to manage their exchange rate and control interest rate risk.

Although, you can neither control nor trade at the interbank rate, important for traders to be aware of the interbank rate to avoid getting scammed by Forex brokers who main charge way above the interbank rate. The decentralized system of Forex allows for self-regulation, and hence the interbank rates hand the actual exchange rates available to traders are competitive and self-correcting. However, novice traders who are not aware of this might lose money by paying an excessive spread to brokers.

Economic Reports

Federal Reserve determines the interbank rate, and the average of all the interbank rates in all the lending transactions between the banks in the United States is called the Fed Funds Rate.

The interbank credit system is applicable for a short period, usually ranging from overnight to a maximum of a week. Hence, the interbank rate is also called the Fed Funds Rate.

The Federal Reserve announces the Fed Funds Rate based on a variety of factors like inflation, GDP growth, recession, monetary policy, etc. On the 1st of every month, the Fed Funds Rate is released.

How can the Interbank Rate be Used for Analysis?

The Fed Funds Rate drives money in and out of the economy. The Fed Funds Rate drives the interest rate on bank loans that is available to the public and businesses.

A higher Fed Funds Rate would mean that loans are now expensive than before. To take a loan now would mean paying more interest rate. Hence the general public is discouraged from taking loans indirectly. On the other hand, now it would be more profitable to save as they receive a higher interest rate on their deposits. Both these factors can change the general public sentiment on money spending. A high-interest rate environment withdraws money from the economy, thereby slowing down economic activity as people are less willing to spend.

Conversely, a low interbank rate encourages banks to give loans at a cheaper rate, and hence more businesses and people will be able to afford loans; this will ultimately lead to the injection of money into the system overall. When more money is available to a company or an individual, the natural tendency is to increase spending, businesses may use for expansion plans. All of this will stimulate economic growth and result in printing higher levels of GDP.

Impact on Currency

Traders and investors can use the Fed Funds Rate as part of their analysis. Since Central authorities use the fed funds rate to manage the economy and money supply, a historical correlation of interest rates with GDP growth rates can help us to determine the direction of the economy and the value of its currency.  It is a proportional indicator meaning higher interbank rates relate to currency appreciating phenomenon and vice versa.

Higher Interbank rates result in banks paying out higher interest rates for deposits, which can also attract foreign investors to purchase domestic currency to make a deposit and earn better returns on their investment.  Therefore, an increase in capital flowing into the economy and decreased local currency circulation in the rest of the world, thereby increasing its demand and worth.

A low interbank rate results in increased money flow into the system, which can be inflationary, thereby depreciating the purchasing power of its currency. Conversely, a higher interbank rate results in decreased money circulation in the system, which will be deflationary for the economy, and the reduced demand for goods and services will increase the purchasing power of the currency as people would tend to save than spend.

Even though the interbank rate changes do not immediately get reflected in the macroeconomic numbers like GDP and currency value, it is a slow indicator in that sense that it takes a particular time (weeks to few months) to show its effect in actuality. It is also important to know that the authorities use the interbank rate as a response or corrective measure to the current economic situation.

It is more of a gate check for inflation or deflation. It is more of an effect to a cause and not a cause in itself. It is a passive indicator in comparison to other indicators. It reflects more the past and current economic activities than upcoming financial situations. The initial temporary volatility in the currency after the news release is typical, but the long term effect reflects after a certain number of weeks only.

Sources of Interbank Rates

We can find out the Fed Funds Rate from the official website of the Federal Reserve System of the United States: Federal Reserve SystemSelected Interest Rates. We can also find a historical graphical representation of the effective fed fund rate changes in the St. Louis FRED website. For reference – Fed Fund Rate

Impact of Interbank Rate News Announcement   

The ultimate goal of any fundamental analysis is usually to determine if there will be a hike or a cut in the interest rates. As mentioned earlier, the interbank rate can also be referred to as the Federal funds rate. In the US, the Federal Reserve releases the interbank rate is determined by the FOMC which meets eight times in a year to set this rate

Below is a screengrab of the Federal Funds Rate from Forex Factory. On the right, we can see a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the corresponding currency.

The snapshot below shows the latest release of the Federal Funds Rate on July 29, 2020, at 1.00 PM ET. In the latest release, the FOMC recommended that the rate remains within the target of 0% and 0.25%. This range was within the analysts’ expectations.

It is worth noting that this year, the Federal Reserve has conducted two emergency rate cuts to combat the Coronavirus inflicted economic shocks. The first emergency rate cut was on March 3, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET, as shown by the screenshot below. The Federal funds rate was reduced to a target range of 1.00% to 1.25% from the previous range of 1.50% to 1.75%.

At another unscheduled emergency meeting on March 15, 2020, at 4.00 PM ET, the FOMC cut the federal funds rate by 1.00% to a target range of 0.00% to 0.25%.

Now, let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

As shown on the above 15-minute chart of the EUR/USD, the pair was on a progressing uptrend between 7.45 AM and 12.45 PM ET. This uptrend as evidenced by the subsequent bullish candles forming above the 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

After the FOMC release of the Federal funds rate, there is a renewed volatility in the market. The initial market reaction was negative for USD since the FOMC kept the rate unchanged. The rate release did not result in a shift in the trend since most traders anticipate it and price in their expectations in the market.

Let’s quickly see how this new release has impacted some of the other major Forex currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

GBP/USD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

The GBP/USD pair shows similar trends, as observed with the EUR/USD. There is a steady uptrend hours before the interbank rate release. Market volatility is present after the news release but not significant enough to alter the prevailing trend.

USD/CAD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

USD/CAD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

For the USD/CAD pair, a weak uptrend is observed, with candles forming just around the 20-period Moving Average. After the interbank rate release, the pair shows the same weakness for the USD as observed with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD.

Bottom Line

The interbank rate is a high-impact fundamental indicator in the forex market. The FOMC Statement, however, dampens its impact since it is focused on the future. It is therefore advisable for traders to avoid opening significant positions before this news release. Furthermore, reading the FOMC statement will help to gauge whether the Fed is hawkish or dovish about the future.