There’s not much to work on this week

G. Samdani Avatar



This is clearly one of the most boring weeks so far as the lack of key economic data is keeping the FX markets in tight ranges. The only notable releases will be the US jobless claims on Thursday and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey on Friday, but they are unlikely to change anything for the market unless we see big surprises.

We have also many Fed speakers throughout the week but again they are unlikely to change the market’s pricing, on the contrary, they might tone down their language after the recent US NFP report. This leaves us waiting for the US CPI report next week which is going to be a big market-mover.

There is no consensus at the moment but a miss will likely trigger a bigger reaction than a beat in light of the recent softening in the labour market data. In fact, now that is pretty clear that the bar for a rate hike is VERY high, the market will probably need something more than just a high CPI print. Falling wage growth and softening labour market shouldn’t lead to a sustained re-acceleration in inflation, although it might remain higher for longer, in which case the Fed looks to be comfortable to just hold rates steady.

Atlanta Fed Wage Growth Tracker

Moreover, higher input price inflation as seen in the ISM PMIs could have the reverse effect this time and instead of being passed on to consumers, businesses might find other ways to decrease costs, which could translate in more layoffs. Some leading labour market indicators like the Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) have been signalling softening in the labour market for quite some time.

Conference Board Employment Trends index

We had some fun trading the repricing in interest rates expectations in Q1 2024 as the market went too far with the seven rate cuts expected for 2024 at the beginning of the year. Now that we reached kind of a balance between two and one rate cut, we will need something more to trigger another sustained trend.

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