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Friday October 28, 2005 - 12:02:08 GMT
Black Swan Capital - www.blackswantrading.com

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Euro rates: Later rather than sooner?

Quotable

“The mistake of ignoring the survivorship bias is chronic, even (or perhaps especially) among professionals. How? Because we are trained to take advantage of the information that is lying in front of our eyes, ignoring the information that we do not see.”

Nassim Taleb

FX Trading

There has been a lot of talk lately about the ECB raising interest rates sooner rather than later. This may be one of the reasons why the euro continues to hold up relatively well, given the widening negative yield differential against the buck.



In the chart above, you can see we’ve had two tests of what appears a support level just below 1.20—a nice big round number.

We know the Fed Funds futures are forecasting at least two more rate hikes from the Greenspan Fed. And would it be a surprise if newly installed Fed Chairman Bernanke’s first action was to hike again—to solidify his “inflation fighting” reputation? After all, such an action may do a lot to invalidate the market’s belief that “Helicopter Ben” will rush to the Federal Reserve pumping room and turn on the spigots at the first sign of trouble. For isn’t a Fed Chairman’s role, once they become Fed Chairman, to become increasingly vague about future plans?

Needless to say, we think the yield differential favoring the buck will continue to rise; no surprise there. But if it does, and the market realizes the ECB’s decision to hike will come later instead of sooner, it is a setup for another leg down in the euro. Here’s some evidence to suggest the later, rather than sooner view could prevail.

“If I’m right on ‘stag’, then it is unlikely that the ECB will turn their currently hawkish rhetoric into aggressive action on interest rates. Don’t get me wrong: I believe that the ECB is truly worried about upside risks to inflation emanating from the energy price shock, which pushed headline inflation to 2.6% in September. I also believe that the ECB worries genuinely about the build-up of excess liquidity and its impact on asset prices. However, as long as there no clear signs of second-round effects (read: an acceleration of wage inflation), and as long as the tough rhetoric suffices in anchoring inflation expectations, the fear of a renewed relapse in growth is likely to keep the ECB on hold, in my view,” writes Joachim Fels, Morgan Stanley.


Jack Crooks
Black Swan Capital

 

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