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Friday June 30, 2017 - 18:02:18 GMT
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Unexpected Sea Change In Policies At Top Tier Central Banks

John M. Bland, MBA

ECB President Draghi Roils the Markets

Over the past several months I have kept returning to the theme that the major central banks have been playing a key role in the tone of the markets. Once again they are back in the limelight. This time it was ECB President Draghi who set the stage for major moves in the global financial markets. In a closely-followed speech at an ECB Conference in Portugal, Draghi surprised markets. While he stuck to his usual cautious posture on policy, traders reacted to his unusually upbeat assessment of the European economy where he indicated that its expansion is "broadening" . His comments gave EURUSD a sudden boost through 1.1200 to the 1.1250 area on hopes his comments could be a precursor to a more hawkish policy posture.

By Early Wednesday it appeared that the ECB was worried that the reaction to Draghi was gaining too much momentum with yields in major markets rising sharply. An unnamed ECB source made the point that Draghi had been preparing the markets for eventual policy moves down the road. However, keep in mind that the markets by definition are discounting mechanisms, which explains why it was the longer end of the curve which reacted more negatively than the short end. The short-end is much more sensitive to central bank policy changes while the long end takes the longer view.

As of early Friday, yields on key 10-yr government bonds had increased from late Monday as follows: U.S. 2.28%, +14bp, Germany 0.44% +19bp, U.K. 1.26% +23bp, Japan 0.08% +0.2bp.

New Fed Policy Theme 

Draghi was not the only central banker with a changed message. Fed speakers have stated to pick up the theme of the central bank starting to prioritizing easy financial conditions. This is seen as the rationale for continued normalization even in the face of weak prices. NY Fed President Dudley and SF President Williams have been promoting this new theme. It will be interesting to see if the latest Fed minutes due this upcoming Wednesday address this theme. The Fed now will have the pretext it needed to tighten policy further even if inflation figures do not cooperate. With financial conditions easier than before the last couple hikes, the Fed could be more inclined to lean against them and stay the course, which suggests rate hike and/or balance sheet discussions in September and December. <br

Bank OF England and Bank Of Canada Ready To Change Policies?

Also, at the ECB conference Bank of England Governor Carney and Bank of Canada Poloz both hinted at moves in the direction of policy “normalization” in the not too distant future. Clearly, as much as possible, the major central banks are doing what they can to coordinate their efforts to remove excess liquidity from the system without triggering a major reaction. Bank of Japan is likely to remain very accommodative until the economy starts to display more improvement.

Amazing Trader EVENT RISK Calendar:

Mon 3 Jul
00:00 CA- Holiday
All Day Mfg PMIs
Tue 4 Jul
00:00 US- Holiday
04:30 AU- RBA Decision
Wed 5 Jul
All Day Service PMIs
19:00 US- Fed Policy Minutes
Thu 6 Jul
12:15 US- ADP Jobs
14:00 US- ISM Service PMI
Fri 7 Jul
08:30 GB- Output/Trade
12:30 CA/US- Employment

Be sure to refer daily Global-View to see the continuously UPDATED Economic Calendar and the Forex Forum for the complete list of key items (actual data, selected charts, etc.) as they are released.

 John M. Bland, co-founding partner


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