Today marks the conclusion of an acrimonious US Presidential race, with two candidates promising very different approaches to handling the US economy. As a result, analysts have been furiously mapping out the potential impacts of either result.
If Clinton wins:
Analysts at ING predict that in the case of a Clinton win USD will retrace its pre-election losses and re-couple with Federal Reserve expectations.
“Latest breakout of wage growth from post-crisis range means a Clinton win should see markets (fully) price in a Dec Fed rate hike,” they note.
Sterling jumped almost 100 pips today after the British High Court ruled that the UK parliament must vote on Brexit before it is formally triggered by Article 50.
The government is expected to appeal the court’s decision, but in the meantime, sterling rose from 1.2335 at 10am UK time to peak at 1.2494 by 1:15pm, its strongest since the October 7 flash crash.
The other big news in the UK today was that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.25%.
TraderMade’s chief technical analyst, Steve Jarvis, has put out some interesting research looking at USD trading patterns around past presidential elections to see if there is any indication of what to expect in the upcoming one.
Using a USD trade weighted index chart for his analysis rather than specific FX rates, Jarvis looked at how the USD moved during the two months leading up to the previous seven US presidential elections and the two months after.
Going back to 1988, Jarvis highlights who was elected, their defeated opponent, and includes the percentage change for the USD index for the two months before and after the election, as well as the net change over the four-month period.
Saxo Bank is increasing margin requirements on certain FX pairs, equity and fixed income products ahead of next month’s US election.
Saxo says that it will implement margin changes on products expected to be affected by the outcome of the election such as some single equity, index and fixed income CFDs, and certain FX pairs.
This includes taking most major FX pairs up to 2-3% with RUB and MXN going to 10% and 15%, respectively, while the minimum margin requirement on CFD indices will be 4% based on market volatility and liquidity leading up to and through the election.
After Cable’s apparent flash crash Friday, analysts are trying to determine what caused the move and the broader impact that it could have.
In a special note put out Friday Australian-based hedge fund Hunter Burton Capital says the sterling moves are being attributed to comments made by French president, Francois Hollande, about Brexit.
“There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences,” commented Hollande.
This morning’s flash crash in Cable in which it dropped 9.5% in seconds and the low of which is still disputed raise some interesting questions for the creators of the FX Code of Conduct.
Several sources say that the mayhem was triggered by one account executing a large trade into the market, possibly for GBP 200 million. This was enough to send the market into freefall as liquidity during the already thin early Asian session, thinned out further.
If the order was executed by one account, or even by several accounts on behalf of one customer, questions have to be asked about why they did it then, and how they executed.
Market sources say the low in Cable is being disputed, in spite of what traders say was a clear print at 1.1378 on Thomson Reuters Matching.
A source familiar with the matter says the low trade was a mishit and that the deal is currently being repapered to a new rate.
While several platforms are printing a low between 1.1850 and 1.1950 – something that in itself highlights the level of confusion in the industry, Profit & Loss understands that “at least” 10 trades were executed at 1.1500 on three venues.
The subject of liquidity is very much to the fore in foreign exchange markets again following what has been termed a “flash crash’ in Cable in early Asian trading.
The pair broke through 1.2600 and fell very quickly to below 1.14 before going on a mini rollercoaster ride before finally recovering to 1.24.
Although the move is very much being seen as a flash crash, sources say there was good trading volume most of the way down with markets only getting very thin on a break below 1.1800. The low according to Thomson Reuters Matching, which is the benchmark for Cable high/lows, was 1.1378.
“I don’t believe in the idea of liquidity provision,” says one market source, adding: “Liquidity is a service, it’s not just provided, and all services have a price tag.”
There has been a broad re-pricing in a number of services provided to FX market participants over the past few years, and this is true of liquidity services as well. Of course, the big shift appears to be that banks are moving from a principal business model, where revenue is generated from spreads, to an agency one, where revenue is generated by charging a fee.
Data from CLS shows that its average daily input volumes for August were down 15.9% month-on-month, which is consistent with a broader decline in trading activity across the multibank FX platforms last month.
The average daily input volume submitted to CLS, combining the settlement and aggregation services, was 883,368 in August, down from 1,050,046 the previous month and the 1,170,313 recorded in August 2015.
However, average daily input values were flat – down just 0.2% month-on-month to $4.68 trillion from $4.69 trillion in July 2016.