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Swiss National Bank in wait-and-see mode

At its June meeting, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) left its accommodative monetary policy unchanged. The interest rate on sight deposits was maintained at a record low of -0.75% and the SNB reiterated its willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market if needed. Our baseline scenario remains unchanged. We expect the interest on sight […]

Fed on the road to normalisation, People’s Bank of China stands pat

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve decided at latest policy meeting on June 14 to raise the Fed funds rate target range by 25bp to 1.0%-1.25%. The Fed appeared relatively upbeat on the economy, downplayed the recent weakness in inflation numbers and left unchanged its median projections for Fed funds rates – one more quarter-point hike […]

Monthly Investment Strategy Highlights, June 2017

Asset allocation Markets have continued to rally on strong fundamentals. It has been important to stay invested, and we continue to favour DM equities. However, markets appear unduly complacent, and we have taken advantage of current low volatility to scale back our risk exposure. We reduced our equity overweight in June by selling part of […]

Too much pessimism surrounding the US dollar

The euro has significantly appreciated against the US dollar since the start of the year (roughly 7% by 8 June). The single currency has benefited from strong activity in Q1, higher inflation and reduced political uncertainties in the euro area, especially after the French presidential election. Meanwhile, the US dollar has been damped by weak […]

ECB: first (hawkish) move since 2011

  As we expected, the ECB moved to a more neutral stance today by describing the risks to economic activity as “broadly balanced” and by removing its bias to even “lower” policy rates. The symbolic significance of the move should not be underestimated. It is the first time that the balance of risks to growth […]

Rise in our growth forecast for the euro area

Euro area Q1 GDP growth was today revised up to 0.6% quarter on quarter, from 0.5% in the previous estimate. This revision reflects large adjustments in several countries, and mechanically pushes our annual growth forecasts higher. We now expect euro area real GDP to grow by 1.9% on average this year, after 1.7% in 2016 […]

Saudi-Qatari crisis may signal further regional flare-ups

The move by Saudi Arabia and its allies to cut diplomatic relations with Qatar and impose a de facto blockade of the country abruptly deepens a key line of fracture in the Middle East. There is a risk that tensions rise further. If Qatar turns to Iran for support, a direct escalation between Saudi Arabia […]

U.S. job creation softens, but unemployment lowest in 16 years

May was a mixed month for US employment data. Job creation was softer than expected, the figures for the previous couple of months were revised down and average hourly earnings data were somewhat disappointing. However, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell further, reaching its lowest level since March 2001. Non-farm payroll employment rose by a soft […]

New fixing mechanism limits renminbi depreciation against the U.S. dollar

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) recently announced the introduction of a “counter cyclical adjustment factor” (CCAF) to calculate the daily USD/CNY reference rate (the “fixing rate”). The previous formula used two factors: the USD/CNY spot close of the previous day and an adjustment factor taking into account overnight changes in demand and supply in […]

Core inflation clouds ECB’s next move

Euro area ‘flash’ HICP inflation came in at 1.4% y-o-y in May (down from 1.9% in April) while core inflation eased to 0.94% (down from 1.2%), both slightly below consensus expectations, as energy-related base effects and Easter distortions faded. We forecast euro area inflation to remain relatively stable in the next few months before core […]

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