【英语财经】美元汇率正蓄势待发? Dollar begins to stir from its slumber

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2016-4-28 21:55

小艾摘要: Something is stirring in the currency jungle, and those who know its terrain best wonder whether it is the mighty beast — the dollar.After weeks of lying low after a sustained period of weakness, rum ...
Dollar begins to stir from its slumber
Something is stirring in the currency jungle, and those who know its terrain best wonder whether it is the mighty beast — the dollar.

After weeks of lying low after a sustained period of weakness, rumblings of its familiar growl are starting to be heard, distant though the sound may be. The index that measures the dollar against a basket of its major peers picked up last week, while 10-year Treasury yields are also rising.

“There is a case to be made that the dollar has hit a bottom, at least against the euro and the yen,” says Steven Englander, FX strategist at Citigroup.

The dollar index fell more than 5 per cent in the first 15 weeks of the year. Since then, it has retrieved about a quarter of that loss, although it was back on the defensive yesterday.

What happens next to the reserve currency depends on the Federal Open Market Committee meeting today. In all likelihood, Fed chair Janet Yellen will once again fire off at the dollar another of those tranquilliser darts that have tamed its strength since early February, repeating the cautious tone about US growth and inflation she presented during last month’s speech to the Economic Club of New York.

The question across the FX landscape is whether the dovish tranquilliser is losing its potency. Growth may look weak, but Bank of America Merrill Lynch is among those that detect rising inflationary and wages trends and continued jobs growth.

Adding to the mix are more temperate conditions for growth in emerging markets, stronger equities, better news from China and a sustained rally in oil. The case for another rate rise in June is firming up, and the message to investors is that those with a whiff of risk in their nostrils should consider buying the dollar for a longer term horizon.

Three reasons stand out for investors to be more upbeat about the dollar, says Jane Foley, strategist at Rabobank. Risk appetite is on the rise, FOMC members are making more noises about the prospects of a June rate increase and long dollar positions have been pared back for more than a year.

The Fed is the only major central bank likely to raise rates this year while further easing from its peers “should lend the dollar support”, says Ms Foley.

What holds investors back is the sense that Ms Yellen will remain careful not to fan renewed market turmoil.

“Given the amount of uncertainty out there, [central banks] have managed to create some sense of stability,” says Charles St-Arnaud, FX strategist at Nomura. That stability dates from the G20 meeting in Shanghai in February, which some commentators believe established a truce among central banks to refrain from excessively weakening their currencies.

“If you are a business, you want relatively stable exchange rates to make your plans,” says Mr St-Arnaud. Ms Yellen’s dilemma is that if conditions do merit a shift in the Fed’s outlook, how does she do so without upsetting the market?

Several commentators believe it is the dollar’s weakness that it is firing the oil rally and in turn boosting commodity and EM currencies. So it stands to reason that a dollar revival would force down commodity prices and revive worries about China’s currency.

Kit Juckes, strategist at Société Générale warns: “The Fed has painted itself into a corner. The odds of a June hike are now down at 20 per cent and the FOMC can’t signal a move without triggering market turmoil.”

Policymakers expect two interest rate increases in 2016, while the bond market prices in none. “What if the Fed delivers what it says it is going to deliver?” asks Mr Englander. “Is everything going to fall apart, or is the market going to be more resilient to surprises?”

He warns that the market should therefore anticipate the Fed disappointing dollar bull investors, and for that reason, “EM and currencies will have a good week”.

At some point something may give, though for now a dollar that has catnapped its way through 2016 may continue to sit things out. The jungle should beware, however — the dollar is perking up and getting ready for a sustained run.

货币丛林里正发出一些不安分的声音,那些最了解这个地方的人在想,那声音是不是来自货币丛林中的猛兽——美元。

在一段持续疲弱期过后,美元潜伏了数周,眼下它熟悉的低嚎声开始传出——尽管声音可能有些遥远。上周,衡量美元兑一篮子主要货币汇率的指数上升,而10年期美国国债收益率也在上升。

花旗集团(Citigroup)外汇策略师史蒂文?英格兰德(Steven Englander)表示:“我们有理由认为美元汇率已触底,至少美元兑欧元和美元兑日元汇率已触底。”

今年头15周,美元指数下跌逾5%。此后,美元指数已将这一跌幅收复回来约四分之一,尽管周二又回到守势。

美元的下一步走势取决于美国联邦公开市场委员会(FOMC)周三的会议。美联储(Fed)主席珍妮特?耶伦(Janet Yellen)很有可能再次向美元发射一枚镇静剂飞镖(自2月初以来,这些镇静剂飞镖一直压制着美元的强势),重复她在上月纽约经济俱乐部(Economic Club of New York)演讲中说过的有关美国经济增长和通胀的谨慎论调。

对整个外汇市场而言,问题在于,这种鸽派镇静剂是否正失去效力。增长可能看上去疲弱,但美国银行美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)等机构都发现,通胀和薪资有上涨趋势、就业持续增长。

其他利好消息包括新兴市场增长条件更为温和、股市走高、从中国传出的消息转好以及油价持续上涨。美联储有在6月再次加息的理由越来越充足,传达给消费者的信息是,那些嗅到一丝风险气息的人应考虑买入美元并在较长时间内持有。

荷兰合作银行(Rabobank)策略师简?福利(Jane Foley)表示,投资者有3条明显理由应该对美元更为乐观。风险偏好正在上升、FOMC成员发出更多声音暗示可能在6月加息、看涨美元的头寸一年多以来一直在减少。

福利表示,美联储是今年唯一一家可能加息的大型央行,其他央行的进一步货币宽松政策“应会为美元提供支撑”。

让投资者不敢轻举妄动的是,他们认为耶伦仍会小心翼翼地避免再次掀起市场动荡。

野村(Nomura)外汇策略师查尔斯?圣-阿诺(Charles St-Arnaud)表示:“考虑到市场上存在的巨大不确定性,(各央行)已设法制造出了某种稳定感。”这种稳定要回溯到今年2月在上海举行的20国集团(G20)会议,一些评论人士认为,各央行在这次会议上达成了一项休战协议,约定不实施过分的本币贬值。

阿诺表示:“如果你是一家公司,你会希望汇率保持相对稳定,以便制定计划。”耶伦面临的难题是,如果当前状况确实需要美联储改变前景展望,那么她如何在不扰乱市场情况下做到这点?

多名评论人士认为,促使油价上涨、从而提振大宗商品和新兴市场货币价格的是美元疲软。因此,我们有理由认为,美元复苏将压低大宗商品价格并重燃对中国货币的担忧。

法国兴业银行(ociété Générale)策略师基特?朱克斯(Kit Juckes)警告称:“美联储已经把自己逼到了死角。6月加息的可能性现在降至20%,FOMC无法在不引发市场动荡的情况下发出采取行动的信号。”

政策制定者预计,今年美联储将有两次加息,而已经反映到市场价格上的是0次。“如果美联储说到做到怎么办?”英格兰德表示,“市场是会崩溃,还是会禁受得住意外?”

他警告称,因此市场应该明白,美联储有可能让看涨美元的投资者失望,因此,“新兴市场货币将度过美好的一周”。

在某个时刻,某个地方可能会支撑不住,不过就目前而言,今年迄今一直在装睡的美元可能会继续按兵不动。然而,货币丛林应该警惕:美元正在活跃起来,为一段持续的上涨做准备。

译者/梁艳裳

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