An FX Parity Play post Brexit

Could Brexit push EURUSD, GBPUSD, and EURGBP to Parity in 2020 …or sooner?

The tea leaves in the UK are wilting fast as the Brexit deadline is fast approaching. While goblins and ghosts will be meandering the streets in the US on Halloween night (October 31), the UK will be bracing for the scare of the century, namely, a possible departure from the EU. Leading the charge are two factors: Boris Johnson’s ego and the fear of Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next PM. Both outcomes are down right scary!

Mired within the cross hairs of British politics lies the uncertain future of Sterling and the Euro. Both currencies stand to lose value against the USD and other safe haven currencies, i.e. CHF and JPY). At the very least traders can expect lows to be tested once again. Here’s why…

Since Trump took office, investors have been living a new economic normal that has yet to be fully reflected in global currency values. As a result, central bank reactions have varied widely.

As of late… Mario Draghi has renewed QE efforts creating more ‘easy money’. Jerome Powell is patching up a US short term liquidity issue with a QE-like repeat performance. GDP numbers are dropping due to unresolved US-China talks on trade tariffs. Major European banks and pension funds are choking up against EU’s negative interest rates. Worse of all, global monetary policy tools that central banks once relied on to maintain economic stability are no longer effective. These and other factors are pushing economic leaders to compete on the basis of their devalued currency rather than optimal resource allocations and coordinated globalization.

This relentless ‘race-to-the-bottom’ syndrome among central bankers has investors worried and will very likely be the root cause for a potential parity FX play against the USD in the months ahead.

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© 2019 Tom Kadala

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How to FX Brexit…

From the RagingFX Trading Desk…

The jury is finally out. Parliament has for the second time voted down Theresa May’s tentative Brexit agreement. Despite recently acquired legal assurances from Brussels of a limited back stop with Ireland, a major sticking point, the British Parliament would have nothing more to do with May’s two years of haggling with EU negotiators. What lies ahead is most certainly the growing uncertainty of the British economy.

Just as most FX traders have been baffled by the recent strength in the dollar, they have also shaken their heads in disbelief at Sterling’s rise. On the dollar, some argue that the dovish outlook from Powell and the disappointing 20,000 NFP numbers from last Friday hide the fact that the USD is fairing out better than its peers, …hence the show of strength is really ‘relative’ strength from an overall decline.

To some degree, could the same be said about Sterling’s recent strength? The UK economy is firing on all pistons fueled by historically low unemployment numbers and an increase in tax revenues from earlier this year. But, here is where the difference lies. Sterling’s ‘relative strength’ comes from an artificial demand founded upon frenzy, stockpiling efforts from both consumers and government buyers living in fear of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

After March 29 when Article 50 is to be invoked, the British economy will return to a lower equilibrium point. The irony is that it no longer matters if Brexit is approved or not; nor if there’s a ‘no deal’ Brexit, a second referendum, or new elections. The damage to the UK economy has already been done, because it will take months to work through the artificially bloated inventory of goods, especially among soon-to-be tight fisted consumers living in fear of losing their jobs to a forthcoming recession. Add unprecedented political uncertainty of the likes not seen for decades and Sterling strength will undoubtedly be short lived.

On the near term, we expect Cable to trade with high levels of volatility within a 1.30 to 1.35 range to start. Over the mid term… look for eventual spikes to give way to a predominant downtrend where it will potentially test a 1.14 low.

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© 2019 Tom Kadala