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Market predictions and forex forecasts for the week of 21 February 2022.
Week starting 21-02-2022
- The USD had a dismal performance last week, weakening against 15 of the top 20 currencies. The most notable weakness was against the NZD (-1.53%) and the Indian Rupee (INR) (-1.52%). The Dollar strengthened against the Norwegian Krone (NOK) (0.83%) and the Russian Ruble (RUB) (0.46%).
- The main data events last week were the US retail sales and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes on Wednesday. Retail sales figures far exceeded analysts’ expectations coming in at 3.8% from a previous print of -2.5%. The FOMC minutes indicated quantitative easing would end in March, thus the market can expect a more hawkish Fed in the next meeting.
- Coming up, the US GDP growth will release on Thursday and is expected to come in at 7% QoQ. While this would be some solid growth, it is also not surprising since inflation is sitting close to that level as well. Apart from the economic data, our advice is that you should remain cautious in this market due to the continuing situation between Russia and the Ukraine, where the US is standing firm stating that an invasion is imminent.
- The EUR had a mixed performance with deviations generally below 1% to either side. The EUR strengthened against 12 of the top 20 currencies. The most notable strengthening was against the NOK (1.16%) and the RUB (0.9%), while the largest weakening was against the BRL (-1.24%) and the INR (-1.15%).
- Over the past week, the main data event was the year-on-year GDP growth rate on Tuesday, which came in at 4.6%, slightly up from the 3.9% for the previous period.
- Coming up this week, we have the EU inflation data set to be released on Wednesday. This is expected to increase slightly to 5.1% from 5% YoY. Apart from this, we need to remain cognisant of the Russian-Ukrainian tensions. Since the EU is a net importer of natural gas from Russia, any disruption to this energy flow could have far reaching effects on the EU economy.
- Over the past week, the GBP picked up steam against most of its trading peers, strengthening against 14 of the top 20 currencies. The most notable strength was against the NOK (1.35%) and the RUB (1.1%).
- The most notable UK data points came from the unemployment rate on Tuesday, which remained stable at 4.1%, as expected. The year-on-year inflation data for January inched up to 5.5%, which is in line with the global inflation problem. We ended off with UK retail sales for January on Friday, which rebounded solidly to 1.9% from -4% for the previous month.
- There is minimal data releasing from the UK this week. We have testimony by the Bank of England members, which will give us an idea of its view of the economy and the way forward. Overall, we look to the global markets to move the GBP.
- The ZAR weakened against 12 of the top 20 currencies. The most notable weakness was against the Brazilian Real (BRL) (-1.69%) and the NZD (-1.15%), and the largest gains were against the NOK (1.09%) and the RUB (0.85%).
- Last week, the South African inflation data released on Wednesday. Inflation has moderated to 5.7% YoY, which is positive for the country. Although this has given a little glimmer of hope, the skyrocketing oil prices and unstable territory where the Rand finds itself leads one to be sceptical of a sustained ZAR rally.
- The main data event this week is the annual budget on Wednesday. This could be a catalyst for the end of this recent ZAR rally. The fiscal tightening needed in the government will be closely watched, as the unemployment grant has been extended into 2023. Thus, a balance needs to be found to keep the country and government afloat.
- Australia bounced back this week, with the AUD strengthening against 17 of the top 20 trading peers. The most notable strength was against the NOK (1.86%) and the RUB (1.72%), while the largest weakness was against the BRL (-0.71%) and the INR (-0.61%).
- On the data front, we had the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting minutes on Tuesday, indicating how the RBA plans to move forward. With the AUD having been on such a bad streak over the past few weeks, it’s not surprising that it strengthened as much as it did.
- There is not much data this week, but the announcement that Australian borders will open to fully vaccinated tourists should give the economy a much-needed boost.
- There was a stellar performance from the NZD over the past week, strengthening against 19 of the top 20 currencies. The only currency the NZD weakened against was the INR by an incremental -0.1%. The most notable strength was against the NOK (2.19%) and the USD (1.75%).
- Data wise, nothing special has come from the New Zealand over the past week, but like the AUD, the NZD experienced a few weeks of dismal performance. Therefore, it is to be expected that things change at some point, which we saw over the past week.
- Coming up, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will release its interest rate decision on Wednesday. The current level is 0.75% and the RBNZ is expected to increase it by 25 basis points to 1%. Any deviation from this would result in some major moves in the NZD.
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