Dollar Weakness Is Coming, or Is It? A Familiar Call Returns
Comment of the Day

December 20 2018

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Dollar Weakness Is Coming, or Is It? A Familiar Call Returns

This article by Austin Weinstein and Katherine Greifeld for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

If you look at outlooks published by the sell-side, I think that 80-85% percent of what I read is looking for a weaker dollar,” said Ed Al-Hussainy, currency strategist at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. “And in my experience, when all the forecasts are looking the same way, the currency generally doesn’t behave the way these forecasts predict it will.”

The narrative for dollar bears is roughly as follows: The U.S. can’t keep up its better-than-everyone-else economic performance. America’s growth rate will get closer to the rest of the world, the Fed will stop or slow interest-rate hikes and the advantage an investor gets from holding dollars will diminish.

However, this story of global growth convergence may sound familiar to those who have seen it trip up forecasters before.

Around this time last year, the prevailing view was bearish on the dollar for similar reasons, and the median forecaster in a Bloomberg survey thought the greenback would slide to $1.21 against the euro from $1.18, the spot price at the time.

Instead, the dollar rallied to $1.14. (For the record, Norddeutsche Landesbank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank predicted a move to $1.14 late last year.)

Eoin Treacy's view

The Fed thinks it is going to be able to raise rates twice next year and continue on its balance sheet run off. That is the primary reason to be bullish of the Dollar. The stock and bond markets are signaling investors are unwilling to give much credence to that view.

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