China stimulus, here we go again

Written on 07/25/2023
Team UCapital 24

In quiet markets ahead of G3 central bank meetings, the FX market's focus has once again fallen on China. Having broadly disappointed investor expectations this year, China's economy is seen as enjoying a lift after China's Politburo yesterday promised 'counter-cyclical' measures.

These follow a drip feed of support measures over recent weeks, such as the easing of restrictions in the mortgage sector, the encouragement to buy cars and electronics, and perhaps some support to local governments saddled with debt.

"None of these seem to be a game-changer so far, but the market optimists are hoping that this new directive from the Politburo will be turned into powerful stimulus at the State Council level," ING analysts said.

Tellingly, USD/CNH did not move much when these measures were announced during the European session yesterday, but Asian investors are running with the story and driving the renminbi some 0.6% higher this European morning. Chinese equities are having a decent run too.

These short-term trends may well fizzle out – we've been here before with prospects of China stimulus – but they could provide some mild support to emerging market and commodity currencies through the session.

The reason why we warn against pursuing a full 'risk-on' rally in Rest of World (RoW) currencies is that the European economy looks weak and tomorrow's FOMC meeting will probably see the Fed's foot remaining firmly on the monetary brakes.

Today's US data releases are second tier, but the consensus is expecting a decent tick-up in the July consumer confidence reading. As in the UK, there is a growing sense that consumers have so far been able to handle the pain of higher rates, diluting the case for any early easing cycles. 

 DXY can trade a tight 101.00-101.50 range ahead of tomorrow's Fed meeting.