If we have a look at the reaction in Fed expectations from Friday’s Fed Chair Powell speech at Jackson Hole, there was no major market takeaway. During the speech, there was a trivial marking down of expectations as Chair Powell emphasized the “totality” of data in setting the appropriate rate at the September meeting. (And 90 minutes before his speech, the July PCE inflation data was out a tad softer than expected, while the final University of Michigan sentiment survey for August saw longer inflation expectations 0.1% lower). But for that September 21 FOMC rate decision, the payrolls and earnings data this Friday and the Sep 13th CPI release will weigh more heavily.
Somewhat more importantly, Powell underlined the importance of ensuring that The Fed’s policy remains persistent enough to ensure that the inflationary cycle has abated. One of the key passages worth highlighting is “Restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time. The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy.” Powell then went on to invoke Paul Volcker and his fight with recurring bouts of high inflation in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Watching USDJPY closely this week to see if US data takes US treasury yields higher still – especially at the longer end of the US yield curve, which could serve to renew the pressure on the Bank of Japan as it insists on maintaining the yield-curve-control policy. Arguably, as long as the longer end of the US yield curve is anchored below the June highs, the pair doesn’t have particularly cause to run higher unless there is a USD liquidity problem not connected to yield volatility. And if we get weak US data this week through Friday’s jobs and earnings report, we might be instead looking at a “double top” scenario. The 139-140.00 zone looks important this week.
Trade accordingly with your risk