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FX Week Ahead – Top 5 Events: Chinese National Congress; Canada, Eurozone, New Zealand, UK Inflation Rates

October 17, 2022| Forex Market

FX Week Ahead Overview:

  • The Chinese National Congress this week has already revealed some surprising developments for the world’s second largest economy.
  • Inflation data is squarely in focus this week, with reports due from Canada, the Eurozone, Japan, New Zealand, and the UK.
  • The US economic calendar is quite limited, with Fed speakers being the main draw.

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ALL WEEK | CNY 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

The Chinese National Congress takes place every five years and is seen as a significant political event for the world’s second largest economy. While the headline news may be that Xi Jingping will take up a third term as Chinese President, two more meaningful economic developments have already transpired. First, in a speech over the weekend, President Xi announced that zero-COVID would remain in place for the foreseeable future. Second, the Chinese government announced that it was delaying the release of 3Q’22 GDP data (among other releases) “indefinitely.” If the Chinese economy is performing below its potential, then it’s increasingly likely that a global recession takes root.

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10/17 MONDAY | 21:45 GMT | NZD Inflation Rate (CPI) (3Q)

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is set to raise the main rate by 50-bps at each of their next three policy meetings, but rates markets are already starting to soften expectations thereafter in anticipation of a weaker New Zealand economy and softer price pressures. The 3Q’22 New Zealand inflation report is expected to show signs of disinflation, with headline inflation due in at +6.6% from +7.3% in 2Q’22. Ultimately, any signs of price pressures slowing down could weigh on RBNZ rate hike odds, which would likely weigh on the New Zealand Dollar.

10/19 WEDNESDAY | 06:00 GMT | GBP Inflation Rate (CPI) (SEP)

According to a Bloomberg News survey, the September UK inflation report is expected to show headline inflation at +0.4% m/m from +0.5% m/m and at +10% y/y from +9.9% in August, while core inflation is due at +6.4% y/y from +6.3% y/y. While the data may otherwise inspire a rise in Bank of England rate hike odds in the near-term, it’s worth noting that markets have been solely focused on the UK’s fiscal situation given the Truss government’s mini-budget and the firing of Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng (who has been replaced by Jeremy Hunt, and who has already released a new mini-budget). Accordingly, UK inflation data may be overlooked, even though the details of the report are likely to provoke further angst for the British Pound.

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10/19 WEDNESDAY | 09:00 GMT | EUR Inflation Rate (HICP) (SEP)

The final September Eurozone inflation report is likely to show a sharp increase in price pressures, at +1.2% m/m from +0.6% m/m and at +10% y/y from +9.1% y/y. For the time being, rates markets are discounting the European Central Bank’s main rate to rise to at least 3% by September 2023. However, last week, ECB officials warned (via Reuters) that markets were pricing in too high of a terminal rate. As recession fears mount the runway that the ECB has to try to raise rates is starting to shrink, leaving policymakers with a stagflation quandary: raise rates to try and lower price pressures at the risk of a more severe economic contraction; or halt rate hikes, running the risk of persistently higher inflation, in order to prevent a sharp recession.

10/19 WEDNESDAY | 12:30 GMT | CAD Inflation Rate (CPI) (SEP)

Amid a frontloading of rate hikes by the Bank of Canada, price pressures in the world’s ninth largest economy appear to have peaked. The September Canada inflation report is due in at 0% m/m from -0.3% m/m and at +6.8% y/y from +7% in August; headline inflation peaked at +8.1% y/y in June. Rates markets have a fairly benign path of hikes discounted over the next several meetings, only discounting another 100-bps in total by June 2023 (bringing the main rate from 3.25% to 4.25% over that time). Accordingly, like for the New Zealand Dollar, any signs of price pressures slowing down could weigh on BOC rate hike odds, which would be an obstacle for the Canadian Dollar.

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— Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

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