The EUR/USD currency pair is showing signs of continued decline, edging lower towards the 1.1040 mark during the early Asian trading hours. This marks a negative trend that has persisted for six days straight, largely attributed to concerns about the Eurozone’s economic deceleration, and these movements are being closely monitored by South African investors with interests in global markets.
This downward trend is pressurised further by less than stellar economic data recently released in Europe. A key highlight was Tuesday’s announcement from the IFO Institute, which showed a dip in July’s German Business Climate Index from 88.6 to 87.3, falling short of market expectations which had forecasted a mark of 88.0. Klaus Wohlrabe, head of IFO surveys, added fuel to the Euro’s fire by suggesting that German GDP is likely to witness a contraction in the third quarter.
Compounding the Euro’s concerns, this week also saw July’s Eurozone Manufacturing PMI report underperforming market expectations by recording 42.7, a decline from June’s reading of 43.4. Alarmingly, this is the lowest point reached in the last 38 months.
In the wake of the slowing EU economy and growing recession fears, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to implement a 25 basis point rate hike on Thursday, but the possibility of another hike in September appears increasingly unlikely.
On the other side of the Atlantic, data released by the Conference Board indicated a rise in the Consumer Confidence Index, climbing to 117 in July from 110.1 in June. Additionally, the House Price Index for May YoY reported 2.8%, surpassing expectations of 2.6%, although falling short of the previous month’s data. However, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for July showed a decline from -8 in June to -9.
All eyes are now on the Federal Reserve (Fed), which is scheduled to announce its monetary policy decision on Wednesday. Widely expected is a 25 basis point hike in interest rates, taking the new range to 5.25-5.50%. Investors will be keenly listening to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference for clues on the future trajectory of monetary policy, an event that could potentially instigate significant volatility across financial markets.
In anticipation of the imminent release of monetary policy decisions from both the US Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) this Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, investors are bracing for potential market turbulence. Other key events to watch include the FOMC Press Conference and the ECB Press Conference, as well as the release of US Advanced GDP QoQ and the core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index MoM, due later this week. These developments will be crucial for South African investors with exposures to these currencies, offering potential insight into future investment opportunities.