March consensus FX forecasts

The March edition of the consensus FX forecasts report shows that spot US Dollar has weakened broadly since February. In the forecasts for 1 year the changes for he USD are less strong and more diverse though.

Changes vs. February:
Against the CAD and RUB the USD is expected to weaken a little more than last month. The oil price is a main driver here. Less strengthening is seen in 1 year against the Indonesian Rupiah IDR and against the South African Rand ZAR. Both are supported by a high carry, and in the case of the IDR coordinated action in the form of economic reforms and interest rate cuts is supporting economic growth and the Rupiah.

Against the general direction of a weakening USD there are a few currencies against which the USD is expected to strengthen more versus last month. These are the Indian Rupee INR, the Turkish Lira TRY and the Korean Won KRW. For the specifics here please see the comments in the report.

Market Focus
Developed Markets:
Although the Fed has voiced a softer tone on the interest rate path, the USD is still expected to strengthen supported by tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve this year. A hawkish re-pricing of the 2016 path presents upside risk to the USD.
Expect the EUR to weaken on the basis of policy divergence and interest rate differentials.
The Brexit threat has provided for a sizeable drop in GBP; risks remain tilted to the downside into the June 23 referendum.
The recovery in oil prices is still fragile and a pullback would punish the CAD. Over the longer term, the CAD should take flight anew more sustainably, in step with the oil price recovery and the improved economic environment in Canada.
JPY is expected to weaken, as it reverses its YTD sentiment-driven gains and monetary policy divergence takes the upper hand again.
AUD sentiment might be tentatively turning the corner, but AUD remains vulnerable to a slowing Chinese economy.

Emerging Markets:
The RUB stabilised on the back of a rising oil price, but the recovery is fragile and tentative.
TRY found some support during the recent risk-on period but idiosyncratic risks and on-going geopolitical risks are expected to weigh on the TRY.

Latam:
The BRL has recovered somewhat thanks to a combination of high yields and a more benign global risk environment. Political risk remains high and unwinding of the carry trade might see a sharp weakening of the BRL.
MXN has responded positively to aggressive and concerted policy action. Further gains in MXN are expected.

Asia:
CNY should weaken modestly in response to slower growth and central bank policy accommodation.
IDR is supported by a change in investor sentiment on the back of coordinated action by the central bank and government.

Simon Knappstein

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