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Wholesale Banking

FX Talking January: Waiting on the dollar departure

The consensus view in 2024 is that the dollar will decline. We agree but suspect that a back up in short-term rates and seasonal patterns could frustrate dollar bears through the first quarter. The second quarter should see a re-acceleration of the dollar bear trend as the Fed prepares to pull the trigger on its first rate cut.

As outlined in our 2024 FX Outlook, we expect a broader dollar trend to become more apparent through the second quarter as lower US rates unleash portfolio flows more broadly to the Rest of the World. Of course, geopolitical risks remain. It is not in our baseline view, but a major escalation in the Middle East and another energy supply shock would see the dollar outperform at the expense of Europe and Asia.

To the forecasts. We retain a 1.15 end year forecast for EUR/USD but see range trading in the near term. While a re-assessment of the aggressively priced European Central Bank easing cycle could in theory be positive for the euro, a deteriorating investment environment could well curtail any sizable near-term gains in EUR/USD and other risk-sensitive currencies.

The Japanese yen could well be an outperformer if, as our team thinks, the Bank of Japan does significantly shift policy in April. And sterling could prove something of a dark horse. We are currently mildly bearish sterling on the view that the Bank of England cuts rates 100bp. However, looser UK fiscal policy could keep sterling better supported.

Across the EM space, easing cycles continue in parts of EMEA and Latam. Patience is again advised for the rally in CEE currencies. And China will continue to hold Asia FX back.

Visit our THINK websiteto view our full bundle on FX talking this month.