2023 Market Forecast by Solid ECN

Swiss Franc Strengthens as SNB Adjusts Forex Reserves

The Swiss franc has been on a strong upward trajectory, surpassing 0.875 against the USD in November, marking its highest point since early August. This increase is largely fueled by expectations that the US Federal Reserve might cut rates by the second quarter of 2024, which has put pressure on the US dollar. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, moderate inflation and a slowing economy have contributed to limited monetary policy support for the franc. Inflation has remained under the 2% mark for the fifth month in a row as of October, and the latest data indicates that the country's GDP growth stalled in the second quarter.

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Moreover, diminishing concerns over a major escalation in the Israel-Gaza conflict have reduced the demand for the franc as a safe haven, leading it to approach four-month lows against the euro. Despite these factors, the franc is still on track to end 2023 stronger against both the dollar and the euro. This strength is partly attributed to the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) reduction in foreign currency reserves, which dropped to a nearly six-year low in October.​
 
Canadian Dollar Climbs as Bank of Canada Holds Firm on Rates

The Canadian dollar has seen further appreciation, crossing the 1.35 mark against the USD. This uptick follows the Bank of Canada's decision to keep interest rates at their 22-year peak, along with a somewhat hawkish outlook. The bank held its key overnight rate at 5%, and even suggested the possibility of another rate hike. This comes amidst ongoing worries about inflation, even though there's been a recognition of both economic slowdown and a general easing of prices.

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Recently, Canada reported a decline in its inflation rate to 3.1% in October, the lowest in four months, while the core rate fell to a 28-month low of 2.7%. At the same time, the economy saw an unexpected contraction at an annualized rate of 1.1% in the third quarter. This situation has led investors to speculate on the possibility of a rate cut as soon as March. However, Governor Tiff Macklem has clarified that the Bank of Canada is not currently considering any easing measures, as inflation still significantly exceeds the target.​
 
Turkish Central Bank's Bold Moves Amidst Lira's Fall

The Turkish lira has been on a downward trajectory, now reaching nearly 29 units against the US dollar. This decline persists even as the central bank of Turkey continues to implement what they call 'intentional devaluation,' a strategy that hasn't changed despite increasing interest rates. To manage this situation, the bank has tightened reserve requirements for the lira. This move is aimed at reducing the amount of money available in the interbank market. As a result, local interest rates have risen, aligning more closely with the cost of borrowing lira internationally.

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Over the last three months, the currency's value has been consistently dropping, setting new lows almost every day. On average, the lira loses just over 0.1% daily, which has led to a staggering 50% decrease since the beginning of the year. In a surprising turn, the central bank, during its latest meeting on November 23rd, raised the benchmark one-week repo rate by 500 basis points, reaching 40%. This increase exceeded market expectations, which predicted a rise of only 250 basis points. This decision signals the bank's intensified effort to curb the ongoing inflation trend.​
 
Dollar Stays Strong as Job Market Data Looms

On Thursday, the dollar index maintained its position above 104, with investors taking a cautious approach. They are waiting for the upcoming monthly jobs report, which is anticipated to offer new insights into the current state of the US labor market. The report, due on Friday, is expected to reveal an increase in employment by 170,000 in November. Additionally, it's predicted that the unemployment rate will stay at a 22-month peak of 3.9%, and wage growth might slow down to 4%, marking the lowest since June 2021.

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Recent data presents a mixed picture. Wednesday's figures suggested a slowdown in the US labor market, with the ADP report showing fewer job additions in November than anticipated, and labor costs in the third quarter being lower than expected. Despite these indications of a cooling labor market, the dollar has stayed near its highest levels in almost three weeks. This resilience is partly due to traders increasing their bets on rate cuts by other central banks. Currently, the market is pricing in about an 85% likelihood of the European Central Bank cutting rates in March 2024.​
 
Gold Technical Analysis

Gold has been stabilizing its price above the Ichimoku cloud as expected. The pair is currently trading in a narrow range between $2,009 and $2,039. The direction and magnitude of the next breakout are crucial for the future trend.

If the XAUUSD price breaks above the upper boundary of the range, the bulls will have a clear path to the 23.6% resistance level at $2,078.

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On the other hand, if the price falls below the lower boundary of the range, the bears will try to push it back into the Ichimoku cloud and test the support level at $1,984. The market sentiment and the global economic outlook will likely influence the price movement of gold in the coming days.​
 
Cotton Futures Reach New Heights Amid Supply Concerns

Cotton futures recently hit a high not seen in over a month, climbing above 82 cents per pound. This surge, the most significant since late October, comes as traders face concerns over the short-term availability of cotton. Recent data from ICE reveals a sharp decline in certified cotton stocks. On December 5th, stocks available for delivery against futures contracts were at just 6,325 bales, a significant drop from the two-year high of 87,770 bales recorded on December 1st.

Adding to these supply worries, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) has lowered its forecast for the 2023/2024 cotton season's production to 29.4 million bales. This downward revision is due to the impact of the pink bollworm infestation in Haryana and the fact that many farmers have been forced to uproot their plants.

In other developments, Brazil reported its cotton export figures for November. The country shipped 253.71 thousand tons of cotton, indicating a 12% increase from October 2023. However, this figure represents a 5.5% decrease when compared to the exports in November 2022.​
 
Post-Strike Surge: US Adds 180,000 Jobs in November

In November 2023, it's expected that the US economy experienced a notable upturn in job growth, primarily due to the conclusion of strikes in the automotive and entertainment sectors. It's estimated that around 180,000 jobs were added, a significant increase from the 150,000 jobs in October. This change can be largely attributed to the return of workers from the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) after strike settlements.

Despite this improvement, there's an observable trend of deceleration in the job market. For the second month in a row, the number of jobs added has been below the average monthly increase of approximately 258,800 seen over the previous year, indicating a slowdown. Nevertheless, it's important to recognize that job growth is still surpassing the monthly requirement of 70,000 to 100,000 jobs necessary to keep pace with the growing working-age population.

On another note, the unemployment rate is projected to be around 3.9%, which is the highest it has been since January 2022. Additionally, there's an anticipated decrease in annual wage growth, possibly dropping to 4%, the lowest since June 2021. This suggests a complex scenario in the labor market, where job growth persists amidst a backdrop of declining wage increases and a slight rise in unemployment.​
 
EURUSD Dips Slightly, Future Projections Indicate Decrease

On Friday, December 8, the EURUSD pair saw a slight decline, dropping by 0.0008 or 0.07%, to close at 1.0784. This was a marginal decrease from its previous trading session's level of 1.0792.

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Analysts and global macro models from Solid ECN Security are projecting that the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate, commonly referred to as EUR/USD, will hover around 1.07 by the end of the current quarter. As we look ahead, our forecasts extend to 12 months, where we anticipate the exchange rate might further decrease to around 1.04.​
 
DXY Edges Up, Future Projections Show Increase

On Friday, December 8, there was a small rise in the DXY, with an increase of 0.1831 or 0.18%, bringing it to 103.72. This marked a slight upturn from its previous level of 103.54 recorded in the last trading session.

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Projections from Solid ECN, based on our global macro models and analysts' expectations, suggest that the United States Dollar could reach around 104.29 by the end of this quarter. Peering further into the future, our forecasts indicate that in 12 months' time, the Dollar might increase to approximately 107.58.​
 
Chinese Yuan Expected to Strengthen in Coming Months

On Friday, December 8, there was a slight uptick in the USDCNY, with the rate increasing by 0.0062 or 0.09%, ending the day at 7.169. This rise was a small change from its previous closing of 7.163 in the last trading session.

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Looking ahead, based on the insights from global macro models and the expectations of analysts, the Chinese Yuan is projected to reach about 7.19 by the end of this quarter. Moving further into the future, predictions suggest that in a year's time, the Yuan could be trading around the 7.38 mark.​
 
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