Skip to main content

Currency Realignment Battles

The amount of liquidity swishing in the global economy, it is unlikely to see any equity led correction in the forseeable future. Cyprus was but a blip, maybe if the same thing happened to Spain or Italy would we see anything resembling a major correction. No one seems to be ready to take back the liquidity from the financial system, not anytime soon. 

The rising tide has brought up most equity markets, however, some hefty action may be seen in currency realignment battles. Why? Since most major economies are setting interest rates close to zero, that is as good as it gets to try to pump up the economy. What is left is a corresponding decline in purchasing power which lifts competitive advantage to further boost their economies.

Japan has thrown a spanner into the works by being aggressive in printing money following decades of inertia. When that happens, it negates the weaker Euro and US dollar, which may curb their economic intentions. 


The Australian dollar ... judged to be the world's most overvalued currency at the moment.

Safe havens such as yen, Swiss, the loonie and Aussie currencies may have seen funds leaving their shores as the need for safe havens seems to be dissipating. That could be because the US economy's recovery seem to have a bit more legs in it, plus Asia and Latin America are holding well. China seems to have navigated its excessive speculation in property and stock markets well enough by driving it down without a hard landing. China still has to grapple with State companies debt levels and some inroads seem to have been made there.

So, how should the currency wars play out. Soros was rumoured to have been shorting the Aussie dollar but the rumoured size of $1bn is not going to move markets. I would still short the Aussie dollar, not on betting on interest moves, but on usual holders of high interest rate papers in NZ and Aussie bonds (i.e. Japanese) to liquidate to move back to Japan as thing are rosier there.

Overvalued currencies are there for many reasons: mainly because they were largely unscathed from the 2008 crisis and a solid local economy.

The most undervalued major currency has to be the HKD. Its economy is not tied to the US but the currency is. What you get is smart investors would just keep piling into HK dollar assets until it is so frothy that they cannot take it anymore but will change it to a different basket weighted currency of yen, yuan, dollar and euro. The HKD is so artificially weak which is good for the local economy, tourism and MICE related events. I guess they will wait till things boil over in property and stocks before they have the political will to act.



For the rest of the year, these are my shorts and longs:

SHORTS - Aussie dollar, NZ dollar, Canadian loonie, Japanese yen

LONGS - Malaysian ringgit, Indonesia rupiah, Thai baht, HKD, Taiwan dollar, Chinese yuan


Comments

hishamh said…
Just a quick clarification - the HKD is under a currency board with the USD, not a fixed/managed float exchange rate. In effect Ben Bernanke runs HK's monetary policy; there's is no discretionary exchange rate policy, and certainly no basket of currencies to manage or change. The currency board is set in law, not a policy variable.

Popular posts from this blog

My Master, A National Treasure

REPOST:  Its been more than two years since I posted on my sifu. This is probably the most significant posting I had done thus far that does not involve business or politics. My circle of close friends and business colleagues have benefited significantly from his treatment.


My Master, Dr. Law Chin Han (from my iPhone)

Where shall I start? OK, just based on real life experiences of those who are close to me. The entire Tong family (Bukit Kiara Properties) absolutely swear that he is the master of masters when it comes to acupuncture (and dentistry as well). To me, you can probably find many great dentists, but to find a real Master in acupuncture, thats a whole different ballgame.


I am not big aficionado of Chinese medicine or acupuncture initially. I guess you have to go through the whole shebang to appreciate the real life changing effects from a master.


My business partner and very close friend went to him after 15 years of persistent gout problem, he will get his heavy attacks at least…

PUC - An Assessment

PUC has tried to reinvent itself following the untimely passing of its founder last year. His younger brother, who was highly successful in his own right, was running Pictureworks in a number of countries in Asia.

The Shares Price Rise & Possible Catalysts

Share price has broken its all time high comfortably. The rise has been steady and not at all volatile, accompanied by steady volume, which would indicate longer term investors and some funds already accumulating nd not selling back to the market.


Potential Catalyst #1

The just launched Presto app. Tried it and went to the briefing. Its a game changer for PUC for sure. They have already indicated that the e-wallet will be launched only in 1Q2018. Now what is Presto, why Presto. Its very much like Lazada or eBay or Alibaba. Lazada is a platform for retailers to sell, full stop. eBay is more for the personal one man operations. Alibaba is more for wholesalers and distributors.

Presto links retailers/f&b/services originators with en…

How Long Will The Bull Lasts For Malaysia

Are we in a bull run? Of course we are. Not to labour the point but I highlighted the start of the bull run back in January this year... and got a lot of naysayers but never mind:






























p/s: needless to say, this is Jing Tian ... beautiful face and a certain kind of freshness in her looks and acting career thus far



http://malaysiafinance.blogspot.my/2016/12/bank-negara-may-have-switched-on-bull.html


I would like to extend my prediction that the bull run for Bursa stocks should continue to run well till the end of the year. What we are seeing for the past 3 weeks was a general lull where volume suddenly shrunk but the general trend is still intact. My reasons for saying so:

a) the overall equity markets globally will be supported by a benign recovery complemented by a timid approach to raising rates by most central banks

b) thanks to a drastic bear run for most commodities, and to a lesser extent some oil & gas players, the undertone for "cost of materials" have been weak and has pr…