Jackson Hole in Focus for USD/SGD, USD/THB, USD/IDR, USD/PHP

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US Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht, Indonesian Rupiah, Philippine Peso, ASEAN, Fundamental Analysis – Talking Points

  • US Dollar gained against most ASEAN currencies last week
  • ASEAN case growth slowing before Jackson Hole symposium
  • Will Fed tapering expectations offer further USD momentum?

US Dollar ASEAN Weekly Recap

The US Dollar gained against most ASEAN currencies this past week, such as the Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht and Indonesian Rupiah. The Philippine Peso fared better, seeing a weekly gain against USD. The Greenback’s strength occurred despite average daily case growth in key ASEAN countries slowing – see chart below. Traders may now be focusing on more pressing external factors due next week.

Covid Cases in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines – Averaged

US Dollar Outlook: Jackson Hole in Focus for USD/SGD, USD/THB, USD/IDR, USD/PHP

Chart Created Using TradingView

External ASEAN Event Risk – Federal Reserve Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, PCE Data

Emerging Asia-Pacific currencies can be quite sensitive to capital flows, which are frequently impacted by external fundamental forces. Traders may be positioning themselves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Thursday. There, the central bank could signal how soon it expects to begin tapering its massive balance sheet, which has been swelling since last year’s Covid outbreak.

That would be a sign that the extraordinarily easy credit conditions retail investors have been getting used to are slowly going to come to an end. This may boost front-end government bond yields, slowly raising the cost of capital, likely discouraging investors from aggressive risk-taking. Such an outcome may bode ill for developing-economy sentiment, hence the decline in the MSCI Emerging Market Index – see chart below.

Some relief may come at the end of the week, where the US will release PCE data, which is the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation. The latest headline CPI report showed that the central bank’s transitory view on price growth could be coming to fruition. If the PCE report follows suit, it could keep tapering expectations from taking off too rapidly. The core deflator reading is expected to clock in at 3.6% y/y from 3.5% prior.

Check out the DailyFX Economic Calendar for ASEAN and global data updates!

ASEAN, South Asia Economic Data – Singapore CPI and Industrial Production

Focusing on ASEAN economic docket, it is fairly light in the week ahead. That may keep USD/SGD, USD/THB, USD/IDR and USD/PHP focusing on external risks. Singapore will release CPI and industrial production data. The city-state has been quite successful at vaccination, with about 77% of its population fully inoculated.

The Philippine government announced last week that it plans to ease lockdown restrictions in the capital by the end of the month. That may have helped to keep the Philippine Peso afloat. The Thai Baht also seems to be leveling off against the US Dollar. Covid case growth in Thailand has been slowing as the nation extended containment efforts until August 31st. Indonesia is also seeing case growth materially slow as 1.6 million Pfizer vaccine doses arrived in the nation last week.

On August 21st, the 20-day rolling correlation coefficient between my ASEAN-based US Dollar index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index changed to -0.80 from +0.27 one week ago. Values closer to 1 indicate an increasingly inverse relationship, though it is important to recognize that correlation does not imply causation.

ASEAN-Based USD Index Versus EEM Index – Daily Chart

US Dollar Outlook: Jackson Hole in Focus for USD/SGD, USD/THB, USD/IDR, USD/PHP

Chart Created Using TradingView

*ASEAN-Based US Dollar Index averages USD/SGD, USD/IDR, USD/THB and USD/PHP

— Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Strategist for DailyFX.com

To contact Daniel, use the comments section below or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter



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