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ING global economic outlook 2023 December 2022 7 FX: Everyone is asking whether the dollar has topped At top of everyone’s minds in the FX market is the question as to whether the dollar has topped. Softer US inflation data and some hints of softer Covid policy in China have combined to knock the dollar some 8% off its late September highs. Those arguing for a continued dollar decline are wholly focused on the Fed story and the extension of a Fed pivot into a full-blown easing cycle. We certainly agree that a dovish turn at the Fed – a turn that finally sees short-dated US yields start to fall – is a necessary condition for a drop in the dollar. But a sufficient condition requires investment destinations in Europe and Asia being attractive enough to pull funds out of dollar deposits yielding 4%+. It remains questionable whether either of these necessary or sufficient conditions are met in 2023 and we remain sceptical that EUR/USD will be able to sustain gains above the 1.05 level. Elsewhere, sterling has recovered after November’s fiscal U-turn – a sign that policy credibility has a big role to play in FX markets. And finally, Japanese policy makers will be looking at back at some incredibly effective FX intervention to sell USD/JPY in September and October. 8 Rates: To reverse higher first, and then collapse lower as a theme for 2023 2022 is shaping up to be the biggest bear market for bonds in modern times. This might help explain why market rates have reversed lower in recent weeks. But it’s also to do with position squaring, as a decent rump of investors square up on bear market positions taken in 2022. That requires the buying of both duration and risk. However, this stores up problems for the turn of the year. Arguably, financial conditions (especially in the US) are prone to loosening too much, driven there by falls in market rates. But the Fed is still hiking and needs tighter financial conditions. That should force market rates back up first. But the biggest narrative for 2023 will be one of big falls in market rates. The Fed and the ECB will peak in the first quarter, and once there, market rates will have a carte blanche to anticipate future cuts.

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