GBP vulnerable, AUD downside limited

Finally after weeks of selling, risk assets perked up helped by China’s pledge to focus more on supporting growth and signs of cooperation between Germany and France, as leaders of both countries agreed to do ‘everything necessary’ to ensure Greece stays in the Eurozone.

Just what this will entail is not clear but reports suggest that European officials are formulating plans ahead of the EU Summit on Wednesday. Markets are by no means out of the woods and much uncertainty will remain ahead of Greece’s election in just less than a month.

GBP has dropped both against the USD and EUR. The currency has not been helped by some dovish tones from Bank of England MPC member Posen who last week suggested that his decision to withdraw his vote for more quantitative easing may have been ‘premature’. The renewed spectre of more QE will likely weigh on GBP over coming weeks.

The fact that the market has got itself very long GBP may also have contributed to some profit taking as some caution in being excessively long GBP sets in. UK inflation data today will likely play negatively for GBP too given the sharp slowdown expected to be registered in the April CPI inflation data.

My quantitative model for EUR/GBP reflects the potential risks to GBP over coming days, with the model output suggesting further downside risks to GBP. Technical resistance will likely be seen around the 0.8198 level.

AUD’s slide has been pretty dramatic over recent weeks. Despite a bounce overnight the currency has lost close to 9% of its value against the USD since the beginning of March, weighed down by rising risk aversion and China growth worries.

My quantitative model has been persistently calling for a drop in the AUD (a fact that I have highlighted previously). Interestingly the model now shows that the gap between the current level of AUD/USD and its short term ‘fair value’ estimate has almost closed, suggesting that the downside for the currency will be limited to around the 0.96-0.97 region.

The only caveat is that a stark deterioration in risk appetite from current levels would result in a sharper fall but for now we believe that a lot of the expected downward correction in the currency has already occurred. While I would not go and rush out to buy AUD just yet, taking a short position looks much less attractive.

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