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Win Thin

Win Thin

Win Thin is a senior currency strategist with over fifteen years of investment experience. He has a broad international background with a special interest in developing markets. Prior to joining BBH in June 2007, he founded Mandalay Advisors, an independent research firm that provided sovereign emerging market analysis to institutional investors. He received an MA from Georgetown University in 1985 and a B.A. from Brandeis University 1983. Feel free to contact the Zurich office of BBH

Articles by Win Thin

Dollar Soft Ahead of Jobs Report

4 days ago

Re-shutdowns continue to spread across the US; the dollar has come under pressure again
Jobs data is the highlight ahead of the long holiday weekend in the US; weekly jobless claims will be reported
FOMC minutes were revelatory; the Fed for now will rely on “outcome-based” forward guidance and asset purchases to achieve its goals; US House passed the latest China sanctions bill
The UK offered a home to nearly 3 mln Hong Kong citizens; Russia President Putin will likely be around for much longer, but the real risk is a new round of sanctions
Japan’s ruling LDP is discussing how to attract finance professionals from Hong Kong; Korea reported June CPI
Re-shutdowns continue to spread across the US. New York and California banned or delayed reopening of certain

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Dollar Begins the Week Under Pressure Again

7 days ago

The virus news stream remains negative; pressure on the dollar has resumed
The US economy is taking a step back just as Q3 is about to get under way; there are some minor US data reports today
UK Labour leader Starmer overtook Prime Minister Johnson in the latest opinion poll; Macron’s party did poorly in French local elections
French and German leaders meet to discuss the planned EU pandemic rescue package; UK and EU begin their “intensified timetable” for Brexit negotiations
Japan reported May retail sales and department store sales; China industrial profits rebounded nicely to 6.0% y/y in May
The virus news stream remains negative.
Deaths surpassed 500,000 worldwide, while confirmed cases exceeded 10 mln. Australia, Tokyo, and Austria are seeing a resurgence of

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

8 days ago

Risk assets came under pressure last week as the virus news stream worsened. It’s clear that large parts of the US will be forced to delay reopening until their virus numbers improve. Markets had gotten too bullish on the US recovery story and so this reality check soured sentiment. This is a very important week for US data, and we think risk sentiment will remain under pressure ahead of what we think will be a likely downside surprise in the US jobs number Thursday. AMERICAS
Brazil reports central government budget data Monday, where a primary deficit of -BRL132.1 bln is expected. Consolidated budget data will then be reported Tuesday, where a primary deficit of -BRL135.0 bln is expected. Fiscal policy will become an increasingly bigger issue, as Lower House

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Recent Trade Developments Suggest Some Caution Ahead Warranted

10 days ago

There’s never a good time for a trade war. Yet here we are on the cusp of one between the US and the EU over unfair aircraft subsidies and comes at a time when renewed COVID-19 outbreaks are making the global economic outlook even cloudier. These developments suggest some caution ahead is warranted for risk assets like EM and equities.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Back in April, the WTO set forth two distinct pandemic scenarios for world trade. The “relatively optimistic” scenario sees a sharp -12.9% decline in trade volume this year followed by a recovery starting in H2 that leads to 21.3% growth in trade volume next year. The “more pessimistic” scenario sees an even steeper -31.9% drop this year followed by a more prolonged and incomplete recovery that leads to 24.0%

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Persists

11 days ago

Higher infection numbers in the US and other countries continue to fuel risk aversion across global markets; the IMF released more pessimistic global growth forecasts yesterday
The US has rekindled trade provocations against China through Huawei; weekly jobless claims will be reported; regional Fed manufacturing surveys for June will continue to roll out
Fitch cut Canada’s rating by a notch to AA+ with stable outlook; Mexico is expected to cut rates 50 bp to 5.0%; Brazil central bank releases its quarterly inflation report
The ECB announced a new euro liquidity facility for central banks outside the euro area; its account of the June meeting will be released
Turkey is expected to cut rates 25 bp to 8.0%; Philippine central bank unexpectedly cut rates 50 bp to

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Returns

12 days ago

Risk-off sentiment has picked up from reports that the US will impose new tariffs against the EU; there’s also been a messy set of headlines regarding the virus contagion outlook in the US
The IMF will release updated global growth forecasts today; the dollar is benefiting from risk-off sentiment; another round of fiscal stimulus in the US is in the works
Brazil announced a slew of new easing measures to improve liquidity conditions in local credit markets; Mexico reports mid-June CPI
Germany’s June IFO survey came in on the stronger side of forecasts; Austria issued the second 100-year bond in its history and it was very well received
Czech Republic is expected to keep rates steady at 0.25%; Hungary surprised with a 15 bp cut yesterday
The BOJ’s initial emergency

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

13 days ago

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot
There were minimal changes to the status quo as the week commences. Bangladesh has announced revised trading hours on the local exchanges. No change of status in Nigeria and Kenya as they both continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below.
Bangladesh: Effective June 18, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) revised their trading hours until further notice. The new trading hours are 10:00am to 1:00pm Sunday through Thursday. Banks will continue to operate on the reduced hours to facilitate cash clearing and FX activity. The DSE and CSE had been closed since March and have adapted reduced trading hours in response to COVID-19.

Indonesia: Effective June 15, the

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

13 days ago

There are some indexing events this week that could add to market volatility; the IMF will release updated global growth forecasts Wednesday
The regional Fed manufacturing surveys for June will continue to roll out; Fed speaking engagements are somewhat limited this week
Eurozone reports preliminary June PMI readings Tuesday; ECB releases its account of the June meeting Thursday
All quiet on the Brexit front; UK reports preliminary June PMI readings Tuesday
Japan reports preliminary June PMI readings Tuesday; the Antipodeans have a fairly quiet week; RBNZ meets Wednesday
Risk assets came under some pressure last week as rising virus numbers and weak economic data outweighed the favorable liquidity backdrop. This week brings preliminary June PMI readings for much

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SNB Preview

18 days ago

The Swiss National Bank meets Thursday. It is widely expected to maintain its current policy stances but is likely to push back against CHF strength. Here, we highlight here the potential choices that lie ahead for the SNB.
WHAT ELSE CAN THE SNB DO?
The SNB meets quarterly in March, June, September, and December. At the March 19 meeting, the SNB took a series of measures to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Whilst SNB officials have always said that rates could be cut further, we do not think the bank will go more negative. For now, we expect policymakers to continue focusing on the exchange rate with its ongoing intervention program. Here, we look at several macro moves that the SNB could make this week and in the coming months if needed.
1. Tweak its

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Dollar Suffers as Stimulus Efforts Boost Market Sentiment

19 days ago

Market sentiment reverse sharply to the positive side due to several factors; as a result, the dollar has suffered
The Fed beefed up its support for the corporate bond market; all eyes are on Fed Chair Powell as he delivers his semi-annual report to the Senate today
The Trump administration is reportedly preparing a large infrastructure bill; May retail sales will be the data highlight
Comments from UK and EU officials have sparked optimism about Brexit talks; UK reported mixed labor market data
Regional tensions in Asia have been overlooked by the markets; BOJ kept rates on hold but boosted its pandemic loan program; RBA released its minutes
Please see our new table at the end of this piece for a snapshot of the biggest movers of the day across asset classes.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

22 days ago

EM and other risk assets stabilized to end the week after Thursday’s selloff, but remain vulnerable. The risks ahead are the same as before, which include a second wave of infections as well as a longer and shallower than expected recovery in global growth. The Fed’s message of low rates as far as the eye can see was balanced by Powell’s grim outlook for unemployment. The liquidity story should remain positive for EM, with the BOE expected to increase its QE this week, but that may not be enough to sustain continued gains in risk assets.
AMERICAS
Chile central bank meets Tuesday and is expected to keep policy unchanged. The bank quickly cut rates 125 bp in March to the current 0.5%. This is considered the lower bound and so further easing, if needed, would likely

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Intensifies After FOMC Decision

24 days ago

Concerns about still rising infection numbers and a second wave ofCovid-19 have contributed to today’s downdraft in risk assets; for now, the weak dollar trend is hard to fight
Despite delivering no change in policy, the Fed nonetheless sent an unequivocally dovish signal; stocks have not reacted well to the Fed; weekly jobless claims and May PPI will be reported
Peru is expected to keep rates steady at 0.25%; Brazil inflation data supports a 75 bp cut next week
The Brexit outlook remains grim; Italian April IP fell -19.1% m/m
Reports suggest the Bank of Japan is likely to remain on hold next week; officials can’t be happy with recent yen strength
The dollar is firmer against the majors as risk-off sentiment picks up in the wake of the FOMC decision. Swissie and

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Takes Hold

25 days ago

Today’s risk off price action appears to have been triggered by profit-taking; the dollar has gotten some traction
The Fed expanded its Main Street Loan Program to include more businesses; the jobs rebound has removed a sense of urgency regarding the next round of fiscal stimulus
Some minor US data will be seen today; Mexico reports May CPI
Germany reported weak April trade and current account data; there were two important developments in Turkey today
Japan reported weak April real cash earnings and May machine tool orders; Australia reports several sentiment indicators this week
The dollar is mostly firmer against the majors as some risk-off sentiment takes hold.
The yen and Swissie are outperforming, while the Antipodeans are underperforming. EM currencies are

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Dollar Broadly Weaker Ahead of FOMC Decision

26 days ago

The FOMC decision comes out this afternoon and we expect a dovish hold; this would of course be negative for the dollar
Ahead of the decision, May CPI will be reported; the budget statement will be of interest; Brazil reports May IPCA inflation
We are still getting mixed messages about Europe’s flagship €750 bln recovery package; French April IP fell -20.1% m/m
Japan reported weak May PPI and April core machine orders; Australia reported mixed sentiment indicators; China reported May inflation and loan data
The dollar is broadly weaker against the majors ahead of the FOMC decision. The Antipodeans are outperforming, while the Scandies are underperforming.
EM currencies are mostly firmer. MYR and THB are outperforming, while IDR and RUB are underperforming. MSCI

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Dollar Stabilizes as the New Week Begins

26 days ago

The dollar has stabilized a bit; Friday’s US jobs data could be a game changer
The US bond market selloff continues; for now, the weak dollar trend is hard to fight
The Brazilian government has found a way to make a bad situation worse by trying to control its Covid-19 statistics
German IP came in a bit worse than expected at -17.9% m/m; the OPEC+ deal ended with the expected supply cut deal, lending continued support to crude prices
Japan Q1 GDP revised higher on questionable capex readings; China reported a record trade surplus in May; HKMA continues to defend the strong end of the HKD band
The dollar is mixed against the majors as the new week begins. The Scandies are outperforming, while sterling and euro are underperforming.
EM currencies are mixed too. RUB

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Our Latest Thoughts on the Dollar

27 days ago

The dollar remains under pressure, due in large part to the Fed’s aggressive efforts to inject stimulus. We see dollar weakness persisting near-term. From a longer-term perspective, we note that the greenback remains largely rangebound and is unlikely to fall below its 2018 lows.

Dollar Index, 2015-2020 – Click to enlarge
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
There is a growing debate as to the root causes of recent dollar weakness. Is it the burgeoning national debt? The poor US economic outlook? Political risk from widespread social unrest here in the US? Improved risk appetite and less of safe-haven dollar bid? All of these (and perhaps more) have likely contributed to the dollar’s swoon. Being old-fashioned as we are, however, we believe that relative monetary policy

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Dollar Firm as Risk-On Sentiment Ebbs Ahead of ECB Decision

June 5, 2020

Risk sentiment is taking a breather today after a strong run; the dollar is getting some modest traction
Fed tweaked its municipal bond program; weekly jobless claims are expected to rise 1.843 mln; Brazil and Mexico are seeing record high daily death counts
ECB is expected to ease today; Germany agreed on a new fiscal package that exceeded expectations
BOE warned that UK banks should plan for a possible hard Brexit; Swiss deflation is deepening
Australia reported weak April trade and retail sales data; Thailand reported May CPI
The dollar is mostly firmer against the majors as risk on sentiment ebbs ahead of the ECB decision. Swissie and yen are outperforming, while Stockie and Aussie are underperforming. EM currencies are mostly weaker. PHP and HKD are

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Dollar Broadly Weaker After Reports of Possible Brexit Compromise

June 3, 2020

The dollar remains under pressure; there is a debate as to the root causes of recent dollar weakness
May auto sales will be the only US data release today; protests in the US are further denting Trump’s re-elections prospects, at least according to betting odds
The G7 meeting planned at Camp David this month was postponed after German Chancellor Merkel declined his invitation
Press reports suggest a possible compromise in the UK-EU trade negotiations; oil futures are rising on prospects of an extension of the OPEC+ output curbs
RBA kept policy steady, as expected; Moody’s downgraded India by a notch to Baa3 and maintained a negative outlook
The dollar is broadly weaker against the majors after reports of a potential Brexit compromise.
Aussie and Nokkie are

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Dollar Firm as US-China Tensions Continue to Rise

May 31, 2020

Tensions between the US and China continue to rise; the dollar is finding some traction
Fed Beige Book contained no surprises; NY Fed President Williams said the Fed is “thinking very hard” about targeting yields; weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.1 mln vs. 2.438 mln last week
Germany reports May CPI; ECB is likely to ease next week; BOE continues to show its dovish colors; Poland is expected to keep rates steady at 0.5%
Japan’s Cabinet Office maintained its view that the economic outlook continues to deteriorate; Korea cut rates 25 bp to 0.5%, as expected
The dollar is mostly firmer against the majors as US-China tensions continue to rise.  Stockie and Kiwi are outperforming, while Nokkie and Aussie are underperforming.  EM currencies are mostly softer.

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Asia Lockdowns vs. Re-Openings

May 30, 2020

By Ilan Solot and Kieran Chard
We apply the five-factor model used to analyse lockdowns and openings in developed markets and in Latin America to Asian Markets. It evaluates the restrictions imposed by different countries in the region, how they compare in terms of severity of lockdown, and where they are heading in the spectrum of reopening. The scale we use measures grade restrictions from 1 (open) to 4 (closed) across the following five factors: (a) schools/universities, (b) non-essential businesses, (c) borders, (d) social distancing and (e) severity of penalties/prosecution. Please see the below table for the breakdown of the measure’s ratings.

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China
China recorded the world’s first case on the December 31 in the Hubei province, taking just 24

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Hong Kong Turbulence Likely to Rise as US-China Relations Worsen

May 28, 2020

Recent moves by China call into direct question the “one country, two systems” approach. Hong Kong assets have held up surprisingly well but we see turbulence ahead as US-China relations are set to deteriorate further.
POLITICAL OUTLOOK
Legislation was introduced last week that allows Beijing to directly impose a national security law on Hong Kong. Local legislative approval would be circumvented but Chief Executive Lam said Hong Kong authorities would fully cooperate with China to enact the legislation. Protests erupted in Hong Kong over the weekend and are likely to persist. The security law would allow China to directly address political dissent in Hong Kong, something that Lam has been unable to do. Yet this move calls into question the “the one country, two

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

May 28, 2020

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot
Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged this week. Philippines, Bangladesh and Kuwait have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below
Sri Lanka: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) resumed operations on May 11, 2020 following an extended period of closure. Foreign exchange trading is still permitted between the hours of 8:30am and 1.15pm.

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Bangladesh: On May 14 the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) announced they will remain closed until May 30. Local banks will continue to operate on the reduced hours of 10:00am to 2:30 pm. While there is no trading and settlement

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Dollar Firm as China’s Hong Kong Gambit Triggers Risk-Off Trading

May 23, 2020

Legislation was introduced that allows Beijing to directly impose a national security law on Hong Kong; US-China tensions are still rising; the dollar is bid as risk-off sentiment takes hold
There are no US data reports or Fed speakers today; Canada reports March retail sales; Mexico reports mid-May CPI
ECB publishes the account of its April 30 meeting; UK reported April retail sales and public sector net borrowing; parts of the UK curve remain negative
China scrapped its long-standing policy of setting an annual growth target
Legislation was introduced that allows Beijing to directly impose a national security law on Hong Kong; political risk has seen USD/HKD move off the strong end of the 7.75-7.85 trading band
BOJ met overnight; Fitch cut the outlook on its AAA

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Dollar Firm as US-China Tensions Flare

May 22, 2020

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar has stabilized; US-China tensions continue to ratchet up
We will get some more US economic data for May; weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.4 mln
Eurozone and UK reported firm preliminary May PMI readings; BOE officials continue to take a very dovish tone
South Africa is expected to cut rates 50 bp to 3.75%; Turkey is expected to cut rates 50 bp to 8.25%
Japan and Australia reported preliminary May PMIs; Korea reported weak trade data for the first 20 days of May

The dollar is broadly firmer against the majors as rising US-China tensions dent market sentiment. Euro and sterling are outperforming, while the Antipodeans are underperforming. EM currencies are mixed. INR and RUB are outperforming, while CNY and TRY are

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Dollar Treads Water Ahead of FOMC Minutes

May 21, 2020

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar has stabilized a bit
FOMC minutes will be released; Canada reports April CPI and March wholesale trade sales; the news from Brazil keeps getting worse
Another group of EU nations will release their own plan in a rebuttal of France and Germany; UK reported April CPI data
Japan reported March core machine orders; Australia reported weak preliminary April retail sales
China kept its benchmark Loan Prime Rates unchanged; Thailand cut rates 25 bp to 0.50%, as expected

The dollar is mostly weaker against the majors. Kiwi and Swissie are outperforming, while yen and sterling are underperforming.  EM currencies are mixed. ZAR and RUB are outperforming, while KRW and TRY are underperforming. MSCI Asia Pacific was up 0.5% on the

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

May 19, 2020

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot
Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged this week. Philippines, Bangladesh and Kuwait have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below
Sri Lanka: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) resumed operations on May 11, 2020 following an extended period of closure. Foreign exchange trading is still permitted between the hours of 8:30am and 1.15pm.

Bangladesh: On May 14 the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) announced they will remain closed until May 30. Local banks will continue to operate on the reduced hours of 10:00am to 2:30 pm. While there is no trading and settlement

Read More »

Dollar Firm as Risk-off Sentiment Intensifies

May 15, 2020

Risk-off sentiment has intensified; as a result, the dollar is getting some more traction
Fed Chair Powell pushed back against the notion of negative rates in the US; US Treasury completed its quarterly refunding
Weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.5 mln vs. 3.169 mln last week; Mexico is expected to cut rates 50 bp to 5.5%There have been growing discussions about negative rates in the UK; weak UK data, rising Brexit risks, and a more dovish BOE have taken a toll on sterling
ECB Vice President de Guindos said the region’s economy has “hit the bottom”; the EC is getting ready to roll out a new economic plan to help the most affected countries
Japan machine tool orders plunged -48.3% y/y in April; Australia reported weak April jobs data
The dollar is mostly

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Dollar Mixed as Markets Await Fresh Drivers

May 14, 2020

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar continues to consolidate; US-China tensions continue to rise
US Treasury wraps up its quarterly refunding; April budget statement is a harbinger of things to come; the next round of stimulus will be contentious
We got some dovish BOE comments yesterday; UK continues to play Brexit hardball; UK data was slightly better than expected but awful nonetheless
Japan reported March current account data; RBNZ expanded its QE program and opened the door for negative rates; Malaysia’s Q1 GDP surprised on the upside

The dollar is mixed against the majors as markets await fresh drivers. Nokkie and Loonie are outperforming, while Kiwi and Swissie are underperforming. EM currencies are mixed. MXN and RUB are outperforming, while HUF

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Different Type of Crisis, Some Old Concerns

May 13, 2020

Over the past two months we have witnessed historic turmoil followed by unprecedented intervention by policy makers and central banks in supporting the capital markets (and more). In many ways the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is very different from the 2008 global financial crisis, but for some, certain old concerns still linger. In the face of short selling bans and worries about market liquidity, we discuss below how best to navigate some of the common objections and concerns related to securities lending and how to position your securities lending program in the current environment and beyond.
Fees and performance remain top of mind
Even more than before, investors in investment funds are increasingly aware of the relationship between fees and performance. Every

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

May 12, 2020

Restricted Market Trading Comments
By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot
Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged from last week. Sri Lanka and India have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below
Sri Lanka: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) resumed operations today following an extended period of closure. Foreign exchange trading is still permitted between the hours of 8:30am and 1.15pm.

Bangladesh: On May 7, 2020, the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the central bank, amended banking hours to the new time of 10:00am to 2:30 pm. On May 5, the government announced market lockdown will continue until May 16. While there is no trading and

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