Moving on from G20

February 29, 2016

The weekend meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors created a lot of noise, but little in the way of consensus regarding the way ahead or on policy action. That was to be expected really. It’s hard to get 20 countries to agree on anything at the best of times, but when there are so many differing challenges facing the world, then it was never the case that they were going to come up with a solution at this weekend’s meeting in China. On exchange rates, they included the bland statement that they would “consult closely on exchange markets”. This language was not included in the last G20 statement back in September, so one could regard it as a shift, or rather a bland acknowledgement that will not lead to anything. The latter seems a lot more likely. We’ve seen the biggest move on the yen overnight, with USDJPY moving from 114.00 to 113.00 as the impression given is that the BoJ can do little more to impact the currency.

For today, we’ve got the initial estimate of February CPI data at 10:00 GMT, with the headline rate seen falling to 0.0% YoY, from the 0.3% reading seen in January. In essence, the remaining data is unlikely to rock the boat. It is the last trading day of what has been a very volatile month for many markets, so this in itself could make for a more volatile trading day than usual. The US employment report takes centre stage at the end of the week, although note that Japan labour market data is released overnight tonight, with initial and final PMI data being released for many countries tomorrow.

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