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Archive

FX Pilot — How will looser capital restrictions impact the CNY?

Capital restrictions are once again being loosened in China, with domestic stock and bond markets being opened up for foreigners. This is part of China's strategy to integrate its financial markets with the rest of the world, and ultimately to make the CNY a new global reserve currency. Opening up does not necessarily imply net capital inflows and give a stronger currency; we continue to expect a slightly weaker CNY versus the USD in the short run amid general USD strength.

Bjarke Roed-Frederiksen, Senior Economist | bjro03@handelsbanken.dk

Swedish Rate Wrap — Stronger krona no obstacle to rate hike

Remarkably, this week's inflation figures managed to land close to both the market's and the Riksbank's expectations. Even so, we saw the largest daily strengthening of the krona in conjunction with CPI results since 2013 (Figure 1). As we see it, this strengthening is a reaction to an unjustifiably steep decline in the wake of the Riksbank's repo rate decision. Backed by inflation figures that are in line with the Riksbank's forecast, and the minutes from the Riksbank's April meeting, the signals are growing stronger that a rate hike really will be introduced this year. We expect the increase in interest rates at the short end to continue, and repeat our forecast of a hike in December.

We also consider the size of the initial repo rate hike, which is back on the agenda this week following responses from the Riksbank Executive Board members to questions from journalists. Although we see few economic reasons to deviate from the standard 25bp steps, we do not preclude a smaller repo rate hike as a compromise solution.

Claes Måhlén, Chief Strategist | clma02@handelsbanken.se

Commodity strategy — Rising oil price forecast

We have been expecting lower oil prices for some time. However, we now see a steady line of price-supporting factors playing out. We therefore increase our oil price forecast from USD 55 to USD 70 at the end of 2018. We continue to believe USD 50-55 is a reasonable range for supply and demand to grow in tandem in the longer term.

Martin Jansson, Strategist | nija03@handelsbanken.se

Strategy comment — Iran deadline: US likely to quit deal, hold off on sanctions

Saturday May 12 is one of a series of recurring deadlines by which US President Donald Trump must decide whether to renew his country's 2015 deal with Iran. The deal released Iran from sanctions in return for limitations on its nuclear programme. We identify three scenarios ahead of Saturday and we believe the most likely is that Trump will leave the current agreement, but hold off on imposing new sanctions against Iran. This is in line with what we see as a key part of Trump's foreign policy tactics regarding Iran: creating uncertainty. We believe Trump is seeking to create a toxic atmosphere regarding Iran, which we believe he sees as much more effective than the sanctions themselves. If the decision goes this way, we believe it would be good for Trump, bad for the EU, and the price of oil would rise due to an increase in uncertainty.

Martin Jansson, Strategist | nija03@handelsbanken.se