ETF Securities Weekly Flows Analysis: Investors buy gold and US Dollar as Fed voices dovish tone

Gold remains bid as the US Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged. The Fed is signalling a December rate hike, but the market remains wary due to Yellen’s dovish tone….

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– Investors cut GBP short ETPs at fastest pace in a month, as the Pound plumbs 2016 lows. Meanwhile, investors polarised on the US Dollar view as long and short ETPs positions rise.

– Global corporate bond ETPs see largest inflows on record, totalling US$11.4mn.

Gold ETPs inflows bounce back as market remains wary of December rate hike, totalling US$15.6mn. While the ‘no change’ decision by the FOMC was largely anticipated, the market remains wary, and is only pricing in a 59% chance of an increase in rates by year-end 2016. Investors uncertainty over the path of US monetary policy is providing support to gold prices, against the backdrop of a weaker US Dollar. The market appears somewhat confused by the ambiguity of FOMC meeting outcome comments: although Fed Chair Yellen indicated that the case for tighter policy had risen, the statement’s tone was dovish. And while the Fed’s economic projections showed downward revisions to GDP, and inflation, there were three dissenting policymakers arguing for a rate hike. Indeed, the ‘dot plot’ indicates one rate hike in 2016, but gold prices will remain bid. The market will listen closely to central bank policymakers for more clarity as we move toward the December meeting, as long as the Fed appears divided.  

Investors cut GBP short ETPs at fastest pace in a month, as the Pound plumbs 2016 lows. Sentiment is beginning to move in Pound’s favour as investors become more bullish, with investors cutting US$11.1mn of short GBP ETP positions, as GBP is closing in on the low levels reached in the wake of the EU Referendum decision. Although we do not see a near-term catalyst for significant GBP upside movement, we feel that all the ‘bad news’ is already priced in.

US dollar outlook polarised as short and long USD ETP receive inflows. The more dovish tone from Fed Chair Yellen at last week’s FOMC meeting took the market somewhat by surprise, with investors reducing bullish USD positions. Not only did short USD ETPs receive US$1.1mn, the second consecutive weekly inflows, but long USD ETPs also recorded inflows totalling US$2.8mn. We expect the US Dollar to move higher in Q4 and onward in 2017, toward the top of its trading range, as the Fed realises it may need to be more aggressive with monetary policy than the current ‘dot plot’ suggests. 

Global corporate bond ETPs record largest inflows on record, totalling US$11.4mn. Central bank quantitative easing activities continues to keep sovereign bond yields in negative territory. As a result, we see further downward pressures on HY bonds yields outside the US due to portfolio rebalancing towards riskier assets within the fixed income universe as investors search for yield.

Key events to watch this week. CPI data from the Eurozone and Japan headline the economic calendar this week. Meanwhile, investors will be listening to central bankers hoping for greater clarity on the path for monetary policy. BOJ Governor Kuroda kicks off the week (with the BOJ’s minutes following on Tuesday), ECB President Draghi speaks twice, alongside Fed Chair Yellen and numerous other Fed speakers.



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