Reuters Foreign Exchange Polls The survey of over 150 strategists covers the outlook for dollar rates versus major currencies, Asian and Latin American currencies over the next 12 months.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov


American dollar notes are displayed in this photo illustration in Johannesburg. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Dollar rally nearing a close, risks to the downside


he U.S. dollar rally that began in mid2014 has nearly run its course and will only gain slightly over the coming year, according to a Reuters poll of strategists who said risks to their forecasts are tilted more to the downside. The latest conclusions will likely have implications for the euro zone and Japanese economies, where officials have for a long time aimed to weaken their currencies in order to boost exports and shore up sagging growth and inflation. Minutes from the Fed's March 15-16 policy meeting released on Wednesday suggested caution about raising rates due to concern among policymakers over their limited ability to counter the blow of a global economic slowdown. Citi says dollar appreciation "has gone out of fashion". "The Fed remains dovish in the face of higher core inflation, the ECB has switched from FX to credit easing and the Bank of Japan revealed its preference - albeit at higher levels - for limited further yen depreciation," wrote analysts at the bank. The Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rates late in January, while the ECB delivered an unexpectedly aggressive barrage of stimulus

measures last month. But those shock moves have done nothing to weaken the yen or the euro. Instead those currencies have strengthened, suggesting the effectiveness of such policy action is diminishing. The euro last week rose above $1.14 for the first time in almost six months while the yen is at a 17month high against the dollar, breaking below 109 for the first time since October 2014. The yen has risen despite verbal warnings from Japanese officials against its appreciation. A senior Japanese finance ministry official said on Thursday recent currency moves have been one-sided and that the ministry would take steps in the market as needed. Outright bullish bets on the U.S. dollar were slashed to the lowest in nearly two years, according to positioning data, which also showed speculators cut euro shorts to the lowest in almost a month. The latest Reuters poll of over 60 currency strategists is the fourth consecutive survey this year that forecasters have bumped up their euro calls. Still, the consensus is for the single currency to ease to $1.10 in three months from $1.14 it was trading on Thursday and to $1.08 in a year, around

where it started 2016. Just a few months ago, euro/dollar parity calls were on the rise, but have steadily fallen off the radar this year with only a handful of analysts sticking to that view, which they have been holding on to for over a year now. Forecasts for the yen are also a lot stronger than was anticipated at the start of the year. Then, analysts were calling for the yen to fall against the dollar to 125 in 12 months. Now they are calling for it to weaken to 118 from 108 on Thursday. And while the consensus still points for the dollar to rise a bit in the coming year, nearly two-thirds, 25 of 43 analysts, said the forecast risks were to the downside. "Monetary policies designed to stimulate economies have reached some of their limitations. Risks are piling up – diffuse and varied," wrote Jean-François Paren, head of global markets research at CA-CIB. Sterling has also taken a pounding this year as concerns have grown about a Brexit - Britain leaving the European Union. It could fall sharply if Britons vote to leave the EU on June 23, dragging the euro down a bit too, and can bounce on a vote to remain.


If Britons vote to stay in EU sterling would gain 4 percent soon after


f Britons vote as expected to retain their European Union membership card on June 23 then sterling would gain 4 percent on the dollar in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. However, if the opinion polls and betting firms prove wrong again and Britain decides to walk away from the EU the currency would fall 7 percent, the poll suggested. Sterling fell to its weakest level in almost 2-1/2 years against a basket of currencies on Thursday, as investors showed increasing concern about the outcome of the vote. "It highlights how vulnerable sterling is to any glimmer of any political moves. It is very vulnerable and pretty volatile - and we still have a couple of months to go before the referendum," said Jane Foley at Rabobank. Support for Britain staying in the European Union has fallen slightly but maintains the narrowest of leads and bookmakers' odds still point to a roughly 35 percent chance of a Brexit, which analysts say is now largely priced into the pound. Adding to confusion, opinion polls failed spectacularly to predict a Conservative Party

It highlights how vulnerable sterling is to any glimmer of any political moves. It is very vulnerable and pretty volatile and we still have a couple of months to go before the referendum. - Jane Foley Rabobank victory in Britain's 2015 parliamentary election, blaming sample recruitment methods and, potentially, unintended herd behaviour by pollsters. With so much uncertainty abounding, the Swiss franc and Japanese yen may be the biggest gainers from falls in sterling in the run-up to the referendum, options prices suggest. Sterling has been hit hard this year as investors worry leaving the EU - a Brexit - would threaten the foreign investment flows Britain needs to fund its current account deficit, one of the biggest in the developed world. A rise in the fourth quarter deficit to a record high put focus on how exposed Britain would be, should

those foreign investors and buyers of its bonds be spooked by a Brexit. Like sterling, the economy would be worse off if the country does leave and Britain's FTSE stock index will not make much, if any, progress for the rest of 2016 due to uncertainty on the vote, recent Reuters polls have showed. With so much ambiguity around the referendum result, predictions for sterling were in a wide range although median forecasts were revised up a little from last month. One euro will be worth 79.0 pence in a month's time, medians in the poll of nearly 60 analysts taken this week suggested. In six months a euro will get you 75.0p and in a year 73.5p. Against the dollar, currently around $1.41, the pound will be trading at $1.42 in a month, $1.43 in three and $1.48 in a year, the poll found. In March the respective forecasts were for $1.40, $1.40 and $1.46. That is largely based on expectations the U.S. dollar rally has nearly run its course after the Federal Reserve last week took off the table any near-term interest rate hikes.

Sample polymer five and ten GB pound banknotes are seen on display at the Bank of England in London. REUTERS/Chris Ratcliffe/pool


C$ to weaken slightly as U.S. Fed hikes, domestic data softens


he Canadian dollar looks set to weaken slightly in the coming months because of the prospect of U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and less-robust domestic economic data, a Reuters poll showed. Since hitting a 12-year low at C$1.4689 in January, the currency has strengthened 12 percent on faster-than-expected Canadian growth, a partial recovery in oil prices and the Canadian government's plan for fiscal stimulus. "In the coming months, we expect a lower oil price, less optimistic statistics for the Canadian economy and a stronger U.S. dollar helped by an increase in interest rates in the United States," said Hendrix Vachon, a senior economist at Desjardins. The poll of 46 foreign exchange strategists indicates the currency would weaken to C$1.33 against the U.S. dollar in three months from Wednesday's close of C$1.3087, but this was much stronger than the C$1.39 expected in March's poll. The latest poll showed the Canadian dollar almost completely recovering in 12 months to reach C$1.31, compared with C$1.35 in the previous survey. To be sure, the range for the 12-month forecast was wide, running from C$1.20 to C$1.48. Several

economists said some factors could support the Canadian dollar longer-term. There is a limit to how much the U.S. Federal Reserve can raise interest rates because of monetary policy easing by global counterparts, said National Bank Financial Senior Economist Krishen Rangasamy. "That could basically hurt the U.S. dollar in the second half of the year," he added. A gradual recovery in commodity prices can place a floor under business investment, aiding recovery in the Canadian dollar later in the year, said George Davis, chief technical analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, said the Canadian dollar bottomed in January for the medium term. With commodity prices stabilizing, the Fed is liable to raise interest rates only modestly from here, he said. And with the Canadian government's federal budget reducing pressure on the Bank of Canada to ease monetary policy, the Canadian dollar has room to improve modestly. The implied probability of a Bank of Canada rate cut this year has collapsed to 20 percent from above 50 percent a little more than one month

A Canadian dollar coin is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

ago. Currency traders are likely to keep a close eye on spreads, which have moved in the Canadian dollar's favor as fundamentals shifted. Canadian bond yields have climbed in recent months, a trend that tends to help attract capital flows. The 2-year's yield is just 19 basis points lower than its U.S. counterpart's, with the difference at its narrowest since early November. This represents a rebound of more than 40 basis points since mid-January.

Swedish, Norwegian currencies seen stronger in 2016


weden's crown will strengthen against the euro in 2016, even if the country's ultra-loose monetary policy dampens the climb, and its gains will be accompanied by a similar appreciation in the Norwegian crown, a Reuters poll found. Driven by a strong domestic demand and exports, the Nordic region's biggest economy grew 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter, one of the strongest growth rates in Europe. The National Institute of Economic Research, a government think tank, expects growth to be 3.5 percent this year. The central bank has during the last year cut its main interest rate to a record low -0.50 percent to push inflation up closer to its 2 percent target. The Riksbank, which repeatedly said the crown should not strengthen too much, has also authorised its governor to intervene in the market if necessary. But market strategists expect the crown to rise around 3 percent in 2016 to reach 9.00 by the end of the year. "The crown is fundamentally undervalued, there is a real appreciation pressure on it. We have a current account surplus and a strong growth which points to a much stronger crown," Danske Bank analyst Stefan Mellin said. "But the monetary policy stands in its way". NOK ALSO RISES Neighbouring Norway, whose currency has weakened around 14 percent against the euro over the past 12 months, will probably see a rebound of

Swedish kronor, Norwegian kronor, and Danish kronor notes in various denominations are seen in this photo illustration taken in Stockholm. REUTERS/Bob Strong

almost 5 percent to 9.03 in 2016, the poll showed. Nordea currency strategist Ole Haakon EekNielsen said an expected rise in oil prices, Norway's main export, would boost the crown, and that monetary policy was unlikely to halt the move. Norway's central bank has cut interest rates to a record low of 0.5 percent, and while it has said it is likely to cut again, it has expressed a reluctance to follow Sweden and Denmark into negative territory. "We expect the oil price to rise, especially towards the end of the year. The central bank has also indicated that it will be more cautious in its rate setting as it approaches zero," Eek-Nielsen said. "It could also be that the worst is over for the Norwegian economy. We have seen signs of unemployment levelling out, and if we get more good news and people are beginning to think that there will not be a crisis in Norway after all, we could see a significant strengthening of the crown." Oil analysts raised their average price forecasts for 2016 for the first time in 10 months, but cautioned investor sentiment may sour short-term without solid improvement in market fundamentals, a Reuters poll showed last month. Forecasts varied a great deal for both the Swedish and the Norwegian currencies. The most bearish predicted that both Swedish and Norwegian currencies will weaken to 9.60 and 9.90 against the euro by the end of 2016. The most bullish expect rallies to 8.25 and 8.30 against the European currency.


Asia FX gloom lifts on dollar retreat and dovish Fed


merging Asian currencies are set to weaken further in the coming year, but not as much as thought a few months ago, as expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more cautiously hold back the dollar, a Reuters poll showed. Still, with many Asian central banks continuing to ease policy, the consensus from over 60 analysts polled by Reuters this week was for regional currencies to weaken 2-6 percent by this time next year, with the Malaysian ringgit leading the pack. "With the Fed delivering a dovish message, Asia FX may continue to perform in the short term. We reckon, however, that the strength is unlikely to hold through the year, and expect some weakness to return," analysts at Citi wrote in a note. China's yuan has been one of the main sources of global financial market turmoil since last August, when the People's Bank of China devalued it in an attempt to support economic growth as risks of a sharp slowdown began to mount. The year got off to a volatile start for emerging markets with the Chinese currency sliding again, but since then, Asian currencies have found their footing. That happened in part when Beijing tried to calm investors by fixing the yuan higher in rapid succession, along with better economic data in developed economies, particularly the United States, that swung sentiment back in favour of riskier assets. But the closely-managed yuan, also known as the renminbi, is expected to fall further. Median forecasts from a poll of 65 strategists are for it to ease to 6.58 per dollar by end-June and 6.70 by end-March in 2017, about 3 percent weaker from 6.47 on Thursday. Only last month, the consensus was for it to fall more than 3.5 percent in 12 months. Beijing has had to burn through almost half a trillion dollars to support the yuan since the middle of last year. Policymakers have insisted they see no reason for the yuan to depreciate

Malaysian ringgit notes are seen among U.S. dollar bills in this photo illustration taken in Singapore. REUTERS/Edgar Su

further, which has helped stem huge capital outflows and calm investors. Morgan Stanley strategists noted: "a one-off devaluation is unlikely, considering the potential risks likely far outweigh the rewards," adding that would likely trigger aggressive currency depreciations by other emerging countries. With economic growth in China likely to slow to between 6.5 - 7.0 percent this year, coupled with an over-inflated housing market, some strategists have yet to completely write off the risk of another sharp down move on the yuan. An improved outlook for the Chinese yuan is usually a proxy for currencies of other Asian countries which trade heavily with the world's second-largest economy.

Prospects for the Indian rupee and South Korean won have also improved on growing expectations the Fed will deliver fewer rate increases this year. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments last week that the U.S. central bank should proceed cautiously in adjusting policy have caused a broad-based retreat in the dollar. Minutes of the Fed's March policy meeting, released on Wednesday, also showed widespread concern at the U.S. central bank over its limited ability to weather a global economic slowdown. "Near term, there are no reasons for a stronger dollar," said Esther Reichelt, foreign exchange strategist at Commerzbank. "The baseline scenario of the Fed envisages that the dollar does not appreciate any further. In the market's opinion, Yellen has thereby confirmed that a stronger dollar will keep the Fed acting cautiously until it feels more certain about its inflation outlook – and that takes time." The Indian rupee, trading around 66.50 a dollar on Thursday, would fall around 2 percent to 67.60 by end-June and further to 68.00 in a year, the poll showed. Analysts had predicted USD/INR at 69.00 in 12 months in the March survey. The Malaysian ringgit will likely lead losses and fall 6 percent to 4.17 per U.S. dollar by end-March 2017 from Wednesday's close of 3.914, while the Philippine peso, Taiwan dollar and Singapore dollar are seen weakening about 4 percent.

With the Fed delivering a dovish message, Asia FX may continue to perform in the short term. We reckon, however, that the strength is unlikely to hold through the year, and expect some weakness to return. Analysts at Citi An employee uses checks an Indian currency note at a cash counter inside a bank in Mumbai. REUTERS/Rupak de Chowdhuri


CEE currencies seen facing shaky months before gains


he zloty and the forint may face a shaky next few months due to policy risks in Poland and monetary easing in Hungary, a Reuters poll of 44 analysts showed on Thursday. In the next 12 months, however, Central Europe's expanding and stable economies could lift some of the region's currencies. According to the median forecasts in the poll conducted April 1-7, the zloty could ease 0.2 percent from Wednesday's close to 4.28 against the euro by the middle of this year. But it could firm 1.5 percent to 4.20 by March 2017. "Zloty's potential remains restricted by uncertainties related to domestic economic policy, including the monetary policy outlook," said Radomir Jac, chief economist of Generali Investments CEE. Key risks to the zloty include a proposed bill to convert Swiss franc mortgages at a cost to banks and further credit rating downgrades after Poland was cut by Standard & Poor's in January. There are also concerns the Polish central bank will follow the surprise rate cut delivered by Hungary in March. Expected further monetary easing in Hungary

A stack of 100 Polish Zloty banknotes lays on top of various Swiss Franc notes in this picture illustration taken at a bank in Warsaw. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

could weigh on the forint. The median forecasts in the poll see it shedding 0.4 percent in the next three months to 314.05, and to 315.00 by March next year. "It could bottom out between 315-320 by about July, when we expect the central bank to finish its rate cuts," said Andras Balatoni, analyst of ING in Budapest. "Then it could firm, but weaken again when inflation rebounds to around 2 percent (from about zero) in the first half of next year."

The Czech crown was seen staying on the weaker side of the central bank's cap at levels near 27 in the next 12 months. Only three out of 13 analysts projected a firmer rate within that period, which would mean the bank abandons the cap. The bank (CNB) is committed to use all the tools it has to prevent robust Czech fundamentals boosting the crown, Generali's Jac said. "I think that the CNB is likely to adopt negative deposit interest rate in the second half of 2016." The dinar is seen staying steady at 122.73 versus the euro by the end of this month, which means Serbia's April 24 elections are unlikely to shake it. It is expected, however, to weaken 1.8 percent to 125.00 on the 12-month horizon.

Zloty's potential remains restricted by uncertainties related to domestic economic policy, including the monetary policy outlook. Radomir Jac Generali Investments

Emerging market currencies to remain volatile


olatility will remain high in emerging foreign exchange markets all year, but that is unlikely to send currencies back to all-time lows as hopes of fewer interest rate hikes in the United States encourage risk-taking, a Reuters poll found. Forty-six of 51 strategists polled this week at major financial firms globally said the recent volatility in emerging currencies would continue for the rest of the year. Despite that, the poll forecasts reinforced the idea that emerging market currencies have already gone through the worst of their five-year-long drop. Median forecasts for the Turkish lira, the Brazilian real, the South African rand and other currencies improved from a poll last month. They were not strong enough to suggest a rally is about to begin but showed a smaller likelihood of new record lows against the U.S. dollar over the next 12 months, despite recent credit rating downgrades. The lira is expected to weaken to 3.11, the rand to 16.20 and 4.025 for the real per dollar in 12 months. Last month the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and gave fresh projections showing policymakers expected two quarter-point hikes by the year's end, half the number seen in December. Minutes from the Fed's March 15-16 policy meeting added to signs the bank is unlikely to raise interest rates before June. "A number" of policymakers, according to the document, argued

headwinds to growth would probably persist. "I don't think we are going to bounce suddenly into a stronger dollar world," said Peter Attard Montalto, emerging market economist at Nomura. "There is still support for emerging markets in the short term. Over the medium, that should get processed through the market." Although economic growth prospects have not improved significantly in emerging markets, strategists bet that some of the cheap money being pumped by central banks into financial markets will fly south in search of higher interest rates. "Some of the fundamental conditions that led to strong dollar are now shifting, and we expect the dollar to remain broadly stable at current levels," Brazilian-based Itau Unibanco chief economist Ilan Goldfajn said. The poll findings are in line with forecasts for currencies in developed markets, such as the euro and the yen, that suggested a forthcoming end to the long rise in the dollar. Major Asian currencies too are now expected to weaken much less over the coming year than previously expected, despite the likelihood that central banks there will ease policy further. In Brazil, the foreign exchange depreciation was so intense it contributed to a sharp decline in imports. Hit by its worst recession in probably more than a century, Brazil had its biggest monthly trade surplus in 27 years in March -another reason to believe the dollar rally has

A money changer counts U.S. dollar bills, with Turkish lira banknotes in the background, at an currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

mostly run its course. Part of the reason for continued volatility in emerging markets is local political risk. Impeachment proceedings have been at the centre of national debates in Brazil, where a vote is due in coming weeks, and in South Africa, were President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday survived an impeachment vote in parliament. In Peru, uncertainty over an upcoming presidential election has also caused unease among investors.


LatAm currency outlook improves on Fed cautious stance, domestic politics


he outlook for Latin American currencies has brightened on a general improvement in investor sentiment globally along with prospects for political change in Brazil, a Reuters poll found, although volatility is expected to persist. The region's pairs recovered in March from heavy losses at the start of 2016 on renewed bets for risky assets as the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted a dovish stance over worries about China's slowdown, but strategists fear this could change soon. Brazil's real is now forecast at 4.025 per dollar in 12 months, according to the median of 28 estimates by market strategists in the survey, 5 percent stronger than last month's poll, when it was expected to trade at 4.250 by then. The real put in its best monthly performance in more than 13 years in March, along with an explosive rally on Brazil's stock market, based on growing chances unpopular President Dilma Rousseff, mired in scandals, might be impeached. Optimism has faded in recent days, however, on signs Vice President Michel Temer would struggle to build a strong coalition if Rousseff is impeached. Turbulence from Brazil's political crisis, the worst since a presidential resignation in 1992, is likely set

to dominate market focus ahead of an impeachment vote later this month. Elsewhere in Latin America, lower expectations for Mexico's economy, which recently contributed to a negative rating outlook by Moody's, could also rekindle volatility. The poll pegged the Mexican peso at 17.40 per dollar in one year, a near 1 percent increase from last month's poll. Forecasts for the Colombian and Chilean pesos also improved from last month's polls, to 3,100 and 690.0 respectively. Tension could resurface as investors start speculating whether the Fed will in June make the first of two U.S. rate hikes expected for 2016. Diverging views among officials in the minutes from the bank's March meeting could further reduce visibility. Recent volatility in emerging currency markets "is very likely to continue this year, mainly due to the

An expected recovery in oil prices later this year will likely help to sustain the currency around the current levels. Economists Itau Unibanco

way that U.S. monetary policy is being driven," said Alex Agostini at Austin Rating in Sao Paulo. Uncertainty over the forecasts, as measured in the poll's standard deviation readings, remained high. Forecasts for the real in 12 months, for example, ranged from 3.45 to 4.70 reais, while estimates for the Mexican peso were between 15.0 and 19.0. The Mexican peso is up around 7.8 percent from its historic lows above 19.00 in mid-February, when authorities unexpectedly raised interest rates and announced spending cuts to reassure investors during a global round of market volatility. "An expected recovery in oil prices later this year will likely help to sustain the currency around the current levels," economists with Brazilian-based Itau Unibanco said in a note. The Argentine peso was forecast at 16.6 in one year, in a sign investors do not expect another major devaluation in the currency as the country finally returns to debt markets after 15 years of financial isolation following a crisis in 2001. "The resolution of the debt default will encourage dollar inflows," helping stabilize the peso, said Martin Polo, at Analytica in Buenos Aires.

A woman rides her bicycle past a graffiti mocking the Brazilian currency note, the real, in downtown Rio de Janeiro. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares


Australian dollar notes and coins can be seen in a cash register at a store in Sydney, Australia, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

Analysts tone down bearish forecasts on Australia, NZ dollars


nalysts have trimmed their forecasts on how far the Australian and New Zealand dollars could fall over the next year as the U.S. central bank softens its tightening rhetoric, but analysts remain bearish on both currencies amid global growth concerns. A Reuters poll of 50 analysts found the Aussie dollar was expected to drift to $0.7225 in one year, from $0.7530 currently. That was more than 2 cents higher than in last month's poll. The upward revisions are due to a sharp rise in the Aussie on expectations the Federal Reserve will not resume its rate hike as early as some had thought. That weighed heavily on the U.S. dollar, sending the Aussie to a nine-month peak of $0.7723. It leapt 7 percent in March, the largest monthly gain

in four years. Aiding the Antipodean currencies are their sumptuous yields compared with the sub-zero rates in Europe and more recently Japan. Australia's 2-year bonds pay 1.8 percent, while their New Zealand counterparts offer 2 percent. Earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept rates steady for an 11th month at 2 percent, citing reasonable prospects for continued growth at home. Interbank futures imply around a 50-50 chance of a cut by mid-year. Opinions on the Aussie varied widely, as usual, with Saxo Bank forecasting 58 cents in one year versus Eurobank Ergasias at 80 cents. The poll put the Aussie at 75 U.S. cents in one

month, 73 cents in three and 72 cents in six months. A survey of around 42 analysts also sees the New Zealand dollar slipping, but only modestly. Forecasts put it at $0.6634 in one month, from $0.6785 currently, then 65 cents in three and 12 months. The kiwi jumped nearly 5 percent in March. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) holds its policy meeting on April 28 and the majority of economists anticipate one more cut by mid-year. After a robust few years, New Zealand's economy has started to slow with inflation cooling sharply amid falling global dairy prices and a slowdown in China, its largest trading partner. Kiwi forecasts were vastly different putting it between 50 cents and 72 in one-year's time.

Polls conducted by the Reuters polling team. Contact us in Bengaluru: +91 80 6749 1132 or London: +44 20 7542 5223. Write to us - [email protected] Compiled by the Publishing Team ([email protected]) in Bengaluru.

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