Don’t Expect Too Much From Bernanke
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Don’t Expect Too Much From Bernanke

The calm before the storm.  Markets are quiet as all await the speech by FED Chairman Ben Bernanke in Jackson Hole today at 10 am.  The speech is titled ” Monetary Policy Since the Crisis”. We all wait to see if there are any hints of a pending QE3, or any form of stimulus.

Because of the wording of the FOMC minutes from August, where is was stated that “many members believed additional monetary easing would be warranted, fairly soon”, traders believe there could be some direction given in the speech today.  More likely, the FED Chair will continue along the path recently taken that the FED will continue to be vigilant and monitor the markets and will be prepared to act when necessary.  The way the markets have moved in the latter part of this week gives credence to the fact that many are starting to believe it will be status quo when the speech is given this morning.

Guest post by  Matthew Lifson, Foreign Exchange Trader,  Market Analyst of  Cambridge Mercantile Group.

There are a lot of events occurring between today and the FOMC meeting on Sept 12-13 and Chairman Bernanke most likely will be prudent with his comments.  Next week we will have the ECU meeting on Thursday, where we are told major news may be released since ECB President Draghi was “too busy” to attend this weekend’s symposium.  Then on Friday, we will have the release of US Non-Farm payroll for August as well as the unemployment rate.  As we get closer to the US Presidential election, this number becomes more significant.

In other news overnight, it was reported that Spanish PM Rajoy met with French President Hollande and then said that Spain will not request further assistance until “it is known what exactly is being offered”.  In other words, Rajoy wants to wait and see what happens on Thursday after the ECB meeting.

In other currency news, USD/CAD has remained in the .9840 – .9950 trading range, and there is no reason to believe that will change in the near future.  The move lower is the desired move and we would expect a move lower and a retest of the .9875 area sooner rather than later.  The CAD could become a haven for funds managers if the Bernanke speech is deemed as an easing speech.

I will have more comments on the speech after the release at 10 am.  My opinion remains that the speech will not set off a tremendous amount of FOREX activity.  Today is not only month end, but a Friday before a three day weekend in the US.  We should all be prepared for what is “hopefully” an action packed day. That would make for an interesting afternoon.

The economic data release report for next week will be sent later this morning.

Asian equity markets were mixed overnight, while European markets are mostly higher and DOW Futures are positive so we expect a strong opening to the US equity markets.

Earlier this week, I asked all whether they would sell or buy EUR ahead of the Bernanke speech. Most of you would be sellers of EUR, expecting the currency to move lower.  Thanks for responding to that.  I agree with that feeling and expect the EUR to move lower as well.  I also want to thank everyone for responding to the small questionnaire I sent out yesterday.

Expect it to be quiet, but be prepared for a little chaos.  Good luck and for those in the US enjoy the holiday weekend.

Matthew Lifson

Matthew Lifson

Matthew Lifson is a Foreign Exchange Trader and a Market Analyst. with Cambridge Mercantile Group.