Euro Forecasters See a World-Beating Run in 2020

(Bloomberg) -- After two years of setbacks, the euro is enjoying a wave of much-needed investor optimism as 2019 draws to a close.

The shared currency will rally more than 4% against the dollar in 2020 in the world’s best foreign-exchange performance, according to the median estimates of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Forecasters see it benefiting from an improving global economic outlook and fading political tensions.

Betting on euro gains is among Morgan Stanley’s top trades for the new year, a view shared by analysts at UBS Wealth Management and Credit Agricole, among others. Options markets also signal improved confidence in the common currency, which touched a one-week high Friday as broad risk sentiment picked up on signs of improving U.S.-China trade relations.

Euro Forecasters See a World-Beating Run in 2020

“Euro-dollar is particularly sensitive to global growth upgrades,” said Stephen Innes, strategist at Axitrader Limited. “With trade optimism swinging positively for global growth, the euro’s trend-following dynamics could start to argue for a push above.”

The euro climbed as high as $1.1150 Friday, its strongest since Dec. 18. The Bloomberg survey predicts the shared currency will end 2020 at $1.16. It is down by around 3% this year, after a 4.5% loss in 2018.

One-year risk reversals on the pair were at 36 basis points in favor of call options, close to a 20-month high of 43 reached on Dec. 13. The one-month measure, which covers the next European Central Bank decision on Jan. 23, was at 20 basis points.

Euro Forecasters See a World-Beating Run in 2020

The euro wrong-footed markets this year by falling against a surprisingly resilient dollar, when it was forecast to rally around 5%. Fears that the U.S.-led tariff war with China could spread to Europe, concerns around Brexit and an overall subdued outlook for the global economy weighed on the shared currency. While Danske Bank’s Jens Peter Sorensen also sees the euro “slowly move” toward $1.15 by the end of 2020, he cautions on being overly optimistic amid accommodative ECB monetary policies.

“We have a fairly benign view on the euro with it range-trading in the first quarter versus the dollar,” Sorensen, Danske’s chief analyst, said. “Even though we have the first steps toward both a trade deal and an orderly Brexit as well as some signs of a stabilization in the global economy, this fragile recovery needs plenty of stimulus. especially in Europe.”

What to Watch:

  • U.S. fixed income markets close early at 14:00 EST on Dec. 31; most global markets closed on Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day
  • U.S. Fed’s FOMC minutes released Jan. 3
  • Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly participate on a panel discussing global economic outlook (Jan. 3)
  • Economic releases include:
    • U.S. wholesale inventories, pending home sales, MNI Chicago PMI, Spain GDP, CPI (Dec. 30); U.S. FHFA house price index, consumer confidence, China manufacturing/non-manufacturing PMI (Dec. 31); U.S. jobless claims, Markit PMI manufacturing for countries/regions including Canada, U.S., Germany, Euro-area, U.K. (Jan. 2); U.S. construction spending, ISM manufacturing, France CPI, Germany unemployment, CPI, U.K. consumer credit (Jan. 3)

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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