Month End Rebalancing Benefits Gold And Sterling

There is a significant relationship between equity market outperformance and FX returns at the end of a month. When a region’s equity market significantly underperforms in a given month, the net FX demand from equity investors (who need to buy back that regions’ currency to remain fully FX-hedged) is large enough to have an impact on spot FX. Since 2012, when I started trading these signals, the data also suggest divergence across currencies, with EUR, JPY and GBP the most sensitive. I seldom use this strategy on gold, but it’s possible this is the reason for the gold supercharged move in the New York morning session. 

Rebalancing Likely Behind Gold Move

It is worth highlighting going into quarter-end that has underperformed U.S. by 5% and U.S. equities by around 15-20%. If there is any rebalancing being done outside of GBP and JPY, it is likely to be gold buying at current levels – and probably what is behind today’s move.

From my morning note in Asia:

Trading Month End WM Fix Could Be For The brave of heart. 

March has been another broadly positive month for equity markets, with most major indices posting modest gains. As portfolio managers re-hedge their currency exposure, models point to the upside for GBP this afternoon (3-4 p.m. London time). I  prefer pairing GBP longs with USD shorts. While models also point to slight downward pressure on the JPY on the back of moderate gains, I’m looking to take profit on some long if that does happen and then buy back on the dip. 

Other Trades Desk Pros Will Look At Today

Cross/JPY should rally into 11ish today on rebalancing. That could provide a nice entry point to get short or for a “buy the rumour / sell the fact” trade on infrastructure. CAD/JPY  with oil still more than 8 bucks (>10% off the highs) standout. If you are worried about the seasonal USD/JPY buying, which continues until April 3… or shorts are also logical.

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