Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Foreign Exchange Smackdown: Norwegian Krone vs Swedish Krona (and civilization itself does a cameo)

Since developing a cooler attitude toward Sweden based on developments in Swedish culture over the last few years we've been on the lookout for trading opportunities. Figuring equities would be the first to react we posted on the MSCI country ETF:

EWD iShares MSCI Sweden daily Stock Chart
And our thinking was the next bet would be the currency followed at a distance by very highly rated sovereign debt (right up there with Singapore, Norway, Switzerland etc.).

On the other hand we like Norway.

Going back 75 years to the story of how a couple old guys, Birger Eriksen and Andreas Anderssen, hanging out on their little island, decide it's their job to defend the country against a Nazi freakin' armada headed for the capital, put down the coffee and brown cheese, go out and sink a brand new battle cruiser and send the rest of the invaders, including a pocket battleship, running.
No neutrality there.

As I put it a couple years ago:
...sank the most modern ship in the German Navy, saved the Norwegian King and government from being taken captive and pulled Churchill's fat out of the fire-keeping the path open for him to assume the premiership of Britain and thus save Western Civilization.
We like Norway.
And now this.

Western civilization or not, I'm sorry but money is money.

From the Financial Times:
The so-called commodity currencies are under the cosh as base metals stumble and oil prices flirt with $30 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar this week hit a fresh 12-year low versus the greenback. The Australian dollar is back below 70 US cents and close to its weakest since early 2009.

Then there’s the Norwegian krone. Particularly sensitive to the price of oil, the Nokkie sits near NKr8.90, its lowest versus the buck for 14 years.

Forex strategists at RBC Capital Markets say their — short term — trade of the week is to expect further falls for the Nokkie against its Swedish peer, the NOK/SEK cross.

Norwegian inflation data this week showed little need for tighter policy. Indeed, the central bank governor said in a newspaper interview it was likely he would cut rates from 0.75 per cent in March.

Sweden’s inflation numbers are due on Thursday. “In Sweden, markets are already priced for a significant risk of another rate cut (-7bp by June) and a downside inflation surprise would have little news value relative to an upside surprise,” said RBC.

“NOK/SEK is completely neutral to shifts in general risk appetite, which we think is a desirable property given the gyrations in Chinese equity prices.”...MORE
NOK/SEK  0.9594 Up 0.0051