Analysing Trump’s Impact on global FX markets

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Donald Trump

Being the president of the world’s largest economy, Donald Trump is considered to be the most influential person when it comes to financial markets. Whatever policy changes were taken by Trump Administration during the last two months has had substantial effects on the equity and Forex currency markets. Trump promised during his campaign to increase infrastructure spending, introduce tax reforms and to slash regulations that were killing jobs. He wants to boost production in the US through tax subsidies for local businesses and increase consumerism. Forex market analysts have argued that Trump’s pro-growth policies will be a key driver for volatility in global FX markets going forward.

Trump’s disruptive immigration policies like the temporary travel ban imposed on Seven Muslim majority nations and his controversial comments on social media have put global equity and FX markets in a tailspin. For example, his comments about the withdrawal of US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership caused a huge impact on many of the Asian currencies like CNY and JPY. Since US Dollar is considered the global reserve currency, any changes in Fed policy like interest rate hike or tax reforms will have a notable impact on major currencies like EUR, GBP, CNY, CAD and JPY. The most affected currencies due to Trump’s policy changes are of the emerging markets such as Mexican peso, Turkish lira and South African rand. Trump’s controversial tweets targeting various Corporates or entire nations have impacted major currencies in a big way. Trump’s Twitter account has more than 18.8 million followers and is a major driving factor for investor sentiments across the globe. The below table illustrates the Trump effect on major currencies between US elections held on Nov 8th, 2016 and Jan 5th, 2017.

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Currency % Change (vs. USD)
Russian Ruble 7.7%
Canadian Dollar 0.4%
Chinese Yuan -1.5%
Euro -5.0%
Mexican Peso -13.4%

The US Dollar index enjoyed substantial rally since Trump’s surprise victory in November elections and reached its 14-year high of 103.820 on Jan 3. The notable surge in US dollar was mainly due to the protectionist growth policies of the new President.  But the greenback dipped by 3 per cent from its January 3 high after Trump raised a red flag over a strong dollar to the Wall Street Journal. He felt that Dollar was “too strong” for US companies to compete in global trade with their Chinese counterparts. He also blamed countries like China, Japan and Germany for manipulating currencies to get a trade benefit over the US. The remarks made by Trump over China and other nations in media resulted in the weakening of US dollar which Trump feels will favour US exports and boost manufacturing. It also led to the strengthening of Japanese Yen which is considered as a safe haven by currency traders. The US dollar dropped 0.6% against Japanese Yen to 111.95 Yen due to the uncertainty prevailing around trade policies by Trump. As a Forex trader, you should make use of real time trading charts and technical indicators to predict the future trends of currency movements, which will help you to make well-informed trading decisions.

Forex investors are eagerly awaiting Trump’s address to the US Congress on Feb 28th regarding changes in the monetary policy and possible corporate tax cuts.  Trump Administration’s reflationary policies so far have had a positive impact on the US dollar and equities. The financial markets are interested to know about the tax reforms that will be proposed by Trump during his address to the Congress on Tuesday. The disruptive border adjustment tax that is under consideration by the Republican government under Trump aims at increasing taxes for imports and subsidises exports to boost manufacturing in the US. Russia has been on the positive side of Trump so far since he feels it’s a protectionist country which does not pose any threat to U.S. jobs. Hence, Russian Ruble has had a positive impact and has grown by 7.7% against U.S dollar.

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Besides his proposal to build a wall between the US and Mexico, Trump has frequently opposed the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) during his campaign and wanted to restrict imports from Mexico and China by increasing the import tariffs. He promised to raise taxes for imports from Mexico and China by 35% and 45% respectively to reduce the imports from these countries. Such remarks have resulted in a considerable impact on both Chinese Yuan and Mexican Peso against the US dollar. Since Mexico is one of the biggest exporters to the US with more than 80.3% of its goods sent across border tax-free, scrapping of NAFTA and the introduction of new tariffs based on the proposed border tax reforms will have a great impact on the Mexican peso. His tweets have already weakened the Mexican peso against U.S dollar. It reached record lows of 21.619 when he criticised General Motors for exporting cars made in Mexico to the United States with the below Tweet. Ford motors also cancelled its production of $1.6 billion plant in Mexico in line with Trump’s policies to make in the USA.

“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across the border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!”

The dollar tumbled against Japanese Yen and moved below 113.00 due to the uncertainty prevailing around the tax reforms to be proposed by Trump during his address to Congress and possible interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary under Trump Administration, stated that lot of work is to be done towards tax reforms, which would encourage inflation and push US interest rates higher. He also added that the impact of the new government’s pro-growth policies is unlikely to be seen this year.

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Trump has pointed out several times that fiscal debts are getting beyond control and he wants significant changes in the Fed policy. This could mean the reversal of Quantitative Easing and an increase in interest rates which will result in a strong dollar. There are possibilities that Trump might even appoint a new chair to Federal Reserve who will do whatever he says. If there is any announcement of interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve during the upcoming FOMC meeting in March, we can expect a surge in US dollar once again, and this will have a negative impact on other currencies like Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, Euro and Mexican Peso. We can expect a lot of fluctuations in the currency markets based on Trump’s trade agenda and as a Forex trader, you should start considering about investing in Forex binary options to increase your returns.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.