SEK Sliding Away

One underrated victim of the march of the euro off of near-parity EURUSD over the last couple of years has been the humble Swedish krona. While EURCHF, EURGBP, and the various CEE crosses linked to EUR tend to get more attention, the move in EURSEK has been quite something.

Unfortunately for punters, that move has helped disconnect EURSEK from a variety of indicators that have proven quite helpful in the post-crisis environment. A primary example would be the relative size of the ECB and Riksbank's balance sheets respectively. As shown below, you could have done much worse than simply track the relative sizes of the balance sheets from around 2010 to 2016 if you were going to estimate what would happen to EURSEK. Since then (and really, since the euro took off more broadly), the correlation has completely flipped.

Another way to look at things would be to compare the relative interest rates of the two currencies. While benchmark Eurozone rates have risen somewhat relative to their Swedish equivalents, they would imply a much lower EURSEK rate and a significant SEK rally from here.
Of course, the long end might be the wrong place to look for interest rate differential drivers. But the short rate differential isn't exactly cooperating either. Relative 1y forward 1y rates worked very well as a fair value for EURSEK from 2008 through 2014 but EURSEK then undershot and has now overshot. In any event, EUR 1y1y rates less SEK 1y1y rates are at multi-year lows while EURSEK is near the highest levels since the crisis.
With the traditional market reference points no help, a search for explanations means a trip further afield into a data dive. Relative international position may be helpful. During the crisis, EUR surged, but as it worked off that crisis dislocation the Eurozone current account surplus persistently increased relative to that of Sweden's. As the Swedish current account advantage worked itself off, EURSEK headed persistently higher. Economic theory would generally suggest the opposite should happen: current account surpluses rising should lead to depreciation rather than appreciation
Of course, using total-economy aggregates can be deceptive, so we'll also take a look at the bilateral trade surplus. That story is a very one-way street: Eurozone trade surpluses have risen steadily and in-line with current account surpluses for almost two decades. Over the past 5 years or so, that appears to have been a significant driver of EUR appreciation relative to SEK.
Finally, taking a step back to the broader picture, the SEK REER has persistently weakened as its current account has deteriorated. For now, the direction of travel in the Swedish surplus seems a highly relevant factor in the decline in SEK on a broader basis.
As a final stop on our tour de krona, the Riksbank. While inflation has picked up a bit and target measure CPIF is reliably printing in the 2% YoY range, much of that is energy with CPIF ex Energy around 1.5%. Unemployment has been falling steadily and continues to trend lower, sitting around 6% versus prior cycle lows of around 5.5%. The output gap is trending slowly tighter and sits around 65 bps of GDP per OECD and IMF estimates. Finally, industrial output is steady around 90-91% of capacity. All of this gives the Riksbank as much latitude as it wants to keep kicking the can. In short, don't look to the Sveriges Riksbank as a catalyst for stronger SEK.
To close things out, what we can say about SEK is that its trend, economic data, and central bank's tendencies are for a weaker krona. On the other hand, the EUR's strength has been especially dramatic versus SEK given how closely the two economies are linked. That suggests that EURSEK would be an attractive portfolio overlay for a set of trades which benefit from a broadly stronger EUR if not as an outright long or short in its own right.
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Anonymous
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July 11, 2018 at 11:48 AM ×

Nice post. A quick question. The balance sheet size between ECB& Riksbank.. it is relative to GDP? because I don't find the same conclusion...

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Skr
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July 11, 2018 at 11:51 PM ×

@Anon 11:48-brings back memories!

Intrigued by your oil post, and SEK comment,Strut your stuff -the saddle is free.

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Dr Finans
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July 12, 2018 at 10:41 AM ×

Love that your moving into Scandies!

However i did not follow you until the end. Would you hedge eur(usd) overlay with long EURSEK or short EURSEK?

On one hand SEK is undervalued (first 3 graphs) but the delta analysis suggests a weaker SEK.

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July 13, 2018 at 8:01 PM ×

@Anon - It's absolute, both balance sheets in EUR (hence "constant currency" label).

@Skr - Hah, thanks.

@Dr Finans - EURSEK short wasn't necessarily intended as a EURUSD long hedge, but more a hedge versus a set of trades that are correlated to strong EURUSD (weak dollar). For example: long EURSEK vs gold long/ED short/EEM long, as a simple hypothetical. The divergence between value and delta is largely the point of what I'm getting at; suggests room for a behavioral turnaround if for instance the USD takes off.

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Cbus20122
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July 15, 2018 at 11:16 PM ×

For whatever it's worth, commenting here has become impossible and I'm sure is driving away some of the long term visitors. Please consider changing the commenting policy, something changed, and now it seems most comments require approval, which never happens, so most comments never go through.

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July 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM ×

Would love to see a piece on the dollar yield curve.

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July 20, 2018 at 4:49 AM ×

wow, niche post, =. The balance sheet size between ECB& Riksbnk. it is relative to GDP? because I dont find the same conclusion...

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July 20, 2018 at 4:50 AM ×

what it this -,-
already read 3 times still not understand lol :( sorry

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July 26, 2018 at 11:55 AM ×

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August 1, 2018 at 12:35 PM ×

Hey, Lefty. We're been trading here for awhile. You reckon we"ll go tits up on the next correction?

You know what this bubble in club stocks has taught me on my latest drinking session...

You could have gotten my father and mother out of the top of this bubble and you know what they would've done with all the loot in world?

All my father would've done is upgrade his clubs to cobra. And my mother would have expanded the kennel of greyhounds. That's it. What wankers!

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August 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM ×

Better still, Lefty. You know what. The last 15 years trapped in this insane market could not reward me more than watching Trumpy take on the Chows in a trade war! LOL. This is good.

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August 1, 2018 at 3:27 PM ×

Hey, Lefty. You reckon Trumpy is one those hackers that was one the first to buy one of those chip/putters.....trade war with the green.

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August 1, 2018 at 3:38 PM ×

There's Lefty.

What's doing Lefty.

What'd ya reckon Lefty. You reckon his one those hackers that take a fake phone call from a
sp bookie on the 16th hole and head to cart straight to the 19th to get out from being 1 over with 3 to go...beats being playing the 18th on the loop for 15 years.

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August 1, 2018 at 4:06 PM ×

What'd ya reckon , Lefty. You reckon Trumpy sees the US deficit as divot hole in his line on the last green that goes with his presidential members tee offs.

PS...Sorry mate, I'm just from the local club down road. I can't help it.




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August 1, 2018 at 4:10 PM ×


There's Lefty.

What's doing Lefty.

You can come down and swing at my club any day.
We play cards beside the pokies after hours......and trade currency in our dream.

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Eddie
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August 1, 2018 at 4:47 PM ×

Just when I thought that this blog is as dead as a Dodo Amps rides to the rescue. Hail, Amps!

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August 1, 2018 at 4:52 PM ×

Don't you worry , Eddie. I've never forgotten days sitting down the club watching them play cards after hours. Your in good hands here.

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August 1, 2018 at 5:41 PM ×

Lefty, I'll bet you anything you want. Trumpy cannot get a ping putter to ping one foot from the hole. But I won't bet you razoo he cannot ping "nails in floor Murdoch" before he rolls out the front door each morning.

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August 1, 2018 at 6:14 PM ×

Anyway. I have to retire tonight . Had a few at the bar to many. Yeah ...I'm looking at you bar...I'm glad your spitting'em out. I'm to tired be bothered anymore with your lot.

I have football ratings to dream about.....that's enough for me. That makes me happy.

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August 2, 2018 at 7:22 AM ×

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Skr
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August 2, 2018 at 10:09 PM ×

Amps, why don't do you take another five year break and let me handle the local bar?

Hey Red, how's the weather for soft?

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Humaun Kabir
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August 5, 2018 at 11:20 AM ×

Thanks for such a wonderful post.

movers

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Gus
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August 7, 2018 at 5:35 PM ×

Is there any chance that someone could tell us all what the status is of this blog, i.e., is it officially dead, or is it merely taking some time out?

Also, LB: are you posting your views/commentary at another blog? I'd be interested in following you, if yes ...

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August 10, 2018 at 11:10 AM ×

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Nico G
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August 14, 2018 at 8:01 PM ×

great offer ! couldn't resist and moved to Chennai now gotta figure out what to do here

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Skr
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August 14, 2018 at 9:14 PM ×

Buy their Sugar Mills? Should be cheap, and they're already turning to ethanol...

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Equity Tips
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August 18, 2018 at 12:12 PM ×

Thanks for sharing such a useful and informative post like this. Keep updating more updates like this.

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Equity Tips
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August 18, 2018 at 12:19 PM ×

Thanks for sharing such a useful and informative post like this. Keep updating more updates like this.

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Unknown
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September 6, 2018 at 6:49 AM ×

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September 28, 2018 at 9:42 AM ×

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October 3, 2018 at 4:51 PM ×

Appena abbiamo comprato Finter Bank Zurich dai massoni nazifascisti Pesenti, immediatamente abbiamo chiuso tutti i conti connessi al massone nazifascista, ladro, truffatore, criminalissimo, pedofilo Paolo Barrai di criminalissima bigbit e @bigbitnewschannel. E lo abbiamo cacciato come Banking Intermediary. Lavora per la Mafia, lava soldi rubati o frutti di mega mazzette in connessione a Lega Ladrona e Fasciomafioso Pedofilo Silvio Berlusconi ( insieme a quel criminale assoluto e truffatore azzera risparmi altrui: Federico Izzi di Roma noto come "Er Zio Romolo della Camorra"). Niente merda nella nuova Finter Bank Zurich. Il puzzo della merda, scusate il temine, si attacca ai vestiti. Vada a riciclare i suoi soldi assassini dai porci criminali di Banca dello Stato Lugano.Vielen Danke, Ya.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/blogger/GTmd4a1TkxM
http://code.activestate.com/lists/python-list/706609/
ANDREAS NIGG. VICE PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT. VONTOBEL BANK ZURICH.
https://plus.google.com/100971124804472238998
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Anonymous
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October 9, 2018 at 8:17 PM ×

Any guys here looking for some hot man-on-man action?
Msg me asap.

- NicoG

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JohnL
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October 11, 2018 at 2:25 AM × This comment has been removed by the author.
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JohnL
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October 11, 2018 at 2:28 AM ×



It's your market today, Nico!

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cowboy
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October 11, 2018 at 4:09 AM ×

Hey Nico! Missed you =D

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cowboy
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October 11, 2018 at 4:12 AM ×

Hahahaha, just saw anons man on man post. Talk about great timing.

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Nico G
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October 11, 2018 at 7:49 PM ×

hi friends

weird timing indeed checked the site after 6 weeks or so and the man on man post has come in 3 minutes before

like expected, Italy is game over - the next dominos have yet to fall to the same extent (20%)

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October 13, 2018 at 2:16 AM ×


Nico, good to see you again. It's been a long time.

I hope to see you again in the future at some coworker space at a beach in South East Asia.

But my friend, Amps venture capital drive here on the macroman blog "gofundampstoescapetoasia' has gone to buggery, and wishes he never stood a step in here.

Anyway, see you around the edges of the Pacific, and don't worry, the lollies bag mission to have me locked up so he quickly marry the mole and bring the mole into his elite circle without protest or laughter, whichever way that mob thinks I'd say depends on what day of the week they get to push in and use you, won't be happening any day soon. You have to wait it out mole!

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Anonymous
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October 15, 2018 at 1:29 AM ×

One by one all of my old blogs are gone.

LB come back and revive this place.

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Leftback
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October 16, 2018 at 4:26 PM ×

Ask and ye shall receive. Apologies for the lengthy comment. Perhaps someone can turn this into a post? :-)

Leftback's Market Commentary, 10.15.18 Part One

So… normally I am as bearish as the next bear, if not more so. Recent trading sessions have certainly inflicted significant technical damage to many charts. Review SPX, RUT, QQQ, here. However, the selling may be coming to an end. Why?

Firstly, in the short-term, there are signs that many sectors and individual stocks have become extremely oversold. Many of these could be described as rate-sensitive, some of which are obvious, e.g. REITs, and homebuilders, others less so, e.g. auto makers. Review examples here, F, NLY, AGNC, XHB. The rate increases and abrupt yield curve steepening that precipitated the decline in these sectors and names may have already come to an end, making these names more attractive, especially those names with high dividend yields (NLY, AGNC).

Secondly, the technical indicators suggest that many of the critical moving averages that were broken briefly last week have been regained, or soon will be, providing some degree of technical support for short-term traders. Review examples here.

Thirdly, many of the transient factors that precipitated the decline in markets may now have passed. The FOMC open market operations for October that removed $60B liquidity from the markets will soon be completed. As earnings season rolls on, the blackout period for corporate buybacks also begins to sunset, re-enabling the bid in the market that has long been associated with these activities.

Fourth, the long period of appreciation of the USD seems to have ended for the time being. This can be seen most clearly in the USDJPY pair that has long seemed to track the US equity market. The rising dollar during 2018 has been associated with the recent monetary tightening and higher rates in the US, and with weakness in EM markets and US exporters alike. The long and painful decline in the Chinese equity market and emerging markets in general also seems to be nearly complete. Examples of FX turnarounds following severe episodes of currency disruption include USDTRY and USDARS. As a consequence of this, several high yield names in Turkey and Argentina have already begun to recover and represent value investments at these levels. Review examples here, TKC, TEO, CRESY.

Finally, the period of low volatility that preceded the recent sell-off gave way in early October to a more volatile price regime. In recent years most of these sharp volatility spikes have followed very low levels of VIX (<12), rising into the (20 < VIX < 30) range, but all have been quite short-lived and volatility has soon reverted to a more moderate levels (<15), if not to the baseline. The February “Volmageddon” event is a case in point. Once the market had worked off the extreme short volatility positions associated with inverse vol ETFs, conditions reverted to normal. We can probably expect the same to be true in the second half of this month, with recent extreme volatility giving way to more moderate turbulence. It may be some time before conditions are ripe for a renewed outburst of volatility. Our best guess would be that this may occur in late Jan to early February, similar to early 2008.

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Leftback
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October 16, 2018 at 4:26 PM ×

Having stated all of the above, it is clear that things have changed. The slow march upward of the dollar seems to have ended, at least for now. The long-standing outperformance of growth stocks and “technology” has probably come to an end. One consequence of this is that any ensuing bounce or prolonged rally in equity markets will likely also see a rotation in Q4 - out of sectors that have long been leaders and into those that have underperformed for much of the year.

A slower appreciation of USD or even a sharply lower dollar will probably drive US rates somewhat lower for the time being, especially at the long end, and this should benefit munis, which are oversold, possibly US Treasuries, and the most obviously rate-sensitive issues such as REITs. The outlook for homebuilders depends to some extent on how the mortgage market processes the recent rate rises. At the moment, primary originations and refinancing activity are suffering, and it may be a while before this situation is relieved, as the traditionally slow winter season approaches. Exporters such as CAT, and automakers such as F, have also been hit hard by the combination of rising rates and a strong USD. Relief of these conditions should help both sectors in Q4. The outlook for commodity markets and oil is less clear, in part because of uncertainty about growth rates in China, but a lower dollar is obviously supportive of commodities and emerging markets under normal conditions. A look at the charts for metals and mining stocks suggests that this rotation has already begun, which may be supportive for markets/FX such as AUD and ZAR.

Emerging markets have been hammered for most of the year, but in the last few trading sessions the extreme oversold conditions have begun to reverse. With the recent softening in US economic data now suggesting the possibility of a pause in the Fed’s rate hike timetable in 2019 (but not the December rate hike, which seems nailed on), conditions seem favorable for EMs to recover and to outperform US and other DMs in Q4 and perhaps into next year.

The outlook for US technology stocks and other sectors that outperformed in 2018 is unclear. The charts suggest significant technical damage in these sectors, perhaps indicative of further weakness to come. We anticipate this in February, or even earlier. Certain sectors such as social media that became extremely oversold may experience a short-term bounce but the outlook remains murky due to regulatory and other concerns. Biotechnology stocks reached speculative levels of valuation during 2018 and remain vulnerable to a rotation away from growth and into value {take a look at Canadian cannabis sector!}

Outlook:
EM bonds and equities, metals and mining stocks: STRONG BUY.
US municipal bonds: STRONG BUY.
US REITs: STRONG BUY.
US utilities, energy and exporters: BUY.
US Treasuries: NEUTRAL to BUY.
US banking stocks: NEUTRAL.
US technology and retail stocks: NEUTRAL.
US/Canadian biotechnology stocks: SELL.

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River
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October 16, 2018 at 11:43 PM ×

LB, very much appreciated.
What do think about $wtic short, medium(6months) long term(1 year)

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October 17, 2018 at 10:46 AM ×

Leftback. Wrong. The well is dry. See ya on beach.

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October 17, 2018 at 11:08 AM ×

Lefty, next time your in London, say g'day to London snow for me.

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Nico G
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October 17, 2018 at 5:41 PM ×

i am teaming with Amps at the 'dry' dock and herewith notify my intention to head to the beach

greetings from late October days to close a perfect 7 month of Aegean sailing

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