On June 23, Great Britain will hold a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union.
But according to Credit Suisse, the political drama playing out in the US is also worth watching with the results on Super Tuesday serving as a tail-risk worth monitoring.
The firm notes the US dollar has seen broad-based weakness since the March 1 primaries, and it might be because anti-establishment candidates who are “relatively hostile to existing US trade and financial arrangements are genuine contenders for the US presidency.”
And by this, of course, Credit Suisse means Donald Trump, and to a lesser degree Bernie Sanders. The bank believes markets are pricing in the risk a Trump presidency would lead the US to a more protectionist trade stance.
The dollar has held up relatively well versus NAFTA currencies (Canadian dollar and Mexican peso) while seeing material weakness versus the rest of the world, Credit Suisse says.
In January, Trump told the New York Times’ editorial board he would support putting a tariff on Chinese exports to the US.
“I would do a tax. And the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be … the tax should be 45%,” Trump said.
However, a Trump presidency isn’t the only concern.
Credit Suisse notes exports in February’s ISM report were notably weak and that the recent revision to Q4 GDP also showed a “lingering drag from net exports.” So it is possible that it’s not only Trump that’s pushing the dollar lower.
As for what this means in the near-term, Credit Suisse says they remain bullish both the euro and the Japanese yen on a 3-month horizon.
By then we are likely to have a clearer picture on what a US presidency might look like and whether a truly anti-trade candidate is in control.