Money in Motion

Ignore the 'Super Mario' Hype: Strategist

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB)
Hannelore Foerster | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investors are anticipating big things from the European Central Bank's upcoming meeting, but this strategist is looking longer term.

Ready for the European Central Bank meeting next Thursday? To judge from market chatter, big things are in the works, and ECB President Mario Draghi fanned the flames in written comments arguing that the bank must sometimes resort to "exceptional measures" to fulfill its mandate.

"The guessing game continues," says Jesper Bargmann, Head of G11 spot FX APAC markets at RBS, describing investors' search for hints on the likely course of action for the ECB chief. "There's no doubt he is preparing himself" for some kind of step to contend with the debt crisis. 

Then there is the upcoming Jackson Hole economic symposium, where investors are hoping for policy news, possibly word of more quantitative easing, from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

On both fronts, Bargmann is counseling caution.

"There's huge talk about the Jackson Hole meeting" since Bernanke made news with hints of a quantitative easing move there in 2010, he told CNBC. "But maybe we shouldn't forget that Jackson Hole has been going on since 1928, and it was actually designed for central bankers to discuss issues that are not an immediate concern."

As for the ECB, Bargmann is looking past the meeting next week.

"I think we have to wait and see, have the events out of the way." "There's no reason to take the gambles and run large risk over the events."

In the medium term, Bargmann still favors selling the euro  against commodity currencies like the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar. He's concerned about the "ever ballooning" ECB balance sheet, and he thinks more liquidity will help the commodity currencies.

Bargmann says the euro could fall to the 1.1200 range in the next couple of months against the Australian dollar, and he sees "similar moves against the Canadian dollar and some of the emerging markets."

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