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Apr 17 - 06:55 PM

Goldman: Copper Prices and FX: a Tailwind, or a Game-Changer?

By eFXdata  —  Apr 17 - 03:00 PM


Goldman Sachs evaluates the potential impact of recent commodity price movements on currency values, emphasizing copper's significant role. While the Chilean Peso (CLP) is positioned to benefit from rising copper prices, the influence on major G10 currencies like the Australian Dollar (AUD) and Canadian Dollar (CAD) is expected to be less pronounced. The firm notes that broader economic policies and cyclical factors continue to overshadow the effects of terms of trade on short-term currency performance.

Key Points:

  • Commodity Spotlight and Copper's Role: Recent geopolitical tensions and positive manufacturing data have kept commodities, especially copper, in focus. Goldman's bullish outlook on copper is highlighted as having notable potential to influence currency markets.

  • Currency Implications of Copper Prices: Using Goldman's Terms of Trade (ToT) framework, the analysis suggests that the Chilean Peso could see significant gains if copper prices reach the forecasted levels, due to the country's heavy reliance on copper exports. The impact on G10 currencies such as the AUD and CAD is expected to be positive but more modest.

  • Pass-Through Effects on FX: The firm's rule-of-thumb indicates that about half of the changes in export prices pass through to FX, compared to only about two-tenths for import prices. This differential suggests stronger currency responses in export-heavy economies, particularly those reliant on copper.

  • Recent Performance of Commodity Currencies: Despite copper's price movements, most commodity currencies have not matched the commodity rally since the year's start. This underperformance highlights the limited role of terms of trade in driving short-term currency moves.

  • Broader Economic Influences: While significant shifts in terms of trade due to commodity price changes can impact FX, recent currency movements are primarily driven by broader policy decisions and cyclical economic factors rather than changes in trade terms.


Goldman Sachs' analysis indicates that while copper prices provide a potential tailwind for certain currencies, particularly the CLP, the broader influence on G10 currencies is likely to remain subdued. The analysis reinforces the idea that short-term FX performance is more heavily influenced by macroeconomic policies and global economic cycles than by changes in commodity prices or terms of trade. Investors should continue to focus on these broader drivers when considering currency investments.

Goldman Sachs Research/Market Commentary


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