EUR/USD – Euro Hits 3-Year Higher as German Inflation Jumps

The euro rally is steady in the Friday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2503, down 0.02% on the day. On the release front, the German Wholesale Price Index climbed 0.9% in January, rebounding from a reading of 0.3% in December. In the US, Building Permits is expected to inch lower to 1.30 million, and Housing Starts are projected to improve to 1.23 million. As well, UoM Consumer Sentiment is expected to rise to 95.4 points.

The euro continues to trade above the 1.25 level this week. Earlier on Friday, EUR/USD touched its highest level since December 2014, as the US dollar remains under broad pressure. The euro has posted winning sessions every day this week, and the currency has gained 2.1% this week. US inflation indicators pointed upwards this week, but investors chose to focus on soft retail sales reports for January – Retail Sales posted a flat reading of 0.0%, and Core Retail Sales declined 0.3%, marking its first decline in five months.

The recent volatility in the currency markets has not gone unnoticed by Mario Draghi & Co. Last week, the ECB head expressed confidence that eurozone inflation is moving closer to the Bank’s target of just below 2 percent, due to improving economic growth. However, Draghi listed currency market volatility as an obstacle to the inflation target, and added that the ECB would carefully monitor the euro’s exchange rates. The ECB tapered its massive stimulus program from EUR 60 billion to 30 billion/mth in January, and the markets are on the lookout for hints as to whether the ECB will normalize policy and wind up stimulus in September. Any hints from ECB policymakers about a change in policy could have a strong impact on the movement of the euro.

US Bond Auction TIPS the dollar

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Friday (February 16)

  • 2:00 German WPI. Estimate 0.2%. Estimate 0.9%
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.29M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.23M
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.6%
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 95.4
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Inflation Expectations

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

EUR/USD for Friday, February 16, 2018

EUR/USD for February 16 at 5:40 EDT

Open: 1.2506 High: 1.2556 Low: 1.2497 Close: 1.2503

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2286 1.2357 1.2481 1.2569 1.2660 1.2751

EUR/USD posted gains in the Asian session but has retracted in European trade

  • 1.2481 is providing support role
  • 1.2569 is a weak resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2481, 1.2357, 1.2286 and 1.2200
  • Above: 1.2569, 1.2660 and 1.2751
  • Current range: 1.2481 to 1.2569

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio is showing little movement in the Friday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (63%), indicative of EUR/USD reversing directions and moving to lower ground.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

EUR/USD – Euro Rise Continues on Broad Dollar Weakness

The euro continues its upward movement and has posted gains in the Thursday session.  Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2483, up 0.27% on the day. In the eurozone, the trade surplus continues to grow, climbing to EUR 23.8 billion. This beat the forecast of EUR 22.4 billion. It’s a busy day in the US, highlighted by PPI and Core PPI reports for January. Both indicators are expected to record gains after declining in the December readings. The US will also release key manufacturing reports and unemployment claims. On Friday, the US releases key housing and consumer confidence numbers.

The euro has posted winning sessions every day this week, and continues to move upwards on Thursday. The euro has gained 1.8% this week, and posted strong gains on Wednesday, after the US releases pointed to stronger inflation and dismal retail sales.

The US dollar remains under strong pressure after Wednesday’s CPI and retail sales reports. CPI jumped 0.5%, above the estimate of 0.3%. Consumer spending reports in January were dismal. Retail Sales was flat at 0.0%, short of the estimate of 0.5%. Core Retail Sales declined 0.3%, well off the forecast of +0.2%. A catalyst for the recent market sell-off was fear of higher inflation, and with inflation indicators pointing upwards, the dollar and the stock markets could be in for rough ride in the coming weeks.

The recent stock market turbulence has triggered volatility in the currency markets, and this is causing concern at the ECB. Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi said that he is more confident that eurozone inflation is moving closer to the Bank’s target of just below 2 percent, due to improving economic growth. However, Draghi listed currency market volatility as an obstacle to the inflation target, and added that the ECB would carefully monitor the euro’s exchange rates. The ECB tapered its massive stimulus program from EUR 60 billion to 30 billion/mth in January, and the markets are on the lookout for hints as to whether the ECB will normalize policy and wind up stimulus in September.

At the Edge of a Cliff

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 15)

  • 4:00 Italian Trade Balance. Estimate 4.44B. Actual 5.25B
  • 5:00 Eurozone Trade Balance. Estimate 22.4B. Actual 23.8B
  • Tentative – Spanish 10-year Bond Auction. Actual 1.58%
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 17.7
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 21.5
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 229K
  • 9:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 78.0%
  • 9:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.2%
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 72
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -193B
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases. Estimate 50.3B

Friday (February 16)

  • 2:00 German WPI. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.29M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.23M
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.6%
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 95.4

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

EUR/USD for Thursday, February 15, 2018

EUR/USD for February 14 at 5:30 EDT

Open: 1.2450 High: 1.2510 Low: 1.2448 Close: 1.2483

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2286 1.2357 1.2481 1.2569 1.2660 1.2751

EUR/USD continues to break through resistance lines. The pair inched higher in the Asian session and has recorded stronger gains in European trade

  • 1.2481 has switched to a support role after gains by the pair on Thursday
  • 1.2569 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2481, 1.2357, 1.2286 and 1.2200
  • Above: 1.2569, 1.2660 and 1.2751
  • Current range: 1.2481 to 1.2569

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio is showing gains in short positions, as EUR/USD continues to move higher and cover long positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (61%), indicative of EUR/USD reversing directions and moving to lower ground.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

EUR/USD – Euro Unchanged as German GDP, CPI Matches Forecasts

The euro has shown some movement in both directions but is unchanged in the Wednesday session.  Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2356, up 0.04% on the day. It’s a busy day for fundamentals, with key releases out of the eurozone and the US. In Germany, Preliminary GDP slowed to 0.6% in the fourth quarter, matching the estimate. Final CPI declined 0.7%, also matching the forecast. Eurozone Flash GDP for Q4 remained steady at 0.6% for a third straight quarter, matching the estimate. In the US, the markets are expecting mixed inflation numbers. Core CPI is expected to expected to edge lower to 0.2%, while CPI is forecast to improve to 0.1%. The US will also release retail sales reports. Retail Sales is forecast to slow to 0.2%, while Core CPI is forecast to accelerate to 0.5%. Traders should be prepared for movement from EUR/USD during the North American session.

The stock market sell-off has triggered some volatility in the currency markets, and this is causing concern at the ECB. Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi said that he is more confident that eurozone inflation is moving closer to the Bank’s target of just below 2 percent, due to improving economic growth. However, Draghi listed currency market volatility as an obstacle to the inflation target, and added that the ECB would carefully monitor the euro’s exchange rates. Draghi’s concerns about the exchange rate are likely even stronger, after the euro fell 1.6 percent last week. The ECB tapered its massive stimulus program from EUR 60 billion to 30 billion/mth in January, and the markets are on the lookout for hints as to whether the ECB will normalize policy and wind up stimulus in September.

Global stock markets have steadied after last week’s turbulence, but investors remain wary. Wednesday’s US inflation numbers will be closely watched, as inflation fears was a key catalyst of the massive sell-off. The new head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, sought to send a reassuring message on Tuesday, saying that the Fed is on alert to any risks to financial stability. However, it is clear that the Fed’s hand is limited when it comes to stock markets moves, and the volatility which we saw last week could resume at any time.

The day of reckoning

 

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 14)

  • 2:00 German Preliminary GDP. Estimate 0.6%. Actual 0.6%
  • 2:00 German Final CPI. Estimate -0.7%. Actual -0.7%
  • 3:00 German Buba President Weidmann Speaks
  • 4:00 Italian Preliminary GDP. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.3%
  • 5:00 Eurozone Flash GDP. Estimate 0.6%. Actual 0.6%
  • 5:00 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.4%
  • Tentative – German 30-year Bond Auction
  • 8:30 US CPI. Estimate 0.3%
  • 8:30 US Core CPI. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 US Business Inventories. Estimate 0.3%
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 2.8M

Thursday (February 15)

  • 5:00 Eurozone Trade Balance. Estimate 22.4B
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 17.7
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 21.5
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 229K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

EUR/USD for Wednesday, February 14, 2018

EUR/USD for February 14 at 6:00 EDT

Open: 1.2351 High: 1.2393 Low: 1.2346 Close: 1.2356

 

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2092 1.2200 1.2286 1.2357 1.2481 1.2569

EUR/USD inched higher in the Asian session and has retracted in European trade

  • 1.2286 is providing support
  • 1.2357 was tested earlier in resistance and is under strong pressure

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2286, 1.2200, 1.2092 and 1.1961
  • Above: 1.2357, 1.2481 and 1.2569
  • Current range: 1.2286 to 1.2357

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio is almost unchanged in the Wednesday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (54%), indicative of EUR/USD breaking out and moving lower.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

US Dollar Rout Continues With Inflation Data in the Horizon

Safe haven flows after the stock market collapse favour JPY and CHF

The US dollar is once again on the back foot on Tuesday. The currency is softer against major pairs ahead of key US inflation data for January. The U.S. Federal Reserve along with traders will be looking at the consumer price figures for signs of higher inflation and further validations of their plans to keep raising US interest rates in 2018. The U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report earlier in the month boosted the USD with a positive wage growth signal at 0.3 percent monthly gain. The market will be watching the core CPI released on Wednesday, February 14 at 8:30 am EST looking for confirmation.

  • US January inflation expected to underperform
  • US Oil producers putting downward pressure on prices
  • US inflation trend to continue on Thursday with the release of the PPI



The EUR/USD gained 0.52 percent on Tuesday. The single currency is trading at 1.2355 ahead of the release of monthly inflation and retail sales data in the US. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to lift rates 3 or more times this year, but to do so it would need inflation in the US to pick up, as this was the biggest debate within the central bank last year. Doves within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are pushing for more patience, until inflation rises, while the hawks who lost Chair Yellen as their biggest supporter would rather raise rates sooner rather than later. The core consumer price index, the Fed pays more attention to this data point that excludes food and energy, is expected to come in at 0.2 percent. Retail sales are forecasted to have gained 0.2 percent in January, but the core reading to have advanced by 0.5 percent by removing auto sales.

The tumble in stocks prices has had a negative effect on the confidence in the US economy. The employment report released on February 2 posted higher than forecasted number of jobs and more importantly hourly wages rose by 0.3 percent. Several dollar rallies that started with a strong employment report have been cut short by disappointing inflation and retail sales data. This time around the USD has not been able to find solid footing in 2018. With a stock market correction and bond yields at four year highs inflation takes a more important role as it could solidify the case of Fed hawks and make way for a 4 rate hike scenario. The USD has been impacted by improving growth around the globe and other central banks have hiked or signalled and end to low rates cutting the lead of the U.S. Federal Reserve and reducing the attractiveness of the dollar. A higher than expected inflation figure could trigger a US currency recovery alongside a drop in the stock market as higher rates would be forthcoming. Vice versa a lower than expected consumer price gain could sink the dollar even lower as the market is already pricing in 3 rate hikes and could start reevaluating that position with weak inflationary pressures.

European politics have reached some stability with the German coalition now in place but with the upcoming Italian elections in March the boat is sure to rock. Economic fundamentals have been strong in the eurozone with Germany leading the way as usual. The gap between the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) is closing with regarding monetary policy. The ECB is expected to end its QE program and could even lift interest rates later this year. The week will bring minor indicator releases in Europe with the German central bank chief Jens Weidmann speaking in Frankfurt on Wednesday, February 14 at 3:00 am EST. Earlier that day the GDP figures for Germany will be released with a 0.6 percent growth expected.



The USD/JPY lost 0.84 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pair is trading at 107.73 as the JPY has benefited from risk aversion and risk appetite moves. Usually the USD is the main beneficiary of a risk aversion move, but given some of the global uncertainty is happening in Washington and Wall Street the greenback is not the sturdiest safe haven for investors. The USD is soft ahead of inflation and retail sales data with both having to overcome concerns.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to reappoint Haruhiko Kuroda as the head of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) for his second term and that in itself could be a sign the central bank is ready to start dealing back some of its massive stimulus program.

Market events to watch this week:

Wednesday, February 14
8:30am USD CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Retail Sales m/m
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
7:30pm AUD Employment Change
Thursday, February 15
8:30am USD PPI m/m
Friday, February 16
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Building Permits

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

EUR/USD – Euro Quiet at Start of Week

The euro has posted small gains in the Monday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2266, up 0.12% on the day. It’s a light economic calendar to start the week, with only one release on the schedule. The US federal budget is expected to rebound and show a large surplus of $50.2 billion. This would mark the first surplus since September. There are no major indicators until Wednesday, when Germany releases Preliminary GDP and Final CPI, and the eurozone releases Flash GDP.

A rebound in the global economy has been a boon for eurozone exports, and this has boosted the bloc’s manufacturing sector. This was underscored by strong manufacturing reports out of France and Italy in December, which were released on Friday. Industrial production in both countries improved compared to November, beating the estimates. The Italian reading of 1.6% marked the strongest gain since August 2016. We’ll get a look at Eurozone Industrial Production on Wednesday. The November reading surged to 1.0%, marking a 3-month high. However, the markets are expecting a small gain of 0.1% in December.

German President Angela Merkel has reached an agreement with the socialist SDP to form a new government, but the price was steep, as the SDP extracted major concessions from Merkel, notably control of the powerful finance ministry. This will likely mark a shift in Germany’s eurozone policy, which had been marked by a conservative stance under former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The weaker members of the eurozone, such as Greece, will likely find a more sympathetic ear for financial help from the SDP than they did from Schauble. Many conservatives fear that the Olaf Scholz, who is expected to become finance minster, will not be as fiscally responsible as Schaeuble. On the weekend Scholz said that Germany should not dictate economic policies to other eurozone members. The coalition agreement still requires the consent of a majority of the 464,000 members of the SDP, and if the deal is rejected, Germany will likely be headed to new elections.

FX and Equities Brace for a Bumpy Week

 

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Monday (February 12)

  • 14:00 US Federal Budget Balance. Estimate 50.2B

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

EUR/USD for Monday,  February 12, 2018

EUR/USD for February 12 at 6:30 EDT

Open: 1.2252 High: 1.2298 Low: 1.2242 Close: 1.2266

 

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.1961 1.2092 1.2200 1.2286 1.2357 1.2481

EUR/USD edged higher in the Asian session. The pair has reversed directions in European trade and is moving downards

  • 1.2200 has switched to a support role after losses by EUR/USD on Tuesday
  • 1.2286 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2200, 1.2092 and 1.1961
  • Above: 1.2286, 1.2357, 1.2481 and 1.2569
  • Current range: 1.2200 to 1.2286

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio has shown strong movement towards long positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (57%), indicative of EUR/USD reversing directions and moving higher.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

This too shall pass.

This too shall pass

It seems anytime I left my desk last week the market was sure to fall apart but after witnessing 25 years + of market corrections, I know storms don’t last forever, and as far as the recent bout of market mayhem is concerned, this too shall pass.

Traders quickly conjectured that the ‘crash’ was mainly due to over-crowded positioning in short equity volatility trades and, therefore, was a relatively isolated event. But this does not mean equity markets are out of the weeds just yet.

With US cash flow models factoring in higher US bond yields, equity markets repricing was always on the cards, but unequivocally the rapidity of the move higher in yields was stifling and stop losses were combatively triggered. And when factored with the unbridled use of leverage in equity positions it likely caused everyone to head for the exits due to cash and margin requirements. The great unknown in the debate is just how much equity froth is based on leverage and to what extent will higher US bond yields squeeze these positions either from a cash position or through asset rotation perspectives.

It was a crazy week for US rate markets, but with powerful US economic signals and interest rates most certainly to rise quicker than expected,  last week tumult could be little more than the start of the equity rollercoaster. If cumulative boost from tax reform and fiscal stimulus nudges GDP outline 1.5% higher over the next six to 9 months how does the Fed possibly stick to their three dot plot projections for 2018?

Bond markets are only in the early stages of buying into the global reflation theme, and increasing inflation expectations are driving nominal yields higher. Last week there was a significant topside move in US yields which suggest we could easily tack on another 30-35 basis points 2’s through 10’s given the US fiscal stimulus backdrop. But even without inflation, global central banks will move rates higher, and this will add to higher yield environment, higher inflation or not.

The Feds seem undeterred from the path of gradual normalisation by the recent market turmoil, and we should not expect a Powell ” Put.” given the economic indicators remain strong. And with FED Dudley chiming in, the recent Stock market volatility is ” no big potatoes.” , just imagine a big potato !!
Oil Markets

U.S. crude oil fell below $59 a barrel for the first time in 2018.Rising US production and a resurgent dollar have stacked pressure on oil prices amid a broad financial market sell-off. And on Friday WTI nosedived after the U.S. rig count rose by 26 rigs in the week through Feb. 9 to a total of 791, supporting the EIA revised production forecast that the US would reach the lofty 11 million bpd by the end of 2018

Also, the possible demise of the OPEC agreement has traders on pins and needles after The head of Russian energy giant Gazprom Neft on Friday said producers could adjust their commitments under the deal as soon as next quarter.

Gold Markets
Without question last week was a stressful week in the Gold markets which saw a little appeal for traditional haven assets as Wall streets sinkhole expanded.

At the moment higher US yields continue to weigh negatively on gold’s appeal over the short term, but the recent market tumult likely has overleveraged equity positions scrambling for margin top-ups, and to a degree, there was cause for some cross-asset unwinds including gold allocations which were probably used to fund margins.

In the more extended run with inflation expectations increasing on the back of US stimulus, this should be a consideration for growing one’s gold portfolio.
At the retail levels, Mainland Gold consumption is rising in preparation for Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, not to mention a last-minute splurge for Valentine’s day should keep retailers busy.

Currency Markets

Currency markets were more or less a mixed bag last week, a potpourri of events but not one convincing driver. And with little to glean from Friday close, currency traders could remain sidelined watching equities markets swings in wonderment at least until this week’s US CPI. Given all this rukus started with an uptick in the wage growth component from this months NFP release; this weeks US inflation data will be a monster of a print.
Japanese Yen

Funding positions continue to unwind which at least in the case of JPY, is having a more significant influence over USDJPY than higher US yields. The reappointment of Kuroda could retrace some speculations on the policy adjustments; the Yen will remain the puppet whose strings are manipulated by equities and fixed income price movements.

Australian Dollar

RBA and SOMP behind us and signalling nor rush to hike for a considerable period given the slight dovish lean in the inflation outlook. The AUD should, therefore, be back trading off risk sentiment, commodity prices and ultimately the underlying USD movements. While the Aussie bounced higher above 78 on positive US equity close on Friday, we should expect commodity currencies trade poor amid the recent volatile market. Rallies will likely remain subdued near-term, so the Aussie should remain vulnerable.

Long Euro short Aussie trade set up should return in vogue over the short term given divergent central bank policy expectations.

Malaysian Ringgit

The market continues to grapple with growth versus the inflation narrative, and as this volatility irons itself out, Asian markets tend to exhibit a higher sensitivity to global fluctuations.

And while the Ringgit is better positioned than regional peers to withstand the recent uptick in Global volatility due to strong Marco foundations and the BNM on the path to interest rate normalisation, The domestic economic landscape will come under intense glare when Q4 GDP is released on Wednesday.

While March a rate hike expectations are low due to the dovish inflation overtones expressed by BNM in January,  but a notable above consensus print on this weeks GDP  will increase the odds of a rate hike later in 2018 and strengthen the Ringgit. ( Consensus is 5.8 )

While oil prices continue to move lower due to US supply concerns, I believe this is more technical driven as dollar index is holding above 90 cents, putting pressure on all commodities. Once this period of excess volatility decreases, the global growth narrative should reassert and commodity prices should rise.

EUR/USD – Euro Steady, Nervous Investors Brace for More Stock Market Losses

The euro has posted slight gains in the Friday session, erasing the losses on Thursday. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2266, up 0.16% on the day. On the release front, there are no major releases on the schedule. French Industrial Production improved to 0.5%, above the estimate of 0.1%. Italian Industrial Production impressed with a gain of 1.6%, well above the estimate of 0.7%. In the US, the sole event is Final Wholesale Inventories, which is expected to slow to 0.2%.

A rebound in the global economy has been a boon for eurozone exports, and this has boosted the bloc’s manufacturing setor. This was underscored by strong manufacturing reports out of France and Italy in December. Industrial production in both countries improved compared to November, beating the estimates. The Italian reading of 1.6% marked the strongest gain since August 2016. We’ll get a look at Eurozone Industrial Production next week. The November reading surged to 1.0%, marking a 3-month high.

The euro has been under pressure for most of the week, and is down 1.5 percent against the US dollar. The greenback has benefited from sharp volatility in global stock markets this week. The week started with a massive sell-off, and the markets have been in the red for most of the week. This has weighed on the euro, with investors anticipating a faster pace of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in order to ward off inflation. The Fed had forecast raising interest rates three times in 2018, but if inflation does move higher and the US economy continues its robust performance, we could see four rate hikes this year.

After months of political uncertainty, Germany appears on the verge of forming a new government. On Wednesday, the socialist SDP and Angela Merkel’s conservatives announced that they had finalized a coalition agreement. In the last government, the SDP was the junior partner of the conservatives, but this time around the SDP has extracted major concessions from Merkel, notably control of the powerful finance ministry. This will likely mark a shift in Germany’s eurozone policy, which had been marked by a conservative stance under former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The weaker members of the eurozone, such as Greece, will likely find a more sympathetic ear for financial help from the SDP than they did from Schauble. The coalition agreement still requires the consent of a majority of the 464,000 members of the SDP, but is expected to pass this final hurdle.

Hawks coming home to roost

 

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Friday (February 9)

  • 2:45 French Industrial Production. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.5%
  • 4:00 Italian Industrial Production. Estimate 0.7%. Actual 1.6%
  • 10:00 US Final Wholesale Inventories. Estimate 0.2%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

EUR/USD for February 9, 2018

EUR/USD for February 9 at 5:00 EDT

Open: 1.2246 High: 1.2287 Low: 1.2240 Close: 1.2266

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.1961 1.2092 1.2200 1.2286 1.2357 1.2481

EUR/USD edged higher in the Asian session. The pair has reversed directions in European trade and is moving downards

  • 1.2200 has switched to a support role after losses by EUR/USD on Tuesday
  • 1.2286 is the next resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2200, 1.2092 and 1.1961
  • Above: 1.2286, 1.2357, 1.2481 and 1.2569
  • Current range: 1.2200 to 1.2286

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

EUR/USD ratio has shown strong movement towards long positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (57%), indicative of EUR/USD reversing directions and moving higher.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Hawks coming home to roost

Hawks coming home to roost

Equity markets were trounced on the back of Global yields parading to multi-year highs Thursday. Indeed, it was less dovish Fed speak that continued to be the driver, and the BoE provided a hawkish bounty for good measure.

The ruckus in the bond pits these days appears hell-bent on marching towards 3 % 10Year UST yields much quicker than anyone had suspected which suggest equity markets will come under the hammer for some time to come. Yields are becoming the real storyline as a combination of tighter monetary policy and the US burdening deficit leading to more supply, suggests we have crossed a 2.75 % 10Y UST bridge of no return, and the ride could get bumpier for equity investors.

The issue is not so much the 3% level but rather the pace that Bond yields have been rising in the US that is sending the markets into disarray. The rapidity of the moves has caught the markets by surprise, and we are going through the predictable panicked repricing of most asset classes.

Oil Markets

Crude prices continued to tank overnight as the commodity complex has suffered dearly due to the uptick in market volatility. But the toxic combination of rising US output and a stronger US dollar has nullified OPEC production cut momentum.

With the markets factoring in US crude production to continue hitting new record highs through 2018, the supply dynamics suggest a move below $ 60 WTI is in the offing.
Gold Markets
Gold toppled to a five-week low after the Bank of England whispered a sooner and more substantial rate rises after revising their growth and inflation forecast. The quicker than expected shift on Central Bank Monetary Policy outlooks coupled with the rapid increase in US bond yields continues to dampen investor sentiment. However, Gold prices quickly recovered as the equity market drawdowns continue to attract risk off hedges while the Syria Standoff with Turkey is offering support on the geopolitical front.
Currency Markets

The Australian Dollar

The rise in US bond yields has toppled the Aussie dollar and dented risk sentiment as global equity market continues to tumble.

Market volatility is weighing negatively on commodities, add in a dose of dovish RBA rhetoric, and therein lies the heart of the Aussie dollar woes.

Also, the Aussie was trampled on when USDCNH shot up from 6.3050 to 6.3750 as it seems that China is opening up more channels for outflows to slow RMB appreciation. (See below)

The Aussie dollar tends not to flourish in these types of markets.
The $ Bull in the China Shop: Chinese Yuan

The dollar bull was let loose in the China shop yesterday as a confluence of events had trader paring back short US dollar risk from the morning fix.

The fix came in a bit higher than expected which usually causes a bit of a move higher but, it was the article in China Economic Daily that was creating the most noise as the report urges corporates to enhance FX risk management. (Nudge Nudge)
China has also resumed its Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership plan after a two-year halt, granting licenses to about a dozen global money managers that can raise funds in China for overseas investments. While it does not have a massive Foreign Exchange flow impact,  and  more symbolic than anything else,  it is none the less suggestive that the Pboc is less sensitive to capital outflow

Given that positions were skewed short US dollar, the confluence of events had traders covering positions aggressively knowing that liquidity will be sure to dry up the closer we get to Lunar New Year.

The China trade numbers were perceived disappointing ( I have opposite view) which contributed to some currency negativity.

But from any logical perspective, it was hard to ignore the Mainland equity fire sales this week which certainly had a negative bias on currency sentiment

The Malaysian Ringgit

Negative regional currency signals abound.

The rapid repricing higher in US bond yields has taken investors by surprise. Moreover, with US yields looking to push higher, we could be in for a bit more pain before the markets find some solid footing.

Higher US yields are supporting the USD and weighing on global equity sentiment which is hurting overall regional risk appetite.

US record crude production continues to weigh negatively on oil prices.

The proximity of Chinese Lunar New year has traders paring back risk.

The market, at least for now, is hedging against the Fed potentially leaning more hawkish, which is explaining the uptick in USD, US Yields and lower equity markets.