Gold Gains Ground, Puts Brakes on Dollar Rally

Gold has posted gains in the Thursday session, erasing the losses seen on Wednesday. In North American trade, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1331.17, up 0.50% on the day. On the release front, unemployment claims dropped to 222 thousand, well below the estimate of 230 thousand.

Gold prices remain continue to fluctuate. The base metal has lost 1.3% this week, erasing much of last week’s gains. Concerns that strong US numbers could stoke inflation and more rate hikes sparked the recent turbulence in global stock markets. This has triggered volatility in gold, as gold prices are sensitive to moves (or expected moves) in interest rates. The Fed is currently projecting three rate hikes this year, but if inflation continues to move upwards, many analysts are expecting that the Fed could press the rate trigger four, or even five times in 2018.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its January meeting, and as expected, the benchmark rate was left unchanged at a rate between 1.25% and 1.50%. The message from policymakers was that further rate hikes could be in the cards, due to strong economic conditions in the US. In the words of the minutes, policymakers “anticipated that the rate of economic growth in 2018 would exceed their estimates of its sustainable longer-run pace and that labor market conditions would strengthen further”. At the December meeting, the Fed penciled in three rate hikes in 2018, and there was no reference to a quicker pace of hikes in the January minutes. As for inflation, the minutes did not reveal any concern. Most Fed members were of the opinion that inflation would rise towards the Fed target of 2 percent.

 

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 22)

  • 00:15 US FOMC Member Randal Quarles Speaks
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 230K. Actual 222K
  • 10:00 US CB Leading Index. Estimate 0.7%. Actual 1.0%
  • 10:00 US FOMC Member William Dudley Speaks
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -121B. Actual -124B
  • 11:00 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 2.2M. Actual -1.6M
  • 12:10 US FOMC Member Raphael Bostic Speaks 

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

XAU/USD for Thursday, February 22, 2018

XAU/USD February 22 at 12:40 EST

Open: 1324.57 High: 1331.37 Low: 1321.03 Close: 1331.17

 

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1260 1285 1307 1337 1375 1416
  • XAU/USD showed little movement in the Asian and European sessions. The pair has posted gains in North American trade
  • 1307 is providing support
  • 1337 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1307 to 1337

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1307, 1285 and 1260
  • Above: 1337, 1375, 1416 and 1433

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio is showing strong movement towards long positions. Currently, short positions have a slim majority (51%), indicative of a lack of trader bias as to what direction XAU/USD will take next.

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.

Confusion reigns

Confusion reigns

In a market starved for significant news, the FOMC minutes provided just enough talking points to keep the dollar bid as US bond yields nudged towards crucial resistance levels.However, the Feds assortment of views on wage growth suggests the FOMC remains pliable during the transition phase from Yellen to Powell. In other words, the Feds stay in wait and see mode regarding inflation.

Of course, the market latched on to the dovish stuff as traders were partial to sell the dollar, but as is so often the case when interpreting the Feds exercise in verbal gymnastics, the market got it wrong. The FOMC minutes were eventually deemed slightly more hawkish after suggesting economic growth will surpass their estimates which caused STIRT traders to nudge rate hike expectations higher through 2018  and providing a bump to dollar sentiment. But given the lack of follow-through, the jury remains out.

The exciting part of the equation today will be the return of China investors which should provide a spark to regional sentiment. But the jury is out on the currency markets and in particular USDJPY which remains the primary vehicle to express currency sentiment.

So there lies the debate,  interest rate hawks preach the FOMC had not seen last week’s sharp inflation report while the doves suggest a need for a string of convincing inflation prints before moving to the four rate hike camp.

Bond Markets

The bond market is confused, but as my first boss on the BondDesk was always quick to remind me, when in doubt Sell.
Oil prices

Tumbling oil prices got a reprieve at the end of the day after American Petroleum Institute data showed a drop of 0.907 million barrels in US crude inventories. Given all the noise about a shale production ramp, Traders were expecting an increase in the warehouse when in reality improved pipeline infrastructure to the Gulf coast and the decreased supply via TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline, sent Cushing inventories tumbling.But the firming dollar continues to thwart investor sentiment despite the bullish inventory data.  By no means is the dollar returning to form so this upbeat inventory data could have some legs.

Gold Prices

It was a  meltdown in Gold markets overnight, and I’m not talking about scrap prices. But in reality, this should provide Gold investors with another opportunity to re-engage as the Fed fell well short of confirming a 4th rate hike in 2018. The minutes were more balanced in my view as the recent uptick in volatility will have as much bearing on Fed policy decision as the subtle rise in inflation.

G-10

The Euro

Disappointing price action from the long perspective continues to weigh on sentiment; bullish views continue to be challenged ahead of the Italian elections, as near-term convictions turn neutral to slightly bearish

The Japanese Yen

There remain substantial offers between 107.50-108 levels that are providing a cap on USDJPY, but Traders remains exceptionally cautious in either direction despite increasing signals for a structural demise in USD sentiment.While fiscal stimulus looks good on paper, we’re entering uncharted territory as the Fed pares back bond purchases while the Treasury issues absurd amounts of debt.
Malaysian Ringgit

We should anticipate more liquidity coming back to the market as mainland investor return. While we’re nowhere near a make or break scenario for the Ringgit, short-term sentiment remains tarnished by an unexpectedly faster rise in US bond yields. While this is mildly negative for local opinion, the main issue is investors are growing increasingly concerned about a quicker pace of interest rate normalisation from the Fed which could trigger regional capital outflow.

The FOMC minutes served up little more than a plate of confusion last night, so I expect G-10 along with Asia FX to remain in a state of limbo until Fed Chair Powell takes the podium later this month.

Yield-o-Mania

Yield-o-Mania

Global yields ratcheted higher after a stronger than expected jump on Germany’s PPI which bolsters the hotter than expected comprehensive inflation narrative. But it was the jump in US 2-year note yields that provided the extra boost to the US dollar as shorter-dated tenors provides investors with better goalposts for determining how the market is viewing Fed sentiment

However, the lukewarm demand for two-year notes at auction and with supply concerns expected to weigh heavy on investor bond appetite this week, we could see the dollar back under pressure. Of course, traders are erring on the side of caution ahead of the release of the FOMC Jan 30-31 minutes and given the short dollar bus had reached standing room only portions, the short-term pause in this year’s grand dollar sell-off was not too unexpected.
US stock markets

US equity markets fell overnight on the back of higher US Treasury yields which are providing investors with more income than dividends on the S&P 500 Index. While the prospect of higher interest rates will keep investors on edge, it’s not like we’re returning to double-digit levels or the Fed is moving its terminal rate.So even the uptick in ten-year yields to 3 % or even 3.25 % is unlikely to kill the equity market rally as the benefits from fiscal stimulus should continue to feed through the markets. Investors are banking on much higher returns from equities than bonds again in 2018.

Oil markets

Amid OPEC supply compliance, WTI markets are focusing on dwindling inflow of Crude from Canada to Cushing due to limited accommodation on the Keystone pipeline.The disruption is providing a fillip to WTI prices while the stronger dollar has Brent prices falling and narrowing the WTI-Brent spread. Also, WTI is getting a boost from rising exports attributed to better infrastructure connecting the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. But of course, we are tapering expectation on WTI rally as the USD continues to find firmer footing.

Gold markets

A tough week for the Gold market so far as the dollar has rebounded and US Bond yields have jumped higher ahead of the FOMC minutes. Traders are hedging for a possible shift in guidance given the uptick in inflation, so this presents a significant market tail risk which could cause traders to reprice rate hike expectations in 2019 aggressively higher. A quicker and steeper slope of interest rate normalisation offers the most prominent near-term threat to gold prices as this outcome will send the USD surging.
G-10

The Euro

The lack of demand for EUR Monday certainly opened the door, and predictably on the first sign of abject news, we dipped to the low 1.23’s after the German ZEW survey plunged. The market is forever a discounting mechanism and given the extremely disappointing price action from the long perspective; it triggered one-way position squaring ahead of the FOMC minutes. And while the bullish EUR narrative continues to resonate, both bearish and bullish views will be inevitably challenged with Italian elections, January NFP and an ECB meeting due over the next few weeks so near-term convictions could turn neutral and tarnish the EUR appeal

The Japanese Yen

The USDJPY should be the best game in town this week especially if traders interpret the FOMC minute’s  colour as bold. However, the risks are balanced entering the FOMC minutes as the recent uptick in volatility could have as much bearing on Fed policy decision as the subtle rise in inflation

But until the market takes out the significant 108.15 level I continue to view the current move as little more than a pre FOMC meeting squeeze driven by yields and positioning and believe there will be substantial resistance between 107.50-108 levels.
The Australian Dollar

Pre-data comments. Given the RBA has been very vocal on wage growth as the missing piece of the economic puzzle, today’s Wage Price Index will attract an unusual amount of focus. Unfortunately, everyone is looking at this trade so the news reading algorithms will likely get there well ahead of everyone on a surprise uptick.

The Malaysian Ringgit

Riskier currencies are trading on poor footing given the firmer dollar and negative global equity sentiment. And of course, we can not overlook higher US yields which are driving opinions this week. This package of coincidences does not make a very conducive environment for regional risk.

US Bond Auction TIPS the dollar

US Bond Auction TIPS the dollar

A dismal US 30year TIPS auction is weighing on dollar demand as the sagging bid to cover ratio of 2.31 is signalling dwindling investor appetite as inflationary headwinds build. The dollar is lower because no one wants to own US bonds despite the higher yield, knowing the inflationary headwinds will push yields higher and bond prices lower

The market remains nonplussed by the breakdown of FX /Interest rate correlations and while the debate still rages concerning Wednesday dollar sell-off. I think its time to throw textbook economics out the window as well as the so-called interest rate pivot point. G-10 yield differentials are so tiny that traders could care less about differentials as they become increasingly focused on the future outlook of the expanding US deficits and in particular the budget deficit

Another hot inflation reading as PPI showed a substantial gain but provided no bounce to the buck. When real money is taking the dollar to the woodshed and reluctant to own greenbacks in anyway shape or form, it matters little what the Feds are doing or yields for that matter. And by all indications, we could be in the early stages of protracted dollar sell-off.
Equity Markets

Equity investors are in a happy spot as US stock markets carved out their fifth consecutive day of gains. Despite a midday swoon, markets roared back as investors view the uptick in inflation as non-threatening and remain in buy on dip mode as last weeks equity meltdown looks more and more like an illogical outlier than ever.

Oil Markets

After the decent bounce on the back weaker dollar and Khalid al-Falih suggesting no imminent demise of OPEC and non-member compliance. Not unexpected the markets are becoming a bit more position sensitive heading into the weekend. The weaker US dollar has been a significant component driving market sentiment, and with the dollar entering oversold territory at weeks end, we could see short dollar position pared which could negatively impact interday oil prices.

Frankly giving the evolving vital narratives surrounding OPEC compliance vs Shale output I expect the WTI whipsaw to be as active next week as it was this week. But given the overly bearish outlook for the greenback, we may have printed a short-term floor and dips will remain supported.

Gold Markets

There was very little follow through on the much hotter than expected US PPI print which convinced investors to book some profits after gold rallied hard the previous session. A while the weaker USD is underpinning gold prices, the short dollar speculators a bit overextend suggesting the market could pare back US short dollar risk which may temper topside expectations for Gold prices today. Medium-term bullish conviction remains intact given the higher US inflation profile and weaker USD narrative.

Crypto Markets

Bitcoin buyers were back en masse chasing the dream as the fear of missing ( FOMO)out propelled BTC above 10,000. It appears the recent wave or regulatory worries have been tempered as the massive South Korean market could roar back to life as rumours are circulating that Seoul is looking at licencing several exchanges adding a level of credibility and shoring up severely dented investor confidence.
Currency Markets

The Japanese Yen

Talking about FOMO, is there anyone who is not short USDJPY? Of course, “the crowded trade theory” did cross my mind overnight, for second or two, as USDJPY powered back to 106.80 overnight on the Wakatabe headline, before pressing the sell button again. Dovish or not the market cares little about centeral bank policy these days while looking for any and all opportunities to hammer the dollar mercilessly. With very little chance of intervention at these levels, the JPY bulls should continue to have their way near-term.But short-term speculators are a bit stretched so now is not the time to get greedy.Let’s see what fortunes next week brings.

The Euro

It looks like the grind higher is back in fashion, and the upticks have been relentless over the past 24 hours. But unlike the recent test of 1.25 positioning is much lighter so we could punch higher as traders continue moan over not buying the dips to the low 1.22’s

The Malaysian Ringgit

Powerful bullish signals are falling on deaf ears as investors are far and few between due to Chinese Lunar New Year and quite frankly it’s not worth paying the holiday liquidity premiums to put on risk. Very little offshore interest today so expect the market to remain quiet.

GBP/USD – Pound Higher as Sentiment Remains Negative on Greenback

The British pound continues to head higher this week. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.4067, up 0.48% on the day. On the release front, there are no British events on the schedule. In the US, PPI gained 0.4%, matching the forecast. Core PPI also gained 0.4%, beating the estimate of 0.2%. Both indicators rebounded after declines in the previous month. Unemployment Claims climbed to 230 thousand, just above the estimate of 229 thousand. On Friday, the US releases key housing and consumer confidence numbers. The UK will release Retail Sales.

The pound has posted winning sessions every day this week, and has continued the upward trend on Thursday. GBP/USD has gained 1.7% this week, and punched above the 1.41 line earlier on Thursday. The pound posted strong gains on Wednesday, as US consumer spending reports were weaker than expected. Still, US fundamentals remain solid, as the US economy is showing strong expansion, the labor market remains at capacity, and inflation levels are moving higher. This has led some analysts to attribute the recent sag in the US dollar to technical factors rather than fundamental reasons.

With US inflation indicators pointing higher in January, the Fed will be reevaluating its projection for rate hikes in 2018. Currently, the Fed is planning three hikes this year, but that could change to four, or even five hikes, if inflation continues to head upwards and the robust US economy maintains its strong expansion.  The new head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, received a rude welcome from the stock markets, as he started his new position last week. 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.

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 15)

  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Core PPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 17.7. Actual 13.1
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 21.5. Actual 25.8
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 229K. Actual 230K
  • 9:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 78.0%. Actual 77.5%
  • 9:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate +0.2%. Actual -0.1%
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 72. Actual 72
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -193B. Actual -194B
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases. Estimate 50.3B

Friday (February 16)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate 0.5%
  • 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

GBP/USD for Thursday, February 15, 2018

GBP/USD February 15 at 11:30 EDT

Open: 1.3999 High: 1.4100 Low: 1.3995 Close: 1.4067

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3809 1.3901 1.4010 1.4128 1.4271 1.4345

GBP/USD continues to break through resistance levels. On Thursday, GBP/USD inched higher in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair posted considerable gains. GBP/USD edged higher in North American trade but has given up these gains

  • 1.4010 is providing support
  • 1.4128 is the next line of resistance

Current range: 1.4010 to 1.4128

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.4010, 1.3901, 1.3809 and 1.3744
  • Above: 1.4128,, 1.4271 and 1.4345

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is showing gains in long positions. Currently, short and long positions are evenly split, indicative of a lack of trader bias as to what direction GBP/USD will take next.

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.

Gold Dips to 2-Month Low But Recovers

Gold prices dropped considerably on Thursday before recovering. In North American trade, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1319.57, up 0.10% on the day. On the release front, there was excellent news on the employment front, as unemployment claims dropped to 221 thousand, well below the estimate of 232 thousand.

The US labor market remains strong, so much so that January’s nonfarm payrolls and wage growth reports triggered the strong slide on global stock markets this week. Unemployment claims sparkled on Thursday, dropping to 221 thousand. The 4-week moving average dropped to 224,500, its lowest level since 1973. Although unemployment remains at record-low levels, the lack of slack in the labor market has not led to strong wage growth, and inflation remains below the Fed target of 2 percent. One of the priorities for the new chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, will be to examine what steps can be taken to raise inflation, which has not kept up with robust economic growth.

Powell was probably hoping for a quiet start at his new job as chair of the Federal Reserve, but the stock markets had other plans. Powell, who took over on Saturday, was greeted by the largest one-day drop ever on the Dow Jones on Monday, as US stock markets nosedived. Some analysts went as far as attributing some of the losses on the changing of the guard at the Fed, but this appears unlikely, given that Powell is expected to follow Janet Yellen’s policies. This sentiment was echoed by on Tuesday by St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who said that he does not think that policy will change appreciably under Powell. A more plausible explanation for the massive sell-off earlier this week was investor concern of faster rate hikes by the Federal Reserve if inflation moves higher. Higher interest rates would make the dollar more attractive and weigh on gold prices. The Fed expects to raise rates three times in 2018, but could make four moves if the economy remains strong and inflation improves.

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 8)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 232K. Actual 221K
  • 10:00 US Mortgage Delinquencies. Actual 5.17%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -116B. Actual -119B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

XAU/USD for Thursday, February 8, 2018

XAU/USD February 8 at 12:55 EST

Open: 1318.47 High: 1332.33 Low: 1307.08 Close: 1319.57

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1260 1285 1307 1337 1375 1416
  • XAU/USD posted gains in the Asian session but gave up these gains in European trade. The pair continues to lose ground in North American trade
  • 1307 is providing support
  • 1337 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1307 to 1337

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1307, 1285 and 1260
  • Above: 1337, 1375, 1416 and 1433

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio is showing gains in long positions session. Currently, short positions have a majority (57%), indicative of trader bias towards XAU/USD continuing to move 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.

GBP/USD – Pound Gains Ground as BoE Hints at Rate Increase

The British pound has posted gains in the Thursday session, erasing the losses seen on Wednesday. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3919, up 0.29% on the day. On the release front, the Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.50%, but hinted at earlier and larger rate hikes. In the US, unemployment claims dropped to a sparkling 221 thousand, well below the estimate of 232 thousand.

The BoE was in the spotlight on Thursday. The Bank made no changes to interest rates or quantitative easing, and both moves were unanimous (9-0). There was some surprise however, at the hawkish tone of policymakers, who said that interest rates could rise “earlier” and by a “somewhat greater extent” than they predicted at their previous meeting in November. Bottom line? We could see an interest rate in the first half of 2018, with analysts circling May as the most likely date. At the same time, the effect that Brexit is having on the economy is difficult to predict, and if the economic conditions worsen, the BoE could delay a rate hike.

Pound jumps on ‘Hawkish’ BoE

It’s been a rough week for the pound, which is down 1.5 percent. The US dollar has posted gains against the pound and the other majors, after a massive sell-off on global stock markets on Monday. The sell-off was precipitated by strong US nonfarm payrolls and wage growth reports on Friday. This triggered concerns that higher inflation was on the way, which in turn would result in more rate hikes this year. Higher interest rates make the dollar more attractive for investors, at the expense of other currencies. If the turbulence in the stock markets continue, the pound could resume its downward movement.

 

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 8)

  • 7:00 BoE Inflation Report
  • 7:00 MPC Official Bank Rate Votes. Estimate 0-0-9. Actual 0-0-9
  • 7:00 BoE Monetary Policy Summary
  • 7:00 BoE Official Bank Rate. Estimate 0.50%. Actual 0.50%
  • 7:00 BoE Inflation Letter
  • 7:00 MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes. Estimate 0-0-9. Actual 0-0-9
  • 7:00 British Asset Purchase Facility. Estimate 435B. Actual 435B
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 232K. Actual 221K
  • 10:00 US Mortgage Delinquencies. Actual 5.17%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -116B. Actual -119B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

GBP/USD for Thursday, February 8, 2018

GBP/USD February 8 at 12:20 EDT

Open: 1.3880 High: 1.4067 Low: 1.3846 Close: 1.3918

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.3744 1.3809 1.3901 1.4010 1.4128 1.4271

GBP/USD ticked upwards in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair posted slight losses but reversed directions and made strong gains in European trade. In the North American session, the pair posted slight gains but has changed directions and is moving lower.

  • 1.3901 is providing support
  • 1.4010 was tested in resistance earlier on Thursday

Current range: 1.3901 to 1.4010

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3901, 1.3809, 1.3744, 1.3613
  • Above: 1.4010, 1.4128 and 1.4271

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio is showing movement towards short positions. Currently, short positions have a majority (55%), indicative of trader bias towards GBP/USD reversing directions 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.

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Steady as Housing Reports a Mixed Bag

The Canadian dollar has ticked higher in the Thursday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2562, down 0.07% on the day. On the release front, Canadian housing numbers were mixed. The New Housing Price Index edged lower to 0.0%, shy of the estimate of 0.1%. This was the first time the index failed to post a gain since January 2015. There was better news from Housing Starts, which was almost unchanged at 216 thousand, beating the forecast of 211 thousand. In the US, unemployment claims dropped down to 221 thousand, well below the estimate of 232 thousand. The 4-week average claims dropped to 224,500, its lowest level since 1973. On Friday, Canada releases key employment data – Employment Change and the unemployment rate.

The US dollar has posted broad gains this week, boosted by strong volatility in the stock markets. On Monday, the Dow Jones posted its biggest one-day loss, and US markets have pointed downwards for much of the week. The catalyst for the stock market slide is concern that inflation could rise in the US, which in turn would trigger additional rate hikes from the Fed. This would make the US dollar more attractive against other currencies. With investor risk appetite sharply lower, the Canadian dollar is under strong pressure. Earlier in the day, USD/CAD touched a high of 1.2598, its highest level since late December.

Canadian indicators disappointed on Tuesday. Canada’s trade deficit widened from C$2.5 billion to C$3.2 billion, well above the estimate of C$2.3 billion. The export sector has been steady, but uncertainty over NAFTA is a dark cloud over the economy, and exports could suffer if the trilateral free trade pact is not renewed. The US has threatened to leave the pact if the Canada and Mexico do not agree to major concessions, such as increasing the percentage of US content in auto parts produced under NAFTA. Elsewhere, Canadian Ivey PMI continues to point to expansion, but slowed to 55.2, down from 60.4 in the previous release. This was well off the forecast of 60.7 points.

USD/CAD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 8)

  • 8:15 Canadian Housing Starts. Estimate 211K. Actual 216K
  • 8:30 Canadian NHPI. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.0%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 236K
  • Tentative – US Mortgage Delinquencies
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -116B
  • 12:45 BoC Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins Speaks
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

Friday (February 9)

  • 8:30 Canadian Employment Change. Estimate 10.3
  • 8:30 Canadian Unemployment Rate. Estimate 5.8%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

USD/CAD for Thursday, February 8, 2018

USD/CAD, February 8 at 8:00 EDT

Open: 1.2668 High: 1.2598 Low: 1.2550 Close: 1.2590

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2190 1.2351 1.2494 1.2630 1.2757 1.2855

USD/CAD inched lower in the Asian session and has posted small gains in European trade

  • 1.2494 is providing support
  • 1.2630 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.2494 to 1.2630

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2494, 1.2351, 1.2190 and 1.2060
  • Above: 1.2630, 1.2757 and 1.2855

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/CAD ratio is showing  movement towards short positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (53%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/CAD continuing to move upwards.

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 Slips to 2-Week Low as Stock Market Turmoil Continues

The euro has edged downwards on Wednesday. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2228, down 0.29% on the day. On the release front, the Germany’s trade surplus narrowed to EUR 21.4 billion, just shy of the estimate of EUR 21.5 billion. In the US, the key event is unemployment claims, which is expected to edge up 232 thousand. On Friday, France releases Industrial Production.

The euro has been under pressure for most of the week, and is down 1.8 percent against the dollar. The greenback has benefited from sharp volatility in global stock markets this week. The week started with the Dow Jones posting its biggest one-day loss, and the markets have been choppy throughout the week. US markets were in the red on Wednesday, and this has weighed on European stock markets and the euro in the Thursday session. Investors are concerned that inflation could rise in the US, which in turn would trigger additional rate hikes from the Fed. This would make the US dollar more attractive against the euro and other currencies.

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.

Market Jitters Remain/strong

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 8)

  • 2:00 German Trade Balance. Estimate 21.5B. Actual 21.4B
  • 3:45 German Buba President Weidmann Speaks
  • 4:00 ECB Economic Bulletin
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 232K
  • Tentative – US Mortgage Delinquencies
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -116B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

Friday (February 9)

  • 2:45 French Industrial Production. Estimate 0.1%

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

EUR/USD for February 8, 2018

EUR/USD for February 8 at 5:45 EDT

Open: 1.2264 High: 1.2295 Low: 1.2232 Close: 1.2234

 

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.