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Is the dollar rally about to fail?


Market Overview

With the market settling down again after the risk rally of the earlier part of the week, the question becomes whether this dollar rally is simply just another chance to sell. There are signs that suggest that the rebound in Treasury yields which helped to drive the dollar rally, is now stalling, and the Dollar Index seems to have unwound back into resistance again. As the European session take over the dollar rally is losing steam. Key markets such as EUR/USD and Gold are finding support, whilst the 10 year Treasury yield is also rolling over around  2.16%. Tomorrow’s US inflation could be crucial to the near term outlook and this could leave markets a touch cautious today. Focus is on UK assets and sterling specifically today with average weekly earnings the second of three key announcements this week.

Crossroads

Wall Street closed in all-time high territory again on the S&P 500 +0.3% at 2496, with Asian markets mixed (Nikkei +0.4%) whilst European markets are taking caution today with a slight correction. In forex, the dollar is mildly weaker across the board, whilst sterling continues to breakout and outperform. In commodities there is a consolidation today with little real move on gold or oil.

In the wake of yesterday’s higher than expected UK inflation reading, traders will be keenly watching how UK wage growth can respond. The UK unemployment reading is at 0930BST and is expected to stay at 4.4% but the wages component will be the real interest. Average Weekly Earnings growth is expected to tick mildly higher to +2.2% (ex-bonus) which would be lagging well behind inflation of +2.9%. However if that sees a positive surprise then the pressure will begin to mount further on the Bank of England to respond to these inflationary pressures. US factory gate inflation is also released today (a day before the key CPI data), with the US PPI at 1330BST which is expected to jump by +2.5% on the headline and by +2.1% core. The EIA inventories at 1530BST are expected to show a crude oil build of +2.9m barrels, distillates drawdown by -1.7m barrels and gasoline in drawdown by -2.5m barrels.

 

Chart of the Day – EUR/JPY 

The yen is under pressure as the risk sentiment has improved in the market. As the euro has outperformed the safe haven currency this has driven the pair higher for a test of the 131.70 key resistance. Since the market bottomed in April a series of higher lows has formed and in the past three months this has developed into an uptrend. This uptrend was supported at a key low of 129.35 last week and two strong bull candles to kick off this week have now put pressure on a high that dates back to February 2016. Yesterday’s session saw a slight closing breakout and the bulls are hanging on again today The bulls will be keen to see that the momentum indicators are encouraging with the RSI rising above 60, and the Stochastics also crossing back higher, leaving both with upside potential for the run higher to continue. Corrections are clearly seen as a chance to buy. The hourly chart shows 130.90/131.10 is a near term support band. A confirmed breakout would be a signal of a shift away from safe haven bias in the market.

 

EUR/USD

After the corrective candle from Monday, the euro has looked to form support once again. Yesterday’s mildly positive session was more of a re-gathering move as the market has built support at $1.1925 and the euro bulls have looked to regain their control. Near term corrections remain a chance to buy and with the support forming above what I now see as a key band at $1.1820/$1.1910, there is still a strong formation of higher lows. The uptrend channel is still a key factor and the momentum indicators remain strongly configured to suggest that weakness is a chance to buy. Despite this though, the bulls are only returning tentatively at the moment and this could mean a drift back higher. The psychological $1.2000 resistance was decisively breached last week so th significance is reduced, however it will still be watched. The key resistance is last week’s high at $1.2092.

 

GBP/USD

Sterling gained strongly on the back of UK inflation rising higher than expected yesterday and drove a breakout to new multi-month highs and continue the uptrend channel of the past eight months. The move above $1.3265 took Cable to its highest level since a series of resistance levels from a trading band during Q3 2016. Next up to be tested is $1.3345 but the main resistance the bulls will be watching is at $1.3445/$1.3480. However, the big question is whether the bulls can sustain the move. Momentum indicators are strong but keeping in mind the consistent retracements that have been seen throughout the trend channel, the RSI at 73 and plateauing Stochastics may be a signal to suggest there is limited upside potential. There are also two big UK fundamental factors that will impact in the next two sessions, with the UK average weekly earnings growth today and the Bank of England tomorrow. A lower than expected wage growth and/or a more dovish than expected Bank of England would drive a correction on Cable. A failure of, with a close back below, $1.3265 today could begin to question the strength of the run again. The hourly chart shows pivot support near term at $1.3222 with $1.3160 key near term.

 

USD/JPY

Can the rally continue? Two strong bull candles in the past two sessions will have the bulls thinking of a sustainable recovery. Despite the break back above the 108/109 resistance band and now also moving above the pivot at 109.80, there is still plenty for the bulls to do to convince. Momentum indicators have picked up but this near term rally is still just, for now, unwinding within the bear market. Unless the bulls can break through the lower high at 110.65 and then the key pivot at 111.00 then it is difficult to justify this as a sustainable recovery. The hourly chart shows overnight a rebound trend of the last couple of days has been broken, whilst momentum indicators on the hourly are also threatening to tail off. A move back below the pivot at 109.80 could begin to see the run higher losing momentum. There is a minor support band 109.25/109.60 also to watch.

 

Gold

Gold has unwound in the past few sessions. From the high at $1357 on Friday, back to yesterday’s low at $1322 a retreat of $35 (not far off 3%) is a sizeable correction. However there are signs now that this correction is close to settling. Yesterday’s positive candle closed around the day high but perhaps more importantly, once more the market held on to the filling of the previous gap at $1327. Momentum indicators have reacted lower in recent days, but not in a sense of giving a raft of sell signals, simply looking to unwind within positive configuration. I continue to see corrections as a chance to buy, with the uptrend support at $1310 today at the top of the $1300/$1310 key long term pivot support and the rising 21 day moving average at $1312. This may be a period for the market to settle down again. Initial resistance is $1340 and $1342.60.

 

WTI Oil

The bulls have looked to settle again after Friday’s sharp move lower. The support at $47.00 has held well and the buyers are once more looking to position for a test of the $49.42 resistance and the key six month downtrend that comes in today at $49.65. There is though still a mixed feel to the momentum indicators on the daily chart. Although the RSI has picked up above 50 again, the past month has seen RSI oscillating between 40/60 and with the MACD lines flat around neutral there is little real direction to speak of. That is why the bulls need to breakout above $49.42 to begin to end this choppy phase and look to begin to find some traction. The hourly chart reflects a mild positive bias with the rally of the past two days but moving averages are tight and mixed. A slight higher low from yesterday at $47.75 is supportive above key $47.00.

 

Dow Jones Industrial Average

With risk appetite maintaining its improvement and other key markets such as the S&P 500 losing at all-time highs the Dow bulls will be eying a similar move for themselves. Holding the break above 22,038 was key yesterday but also clearing 22,086 has opened the way for a run at the 22,179 all-time high from August. Momentum is strong with the RSI rising in the low 60s and Stochastics tracking higher, whilst the MACD lines have also completed a bull cross. This also all shows upside potential for the run higher should a breakout be seen. The hourly chart shows a band of support now giving a near term “buy zone” between 22,039/22,086 with corrections now see as a chance to buy. A failure of that support band would begin to question the near term bullish intent.


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