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Recent dollar strength on pause with eyes on the FOMC


Market Overview

With the Federal Reserve seemingly once more the only hiker in town, the dollar recovery continues to go from strength to strength. The dollar bulls took advantage of a day of thin volumes to push the greenback ever higher. Breaking through further decisive levels across its major pairs, the momentum behind this bull run is significant. The key data releases continue to flood the market and mostly continue to reflect general themes of an ongoing loss of momentum in the global recovery, whilst inflationary forces continue to build in the US. This gives backing to the growing realization that the Federal Reserve is now out on its own. With interest differentials helping to drive the dollar against forex majors, the market will be interested to see any subtle tweaks that the FOMC may reflect tonight. The Fed statement is all we have to go on for the May meeting and although no increase to the Fed Funds target range is expected, how the Fed acknowledges the growing inflationary pressures in the US will be key. Overnight there has been a slight tempering of yesterday’s dollar strength and this may simply be a technical move in light of the reduced volumes from yesterday’s trade. However, how the market responds to the Fed tonight could be key.

Dollar hawk

On Wall Street last night there was a strong rebound into the close from intraday session lows, with the S&P 500 +0.25% at 2655 whilst Asian markets were mildly lighter overnight (Nikkei -0.1%) but European indices are showing slight gains in early moves. In forex, the weakness of sterling continues to play out, whilst the dollar is just giving back some of yesterday’s gains. In commodities, this unwind of the dollar move is helping gold recover by $6 (or half a percent), whilst oil is also unwinding some of yesterday’s drop as the balancing forces of the threat of renewed Iranian sanctions and increasing production/inventories plays out.

The big tier one data continues today, with Eurozone growth and the Fed in focus. First up though, traders will be looking for the Eurozone final Manufacturing PMI at 0900BST which is expected to remain at the flash reading of 56.0 (which is down from the final reading of 56.6 last month). The UK  Construction PMI at 0930BST was terrible (if weather related) last month and is expected to recover somewhat to a (still turgid) 50.5 (47.0 last month). The flash reading of Eurozone Q1 GDP is expected to slip a touch to +0.4% (from +0.6% last quarter) which would be back to +2.5% YoY (+2.6% YoY previously). The ADP Employment Change at 1315BST can be seen as a precursor to payrolls (although has recently not been a good predictor) at is expected to be +200,000 (241,000 last month). The EIA oil inventories at 1530BST are expected to show crude stocks with a build of +1.3m barrels (+2.2m last week), distillates with a slight drawdown of -1.5m barrels (-2.6m last week) and gasoline stocks all but flat at -0.1m barrels (+0.8m last week). The main event in the evening is the FOMC monetary policy at 1900BST which is almost universally expected to keep rates on hold at a Fed Funds target range of +1.50%/1.75%. Watch out for any potential tweaks in the statement (there is no press conference or updated projections this month), possibly alluding to geopolitical risks.

 

Chart of the Day –  Silver   

As the dollar has strengthened in recent weeks, it has impacted across markets. In commodities this is a negative pull on metals with gold lower, but also silver. With gold just holding on to its key floor of $1300 yesterday, silver managed to break its equivalent key support at $16.16. Noting also that the Gold/Silver ratio is once more back above 80 which is considered to be stretched on a longer term basis, could it be that silver is about to drag gold lower? The technical analysis of silver is deteriorating but as yet is not leading the price lower. Although the sensitive Stochastics are negatively configured (to reflect the recent sharp deterioration back from the spike high of $17.35), the RSI needs to push down to the mid-30s to suggest a decisive deterioration on a medium term basis. A close below $16.16 is a signal that the sellers are in control and the December low at $15.57 is open once more. Considering the RSI in December dropped to the mid-20s there would be the downside potential for the move. How will the market react to thin trading yesterday and the early rebound today? The hourly chart shows resistance now $16.34/$16.40 with the lower reaction high at $16.58 now key to continuing the downside pressure with rallies being sold into. A second close below $16.16 would be a real negative signal now.

 

EUR/USD

On a day of thin market volumes, the pair had another sharp move to the downside to breach the psychological $1.2000 level for the first time since mid-January. The market continues its trend lower of the past two weeks as a retreat towards the next support at $1.1915 looks increasingly likely now. Momentum indicators are negative across the board, with the RSI falling below 30 which is, concerning in that this is its lowest since November 2016 and before the big recovery kicked in. Also the MACD and Stochastics are increasingly negatively configured too. These bear momentum indicators are reflects across the hourly chart too where intraday rallies are being sold into. It will be interesting to see how the market responds today, considering how light the volume was yesterday, whilst there are also the final Eurozone PMI and Eurozone GDP to consider. With momentum stretched a degree of consolidation or even bounce could be seen, with the recent downtrend falling at $1.2065 today. However the outlook for the euro remains extremely negative and further downside is highly likely to test $1.1915 in due course.

 

GBP/USD

The eye watering sell-off on sterling continues as the market has now lost around 775 pips in just over two weeks. Key technical supports are giving way on almost a daily basis now, with yet another decisive bear candle. The latest breach has been $1.3710 which was the old key March low that as driven a decisive downside break and in conjunction with a decisive breach of the long term uptrend, now signals in the least a medium term bear phase. Old breakout support in the $1.3550/$1.3655 band is now being tested and the net higher low support comes in at $1.3455. The strength of the trend is such that stretched momentum indicators simply reflect the emphatic control the Cable bears now have. Just because the RSI is falling at 26, this does not mean the market is oversold. In such a selling phase, similar to the precipitous decline of October 2016, stop-losses are being triggered and momentum is fierce. In October 2016 the RSI closed at a low of 16. As with many major markets there could be a reaction today to the thin volume and huge move of yesterday, however, any intraday recovery is still likely to be pounced upon. The hourly cart shows the old support has become new resistance at $1.3710 and the recent downtrend around $1.3800.

 

USD/JPY

The mini consolidation broke to the upside yesterday as the dollar strength continues to pull the market higher. The yen may be an outperformer across the majors but against the swashbuckling dollar, it is still under pressure. Momentum in the run higher of the past five weeks is pulling the pair higher towards the psychological 110 area again, whilst the next resistance is the February high and pivot around 110.50. In the past 18 months, the RSI has very rarely got to 70 but looking back to the huge bull run of October 2016 the strength of the trend was such that the RSI continued ever higher above 80 and remained above 70 for three weeks. So it will be interesting to see how the bulls fare this time. The previous trading band 108.95/109.55 is now a basis of support to work from for the bulls.

 

Gold

Gold continues to hold on to its key range support band $1300/$1310, however the selling pressure is certainly mounting and this is now becoming a massive test of how strong this support is. Throughout the early months of 2018, all intraday dips into the band $1300/$1310 had been bought into, to leave closing prices above the band. However, last night’s close at $1303.60 was the lowest since 29th December. Considering the thin markets of yesterday, with an early rebound today, it will be interesting to see what the appetite for this support band is. Notably, the RSI has dropped into the 30s whilst MACD and Stochastics lines are also very negatively configured now. If this intraday rally fails to re-ignite the bulls, then this support could easily succumb in the same way that EUR/USD and GBP/USD have in recent days. A second close in the band $1300/$1310 would add to concerns. A closing breach of $1300 would open the next support at $1260. Initial resistance is at $1315/$1321.

 

WTI Oil

Another contradicting candle was posted yesterday which has prevented the bulls from gaining traction and means the continuation of the two week trading range at $67.10/$69.55. However this was a key negative configuration one day candle and containing a two week closing low. This comes as the momentum indicators are now beginning to falter, with the Stochastics pulling lower, the RSI at a two week low and more importantly the MACD lines now with a bear cross. These technical indicators are calling for a downside break below $67.10 which would imply potentially $2.40 of corrective slip, but at the least it would open the support at $65.55. However the market has not yet broken below the key breakout at $66.65 which is also a basis of support and with the early gains today, it would be unwise to jump the gun. Besides, this suggests that the bulls still have a lot of support to prevent a decisive correction and any positive near to medium term signals will be seen as a chance to buy again. For now though WTI is threatening a near term correction, but it is not quite there yet.

 

Dow Jones Industrial Average

With the market failing around the resistance of a two week downtrend a couple of bear candles have really set up a renewed negative configuration. Monday’s bearish engulfing candlestick has been followed by continued selling pressure yesterday. However, it was interesting to see that just like last week, the market has mustered another intraday recovery, from similar levels (yesterday’s low of 23,808 was just a few ticks from the lows around 23,825 to recover almost 300 ticks into the close. That has effectively left a form of a bull hammer which threatens to fill the gap at 24,163. This clearly remains a very choppy market but the downtrend of the past two weeks is still an overhead barrier (falling at 24,460 today) and rallies are being sold into. The bulls will also be especially concerned about the bear cross on the MACD lines and the bear kiss on the Stochastics.


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At Hantec Markets Ltd we provide an execution only service. Any opinions expressed by analyst Richard Perry should not be construed as investment advice or an investment recommendation. This report does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. Forex and CFDs are leveraged products which can result in losses greater than your initial deposit. Therefore you should only speculate with money that you can afford to lose. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved, seeking independent advice if necessary prior to entering into such transactions.