Traders will be spending the next couple of days preparing for the key risk events of the week as the Fed and the BoJ gear up for their monetary policy announcements. The two year Treasury yield continues to push to a new four week high today and this has helped to entertain the possibility of a renewed recovery in the US dollar recently. The question is whether the Fed announcement this week will make any significant changes to the statement that would help to support this dollar improvement. Market sentiment is looking fairly settled today as the FOMC begins its two day meeting. There is little real direction on forex markets, commodities are looking stable and equity markets are mildly higher. Wall Street was quiet into the close with the S&P 500 off 0.2% and although Asian markets were also mildly weaker (Nikkei 225 was -0.5%), European markets are slightly higher in early moves.
Forex markets show very little movement, with only really a small amount of yen strength (or should that be recovery following last week’s sharp sell-off). Sterling remains supported today having achieved an important upside closing breakout above $1.4460, whilst the commodity currencies are mixed with the Kiwi outperforming ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand monetary policy decision tomorrow evening. Gold continues to trade very mixed, whilst silver has also entered into a consolidation mode after its huge run higher. Oil is broadly flat in early trading.
Traders have a quiet morning with little market moving economic data, so they will be looking towards the US session, with Durable Goods Orders at 1330BST which are expected to grow by +0.5% (ex-transport) month on month. There is also some housing data with the S&P Case Shiller House Price Index at 1400BST which is expected to show a slight decline to +5.5% growth (from +5.7%). The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence is at 1500BST and is expected to dip slightly to 96.0 (from 96.2) whilst the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index is also at 1500BST and is expected to dip slightly to 11 from 22 but importantly remain above zero.
Chart of the Day – AUD/USD
Although Australia was on public holiday for ANZAC day yesterday meant that we had reduced trading volumes on the Aussie, there is still some interesting price action on the AUD/USD chart. The slight correction on the US dollar helped to generate a mildly positive candle yesterday, but the number of corrective signals are racking up now. I have mentioned previously the bearish divergence on the RSI momentum indicator and whilst the signal is not as strong as it was two weeks ago, there is still the suggestion of a loss of upside impetus in the bull run. There is also a bearish engulfing (bearish key one day reversal) that formed last Thursday from the high at $0.7835 which is adding to a more corrective near term outlook. The Stochastics have also now crossed lower and now have confirmed a near term sell signal. The big caveat is that the uptrend remains intact and effectively the recent dip has merely unwound the pair back to an old breakout level around $0.7700. This could continue to be a slow burner of a correction as the selling pressure is taking a while coming through. However, the warning signs continue to grow. The intraday chart shows initial support at $0.7690, with $0.7615 as a key support now. Another lower high below initial resistance at $0.7775 would increase the corrective pressure.
A first positive candle for four sessions has mildly improved the outlook, but this seems to still be playing out as part of the correction and is likely to prove to be another opportunity for the sellers. The medium term outlook has rolled over having posted a lower high before breaching the support at $1.1230. This has begun a sequence of lower highs that is confirmed across all three of my momentum indicators (RSI, MACD and Stochastics) and therefore we should now be on the lookout for the next lower high in the run. The hourly chart shows that whilst a 40/50 pip bounce will have been welcomed by the bulls, it has merely unwound back into a band of near term resistance between $1.1270/$1.1310. The hourly RSI looks to be failing around 60, whilst the hourly MACD and Stochastics are already turning lower again. I expect the bounce to run out of steam and the sellers to regain the ascendency to retest the recent low at $1.1215. The main issue with this is that it is the FOMC on Wednesday and could limit the move.
Sterling continues to perform well and the rally that can be traced back almost three weeks is now breaking some key technical barriers. This means that there are some serious medium term indicators that suggest Cable is breaking higher now. The March resistance band $1.4460/$1.4515 is being seriously tested. The upper limit of the resistance was breached by a handful of pips yesterday, albeit briefly, before a consolidation set in. Although we did not get a decisive breakout, the bulls are straining to breakout to open a test of the February highs at $1.4575 and possibly $1.4670. The indicator that I have been paying attention to is the RSI which has consistently failed just under 60 on every major rally since August 2015. This 60 level is now being breached and suggests that the bulls are more confident this time. The hourly chart shows positive momentum and that support has been left at big figure levels $1.4300 and $1.4400 in recent days as near term corrections are seen as a chance to buy.
Looking at the strength of the bull candle on Friday, I mentioned yesterday that Dollar/Yen needed the bulls to confirm their control by posting another confident candle. I was looking for a supportive move to come around (preferably above) the old key floor around 111.00. However, the price action of the past day and a half has been testing my conditions as the support around 111.00 has come under continued strained scrutiny. The problem is that we have both central banks issuing monetary policy in the next few days and the market is clearly wary of this. Daily technicals are improved with the Stochastics and RSI at 10 week highs, but as this retracement drift continues I do not feel that we are any closer to knowing whether the bulls are in control now or now. My medium term outlook remains that I see Dollar/Yen as a sell into strength and I am not yet ready to change this view. The hourly chart shows that the near term momentum has unwound now back to areas on the hourly RSI and MACD lines that if the correction continues it could accelerate, leaving the support area 109.75/109.90 (the near term base neckline area) a prime retracement target.
The outlook for gold remains very neutral over the medium term as the range continues. The RSI is fattening at 50, whilst the MACD lines have been plateaued /for the past three weeks now. The Stochastics are falling which would suggest there is a very slight negative bias within the range, but not enough to drive any conviction. Furthermore, within this range, the price is settling once more between the two pivot lines at $1225 and $1243. There is little real sign of any direction on the hourly chart either, so we are in wait and see mode for now. Perhaps not surprising given we have the FOMC this week. Above $1243 opens $1252.60 and then the medium term range resistance between $1260/$1282. Below $1225 opens $1216 and then the medium term range support band $1191/$1208.
Having broken out to new 5 month highs on the new front month June contract, the oil price has spent the past few days in consolidation mode, but there is a slight corrective drift taking hold now. Having achieved the $43.50 implied base pattern target a couple of negative candles have been posted in the past three sessions and a gap higher at $42.90 has now been closed with yesterday’s close at $42.65. A near term consolidation pattern between $43.00/$44.50 has therefore been resolved to the downside, implying a $1.50 projection back to $41.50 which is also a near term band of support. However, the near term hourly chart shows some good support in the band $41.50/$42.40, whilst the bulls would want to post another higher low above $40.00 on a correction.