Euro Setbacks Could Find Support in Favor of Pre-Holiday Consolidation
- Wild price action could lighten up into Good Friday
- US Dollar benefiting from solid US data, shift in Fed policy and softer macro picture
- ADP job report sets the stage for a very solid showing in NFPs on Friday
- Keeping a close watch on EUR/CHF cross rate which inches closer to 1.2000 floor
Markets are expected to lighten up a bit heading into the latter holiday portion of the week, a possible welcome development given the aggressive moves seen in recent sessions. Indeed, the Greenback has once again gained favor, with the currency mostly well bid across the board on a combination of broader global macro concerns and some solid economic data out of the US. The weakness in the Euro and risk correlated assets has been exacerbated by a European Central Bank that remains downbeat with its assessment of its local economy, and in no rush to look to reverse monetary policy. Also seen recently weighing on the Euro and other risk currencies on Wednesday was a very poorly received Spanish auction which further highlights the ongoing troubles in the region.
Elsewhere, the commodity bloc markets have been underperforming, with the sharp pullbacks in gold and oil prices weighing, while the recently more dovish RBA, and some weakening data out of China have also contributed to the sell-off. The most impressive thing about the rebound in the US Dollar has been that the buck is now well bid even on solid US economic data. The Fed’s less dovish outlook, with QE3 now seemingly off the table is not necessarily a positive for equity markets right now, but stands to benefit the US Dollar on the yield differential front. The latest very solid ADP job print sets the stage for a healthy NFP number on Friday, and we could be entering a new chapter where the US Dollar continues to benefit from solid economic data.
On the strategy front, we have seen a decent pickup in volatility this week, but from our perspective, there haven’t been any real compelling setups. One market that could be worth paying close attention to is EUR/CHF, with the cross rate inching closer and closer to testing the well publicized SNB 1.2000 floor. At this point it looks as though the SNB’s resolve may be challenged, but we also contend that the Swiss central bank could be closer to action and intervening with risk aversion back on the rise. The flight to safety price action will naturally put downside pressure on EUR/CHF, and the SNB may be forced to once again step in and intervene on behalf of the Franc. As such, we like the idea of looking to buy EUR/CHF on a retest and slight break below 1.2000.
EUR/USD: A break of some multi-session consolidation largely confined to the 1.3300’s is significant in the short-term and could now open the door for deeper setbacks over the coming sessions. The latest break and close below some key short-term support at 1.3250 highlights this fact, and now exposes a fresh drop towards medium-term support by 1.3000 further down. Back above 1.3400 would be required to negate bearish outlook and put pressure back on topside.
USD/JPY:Has been locked in some consolidation since the market broken to fresh 2012 highs beyond 84.00 with technical studies unwinding from overbought levels before consideration is to be given for the next major upside extension. The key levels to watch above and below come in at 84.20 and 81.50 and a break on either end will be required for clearer short term directional bias. However, given the bullish breakout in 2012, all signs point to a major structural shift which favors additional upside beyond 84.20 and into the 85.00-90.00 area further up. Ultimately, only back under 80.00 would give reason for concern.
GBP/USD: Failure to establish any fresh momentum following the break above 1.6000, followed by an aggressive bearish reversal in Tuesday trade now suggests that the market could finally be looking to carve a top in favor of a more significant decline over the coming sessions. Look for a break and close below next support and 1.5830 to reaffirm outlook, while back above 1.6065 would be required to negate.
USD/CHF: Our core constructive outlook remains well intact with the latest setbacks very well supported by psychological barriers at 0.9000. It now looks as though the market could be looking to carve a fresh higher low, and we will be looking for additional upside back towards the recent range highs at 0.9335 over the coming sessions. Above 0.9335 should then accelerate gains towards the 2012 highs by 0.9600 further up. Ultimately, only back under 0.9000 delays and gives reason for pause.
--- Written by Joel Kruger, Technical Currency Strategist
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