- The ECB proved feckless in its efforts to deter the market from strengthening the Euro further.
- US President Trump was able to throw the US Dollar a lifeline yesterday by walking back Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's abrupt dismissal of the 'strong dollar policy.'
- Retail trader sentiment continues to suggest losses for the US Dollar.
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The Euro and the US Dollar had a particularly volatile Thursday (at least by recent standards) thanks to policymakers on both sides using rhetoric to influence price action. Yet where we stand almost 24-hours later, it's evident that not enough has changed to justify looking at yesterday's price action and concluding that the Euro has topped or the US Dollar has bottomed.
First, it was the ECB's feckless effort to convince the markets that further Euro strength would be a discouraging development. Indeed, as per the weekly trading forecast, economic data momentum remains strong in the Euro-Zone (the PMIs are at multi-year or all-time highs) and inflation expectations continue to trend higher (the 5-year, 5-year inflation swap forwards are at their highest level since last Februrary, mirroring the rise in energy prices).
And while traders found the ECB's arguments to slow EUR/USD's ascent higher rather weak, they found US President Donald Trump's rhetoric to be stronger.
Walking back comments made on Wednesday by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in Davos President Trump flatly said that he'd like to see a "stronger and stronger" dollar over time. It was a strong dismissal of comments made the day prior, giving traders an easy reason to stop the greenback bleeding, if only momentarily.
But given the backdrop of the United States' shifting into a more protectionist trade mindset, and that President Trump desperately wants to see the US tradable goods deficit erased, it would seem that it would be incompatible for President Trump to also want a strong US Dollar. These aren't mutually exclusive.
Accordingly, it's still too early to call the low in the DXY Index. The rhetoric from policymakers isn't strong enough to convince the markets that either the Euro is too strong or that the 'strong dollar policy' is still a bedrock policy of the US government. Similarly, with the technical picture still in horrible shape - price below the daily 8-, 13-, and 21-EMAs, with Slow Stochastics and MACD trending lower in bearish territory - the DXY Index's bearish momentum may not have fully run its course yet.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist
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