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Dollar Suffers Biggest Two-Day Drop in 20 Months after FOMC Minutes

Dollar Suffers Biggest Two-Day Drop in 20 Months after FOMC Minutes

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist
  • Dollar Suffers Biggest Two-Day Drop in 20 Months after FOMC Minutes
  • Euro: Trouble with Greece, Portugal, Others Contradicts Currency Strength
  • Japanese Yen Crosses Unable to Rally Despite Positive Risk Bearing
  • Australia Dollar Ignores Equity Rally, Stumbles after Jobs Report
  • British Pound Advances after Miles Says FLS Insurance
  • Canadian Dollar Has Little Trouble Rallying Versus US Dollar Unlike AUD, NZD
  • Gold Breaks Above $1,265 but Conviction Far Weaker than USD, S&P 500

Dollar Suffers Biggest Two-Day Drop in 20 Months after FOMC Minutes

The US dollar was on the chopping block for a second day through Thursday as the fallout from the FOMC minutes continued to eat away at the currency’s run to multi-year highs. Speaking to the rout the greenback has been dealt, the currency closed the past session down against all of its major counterparts, and the Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (ticker = USDollar) suffered its biggest two-day drop since November 30, 2011. For EURUSD, the two day dollar sell-off led to its best two-day rally since January 2011 – notably the start of a significant bull leg for the benchmark pair. What makes the reserve currency’s performance so remarkable though isn’t its intensity but rather the contrast it draws from the S&P 500. The benchmark spot equity index has risen for six consecutive trading days – its most consistent advance in four months. With the dollar tumbling and equities rising, it would seem that the ‘risk on’ / ‘risk off’ theme is once again in charge – to the detriment of the safe haven.

Through 2013, the safe haven currency and risk-preferred index have established a remarkable, positive correlation. In fact, the rolling three-month 60-day (three-month) correlation has moved as high as positive 0.75 (1.00 would mean they moved in lockstep). Given this unusual state of fundamental affairs, a correction by one was likely. However, the break we have witnessed this week doesn’t likely reflect a return to traditional investor sentiment as the prevailing fundamental wind for the broader financial system. If we were indeed returning to a market that has been put into gear for a yield chase while ignoring possible future risks, we should expect to see such appetites burgeoning in all asset classes. Yet, a quick look around the markets show the FX carry trade lost ground, speculative commodities retraced gains and even Asian equity indexes leveled off. If the markets were seeking return at all cost, all of these would have advanced.

The source of the market’s volatility over the past 48 hours was the same theme that has defined bearing and momentum over the past few months – stimulus speculation. Under certain conditions, expectations surrounding the outlook for monetary policy can catalyze market-wide positioning based on investor sentiment. Yet, it is fear of the eventual withdrawal of support that carries the greatest risk, not a ramp on the expectations that support will be left in place longer than expected. And so, we have to look back over the FOMC minutes and Chairman Bernanke’s comments. The Fed chief’s comments merely repeated an ‘accommodative’ stance that has been used since rates were cut to zero. It is the minutes that matter most here, and the suggestion that “many” on the Committee want labor to improve further before the Taper is offset by the “about half” that see QE3 possibly ending before the end of 2013. The market is likely very sensitive to further Taper chatter, so news of member Elizabeth Duke’s resignation (effective August 31) alongside the scheduled speeches by Williams, Plosser and Bullard in the upcoming session will likely stir markets Friday. Furthermore, watch JPMorgan and Wells Fargo earnings and the sentiment survey as risk trend fodder.

Euro: Trouble with Greece, Portugal, Others Contradicts Currency Strength

The euro is taking advantage of the pain inflicted upon its primary counterpart. As the world’s second most liquid currency, the shared currency stands to naturally reap the benefit of a broad dollar decline – exactly what we have seen over the past 48 hours. That said, if the anti-dollar sentiment weren’t a prominent drive; the euro would likely be exposed for serious fundamental trouble. On the docket this session, we learned that the Portuguese President rejected the Prime Minister Coelho’s seemingly effective plan and sets the country on pace for further struggle to secure Troika aid. In Greece, an uptick in the jobless rate to a record high 26.9 percent while non-performing loans also soared to 29 percent. These countries are dangerously close to rekindling the Eurozone’s financial crisis, yet the markets remain contentedly blasé of the risks.

Japanese Yen Crosses Unable to Rally Despite Positive Risk Bearing

As expected, the BoJ maintained its policy bearings and kept its ¥270 trillion monetary base target at its meeting Thursday. Furthermore, the assessment by the policy authority that the country is in a ‘recovery’ for the first time since 2011 suggests we will see neither an increase nor tempering of the effort through the foreseeable future. This may seem a problem, but note that most of the yen crosses’ advance has come during the threat and escalation stages of the stimulus regime. This ‘leveling off’ may explain yesterday’s tepid carry performance.

Australia Dollar Ignores Equity Rally, Stumbles after Jobs ReportUS equities have surged and the threat of Taper has eased, yet the Australia dollar has dropped against most counterparts for the second consecutive day. The refusal to climb under these circumstances is testament to the bearish weight on the Aussie dollar’s shoulders. Thursday morning’s jobs data likely sabotaged the opportunistic carry traders from jumping aboard. While the country added 10,300 jobs, it lost full-time positions and the jobless rate rose. Meanwhile, the market sees a 70 percent chance of an RBA cut next month.

British Pound Advances after Miles Says FLS Insurance

The sterling gained against all but the Swiss franc this past session – remarkable given the themes at play and the light economic docket. However, BoE member Miles’ comments speak directly to what traders care about most: relative stimulus. The central banker said the FLS program (a possible venue for more a more flexible QE-like effort) was an insurance program and not likely to increase near-term.

Canadian Dollar Has Little Trouble Rallying Versus US Dollar Unlike AUD, NZD

While both the high-yield Australian and New Zealand dollar’s floundered Thursday, the Canadian dollar had no qualms about forging a significant rally against its US counterpart. The 1.0 percent drop was USDCAD’s fourth consecutive decline and the largest daily drop from the pair since June 2012. The USDollar’s performance resonates far more against this lower-yielding comm bloc pair.

Gold Breaks Above $1,265 but Conviction Far Weaker than USD, S&P 500

The 2.1 percent advance from gold Thursday marked the first four-day rally from the metal since April 22 (post collapse rebound) and the drive needed to push the market back above $1,265. Yet, this performance doesn’t look so impressive when we compare it to the remarkable moves of the dollar or US equities. If recent volatility traces back to Taper speculation – specifically that its implementation could be pushed back – gold should be a serious benefactor. Yet, even a delay is not an expansion of stimulus. And the battered commodity needs more help than that.

**For a full list of upcoming event risk and past releases, go to www.dailyfx.com/calendar

ECONOMIC DATA

GMT

Currency

Release

Survey

Previous

Comments

1:30

AUD

RBA Credit Card Balances (MAY)

$49.4B

Despite a short rise in the Aussi following Bernanke comments on Wednesday, the currency continues to stay low on poor Chinese and Australian data. Further missed estimates point to a higher likelihood of an RBA rate cut come August.

1:30

AUD

RBA Credit Card Purchases (MAY)

$21.6B

1:30

AUD

Home Loans (MAY)

2.2%

0.8%

1:30

AUD

Investment Lending (MAY)

1.1%

1:30

AUD

Value of Loans (MoM) (MAY)

-0.9%

3:00

NZD

Non Resident Bond Holdings (JUN)

69.1%

Previous print was the highest since 2009.

4:30

JPY

Industrial Production (MoM) (MAY F)

2.0%

The BoJ on Thursday did not give any indication of more policy moves. A continuation of improved data like previous industrial production readings will likely continue this trend out of the BoJ.

4:30

JPY

Industrial Production (YoY) (MAY F)

-1.0%

4:30

JPY

Capacity Utilization (MoM) (MAY F)

1.6%

8:00

EUR

Italian CPI - FOI Index ex Tobacco (JUN)

106.9

CPI out of Italy has been moving down for the past year, but any move closer to the 2% rate will be viewed as beneficial.

8:00

EUR

Italian CPI - EU Harmonized (YoY) (JUN F)

1.4%

1.4%

8:30

GBP

Construction Output (YoY) (MAY)

-2.8%

-1.1%

Further negative readings on construction output may fuel speculation of BoE easing in the coming months.

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Industrial Production s.a. (MoM) (MAY)

-0.2%

0.4%

Negative prints will put further pressure on an already stressed European fiscal and banking situation.

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Industrial Production w.d.a. (YoY) (MAY)

-1.3%

-0.6%

10:00

EUR

ECB Announces 3-Year LTRO Repayment

12:30

USD

Producer Price Index (MoM) (JUN)

0.5%

0.5%

More indications of healthy inflation levels will relieve concerns from the Fed about the impacts of an early taper on recently slowing inflation.

12:30

USD

Producer Price Index (YoY) (JUN)

2.1%

1.7%

12:30

USD

Producer Price Index ex Food & Energy (MoM) (JUN)

0.1%

0.1%

12:30

USD

Producer Price Index ex Food & Energy (YoY) (JUN)

1.6%

1.7%

13:55

USD

U. of Michigan Confidence (JUL P)

85

84.1

GMT

Currency

Upcoming Events & Speeches

USD

Fed's Plosser and Bullard Speak on Central Banking

8:00

EUR

ECB's Carlos Costa Speaks on Euro Economy

21:15

USD

Fed's John Williams Presents a Monetary Policy Paper

SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE LEVELS

To see updated SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE LEVELS for the Majors, visit Technical Analysis Portal

To see updated PIVOT POINT LEVELS for the Majors and Crosses, visit our Pivot Point Table

CLASSIC SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE

EMERGING MARKETS 18:00 GMT

SCANDIES CURRENCIES 18:00 GMT

Currency

USD/MXN

USD/TRY

USD/ZAR

USD/HKD

USD/SGD

Currency

USD/SEK

USD/DKK

USD/NOK

Resist 2

13.4800

2.0000

10.7000

7.8165

1.3650

Resist 2

7.5800

5.8950

6.5135

Resist 1

13.2000

1.9500

10.2500

7.8075

1.3250

Resist 1

6.8155

5.8475

6.2660

Spot

12.8248

1.9532

9.9898

7.7565

1.2611

Spot

6.6645

5.7005

6.0533

Support 1

12.6000

1.9100

9.3700

7.7490

1.2000

Support 1

6.0800

5.6075

5.9365

Support 2

12.0000

1.6500

8.9500

7.7450

1.1800

Support 2

5.8085

5.4440

5.7400

INTRA-DAY PROBABILITY BANDS 18:00 GMT

\CCY

EUR/USD

GBP/USD

USD/JPY

USD/CHF

USD/CAD

AUD/USD

NZD/USD

EUR/JPY

GBP/JPY

Gold

Res 3

1.3207

1.5321

100.65

0.9579

1.0466

0.9268

0.7945

131.66

152.53

1315.85

Res 2

1.3176

1.5284

100.28

0.9553

1.0444

0.9238

0.7918

131.18

152.02

1307.84

Res 1

1.3145

1.5246

99.91

0.9527

1.0422

0.9208

0.7891

130.71

151.50

1299.83

Spot

1.3084

1.5172

99.18

0.9475

1.0378

0.9149

0.7838

129.76

150.47

1283.80

Supp 1

1.3023

1.5098

98.45

0.9423

1.0334

0.9090

0.7785

128.81

149.44

1267.77

Supp 2

1.2992

1.5060

98.08

0.9397

1.0312

0.9060

0.7758

128.34

148.93

1307.84

Supp 3

1.2961

1.5023

97.71

0.9371

1.0290

0.9030

0.7731

127.86

148.41

1315.85

v

--- Written by: John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist for DailyFX.com

To contact John, email jkicklighter@dailyfx.com. Follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JohnKicklighter

Sign up for John’s email distribution list, here.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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