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Australian Dollar Confronts an RBA Decision with Heavy Speculation

Australian Dollar Confronts an RBA Decision with Heavy Speculation

2014-09-02 01:55:00
John Kicklighter, Chief Currency Strategist
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Talking Points:

  • Dollar Traders Look Ahead to a Rebound in Liquidity and Pick Up in Data
  • Euro Economic Health Fades Further, Investors More Expectant of ECB
  • Australian Dollar Confronts an RBA Decision with Heavy Speculation

Dollar Traders Look Ahead to a Rebound in Liquidity and Pick Up in Data

As far as holiday trading conditions go, Monday’s turnover was exceptionally light for the majors – as expected. Yet, despite the anticipated drain, a number of the dollar-based pairs marked surprisingly aggressive moves through the lull. Both USDJPY and USDCHF gapped in the dollar’s favor to start the week, while GBPUSD secured a tentative turn on a remarkably consistent 7-week bear trend. Bullish or bearish, the greenback’s trend will develop through what comes next as liquidity and volatility fill out. Aside from fundamentals in the form of themes (like interest rate speculation) and event risk, traders should keep a close eye on ‘market conditions’. A historical trend in fading volume for the broader financial system has materially changed the camber of the markets. However, misgivings of stability and stimulus-supported gains have grown materially in recent months. If the natural ebb and flow in volatility associated to the seasonal change from the ‘Summer Lull’ stirs the deeper wells of activity; both trends and momentum could develop.

While awaiting the change in deeper currents of participation, dollar traders will have more active drivers to concern themselves with in the upcoming session. The Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (ticker = USDollar) has run a remarkably consistent, seven consecutive week rally. That is second only to run through March 2013 – a move that covered far more ground and was driven by the first signs of a shift from a dovish Fed forecast (QE3) to a more neutral standing (the ‘Taper’). Though the policy conversation has progressed since then, the next step towards pricing in the first rate hike is still inconsistent – something Treasury yields and other rate products reflect. The upcoming ISM manufacturing and IBD economic sentiment survey may help shape these forecasts, but many will likely wait until Friday NFPs unless provoked.

Euro Economic Health Fades Further, Investors More Expectant of ECB

There was a wealth of surprisingly revealing fundamental developments for Euro traders through Monday’s session. While most were likely marking the initial Italian and final Eurozone and German manufacturing PMI figures (all disappointing), the revision to the Germany 2Q GDP figures and a private bond sale by Spain were significantly more remarkable. Though Germany’s growth update was a revision, it was issued with important details. Among those particulars, we learned that private consumption was weaker than expected (0.1 percent), capital investment plunged (2.3 percent) and construction collapsed the mostin 6 years (4.2 percent). These are the types of domestic avenues that can keep the economy trending lower. Meanwhile, Spain took advantage of the exceptionally low market rates the Eurozone has enjoyed as investors chase yield by issuing its first 50-year bond – for an incredible 4 percent coupon. This is yet another symbol of extreme complacency.

Australian Dollar Confronts an RBA Decision with Heavy Speculation

The RBA rate decision due this morning is the first of five major central bank policy meetings this week. And, it also happens to carry some of the most market-moving potential. The impact of these events – and any event risk – is not in what the outcome is, but rather what is realized relative to what the markets had expected. No change is expected from the Australian central bank, but tone is very important to the currency’s trend. Slowly gaining traction over the past months as policymakers backed off of rate cut language, the currency was more recently knocked off pace by worryingly dovish commentary. If the group reinforces that language, the AUD could suffer a more concerted drop.

British Pound Running Through a Data Ringer

While the Pound managed gains against most counterparts to start the week, few carried the same level of market interest as GBPUSD which technically broke a bearish channel that has guided the pair lower since it set a multi-year peak on July 15. Under more conducive (more liquid) conditions, this push could have picked up on the buoyancy of shorter gilt yields and swaps and ran a more assertive rebound. Alas, bulls will have to rely on the docket ahead which includes a construction activity (housing-related) PMI and retail inflation reading from the BRC.

Swiss Franc: How Much Weight to 2Q GDP Versus SNB Vow?

As the Euro trends lower, EURCHF is noticeably trending towards the 1.2000-level which the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has vowed to uphold. Monday, central bank President Thomas Jordan reiterated the group’s commitment to prevent the exchange rate from slipping the level with threats of ‘unlimited’ FX operations. We are currently less than 75 pips away from that self-imposed floor and the ECB is threatening to add weight to this pair. Can the Swiss 2Q GDP reading due today avert this pressure? Unlikely. Keep an eye on EURCHF.

Emerging Markets: Ruble Hits Fresh Record Lows as Ukraine Situation Boils

Emerging market currencies were mixed to start the week with momentum notably dampened by the absence of North American speculative liquidity. That said, there were still some standouts for activity. Once again the Russian Ruble was in the headlines slipping to a record low against the USD (down 0.5 percent to 37.29) as Ukraine rhetoric intensified alongside military engagements within the country.

Gold Volume Shrinks to Thinnest Trading in Four-Years

Between staid price action amongst the financial market benchmarks and a steady US dollar, there was little to motivate gold to break recent congestion. However, activity levels are growing extreme. We have been watching speculative positioning in futures and FX markets as well as open interest, but volume itself is starting to show an extraordinary drain. Last week, volume in gold futures dropped to their lowest levels of non-holiday trade since August 2010. Like the broader financial markets, these are circumstances that look ‘too quiet’.

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ECONOMIC DATA

GMT

Currency

Release

Survey

Previous

Comments

01:00

NZD

ANZ Commodity Price (AUG)

-2.4%

Falling Prices since March 2014

01:30

JPY

Labor Cash Earnings (YoY) (JUL)

0.9%

1.0%

Increasing since March 2014

01:30

AUD

Current Account Balance (Australian Dollar) (2Q)

-14.0B

-5.7B

Aussie current account balance has significantly contracted in the last 3 quarterly reports

01:30

AUD

Net Exports of GDP (2Q)

-0.70

1.40

Exports as % of GDP expected to fall for first time since Q1 2012

01:30

AUD

Building Approvals (MoM) (JUL)

-1.9%

-5.0%

More number of buildings have been approved each month since June 2013

01:30

AUD

Building Approvals (YoY) (JUL)

7.8%

16.0%

04:30

AUD

Reserve Bank of Australia Rate Decision (SEP 2)

2.5%

2.5%

The RBA is expected to maintain a status-quo monetary policy after the central bank decided a ‘period of stability’ in rates going forward was the best direction for the bank

05:45

CHF

Gross Domestic Product (YoY) (2Q)

1.6%

2.0%

The Swizz economy remains unaffected by the Eurozone crisis and has expanded strongly since Q4 of 2009

05:45

CHF

Gross Domestic Product (QoQ) (2Q)

0.5%

0.5%

08:30

GBP

Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI (AUG)

61.50

62.40

UK construction sentiment has remained strong since mid-2013

09:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Producer Price Index (MoM) (JUL)

-0.1%

0.1%

PPI figures in the Eurozone have consistently contracted since August last year

09:00

EUR

Euro-Zone Producer Price Index (YoY) (JUL)

-1.1%

-0.8%

13:30

CAD

RBC Canadian Manufacturing PMI (AUG)

54.30

Strong Manufacturing reports may further boost BOC expectations after a strong GDP report last week

13:45

USD

Markit US Manufacturing PMI (AUG F)

58.00

58.00

Manufacturing sentiment has been showing a strong uptrend in the United States this year, and is likely to add bets to hawkish Fed policy

14:00

USD

ISM Manufacturing (AUG)

56.80

57.10

14:00

USD

ISM Prices Paid (AUG)

58.80

59.50

14:00

USD

Construction Spending (MoM) (JUL)

1.0%

-1.8%

Construction spending hasn’t seen any major changes recently, remaining with the -2% and 2% mark since June 2012

14:00

USD

IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism (SEP)

45.50

44.50

Economic optimism is expected to continue remaining negative

22:45

NZD

Value of All Buildings s.a. (QoQ) (2Q)

0.0%

16.0%

Values of buildings saw a huge jump in Q1 of this year

23:01

GBP

BRC Shop Price Index (YoY) (AUG)

-2.0%

-1.9%

Retail prices have been declining since mid-2013, allowing the BOE to hold on rate hikes

23:30

AUD

AiG Performance of Service Index (AUG)

49.30

The Services Sector has been contracting since March this year

GMT

Currency

Upcoming Events & Speeches

09:10

EUR

ECB Main Refinancing Operation Result

09:30

EUR

Italy’s Mogherini Speaks to EU Parliament Panel

11:30

USD

CEO Energy-Power Conference Day 1

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

13.5800

2.3800

12.7000

7.8165

1.3650

Resist 2

7.5800

5.8950

6.5135

Resist 1

13.3250

2.3000

11.8750

7.8075

1.3250

Resist 1

7.3285

5.8475

6.3145

Spot

13.0707

2.1529

10.5535

7.7507

1.2463

Spot

6.8573

5.5796

6.1569

Support 1

12.8350

2.0700

10.2500

7.7490

1.2000

Support 1

6.7750

5.3350

5.7450

Support 2

12.6000

1.7500

9.3700

7.7450

1.1800

Support 2

6.0800

5.2715

5.5655

INTRA-DAY PROBABILITY BANDS 18:00 GMT

\CCY

EUR/USD

GBP/USD

USD/JPY

USD/CHF

USD/CAD

AUD/USD

NZD/USD

EUR/JPY

Gold

Res 3

1.3435

1.6781

103.17

0.9123

1.0969

0.9386

0.8543

137.87

1329.49

Res 2

1.3417

1.6757

103.00

0.9110

1.0953

0.9369

0.8527

137.64

1325.18

Res 1

1.3399

1.6733

102.83

0.9096

1.0936

0.9352

0.8510

137.41

1320.87

Spot

1.3362

1.6684

102.49

0.9069

1.0904

0.9319

0.8476

136.95

1312.25

Supp 1

1.3325

1.6635

102.15

0.9042

1.0872

0.9286

0.8442

136.49

1303.63

Supp 2

1.3307

1.6611

101.98

0.9028

1.0855

0.9269

0.8425

136.26

1299.32

Supp 3

1.3289

1.6587

101.81

0.9015

1.0839

0.9252

0.8409

136.03

1295.01

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.

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