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U.S. Dollar Reversal Underway, Euro Eyes  23.6% Fib

U.S. Dollar Reversal Underway, Euro Eyes 23.6% Fib

David Song, Strategist

Talking Points

  • U.S. Dollar: Index Threatens Downward Trending Channel, Labor Force Continues To Shrink
  • Euro: Carves Out Lower Top, Greece Seeks Another EUR 15B
  • British Pound: Upward Trend Gives Out, BoE To Conduct More QE

U.S. Dollar: Index Threatens Downward Trending Channel, Labor Force Continues To Shrink

The greenback extended the advance from the previous day, with the Dow Jones-FXCM U.S. Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR) advancing to a high of 9,751, and the short-term reversal should gather pace in the coming days as the index threatens the downward trending channel carried over from the previous month. Indeed, employment in the world’s largest economy increased another 243K in January, and the rise in hiring may lead the Fed to soften its dovish tone for monetary policy as the recovery gradually gathers pace.

However, we saw the jobless rate fall back to 8.3% from 8.5% as discouraged workers continued to leave the labor force, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may keep the door open to expand the balance sheet further in an effort to encourage a stronger recovery. In turn, we expect the FOMC to maintain a wait-and-see approach throughout the first-half of the year, but there’s little in the way of seeing another round of quantitative easing as the risk of a double-dip recession subsides. As the USDOLLAR appears to be finding near-term support around the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement at 9,710, this could be a key reversal for the greenback, and the bullish momentum underlining the dollar looks poised to gather pace in the week ahead as the relative strength index bounces back from a low of 30.

Euro: Maintains Narrow Range, All Eyes On ECB Rate Decision

The Euro pared the advance to 1.3205 to maintain the range from earlier this week, and the single currency is likely to face additional headwinds in the following week as the fundamental outlook turns increasingly bleak. Although the European Central Bank is widely expected to keep the benchmark interest rate at 1.00%, we are likely to see President Mario Draghi maintain a dovish tone at the press conference following the rate decision, and the central bank head may take additional steps beyond the three-year loan facility scheduled for the end of the month as the heightening risk for contagion continues to pose a threat to the world financial system. In turn, we are looking for a close below the 10-Day SMA (1.3115) to provide conviction for a short EUR/USD trade, and the exchange rate looks poised to fall back towards the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement from the 2009 high to the 2010 low around 1.2630-50 as the pair appears to be carving a lower top in February.

British Pound: Upward Trend Gives Out, BoE To Conduct More QE

The British Pound broke out of the upward trending channel from the previous month, with the GBP/USD slipping to a low of 1.5749, and we expect the sterling to face additional headwinds in the following week as market participants see the Bank of England expanding its asset purchase program by another GBP 50B next week. As the GBP/USD fails to make another run at the 200-Day SMA (1.5956), with the RSI falling back from a high of 66, the technical outlook point to a short-term reversal in the exchange rate, but we may see the pound-dollar hold steady ahead of the BoE rate decision as the pair continues to find support around the 38.2% Fib from the 2009 low to high around 1.5730-50.

--- Written by David Song, Currency Analyst

To contact David, e-mail Follow me on Twitter at @DavidJSong

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