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Euro Holds Steady Ahead Of Greek Election, Optimism May Fizzle On G20

Euro Holds Steady Ahead Of Greek Election, Optimism May Fizzle On G20

David Song, Strategist

Talking Points

  • Euro: Greek Elections In Focus, ECB Continues To Lean Toward Rate Cuts
  • British Pound: Remains Capped By 1.5600, BoE Minutes Comes Into Focus
  • U.S. Dollar: Remains Under Pressure On Risk Appetite, Outlook Hinges On FOMC

Euro: Greek Elections In Focus, ECB Continues To Lean Toward Rate Cuts

The Euro held a tight range on Friday amid the growing notion that central banks around the globe will take coordinated action to combat the debt crisis, and we may see European policy makers continue to call on the international community for assistance as the Group of 20 Summit comes into focus. Beyond the Greek elections, the conference in Mexico may prop up the single currency as the G20 plans to tackle the heightening risk for contagion, but the meeting may do little to restore investor confidence should the group struggle to meet on common ground.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank board member Ewald Nowotny continued to voice his support for a zero-interest rate policy (ZIRP) in order to combat the downside risks for the region, but went onto say that it is too early to speculate on a third Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) according to an interview with a German newspaper. Indeed, it seems as though the Governing Council is leaning towards a rate cut amid the heightening risk for a prolonged recession, but the ECB may have little choice but to implement a range of tools to shore up the ailing economy amid the ongoing turmoil in the financial system. As the EURUSD continues to trade below the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement from the 2009 high to the 2010 low around 1.2640-50, we should see the pair hold steady going into the weekend, but a favorable outcome in Greece may spark a sharp rally in the exchange rate, which could pave the way for a test of former support around the 1.3000 figure. However, if the election heightens the threat for a Greek exit, we should see the EURUSD give back the advance from earlier this month, and the pair may continue to approach 1.2000 as the fundamental outlook for the region deteriorates further.

British Pound: Remains Capped By 1.5600, BoE Minutes Comes Into Focus

The British Pound reversed course and climbed to 1.5584 amid the rise in risk sentiment, but the sterling may face additional headwinds over the near-term as the Bank of England plans to take additional steps to shield the U.K. economy. As BoE Governor Mervyn King talks up speculation for more quantitative easing, the GBPUSD appears to be carving a short-term top around former support (1.5600), and we may see the pair fall back towards the 50.0% Fib from the 2009 low to high around 1.5270 should the meeting minutes due out on June 20 highlight an increased willingness to expand monetary policy further. However, as the BoE works with the U.K. Treasury to improve the credit market, the move may give the BoE greater scope to maintain its current policy, but we may see a growing rift within the Monetary Policy Committee as the stickiness in underlying price growth raises the risk for inflation.

U.S. Dollar: Remains Under Pressure On Risk Appetite, Outlook Hinges On FOMC

The greenback weakened further on Friday, with the Dow Jones-FXCM U.S. Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR) slipping to a low of 10,104, and the reserve currency may continue to track lower during the North American trade as market participants increase their appetite for risk. At the same time, there’s speculation that the Federal Reserve will show a greater willingness to expand monetary policy further as the recent developments coming out of the world’s largest economy highlights a slowing recovery, but we may see FOMC Chairman Ben Bernanke strike a more balanced tone for the region as the economy gets on a more sustainable path. In turn, the committee may continue to endorse a wait-and-see approach in 2012, and the central bank may sound a bit more hawkish this time around amid the stickiness in underlying inflation.

--- Written by David Song, Currency Analyst

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

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