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EUR Edgy Ahead of Acrimonious Elections in Catalonia

EUR Edgy Ahead of Acrimonious Elections in Catalonia

Nick Cawley, Senior Strategist


EUR Talking Points

- The single currency may drop if pro-independence parties gain an upper hand in today’s parliamentary elections.

- The pro-independence and pro-unionist parties are currently running neck-and-neck.

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Catalonia’s Independence Vote May Weigh on the Euro

Spain’s Catalonia region will go to the ballot box today to vote for a new regional government. The last government was fired by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after Catalonia’s independence vote in late October was declared illegal. PM Rajoy’s actions during the last vote, including overseeing police attacks on Spanish citizens to prevent voting, drew global condemnation and pressured the EUR. There are 135 seats in the parliament with 68 required for a majority and the latest polls show the three pro-independence parties set to gain between 65 and 68 seats. The vote will close at 19:00 GMT with the result expected around 3-4 hours later.

If the pro-independence parties succeed in not only winning a majority but also in overcoming their differences and forming a new regional government, a push for another independence vote in the near-term is unlikely, according to analysts. There is a worry however that a prolonged period of uncertainty may dampen Spanish growth. In November Spain lowered its 2018 growth forecast to 2.3% from a prior 2.6% due to the unrest in Catalonia. Catalonia’s GDP in 2016 was EUR223.6 billion, around 20% of Spanish total GDP.

EUR/USD is currently trading around 1 cent away from its one-month highs and around 2 cents away from levels last seen in December 2014. This latest bout of EUR strength may come pressure if the Catalan polls throw up a pro-independence victory, sparking another bout of civil unrest.

EUR/USD Price Chart Four Hour Timeframe (December 14, 2017)

Chart by IG

EUR/USD Client Positioning Data is Mixed

IG Client Sentiment data shows 36.0% of traders are net-long EUR/USD with the ratio of traders short to long at 1.77 to 1. The number of traders net-long is 9.4% higher than yesterday and 1.1% lower from last week, while the number of traders net-short is unchanged than yesterday and 20.5% higher from last week. We typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-short suggests prices may continue to rise. Positioning is less net-short than yesterday but more net-short from last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a further mixed EURUSD trading bias.

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--- Written by Nick Cawley, Analyst

To contact Nick, email him at

Follow Nick on Twitter @nickcawley1

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