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Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist


High beta currencies and risk-correlated assets are mixed in the pre-North American trading hours, as investors around the globe anxiously await news out of Cyprus, now that banks are reopening there for the first time since March 16. There has been much ado about the potential for a bank runs in Cyprus, but thus far, predictions have fallen short of reality. Even though it is a counterfactual argument (and thus can’t be either proved or disproved), I suggest that the capital controls in place – limiting Cypriots to withdrawals of €300/day – are the reason why we’ve seen a lack of panic; accordingly, without them, Cypriot banks would be seeing massive outflows.

Regardless, with Cypriot banks reopening today at 06:00 EST/10:00 GMT, the Euro has found some firmer footing, and has retaken $1.2800 against the US Dollar amid the lack of the bank run. Italian and Spanish yields continue to edge higher, however, as the political situation in Italy appears to be nearing the apex of its crescendo, with it increasingly clear that Pier Luigi Bersani of the centre-left party won’t be able to garner enough support to form a government. However, with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in the last six months of his presidency (ending in May), new elections cannot be called. We are thus stuck in limbo, and it is looking like another caretaker government, albeit with limited scope for implementing any substantive new reforms, will take charge in the interim.

Looking ahead to the North American trading session, there are several key data releases at 08:30 EST/12:30 GMT that could stoke additional volatility on Thursday. I’ve discussed the implications for both of these releases in greater detail in the Top 5 Key Events column this week.

Taking a look at European credit, upward pressure on peripheral bond yields has held the Euro back on Thursday, despite constructive price action in the single currency. The Italian 2-year note yield has increased to 1.949% (+0.6-bps) while the Spanish 2-year note yield has increased to 2.437% (+1.8-bps). Similarly, the Italian 10-year note yield is unchanged at 4.766% while the Spanish 10-year note yield has increased to 5.089 % (+3.4-bps); higher yields imply lower prices.


JPY: +0.28%

NZD: +0.16%

EUR: +0.15%





Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR): -0.05% (+0.05% past 5-days)


Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_7.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

See the DailyFX Economic Calendar for a full list, timetable, and consensus forecasts for upcoming economic indicators.


Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_6.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

EURUSD: No change: “The headlines of Cyprus’ bailout pushed the EURUSD through the descending TL off of the February 1 and March 15 highs, at 1.2990/300, to its 21-EMA at 1.3042, before failure ensued on Monday. As I do not find the bailout terms favorable to long-lasting Euro strength, the “top” after the bailout could now be in place. Fresh yearly lows were set below 1.2800 at the time of writing [on Wednesday], with a clear test of 1.2660/80 (61.8% Fibonacci retracement on July 2012 to February 2013 rally, mid-November swing lows) in focus. A bearish bias holds so long as 1.3085 holds this week.”

Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_5.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

USDJPY: No change: “The USDJPY continues to consolidate near the lower rail of its ascending channel dating back to January, with the first test of 93.50 well-supported. Accordingly, with risk aversion afoot, the drive in the pair is likely lower given the compressing 2s10s Treasury spread. Nevertheless, BoJ policymakers are set to meet next week, in what should be the beginning of new, expansive monetary measures under the watchful eyes of Haruhiko Kuroda. A break below 93.50 could lead to a hasty sell-off towards 90.00/50.”

Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_4.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

GBPUSD: No change: “The failed run up to the 1.5285/375 region suggests that the rally in the GBPUSD seen the past few weeks may be nothing more than short covering and asset reallocation, rather than traders taking up new positions amid an improved interest rate outlook for the UK. Price has fallen back below the 8- and 21-EMAs after a rejection at a critical RSI level of 55. A move below 1.5000 this week would necessarily bring into view the lows near 1.4800/30 going into April.” A potential Bearish Rising Wedge has developed (clearer on the 4H timeframe, which would suggest a retest of the lows near 1.4830. The pattern is valid so long as 1.5260/65 holds to the upside.

Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_3.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

AUDUSD:No change: “The AUDUSD uptrend remains, but after rejection in the critical 1.0475/535 region, the uptrend is being tested at 1.0435. A daily close below 1.0435 brings into focus the Symmetrical Triangle breakout zone of 1.0370/95, also where the 21-EMA and 200-DMA sit. It is of note that daily RSI failed to move through 67 – a level that has capped the daily RSI on previous run ups towards 1.0600 in mid-December and mid-January.” Now that price has closed below 1.0435, a further pullback to 1.0370/95 is in scope before buying interest returns.

Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_2.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

S&P 500: No change: “The near-term set back at 1530 took place for less than two weeks, but the break higher hasn’t been marked by high volume; no, it has been a volumeless rally, with the breakout occurring on volumes around 80% of the daily average in 2013. This is not a ‘technically strong move.’ The float higher could continue, towards the all-time high at 1576.1, but might be cut short in the 1565/70 zone, where two key Fibonacci extensions lay. I’m very skeptical up here – markets seem to be ignoring Italy and the derisive politics in the United States at the moment (this also happened in 2011 and 2012 at the beginning of those years).”

Cypriot_Banks_Reopen_Euro_Rallies_USD_Steadies_Ahead_of_GDP_body_Picture_1.png, Cypriot Banks Reopen, Euro Rallies; USD Steadies Ahead of GDP

GOLD: No change: “Gold broke below trendline support off of the January 2011 and May 2012 lows at 1650 last week, prompting a sharp sell-off into 1600, where price broke out in mid-August before a rally into the post-QE3 high at 1785/1805. However, with oversold conditions persisting on the 4H and daily timeframes, a rebound should not be ruled out; each of the past two daily RSI oversold readings has produced a rally in short order. Resistance is 1625 and 1645/50. Support is 1585 and 1555/60. It should be noted that Gold has entered a major support zone from the past 18-months from 1520 to 1575.”

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst

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