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Pre-ECB, NFP, FOMC Price Action Setups

Pre-ECB, NFP, FOMC Price Action Setups

James Stanley, Senior Strategist

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- The next week and a half produce a series of pivotal announcements for markets. On Thursday, the European Central Bank goes through another rate decision, on Friday we see the release of U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls and on Wednesday of next week – we hear from the Federal Reserve at a rate decision in which much of the world is expecting a rate hike.

- As we mentioned, it appears as though this Friday’s NFP print will be crucial for the Federal Reserve’s rate decision next week. This NFP print will likely garner considerable attention as continued strength in the U.S. Labor market could further signal a stronger rate hike path for the Federal Reserve. We first looked at the U.S. Dollar in a bullish, albeit more tame state than what we saw last week.

- We then looked at EUR/USD which is working on a near-term range formation ahead of Friday’s ECB meeting. The longer-term setup could possibly be conducive for bullish plays after bears were unable to drive with significant continuation below the long-term zone of support around 1.0500. The near-term side that’s most attractive would be the short-term resistance zone; but the longer-term setup that could garner more attention would be another test of 1.0500… If a 1.0500 support test comes into play around the latter portion of the ECB press conference, this could be attractive.

- We then looked at EUR/JPY as a potentially more attractive option for playing Euro-strength. The troubling fundamental aspect of longer-term EUR/USD bullish plays is the idea of being short-USD as the Federal Reserve is getting more hawkish on the prospect of ‘normalization’. This is not the ideal environment to be short the currency (USD); so looking to voice those long-Euro themes against the Yen could be a bit more attractive.

- We then moved over to look at U.S. Stocks via the S&P 500. Stocks finally caught a bit of softness after last week’s quick rush of strength. The big ‘activator’ for the bullish move in the S&P last week was a) John William’s comments about a potential rate hike in March and b) Donald Trump’s non-State of the Union Address (Joint Address to the Union).

But since then – as in, from Thursday on, stocks have had difficulty catching a bid. This likely has at least something to do with the Fed’s expected rate hike next week. But there may be more at play here.

- We looked at USD/JPY for long-USD plays. The longer-term symmetrical wedge is still at work, and we looked at an area around 113.20 that could be attractive for bullish-plays.

--- Written by James Stanley, Analyst for DailyFX.com

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