- President Trump tweeted support for a Chinese mobile phone maker, but the market didn’t register it as ‘trade war averted’
- There was little to offer a strong foothold for Dollar recovery, but EUR/USD Monday upper wick raises technical interest
- Chinese and UK labor data is noteworthy, discrete event risk ahead; but the best tech pictures (NZD, CHF) don’t have cues
What do the DailyFX Analysts expect from the Dollar, Euro, Equities, Oil and more through the 2Q 2018? Download forecasts for these assets and more with technical and fundamental insight from the DailyFX Trading Guides page.
President Trump’s Tweet Does Not Restore Speculative Appetite Lost Through Trade Wars
Over the past two to three months, movement towards protectionism by some of the largest economies in the world had finally tipped the scales to outright trade war engagement. Fear that the US was withdrawing from the global economy and would incur retaliation from its major peers added to the scrutiny over a speculative run these past few years in particular that had grown increasingly dependent on the status quo. While we haven’t seen more recent events spur progress with critical breaks that usher in full, self-sustaining bear trends; there remains a bias on this front where bad news will further undermine market confidence while the alleviation of tension will not put the smashed tea cup of speculative appetite back together. Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump tweeted that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reverse a sanction on Chinese telecom ZTE imposed in 2017. While some see this as the administration walking back on its tough stance on trade through metals and intellectual property theft, it can also be read that there is easing on a stark and aggressive trade front. That said, the market’s didn’t respond with measurable enthusiasm. Neither the US benchmark indices (S&P 500, Dow), the Chinese markets (Shanghai Composite) or trade and risk sensitive assets (emerging markets) showed much relief – much less confidence.
Dollar Retreat Stalls with Competing Signs of Stall and Pause
The Dollar’s two-day retreat to end this past week didn’t pick back up immediately on the bearish charge to start things off Monday. While the Greenback did ease through the morning, momentum never showed up and the market made a quick turn to put the currency back on the bid. The result for the EUR/USD was the largest ‘upper wick’ since January 29. This has strong history for calling short-term turns, but it is by no means a sign of certainty that the benchmark pair is going to immediately return to its month-long – and still emergent – bullish reversal. For other Dollar-based pairs, we are still standing at key thresholds (USD resistance) such as GBP/USD, NZD/USD and USD/CHF. One of the complicating factors to the revival of trend is the lack of an explicit catalyst. The Dollar’s recovery is finding more motivation from a collective weakening of counterparts and rebalancing of extreme net short USD holdings than a clear cut driver like rising interest rate expectations or binary as a NFPs release. The ingredients are there, but the speculative reaction will unfold slowly until an accelerant is added.
China and UK Labor Data is Key Event Risk
There are a few notable economic releases on the docket for the upcoming session. For the US Dollar, we have: Fed speak to fine tune a locked in interest rate forecast; testimony by two Fed candidates (Clarida and Bowman) to fill two of the four empty FOMC Board seats and the March TIC flows which will tell us whether trade wars have incurred any measurable financial consequence for the US. The Euro meanwhile is scheduled for the Eurozone investor sentiment survey for ZEW where we can establish concerns over lingering issues for this economic giant. Neither currency is likely to elicit a strong reaction from the event risk. That said, the employment data from the UK and China have far greater capacity. The UK jobs figures has a history of sparking drama for the Pound when it sufficiently surprises. This has its greatest potential for putting pairs like GBP/USD and EUR/GBP on new trend through BoE timing through wage statistics, but that may be a reach. Watch for the volatility response. As for the Chinese data, we have the standard retail sales, industrial production and fixed assets figures. The real interest is in the new jobs series. This data has a poor track record of charging trend; but it is very important as an economic update nonetheless.
The Best Technicals Don’t Have Good Fundamental Triggers
While there is some moderate potential for fundamentally-triggered movement for the Dollar, Euro and Pound; the best looking broad-spectrum charts don’t have any high profile data or event on tap. I’m particularly intrigued by the conditions reflected in the Swiss franc and New Zealand Dollar. Both have shown exceptional technical patterns on a trade-weighted basis and particularly among their crosses. The franc has slid consistently over weeks to the pleasure of the SNB, but its recent congestion suggests pause that could boost the potential for reversal. A USD/CHF turn looks like it could be particularly dramatic, but it doesn’t align to the slow progress of the Dollar and my view on EUR/USD. If I were to take a perspective on the franc, it would be through EUR/CHF or CAD/CHF. In a similar fashion, the Kiwi has sunk aggressively of late, and is now pressuring a further break lower. Amongst the NZD crosses, there are a number of pairs that are at the technical cusp – NZD/USD, NZD/CAD, NZD/JPY – which I will monitor for technical course setting an a more reliable fundamental backdrop. We discuss all of this in today’s Trading Video.
A Complete Lack of a Cohesive Government Blights Sterling
Fundamental Forecast for GBP: Neutral
Sterling (GBP) Talking Points:
- No Meaningful Vote. No Leadership. No EU Concessions. No Brexit.
- Year-end market conditions make Sterling positions foolhardy.
The DailyFX Q4GBP Forecast is available to download.
In current market conditions, and with the total lack of a cohesive Brexit plan, trading Sterling is nigh on impossible to recommend from a risk- reward stance, leaving our outlook neutral even though the path of least resistance for the British Pound is pointing lower.
Over the past week, the meaningful vote in Parliament for PM May’s Brexit plan was cancelled, the Prime Minister won a vote of confidence – although 117 of her party voted against her – and her visit to Brussels to ask for more concessions to help solve the Irish backstop impasse were roundly rejected by the EU.
As we stand there are a few scenarios that may play out in the short-term, nearly all damaging for the British Pound. The calls for the PM to resign may be listened to by Theresa May, unlikely but still a possibility – the opposition may call for her to step-down, more likely but the Labour Party is currently divided on its Brexit stance – the EU offers some meaningful concessions to help the bill get through Parliament, again highly unlikely – no agreement and the UK goes to WTO rules, looking possible – and finally another Brexit Referendum, a view now gaining traction and a real possibility. While a second Brexit Referendum, and a likely win for Remain, would boost Sterling, the run-up to this break with democracy will weigh heavily on the British Pound.
In a nutshell – if a Government is unable to lead and inspire confidence, putting a value on its currency is impossible.
GBPUSD Four-Hour Price Chart (October – December 14, 2018)
IG Client Sentiment data show 62.8% of traders are net-long GBPUSD. We typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-long suggests that GBPUSD prices may continue to fall. However, the combination of recent daily and weekly positional changes give us a mixed trading bias.
— Written by Nick Cawley, Analyst
To contact Nick, email him at email@example.com
Follow Nick on Twitter @nickcawley1
Other Weekly Fundamental Forecasts:
Is Gold Posed to Lose its Luster?
GOLD PRICE FUNDAMENTAL FORECAST: NEUTRAL
- Gold’s recent bullish breakout may come under pressure despite strong safe-haven demand
- A strong US Dollar notching year-to-date highs to limit further advances in gold
- Prospect of a Federal Reserve rate hike pause could shoot the precious metal higher
GOLD PRICE FUNDAMENTAL FORECAST: NEUTRAL
Over the last 5 days of trading, XAUUSD declined 0.72% as investors anxious over slowing global growth sent the US Dollar higher. Although risk-off sentiment should send the precious metal higher, gains in the Greenback overpowered bullish bids for gold. A higher US Dollar makes purchasing gold denominated in America’s currency relatively more expensive thus limiting upside.
Looking to next week, focus will shift to the Federal Reserve as markets await the highly anticipated decision by the central bank’s Federal Open Markets Committee on monetary policy. Markets are currently pricing a 77 percent chance that the Fed will raise its benchmark policy interest rate for the fourth time this year according to the futures market implied probability.
In general, Gold has an inverse relationship with interest rates due to the precious metal not yielding any cash flows like debt instruments. Higher rates result in weakened demand for the commodity as alternative assets such as US Treasuries provide a higher rate of return. If the Fed surprises markets and pauses next week or makes any material downward change to the Fed’s dot-plot, gold could ascend quickly on back of lower future interest rate expectations.
Eyes will also closely watch for the release of several key economic indicators out of America next week. If actual results miss expectations, risk-off sentiment should continue and further boost demand for gold. However, fears over a slowing global economy will incite further rotation of capital from stocks to bonds with investors flocking to the safety of US Treasuries.
For a list of global economic events and data releases, check out our real-time Economic Calendar.
As international buying of Uncle Sam’s bonds increases, foreigners must convert their currency into US Dollars. This drives up demand for the Greenback which becomes a headwind for gains in gold due to the inverse relationship between the two assets.
A third key driver to take note of that will determine gold’s next move higher or lower will be the performance of the Chinese Yuan. As the damaged Asian economy continues to experience downward pressure amid worsening economic data due to the ongoing trade war with the United States, the Dollar may appreciate further against its Chinese counterpart.
The importance of USDCNY to gold is seen in their strong negative correlation. Trade talks between the world’s largest economic powerhouses will largely drive returns for the currencies with the CNY benefiting from any progress President Xi can make with President Trump towards de-escalation tension or reaching a deal.
Due to the mixed event risks and waning bullish technical indicators, the forecast for XAU will be neutral over the week of December 17. Take a look at client sentiment for insight on client positioning and trader bearish or bullish biases.
–Written by Rich Dvorak, Junior Analyst for DailyFX
–Follow Rich on Twitter for real time market updates @RichDvorakFX
Other Weekly Fundamental Forecasts:
Euro Shorts in Charge on Tri-break
EUR/USD Technical Highlights:
- Triangle finally broke, has Euro rolling downhill
- November low, Nov ’17 t-line initially targeted
- Must be cautious once at support, may put in floor
Let us help you. DailyFX has guides ranging from forecasts to trade ideas to education all in one location – DailyFX Trading Guides.
Triangle finally breaks, has Euro rolling downhill
Friday’s breakdown finally put the Euro outside of the triangle it had been forming over the course of the past month. It’s been an anticipated event, but confirmation was needed first before running with a more aggressive short bias.
Looking lower there is support not too far away. First up is the November low at 11215, followed by the lower trend-line extending over from November of last year; resides around roughly 11180. The way EUR/USD has been trading we’ll want to pay close attention to how it reacts once support is met.
The moves over the past few months haven’t been sustained for very long and this could be another unsustainable drive lower. With that in mind, from a tactical standpoint if the Euro starts to turn up from one of the aforementioned levels then it may be best to call it a wrap as a quick counter-trend bounce could develop.
If, however, selling pressure increases and a break below support unfolds, then perhaps a little momentum may kick in towards near 11100 or worse. It seems unlikely we will see too much power given not only the Euro’s behavior in past months but also because there is only about a week left in the year of full market participation before we go into ‘holiday’ mode. However, even as such, watch and follow the price action first.
Traders are generally long EUR/USD, see the IG Client Sentiment page to see how this acts as a contrarian indicator and is supportive of lower prices.
EUR/USD Daily Chart (Levels, lines to watch)
EUR/USD 4-hr Chart (Triangle broke Friday morning)
—Written by Paul Robinson, Market Analyst
You can follow Paul on Twitter at@PaulRobinsonFX
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