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Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009
A Busy News Day Promises High Volatility
After yesterdays relatively calm trading session, today the economic calendar is filled with high impact data that threatens to sow large volatility into the market. From the wide range of news reports, ForexYard advises its traders to pay special attention to the German Business Climate, the U.S Durable Goods Orders, New Home Sales, and Crude Oil Inventories.
USD - Dollar Rises as Investors See U.S Recovery
The U.S currency extended gains on its Japanese and European counterparts Tuesday as optimism about a U.S. government plan to remove bad assets from banks' balance sheets prompted investors to resume safe haven bets on the Dollar. The USD rose versus the Japanese Yen to 97.87 from 96.94 Yen and against the EUR to $1.3464, up from $1.3633 late Monday. The Dollar also gained support from a growing view among market players that the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (buying U.S. Treasury debt that would massively expand the Fed's balance sheet) would not undermine the valuation of the Dollar as many initially thought. The greenback however, slipped against the Pound, down to $1.4778, the lowest since Feb. 10th which was pushed up by an unexpected rise in U.K inflation.
The Fed's plan that was announced on Monday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner has caused the Dollar to halt last week's slide, prompted as the Federal Reserve said its massive balance sheet expansion would include buying government debt. But despite the fact that the initial reaction to Fed quantitative easing was to sell the Dollar, some market participants reversed their views. Perhaps the U.S. will lead the global economy out of an economic recession. Although quantitative easing could lead to inflation as the money supply expands, economists said the other option is not to do anything, which could have more dire consequences for the dollar due to deflation and economic stagnation. It appears that in the long run the U.S. recovery plan has been benefiting the Dollar against both the Yen and the EUR.
EUR - EUR Slips vs. Dollar but Firm vs. Yen
The EUR came under pressure as Euro-Zone policy makers suggested Interest Rates in the region could fall further, just as data showed manufacturing and services sector activity continued to contract significantly. The currency fell 0.9% against the Dollar to $1.3508, down from the two month peak of $1.3739 touched last week. Against the Japanese yen the EUR rose 0.1% to 132.40 Yen having earlier struck 134.50 Yen. The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it has not used up all its room to maneuver Interest Rates. The news followed comments overnight from ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who again said the benchmark Rate could be cut to help kick-start the Euro-Zone economy.
On top of that, there was more negative news on the Euro-Zone economy, with key gauges of Euro-Zone services and manufacturing showing weal economic activity as firms slashed jobs and prices. The British Pound however, surprised with a rise of 0.7% against the USD at $1.4672 after data showed British annual CPI inflation rose to 3.2% in February from 3.0% in January. The Pound slumped 23% versus the EUR and 26% against the dollar last year as the U.K. economy slipped into its first recession since 1991 amid record losses at the nation's banks, prompting the Bank of England to cut the main Interest Rates to a record low of 0.5% in 2009. In yesterday's trading the GBP strengthened to 91.73 per EUR, the highest level since March 16, from 93.56 pence. Against the Yen, the currency jumped as much as 2.7% to 145.09, the strongest level since Dec. 1st. The U.K. currency may further advance against the USD toward $1.50 by May, if the GBP breaks through the key level of $1.4650.
JPY - Yen Declines as the Demand For Save Heaven Currency Diminishes
The Japanese currency inched up against the EUR and the AUD on Wednesday, pulling away from this week's five-month low as a drop in Japanese equities tempered buying of higher-yielding currencies. The yen climbed to 131.39 per EUR from 131.81 late in New York yesterday, when it touched 134.51, the weakest level since Oct 21st. Although the Yen has regained some ground after dropping on Tuesday to a 5-month low against the EUR and a 4-month trough versus the Australian dollar, it is likely to stay on the back foot, analysts have said. The JPY reaction was subdued to data showing Japan's trade balance returned to a surplus in February. The 82.4 billion Yen ($841.6 million) surplus contrasted with economists' forecasts for a deficit of 10.9 billion Yen. The surplus comes after Japan posted its largest deficit ever in January, when exports fell sharply due to a slowdown in the global economy.
The Yen role as a safe haven currency has apparently diminished, and there has been little reason for traders to buy the yen actively. Investors were also reluctant to buy the Yen with the Bank of Japan having raised the amount of government debt it buys outright to thaw credit markets. Instead, investors continue to favor currencies whose central banks have Interest Rates above zero and look unlikely to use quantitative easing to get their economies moving, such as the Australian dollar.
OIL - Oil Remains Steady Ahead of U.S. Supplies Data
Crude Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday after U.S. stock markets bounced off their lows amid optimism that the government's plan to unburden banks of soured assets could help shore up the U.S economy. The gains were limited however, as dealers awaiting a round of U.S. Crude Oil Inventories data that analysts expected would show an increase in Crude stockpiles. Crude Oil rose to settle at $53.98 a barrel after hitting a 3 month high of $54.20 earlier in the day. Analysts said they expected Oil inventory data to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday to show a 1.2 million barrel build in crude stockpiles.
Energy demand in the world's biggest consumer economy has been hard-hit by the economic meltdown, buffering inventory levels as global consumption has been shrinking for the first time in a quarter century. Oil prices have climbed from under $33 last December, partly due to aggressive supply cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but remain almost $100 below last summer's peak. OPEC agreed to hold output targets steady at its meeting in Vienna on March 15th due to concerns that higher prices may harm an ailing global economy. Ministers pledged to tighten compliance with record cutbacks agreed on last year to bolster Crude Oil prices.
After dropping close to 300 pips since the beginning of the trading week, the pair seems to be consolidating around the 1.3470 level. However, the MACD indicator on the 4-hour chart signals that the bearish momentum is still has potential. Going short appears to be the preferable choice today.
The cable has been trading quite peacefully lately without making any sharp movements. And now, a bearish cross on the daily chart was formed, suggesting that the pair is on the verge of a downtrend. Going short with tight stops might be a good strategy today.
After two failed attempts to breach the 98.50 level, it appears that the USD/JPY might have reached its weekly peak. Currently all oscillators on the 4-hour chart are giving bearish indications, and as the Bollinger Bands on the 1-hour chart are tightening, it seems that a downtrend could be initiated today.
The pair's 4-hour chart is showing bearish signals as a fresh bearish cross has formed on the Slow Stochastic Oscillator. The Bollinger Bands also appear to be tightening, indicating the potential for a violent breach. Going short with tight stops appears to be the preferable strategy for today.
The Wild Card
Crude Oil touched on a 3-month high yesterday and appears to be reversing. The daily chart shows the RSI trading in the oversold region. Also a bearish cross has formed on the Slow Stochastic Oscillator, indicating the potential for a downward correction. This could be good a good opportunity for forex traders to profit by being short on Crude Oil today.
|12:00||GBP||CBI Industrial Order Expectations||0||5||1|
|15:45||USD||Flash Services PMI||59.2||59.5||-|
|00:40||AUD||RBA Gov Stevens Speaks||-||-||-|
|02:00||AUD||CB Leading Index||m/m||0.4%||-||-|
|10:30||GBP||BBA Mortgage Approvals||37.3K||37.9K||-|
|10:30||GBP||Index of Services 3m/3m||0.8%||0.7%||-|