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Thursday, 8 Sep 2011
British Pound on Shaky Ground ahead of Rate Statements
An attitude of dovishness has gained traction among central banks in Europe this week and investors are worried that a continuation of low rates, coupled with the possibility of a rate reduction in Europe in 2012, could diminish currency values as we get deeper into the third quarter, particularly in Britain.
USD - EUR/USD Holding near 1.4000 ahead of EUR Rate Statements
The US dollar (USD) was seen trading mildly bearish early Tuesday as investors balanced risk sentiment ahead of this week's series of interest rate announcements. A sudden wave of risk appetite seemed to have dropped the greenback following a move by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to peg the CHF to the value of the EUR at 1.20 on Tuesday. Wednesday, however, saw the greenback paring some of those earlier losses and consolidating near 1.4000 against the EUR in late trading.
Optimistic data from the Canadian manufacturing sector yesterday also signaled an uptick in output from the previous month in the North American region. The news has done little to the forex market; however, though it could ripple through longer-term analyses on capital markets should they come into play later on. Most traders seemed to be awaiting further rate decisions, however, prior to making any sizeable bets.
With today's releases revolving around European and British interest rate decisions, most traders appear to be on edge. The consolidation trends witnessed as forming in the major crosses are part and parcel of this anxiety. Many are anticipating dovish sentiment to emerge from the euro zone following mixed fundamental signals and recent talks about Italy's austerity budget and Greece's sovereign debt crisis. The US will also release its trade balance, though that news is likely to be overshadowed by Europe's news.
GBP - GBP Flattening as Interest Rate Decision Approaches
The direction of the British pound (GBP) is lacking uniformity among speculators as the Bank of England's (BOE) rate decision approaches. Against the US dollar (USD) the pound has actually been trending upwards despite the greenback's bullish moves against its other currency rivals. But the pound has seen some setbacks brought about by poor regional fundamentals and a general atmosphere of risk flight.
Traders are looking for a way to balance a renewal of risk aversion with continued shakiness in global markets. A mildly pessimistic sentiment towards investing in the US dollar at the moment has many investors on edge. An embattled euro zone, fending off market bears amid turmoil in its peripheral nations, Italy flaring up recently, also looks to be losing ground in financial markets. With today's rate statements on tap, wide swings in value and intense volatility should be anticipated.
Sentiment in Britain appears to have turned negative this week, with many analysts and economists expecting moves towards safety by traders following the BOE's rate statements. An attitude of dovishness has gained traction and investors are worried that a continuation of low rates, coupled with the possibility of a rate reduction in Europe in 2012, could diminish currency values as we get deeper into the third quarter.
JPY - Japanese Interest Rate Decision Surprises No One
The latest moves of the Japanese yen (JPY) are causing some concerns among investors as many speculators are anticipating another round of intervention by the Bank of Japan (BOJ). With interest rate decisions out yesterday morning, traders appeared to show zero surprise in the announcement that rates would be held near zero. A strengthening yen has benefits for the buying power of the island economy, though its dependence on exports makes a strong yen unfavorable for longer-term growth in Japan's current financial model. As the island currency remains bullish, the pressure begins to mount for the expected bank move to lower its currency strength.
The yen was indeed seen trading mildly lower versus most other currencies this morning as its value as an international safe haven was being challenged by an air of impending intervention by the BOJ. Being linked to international risk sentiment, the yen has experienced an expected uptick during a period when shifts away higher yielding assets became prominent. The JPY has been experiencing several long strides lately from the various shifts into riskier assets.
Crude Oil - Oil Prices Holding Consolidating ahead of Volatile Sessions
Crude Oil prices held steady Wednesday as sentiment appeared to favor a mild uptick in global stocks following reports of monetary moves being made by several central banks. Data releases out of Europe and the US last week are still driving many investors back into safe-haven assets as many reports suggested a surprise downtick in growth among global industrial output and consumer spending.
An expected dip in dollar values due to this week's risk sensitive environment has helped many investors ram up their long-taking positions on physical assets, but with the USD's losses not materializing in large enough numbers, sentiment appears to have the price of crude oil holding steady. Should Crude Oil sentiment continue to flatten this week, oil prices may reach a decision point which forces a wide swing by mid-week.
Last week's candlestick highlights two key points; the inability of the EUR to maintain a bid above the 1.4500 level and the formation of an outside day down candlestick pattern on the close. As such the key support levels for the pair are found the 1.4100 level where the August 11th low coincides with the 61% Fib retracement from the July to August move. The other key level is the rising trend line from the May 2010 low which comes into play at 1.3975. To the upside resistance is found at this week's opening gap of 1.4180 followed by 1.4325 and last week's high of 1.4550.
The GBP/USD has the monthly, weekly, and daily stochastics falling while the price is encroaching upon significant support where the 200-day moving average and the August 11th low coincide at 1.6110. A break here could open the door to 1.6000 with additional support way down at 1.5780. To the upside the high from last Thursday/Friday at 1.6250 stands as initial resistance followed by 1.6450 and 1.6615.
The JPY has formed a base at 76.40 while failing to move below the all-time low of 75.94 set earlier in August. Weekly and daily stochastics have turned up but monthly stochastics remain firmly to the downside. Initial resistance is found at 77.70 followed by the post intervention high of 80.20 and finally at 81.30 off of the 2007 falling trend line.
The appreciation of the pair failed at the 0.8275 resistance and the long term downtrend continued with a vengeance, falling as low as 0.7710 before recovering slightly. There are two levels that stand out from the August move higher; 0.7650 at the 50% Fibonacci retracement and the 0.7510 at the 61% retracement.
The Wild Card
As a result of the pressures in the euro zone and the search for safe haven currencies the Swedish krona has performed well with the EUR/SEK falling from its mid-August high of 9.35 to 8.9450. Yesterday's low is an important technical level as it is the 61% Fibonacci retracement of the May to August move. Forex traders should eye a close below this technical level as the market could turn its focus on the next support levels of 8.8750 and 8.8540 from the May and April lows. Resistance is located at 9.0650.
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