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Wednesday, 1 Apr 2009
U.S. Employment and Housing Data to Lead Today's Market
The beginning of a new month always precedes 2 important events in the forex market: the release of immensely important U.S. economic data and an influx of trading after workers receive monthly salaries. Kicking off the month of April today, traders will notice a large portion of economic news coming from the States; particularly regarding housing, employment, inflation, and the ever-increasingly important Crude Oil inventories report. If you were waiting for the right day to begin trading forex, that day has come!
USD - USD Viewed as World's Dominant Currency
The U.S. currency was lower against most major currencies Tuesday, ahead of this week's Group of 20 nations (G20) meeting. Analysts said that worries about the financial sector and signs of rising tensions ahead of tomorrows meeting of world leaders would likely limit downslide potential for the USD. Still the Dollar's outlook remains strong and stable against the majors, despite the ongoing deluge of negative U.S. economic data.
Analysts stated that the market has started to focus on this upcoming summit of major industrialized economies in London on Thursday, with investors hoping for agreement on measures to revive the global economy. Meanwhile the U.S currency rallied to a 3-week high against the Japanese Yen to as much as 99.36 Yen. The Dollar rose more than 2% against the JPY, as weak economic data and year-end prompted Japanese investors to bring money home, reversed course as traders closed the books on the fiscal year.
The World Bank president said on Tuesday that the Dollar is likely to remain the world's dominant reserve currency and a strong U.S. currency is a key to lifting the world out of economic and financial crisis. Given the important role the U.S. Dollar plays in the global financial system, it is incumbent upon the United States to pursue sound economic, fiscal and monetary policies.
EUR - EUR under Pressure Ahead of ECB Decision
The European currency pared gains slightly against the USD on Tuesday after data showed U.S. home prices plunged a record 19% in January from a year earlier, suggesting U.S housing remains in a deep recession. Against the Dollar, the EUR firmed 0.7% to 1.3292. Analysts believe the EUR's gains may be limited, however, as investors look ahead to Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision. The EUR may decline against the Dollar as economists estimate that the ECB will lower rates to 1% at this month's meeting. The EUR did rise, however, against the JPY, advancing 1.5% to 130.20 Yen.
The ECB is forecast to cut rates by 50 basis points with the possibility that it will follow other major central banks and adopt other unconventional measures to boost money supply. Yesterday's fundamental data showed that Euro-Zone inflation plunged to an all time low of 0.6% year-on-year in March, strengthening the case for a deep interest rate cut. The inflation data underlines that the Euro-Zone is as much a victim of the current crisis as the U.S. and the UK and the ECB will be forced to adopt more aggressive measures, analysts have said.
Moreover, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasted this Tuesday that the European economy would shrink 4.1% this year and a further 0.3% in 2010; the most pessimistic outlook of all institutional forecasters thus far.
JPY - Yen Reverses its Earlier Losses on Auto Bankruptcy Fears
The Yen strengthened on speculation President Barack Obama will let U.S. automakers go bankrupt, reviving demand for the Japanese currency as a refuge from the global financial crisis. The Yen advanced to 98.67 versus the USD from as low as 99.47 earlier and from 98.96 yesterday. Japan's currency also strengthened to 130.43 per EUR from as low as 131.89 earlier and from 131.13.
Yesterday, however, was not a very successful day for the Japanese currency. The Yen slid on a surge in Japanese investors' demand for foreign currencies on the last day of Japan's financial year. The JPY fell against the Dollar, extending its worst quarterly loss since 2001, after a Bank of Japan (BoJ) survey showed business sentiment dropped the most on record, reducing demand for the currency. The Yen also weakened versus the EUR after reports this week showed factory output dropped for a 5th month and the unemployment rate climbed to the highest in 3 years.
Crude Oil - Crude Oil Fails to Break $50
Crude Oil prices fell below $49 a barrel on speculation that a government report will show U.S. inventories rose from the highest level in more than 15 years. Crude earlier rose Tuesday, extending its monthly gains to nearly 11% as rising stock markets helped boost investment sentiment while a weakening greenback increased Dollar-denominated commodity prices. The Energy Department is scheduled to release its weekly supply update at 14:30 GMT. The report is forecast to show that inventories of gasoline and distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, dropped. Oil prices rose $1.25, or 2.6%, yesterday to $49.66 a barrel as equities increased and a weaker Dollar enhanced the appeal of commodities.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the U.S. Energy Department cut their 2009 forecast for oil demand this month. They expect consumption to slump by more than 1 million barrels a day this year. Crude Oil supplies have increased as OPEC agreed on March 15th to keep output quotas unchanged, saying members have to cut a further 800,000 barrels a day to comply with existing targets. OPEC is next scheduled to meet on May 28th in Vienna.
After going through a mild technical correction, it appears that the pair has resumed its general downtrend, as it is now trading at the 1.3200 level. Currently, as all oscillators on the 4-hour chart are pointing down, it seems that going short might be the preferable decision today.
For the last two days the Cable has consolidated around the 1.4250 level without making any significant movements. However, a flag formation on the daily chart implies that an uptrend is about to be initiated. Going long with tight stops might be a good strategy today.
After two failed attempts to breach through the 99.50 key Fibonacci level, the pair is currently traded around the 98.80 level. A bearish cross on the 4-hour chart's Slow Stochastic suggests that a bearish reversal is imminent. Going short seems to be the right choice today.
The pair is currently traded around the 1.1430 level, and seems on its way to test the 1.1550 level one more time. If the pair will indeed breach the resistance level, a bullish trend could be lunched with the potential of reaching towards the 1.1700 level.
The Wild Card
For the past few days Gold has been traded for about $920 per ounce. A triple doji formation on the daily chart indicated that a strong breach is imminent. A bullish cross on the daily chart's Slow Stochastic suggests that the breach could be bullish. This might be a great opportunity for forex traders to enter the trend at a very early stage.