พฤษภาคม 11, 2024

EUR/USD: Medium-Term Outlook Favours the Dollar

● Throughout the past week, EUR/USD exhibited mixed dynamics, primarily driven by expectations concerning potential interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB). Statements by officials from both central banks, as well as economic macro-statistics, either heightened or lowered these expectations. 

● The EUR/USD bullish rally commenced on 16 April from the 1.0600 mark, reaching a peak of 1.0811 on 3 May, after which growth stalled, starting the past week at 1.0762. On Monday, 6 May, statistics from the Eurozone provided some support to the common European currency. In April, the Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose from 52.9 to 53.3, exceeding the forecast of 52.9. The Composite PMI, which includes the manufacturing sector and services, increased from 51.4 to 51.7. Germany's Composite PMI also showed positive dynamics, rising from 50.5 to 50.6. Consequently, business activity in the Eurozone reached its highest level in almost a year. Moreover, retail sales in the region showed significant growth, rising from -0.5% to +0.7% year-on-year.

● This news backdrop suggests potential inflation growth, which in theory could deter the ECB from initiating a monetary policy easing. However, ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane stated that the Executive Board of the bank has compelling arguments for a rate cut at the 6 June meeting. Another ECB representative, Lithuanian Central Bank head Gediminas Simkus, indicated that rate cuts should not be limited to June, suggesting it could happen thrice by the end of the year. However, while the likelihood of easing (QE) in June is near 100%, there is some uncertainty regarding further steps. ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos admitted that the regulator is cautiously forecasting any trends beyond June.

In addition to ECB officials' statements supporting easing, statistics released on Tuesday, 7 May, also contributed. They showed that manufacturing orders in Germany, the locomotive of the European economy, decreased by 0.4% in March after a 0.8% decline in February. As a result, the EUR/USD pair's growth halted, pulling back to 1.0723.

● The pair made another attempt to break through the strong resistance zone of 1.0790-1.0800 on Thursday, 9 May, when US initial jobless claims data was unexpectedly reported at 231K, much worse than the expected 210K. This coincided with a widespread negative session for US yields along the curve. The situation worsened as the unemployment data confirmed concerning statistics released on 3 May. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), non-farm payrolls (NFP) rose by just 175K in April, significantly below the March figure of 315K and market expectations of 238K. The employment report also showed an increase in unemployment from 3.8% to 3.9%.

Besides combating inflation, the Fed's other declared main goal is maximum employment. "If inflation remains stable and the labor market strong, it would be appropriate to delay rate cuts," stated Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Now, the strength of the labour market is in question. However, the Fed is likely to focus on fighting inflation, which is still far from the 2.0% target.

A key inflation indicator tracked by the Fed, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index, rose from 2.5% to 2.7% in March. However, the ISM Manufacturing PMI fell below the key 50.0 mark, dropping from 50.3 to 49.2 points. Remember, a level of 50.0 separates economic growth from contraction. In such a situation, raising the interest rate is inadvisable, but lowering it is also not an option. This is exactly what the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) of the Fed did. At its meeting on Wednesday, 1 May, its members unanimously left the rate unchanged at 5.50%. This is the highest rate in 23 years, and the US central bank has kept it unchanged for six consecutive meetings.

● The main scenario foresees the Fed beginning to review the rate towards a decrease no earlier than autumn, likely in September, with another cut by year-end. However, if US inflation does not decline or, worse, continues to rise, the regulator may abandon monetary policy easing until early 2025. Thus, considering the above, many analysts believe the medium-term advantage remains with the dollar, and EUR/USD is still attractive for sales with a horizon of several months.

● The final point of the week for EUR/USD was at 1.0770, making the weekly result almost zero. Regarding the forecast for the near term, as of the evening of 10 May, it is maximally neutral: 50% expect dollar strengthening, and 50% expect its weakening. Trend indicators on D1 are equally divided: half are on the side of the reds, and half are on the side of the greens. Among oscillators, only 10% voted for the reds, another 10% remained neutral, and 80% voted for the greens (although a quarter of them are already signalling overbought conditions). The nearest support for the pair is located in the 1.0710-1.0725 zone, followed by 1.0650, 1.0600-1.0620, 1.0560, 1.0495-1.0515, 1.0450, 1.0375, 1.0255, 1.0130, and 1.0000. Resistance zones are in the regions of 1.0795-1.0810, 1.0865, 1.0895-1.0925, 1.0965-1.0980, 1.1015, 1.1050, and 1.1100-1.1140.

● In the coming week, on Tuesday, 14 May, consumer inflation data (CPI) in Germany and the Producer Price Index (PPI) in the US will be released. Also scheduled for this day is a speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The next day, Wednesday, 15 May, important indicators such as Consumer Price Index (CPI) and retail sales volumes in the United States will be published. On Thursday, 16 May, the traditional number of initial jobless claims in the US will be announced. And at the very end of the working week, on Friday, 17 May, we will learn the Eurozone CPI as a whole, which may influence the ECB's decision regarding the euro interest rate.


GBP/USD: Pound Remains Under Pressure but Holds On

● At its meeting on Thursday, 9 May, the Bank of England’s (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee maintained the interest rate at 5.25%, the highest in 16 years. Economists polled by Reuters mostly expected borrowing costs to remain unchanged, with a committee vote ratio of 8 to 1. However, the vote was 7 to 2. During discussions, two committee members supported a rate cut to 5.0%, which market participants interpreted as a step towards the beginning of a policy easing cycle.

At the post-meeting press conference, BoE Governor Andrew Bailey expressed optimism, stating that the UK economy is moving in the right direction. Bailey also noted that “a rate cut next month is quite possible,” but he intends to wait for data on inflation, activity, and the labour market before making a decision. Chief Economist Huw Pill, although he joined the majority in voting to keep the rate unchanged, also expressed growing confidence that the time for a reduction is approaching. He added that “focusing only on the next Bank of England meeting [20 June] is somewhat unreasonable” and that “medium-term inflation forecasts do not necessarily signal rate movements at the next or subsequent meetings.”

● Overall, the movement of the GBP/USD pair last week resembled that of the EUR/USD pair. The chart shows a distinct surge on Thursday, 9 May, triggered by data indicating a cooling US labour market. The pound was also supported by optimistic GDP data for the UK for Q1 2024 and manufacturing sector data for March.

GDP (quarter-on-quarter) rose by +0.6% after a decline of -0.3% in the previous quarter (forecast +0.4%). Additionally, the GDP grew by +0.2% year-on-year, recovering from a fall of -0.2%.

● As with the euro, the pound is under pressure from the prospect of earlier monetary policy easing by the BoE compared to the Fed. However, the British currency ended the past week above the key 1.2500 level, at 1.2523. Moreover, 65% of analysts expect the pair not only to hold above this horizon but also to continue its growth. The remaining 35% voted for the pair's movement south. As for technical analysis, trend indicators on D1 are split 50-50. Among oscillators, only 10% recommend selling, 40% took a neutral position, and 50% recommend buying (10% of them signal overbought conditions). If the pair rises, it will encounter resistance at levels 1.2575-1.2610, 1.2695-1.2710, 1.2755-1.2775, 1.2800-1.2820, and 1.2885-1.2900. In case of a fall, it will face support levels and zones at 1.2490-1.2500, 1.2450, 1.2400-1.2410, 1.2300-1.2330, 1.2185-1.2210, and 1.2070-1.2110, 1.2035.

● The upcoming week's calendar highlights Tuesday, 14 May, when data from the UK labour market will be released. Also of interest is the Inflation Report hearing scheduled for Wednesday, 15 May.


USD/JPY: $50 Billion Interventions Wasted?

● It seems that until the Bank of Japan (BoJ) takes confident and clear steps to tighten its monetary policy, nothing will help the yen. At its meeting on 26 April, the board members of this regulator unanimously decided to leave the key rate and QE program parameters unchanged. Expectedly tough comments on the outlook were also absent. This inaction increased pressure on the national currency, sending the USD/JPY pair to new heights. It continued its cosmic saga, reaching a new 34-year high of 160.22. Following this, Japan's financial authorities finally decided on a double currency intervention. Although there was no official confirmation, experts estimate its total volume at $50 billion.

Did it help? Judging by the USD/JPY chart, not really. The pair headed north again last week. Unlike the euro and the British pound, the yen barely reacted even to weak US labour market data on Thursday, 9 May, only slowing its decline.                 

● All this occurs amid endless statements from the Japanese Central Bank and Ministry of Finance about their readiness to take necessary measures to reduce speculative pressure on the national currency. The published minutes of the BoJ meeting show that most board members took a "hawkish" stance, calling for a rate hike. However, many analysts believe that the Bank of Japan will take only one such step in the second half of the year.

● The last chord of the past five days sounded at 155.75. Economists at Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) expect the USD/JPY pair to trade in the 154.00-157.20 range in the next 1-3 weeks. UOB also believes that the chances of it falling to 151.55 have significantly diminished. Overall, most experts (70%) simply shrug their shoulders in uncertainty. The remaining 30% persistently expect the yen to strengthen. As for technical analysis, 100% of trend indicators on D1 look north. Among oscillators, 50% are such, 15% point south, and 35% point east. Regarding support/resistance levels, traders should note that with such volatility, the slippage can reach many tens of points. The nearest support level is around 155.25, followed by 154.70, 153.90, 153.10, 151.85-152.25, 151.00, 150.00, after which come 146.50-146.90, 143.30-143.75, and 140.25-141.00. Resistance levels are 156.25, 157.00, 157.80-158.00, 158.60, 159.40, and 160.00-160.25.

● Events of the upcoming week include the release on Thursday, 16 May, of preliminary GDP data for Japan for Q1 2024. No other significant publications regarding the Japanese economy are expected in the coming week.


CRYPTOCURRENCIES: A Week of Reflection and Uncertainty

Forex and Cryptocurrency Forecast for 13 – 17 May 20241

● What will happen to bitcoin in the foreseeable future? It seems there is no clear answer to this question. Experts and influencers often point in opposite directions: some shoot for the stars, while others keep their eyes on the ground.

● For instance, according to the founder of Pomp Investments, Anthony Pompliano, bitcoin is "stronger than ever." He concluded this based on the 200-day moving average (200 DMA) reaching its ATH (All-Time High) of $57,000. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, is also optimistic. In his latest message, he urged investors to "run with the bulls." (It should be noted here that MicroStrategy holds 205,000 BTC on its balance sheet, so Saylor's bullish calls are quite understandable. He simply has to do this for his company to profit rather than incur losses).

● However, analysts note that bitcoin's fate depends not only on the rosy calls of the MicroStrategy CEO. And if buyer support weakens, BTC could break through the key support level of $61,000, falling to the $56,000 zone, where significant liquidity is concentrated. MN Trading founder Michael Van De Poppe does not rule out another correction to around $55,000. However, the specialist quickly reassures investors, stating that this is quite acceptable as long as bitcoin holds above $60,000. Anthony Pompliano believes that the price will not fall below $50,000, and another expert, Alan Santana, does not rule out a drop to $30,000.

Trader and analyst Rekt Capital believes that the first cryptocurrency has exited the post-halving "danger zone" and entered the initial phase of re-accumulation. According to this expert, in 2016, BTC demonstrated a long red candle after the halving, falling by 17%. This time, the pattern repeated, with the difference between the post-halving maximum and minimum being 16%. The price reached a local bottom at around $56,566 but then rose to $65,508, on which Rekt Capital concluded that it re-entered the "re-accumulation range." However, there is one "but" - after this, we again observed a drop to $60,175. Overall, it seems that BTC/USD is in a descending channel, which increases investor concern.

● In general, the forecasts are quite diverse. Information on the activity of various categories of traders and investors also varies. Analyst and CMCC Crest co-founder Willy Woo noted the activity of so-called crypto dolphins and sharks. "There has never been such a rapid purchase of coins by wealthy holders as in the last two months when the price fluctuated between $60,000-70,000. We are talking about those who hold from 100 BTC to 1000 BTC or approximately $6.5-65 million," he explained. On the other hand, according to CryptoQuant analysts, whales holding from 1000 to 10000 BTC, unlike dolphins and sharks, have behaved quite passively. Michael Van De Poppe, for his part, notes the absence of retail investors.

● All this suggests that we may not see new all-time highs for BTC in the coming months. We wrote about this in the previous review, citing, among other things, the opinion of such a Wall Street legend as Factor LLC head Peter Brandt. With a 25% probability, he assumed that bitcoin had already formed another ATH within the current cycle.

As for long-term forecasts, nothing has changed here - most of them predict a powerful bull rally for bitcoin. Anthony Pompliano writes about this. Willy Woo expects bitcoin to continue increasing its penetration into various spheres of everyday life, meaning the number of users will grow. "By 2035, we expect bitcoin's fair value to reach $1 million. This forecast is based on the user growth curve. And I'm talking about fair value, not a peak during a bull market frenzy," the analyst notes.

● The author of the bestseller "Rich Dad Poor Dad," entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki, once again included bitcoin in the TOP-3 ways to save and increase capital. "Bad news: the [currency market] crash has already begun. It will be severe. Good news: a crash is the best time to get rich," he wrote, offering several recommendations on how to act in a crisis. Let's note two of them. The first reads: "Find an additional source of income. Artificial Intelligence will destroy millions of jobs. Start a small business and become an entrepreneur, not an employee afraid of losing a job." "Don't hoard fake money (US dollar, euro, yen, peso) that is losing value. Hoard gold, silver, and bitcoin - real money whose value increases, especially in a market crash," is Kiyosaki's second recommendation.

● Regarding bitcoin's growth, Kiyosaki is absolutely right; it's even pointless to argue. According to a study by Colin Wu, better known as WuBlockchain, over the past decade, the price of the leading cryptocurrency has grown by an astonishing 12,464%, outpacing giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Tesla, and Netflix. BTC was second only to Nvidia (+17,797%). But the fact that bitcoin took second place, being a representative of a relatively new and volatile market, is a real achievement. BTC's impressive growth trajectory over the past decade demonstrates its resilience and potential as an essential component in investors' portfolios.

● At the time of writing this review, on the evening of Friday, 10 May, the BTC/USD pair is trading at $60,470. The total market capitalization of the crypto market is $2.24 trillion ($2.33 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has risen from the Neutral zone (48 points a week ago) to the Greed zone, now standing at 66 points.


NordFX Analytical Group


Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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