EUR/USD: Rising Inflation Equals to Rising USD
All US macroeconomic statistics turned out to be worse than forecast. But despite this, the American currency continues to grow. The DXY dollar index, which measures it against a basket of six other major currencies, hit 95.26 on Friday, November 12, gaining about 2% over the past two weeks. It would seem that everything should be the other way around. So, what is the reason for this strange situation? It turned out to be the rapid growth of inflation.
According to the Labor Department, the US CPI rose 6.2% in October, a record in more than 30 years. Inflation was higher only in November 1990. Compared to September, the price growth rate has accelerated by 0.8%, while core inflation (excluding energy and food prices) has accelerated to 4.6%, which is also the highest in three decades. And, apparently, this is not the limit. Inflation in the US is forecast to continue to rise in the coming months on the back of housing, utilities, energy and car prices. The CPI, which reflects the change in the cost of living in the country, has surpassed the 5% mark for the fifth month in a row. And this makes us doubt the assurances of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that high inflation is temporary. However, not only investors are in doubt, but also the Fed itself.
According to classical economic theory, the dollar should have weakened significantly in such a situation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned everything upside down, forcing regulators to implement monetary stimulus (QE) programs in the spring of 2020, flooding markets with cheap money and lowering interest rates.
Finally, the Fed reported that it is gradually beginning to curtail $120 billion of the asset purchase program starting this month. As for the rate hike, according to Jerome Powell, the time has not yet come for this, since the labor market has not fully recovered and, according to forecasts, this will happen by mid-2022. The Fed will be patient until then.
However, many investors felt that with such a galloping inflation, the Fed’s patience could quickly run out and the regulator would be forced to raise rates before the summer of 2022.
An analysis of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) derivatives shows that there is a 64% chance that rates may rise even before June. Previously, the market was confident that the regulator would raise interest rates at least once next year. Now the likelihood that it will happen twice has increased from 63% to 80%, three times – from 29% to 49%. And some hotheads believe that the US Central Bank will take the first step in this direction this year.
All these expectations made the dollar continue to grow. It was further supported by the soaring yields on US government bonds. Growing inflation reduces the purchasing power of the coupons paid on them, and there are few people willing to invest in securities, the yield on which covers inflation by only a third.
As for the data on the US labor market published on November 9, the inflation-shocked market practically ignored them. But they also turned out to be much worse than forecasts. The number of repeated claims for unemployment benefits was expected to decrease by 50K, and it rose by 59K instead.
The growing dollar pushed the EUR/USD pair to the lows of July 2020. It dropped to 1.1432 on Friday, November 12 and ended the week at 1.1446. The American currency has gained almost 900 points against the euro since the beginning of this year. And if the situation continues to develop as it is now, it will not stop there.
Indicators on D1 confirm this forecast, pointing to the south. These are 100% among the trend indicators. The same can be said about oscillators, although a quarter of them are in the oversold zone.
In anticipation of a correction, 40% of experts vote for the growth of the pair. 60% vote for its further fall. The nearest support level is 1.1435, then 1.1350 and 1.1250. Resistance levels are 1.1525, 1.1575, 1.1615, 1.1665, 1.1715.
As for the upcoming release of macroeconomic statistics, there will be preliminary data on the Eurozone GDP for the Q3 on Tuesday, November 16. Data on retail sales in the United States will be released on the same day, they are very important for assessing the impact of inflation on the country’s consumer market. The working week will end with a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde on Friday, November 19.
GBP/USD: Another Victory for the Dollar
The dollar, pushed by inflation in the US, continues to put pressure on the British currency, as a result, the GBP/USD pair has been falling for the sixth month. It updated another low last week and settled in the zone of long-term support/resistance, where it has been periodically since 2016. The local minimum of the week was fixed at 1.3352 this time, and the last chord sounded at 1.3421.
The macro statistics released on Thursday; November 11 did not help the pound either. And it seems that GDP for the Q3 turned out to be higher than the forecast, but the growth rates of the UK economy slowed down by more than 3.5 times, from 23.6% to 6.6%, and the industrial production growth rate fell from 4.0% to 2.9% (against the forecast of 3.4% ). Such a sharp slowdown, especially noticeable against the background of smoother similar indicators of the Eurozone and the United States, disappointed greatly, and even scared investors.
The threats of recession and stagflation, combining weak GDP growth and high inflation, are very dangerous for the British economy, which is still under pressure from the Brexit effects. According to forecasts of experts from the Bank of England, the annual inflation rate will accelerate to about 5% by April 2022 and will decrease to the target level of 2% as late as by the end of 2022.
This is a very high rate, and shortly before the meeting of the Bank of England on November 4, its head Andrew Bailey said that with such indicators, it may be necessary to raise interest rates earlier than planned. The market reaction was similar to the one that strengthened the dollar last week. The markets believed that the regulator would raise the key rate in November, and… they were deceived. The Bank of England did not raise the rate, and the GBP/USD pair went further down.
UK unemployment data are due out on Tuesday November 16, followed by October CPI data the next day. Naturally, the state of the labor market and inflation will have an impact on market sentiment and the dynamics of the pound. In the meantime, analysts’ opinions are almost equally divided: 35% of experts bet bears on the victory, 35% support the bulls, and the remaining 30% have taken a neutral position.
As for the oscillators on D1, 85% is colored red, 15% indicates that the pair is oversold. Trend indicators are 100% red. Support levels are 1.3350, 1.3200, the target of the bears is 1.3135. The resistance levels and targets of the bulls are 1.3510, 1.3570, 1.3610, 1.3735, 1.3835.
USD/JPY: Treasuries Strike
Giving a forecast for the previous week, most analysts expected the USD/JPY pair to return to the upper border of the 113.40-114.40 channel. At first, it seemed that this forecast would not come true: the pair continued its corrective movement to the south, reaching the level of 112.70. However, it then turned and soared to 114.30, confirming the expectations of experts. The week finished at 113.90.
The reason for this reversal was the “inflationary” strengthening of the dollar and, of course, a sharp increase in the yield of US Treasury bonds, with which the USD/JPY pair has a long-standing friendship. In other words, there is a direct correlation dependence.
Given the soft monetary policy of the Bank of Japan and the expansion of control over the yield curve, it is highly likely that the weakening of the yen and the growth of the pair will continue. Of course, the decisions of the US Federal Reserve regarding interest rates will also affect the dynamics.
A number of experts consider the rise of the USD/JPY pair to 114.00 as a return to the bullish trend that began back in January 2021. Although, the charts in the interval between March 10 and September 27 show that in the absence of strong drivers, the sideways movement can drag on for several months. Unlike the euro and the pound, the yen is a safe haven currency, and therefore is able to withstand storms in financial markets for a long time.
55% of analysts currently expect the pair to continue to rise, break through the upper boundary of the 114.40 channel, rise to a range of 115.00-116.00 and renew its multi-year highs. The opposite point of view is held by 35% of experts, and the remaining 10% expect the USD/JPY pair to stay in the 113.40-114.40 side channel for some time.
As for oscillators on D1, 80% face north, 10% face south, and 10% turn gray neutral. Among the trend indicators, 100% are on the green side. The resistance levels are 114.40, 114.70 and 115.50, the long-term target of the bulls is the December 2016 high of 118.65. The nearest support level is 113.80, then 113.40, 112.70, 112.00 and 111.65.
Monday, November 15, can be noted in the calendar for the coming week. Data on Japan’s GDP for the Q3 will be published on this day, and, according to forecasts, this important indicator will decrease from + 0.5% to -0.2%.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Where Will Bitcoin Fall and Rise?
Bitcoin updated its all-time high, reaching $668,917 on Wednesday, November 10. Ethereum also set a record, climbing to $4,856. The total capitalization of the crypto market at the maximum reached $2.972 trillion.
The Crypto Fear & Greed Index climbed from 73 to 84, entering the Extreme Greed zone, indicating that the main cryptocurrency was heavily overbought, and a correction was needed. Which then followed: setting a record, the BTC/USD pair turned around and rolled back into the $63,000-64,000 zone.
With regard to bitcoin, the sentiment among retail investors is “extremely bullish”. This is reported by the analytical resource Santiment with reference to the off-chain BTC indicators. But the situation is not so clear-cut among the “bitcoin whales”. On the one hand, the total volume of coins on addresses with balances of 100-10,000 BTC has decreased by almost 60,000 BTC over the past 10 days. On the other hand, it has grown significantly on addresses with balances of more than 10,000 BTС. According to experts, this may indicate that large whales are buying coins from smaller ones, protecting bitcoin from a sharp drop.
The correction that took place on November 10 was only about 8.5%. “Only”, because with the typical volatility of bitcoin, this is not much. The current situation can be defined as “irrational confidence” in this coin on the part of investors, which can lead to a much stronger price correction.
The specialists of the Kraken crypto exchange agree with this. The review they published notes that November has historically been volatile, resulting in the highest monthly returns. But if bitcoin’s current rally stops at strong resistance around $70,000, a correction of up to 20% can be expected, meaning the BTC/USD pair could drop to $55,000.
The cryptocurrency analyst Altsoin Sherpa calls the same figure. “There is the possibility of a short-term hike to $ 55,000,” he writes. “But I don’t care about these minor movements. I continue to accumulate BTC, and when it starts to move up, it will be rapid.”
Another well-known expert, Willie Woo, came to the conclusion that the zone from $50,000 to $60,000 is more than reliable as a support. Bitcoin has secured a capitalization of $1 trillion, and it is difficult to imagine that it will fall below this zone, he said, referring to data from the analytical company Glassnode.
Bitcoin is a hedge against inflation, and the US has currently seen a record rise in consumer prices, which is a strong argument in favor of the flagship cryptocurrency. Despite the curtailment of the QE program and the expectation of an increase in interest rates, signs of a possible sharp devaluation of the dollar frighten investors, forcing them to invest in alternative assets in the stock and cryptocurrency markets. As a result, both BTC and stock indices update their historical highs over and over again. And forecasts for bitcoin will be in the green zone until the US Federal Reserve moves on to a broader tightening of its monetary policy.
The top of bitcoin’s current bull cycle may be the price of $96,000. This conclusion was reached by analysts of the Kraken crypto exchange. According to their research, the current Q4 has dynamics most similar to the Q4 of 2017 (correlation 0.88), which showed a yield of +220%. In general, cryptocurrency exchange experts predict that BTC will reach heights around $300,000.
A respected cryptanalyst known as PlanB said that bitcoin could rise by 700% in early 2022. “If you look at the signals along the chain right now, I dare say that the price will reach the top in almost 6 months, this will be the end of Q1 of next year. – he thinks. – I believe that we will have a BTC rate of $100,000 at the end of the year, and then, perhaps, the currency will continue to grow up to model X (S2FX) and reach the level of $288,000, and possibly more. I would not be surprised if I saw the price rise to $400,000 – 500,000 in Q1 and Q2 of next year.”
Unlike many optimists, crypto strategists Benjamin Cowen, on the contrary, believes that bitcoin will not please its supporters with explosive growth. “We started with about $28,000 to $29,000 and this was the start of 2021,” writes Cowen. “What have we seen so far? Not much, right? Will it be able to show more significant results by the end of the year? Maybe, but I’m not sure that 2021 will be the year of a parabolic rally for bitcoin.”
While the distance between the low and high of the annual range may seem significant, Cowen noted that bitcoin holders are unlikely to be thrilled with such profits: “Look what happened to bitcoin in 2021: nothing special. The profitability was about 130%, and I am sure that most holders will not even get up from the couch for 130%.” “We have returned to the top of the range, so there may be some euphoria, as it was from January to March 2021,” the expert continues to reason. – There are chances of a sharp leap, but the data shows that the cycle should last at least through 2022. Looking back to 2021, I think it was, for the most part, a year of long-term re-accumulation.”
Ethereum, the main competitor of bitcoin, showed significantly higher profitability, it grew 6.7 times in 2021. And the year is not over yet. Rahul Rai, the manager of the cryptocurrency fund BlockTower Capital, believes that the versatility of the ethereum blockchain will be the main factor that will attract both developers and investors. He is confident that if ethereum manages to restart the global financial system, its market will be much larger than that of bitcoin in the future. The crypto millionaire predicts that it may be as early as mid-2022. ETH will be the first cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization, which could reach several trillion dollars.
Analysts of the American investment bank JPMorgan made a similar statement in April. In their opinion, bitcoin is a consumer commodity. It can compete with precious metals and be seen as a store of value, but it will give way to ethereum in the long run, which is the pillar of the cryptocurrency economy.
And at the end of the review a warning from the billionaire, founder of Duquesne Capital and one of the most successful managers on Wall Street, Stanley Druckenmiller. The value of any asset can collapse at any moment, he warns. According to the financier, “cryptocurrencies, meme stocks, art, wine, securities … There is a bubble in everything, in every asset on the planet.” And bubbles, as you know, often burst.
“Every event in the world affects a certain amount of security,” explains Druckenmiller. “I try to imagine the world as it is today, and then I try to see if there are any seismic changes and what the world might look like in 18 months. And if this is true, then what securities will be worth very differently than now? I think that many investors live only in the present. It might work in the short term, but it’s a disaster in the long term.”