EUR/USD: Closer to Parity
We made a short equation in the title of the previous review on the EUR/USD pair: “Inflation growth = USD growth”, and last week’s events confirmed its fairness. Strong data on retail sales in the US, released on Tuesday, November 16, allowed the dollar to rally again, and the USD DXY index to return to the values of one and a half years ago and renew the highs of 2021. With the forecast of 1.4%, retail sales in October increased by 1.7% (the growth was twice less in September, 0.8%). The retail control group indicator went up as well, showing an increase in October by 1.6% (forecast 0.9%, growth a month earlier – 0.5%). Recall that this indicator represents the volume of retail trade in the entire industry and is used to calculate the chain price index for most goods.
Investors were also pleased with the data on industrial production and the housing market in the United States. As a result, the EUR/USD pair dropped to 1.1263 on Wednesday, November 17.
It is clear that in the current situation the market is most interested in how this or that macro statistics will affect the rate of curtailing monetary stimulus (QE) and the rise in interest rates by central banks.
Thus, the data published last week gave investors another argument in favor of an earlier rate increase by the US Federal Reserve. According to John Williams, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the country’s economy is recovering at a steady pace, the US has a huge growth in employment, and unemployment is falling very quickly. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also added fuel to the fire when he said that the Fed should become more aggressive. If it accelerates the pace of QE reduction to $30 billion a month, this could provide an opportunity for raising rates in Q1 2022. Another “hawk”, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Rafael Bostic, believes that the Fed may start increasing rates in the middle of next year. And even such a famous “dove” as Chicago Fed President Charles Evans agreed that “raising rates in 2022 may be appropriate.”
As for analysts, Bank of America believes that rising prices and wages will push the US central bank to raise the federal funds rate in the summer of 2022, and maybe even earlier. The most conservative aggregate forecast is given by Reuters experts. According to them, the rate will rise for the first time in the Q4 2022, followed by two more increases, in Q1 and Q2 2023, as a result of which it will reach 1.25-1.5% by the end of the year.
Unlike the United States with its economic growth, things are not at all so rosy in the Eurozone with its energy crisis and the impending economic war with Great Britain. The preliminary data on GDP of the Eurozone for the Q3 published on Tuesday, November 16, showed the absence of even minimal growth. Well, at least there’s no fall.
ECB President Christine Lagarde said speaking to the European Parliament that the increase in interest rates in 2022 does not correspond to the plans of her bank, since the conditions for monetary restriction will not be implemented in the coming year. According to the regulator, tightening monetary policy in such a situation will do more harm than good.
The euro weakened not only against the dollar, but also against other currencies after such statements by the head of the ECB. Great Britain helped the European currency a little. A record rise in inflation in this country pushed the GBP/USD pair up, and it pulled EUR/USD along with it. Two more factors also played into the hands of the euro. The first is the 66th update by the S&P 500 of its all-time high for this year. The second one is the possible resignation of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and the appointment of Lael Brainard, who is considered to support a softer monetary policy, in his place.
A number of investors, influenced by the above factors, decided to take profit on short positions. But this only briefly helped the European currency. Having risen to 1.1373, the EUR/USD pair turned around and continued its southward movement, updated the local low at 1.1250 and closed the trading session at 1.1288.
If we translate what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic into the language of the military, then things have not yet come to real military clashes: neither side has yet raised the interest rate. The matter is limited to the maneuvers and statements of the chiefs of the “general staffs”, that is, of the Central Banks. Although, of course, divergences in economic growth, as well as in the monetary policy of the Fed and the ECB, are likely to push the EUR/USD pair further down. Moreover, there is still room for it to fall. Recall that the quotes were at the level of 1.0635 in March 2020, 1.0352 in December 2016, and the pair was even below the parity line at 0.8225 in October 2000.
Indicators at D1 confirm the bearish forecast, pointing south. These are 100% among the trend indicators. The same can be said about oscillators, although 15% of them are in the oversold zone.
35% of experts vote for the correction and growth of the pair in the short term, 50% vote for its further fall, and 15% expect a sideways movement. Resistance levels are located in the zones and at levels 1.1315, 1.1360, 1.1435-1.1465 and 1525. The nearest support level is 1.1250, then 1.1175 and 1.1075-1.1100, then 100 points lower.
As for the upcoming release of macroeconomic statistics, preliminary data on business activity (Markit) in Germany and the Eurozone will be released on Tuesday, November 23. And the volumes of orders for capital and durable goods in the United States, as well as preliminary data on US GDP for the third quarter, will become known the next day. And finally, the minutes of the meeting of the US Federal Reserve Committee (FOMC) will be published on Thursday, November 25, from which investors will try to understand how strong the “hawkish” attitude among the leadership of this regulator is.
GBP/USD: Awaiting the Rate Hike on the Pound
As mentioned above, inflation in Britain hit 4.2%: the highest level since 2011 (it was 3.1% in September). The jump came amid rising energy prices and worsening supply problems. However, the core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile food and energy prices, showed an increase of 3.4% (2.9% a month earlier). According to many economists, consumer prices will continue to rise further in the coming months.
The released statistics increased the likelihood that the Bank of England will decide to raise the interest rate on the pound this December. This contributed to the rebound of the GBP/USD pair from November 12 low of 1.3352, to which it fell after the US recorded its highest growth in 30 years inflationary pressure.
In general, the macroeconomic statistics of the United Kingdom looked quite optimistic last week, supporting the pound.
It became known last Tuesday that the number of jobs in the country increased by 160K in October. This figure is especially important against the background of the fact that the state program for subsidizing wages, which was in force during the COVID-19 pandemic, was completely phased out in September. Many experts expected employers to start cutting jobs after the end of support. However, this did not happen and the labor market, on the contrary, continues to recover. The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in the Q3.
Recall that the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, speaking of curbing inflation on November 4, did not rule out the possibility of raising interest rates more quickly than planned. And now the published indicators allowed the bulls to seize the initiative and raise the pair to a height of 1.3513 on Thursday, November 18. However, this was followed by a rebound, and it completed the five-day period at 1.3444.
If the key rate for the pound increases in December, we can expect the GBP/USD pair to grow to the 1.3800-1.3900 zone. However, while this has not happened, most analysts (75%) expect the pair to fall further. Only 25% bet on a quick victory for the bulls.
As for the oscillators on D1, 80% are red, 10% are green and 10% are neutral gray. Trend indicators are still 100% red. Support levels are 1.3400, 1.3350, 1.3200, the target of the bears is 1.3135. The resistance levels and targets of the bulls are 1.3475, 1.3515, 1.3570, 1.3610, 1.3735, 1.3835.
As for the macro statistics for the coming week, it is worth noting the publication of the UK Services Business Activity Index (PMI) on Tuesday November 23. This indicator, published by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply in conjunction with Markit Economics, is an indicator of the economic situation in the field of sales and employment in this sector. However, it is not as important as the country’s manufacturing PMI.
USD/JPY: Still East
While the US Federal Reserve cuts monetary stimulus, the ECB has frozen QE at the previous level, the Japanese government announced an unprecedented program of economic stimulus for the total 55.7 trillion yen ($487 billion) on Friday November 19. Tokyo hopes that this measure will increase the country’s GDP by 5.6%. As stated, the Bank of Japan will pursue an appropriate monetary policy, closely monitoring market movements and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
“We hope that the Bank of Japan is clearly aware of the urgency of the measures and continues to coordinate closely with the government to achieve a proper mix of fiscal and monetary policy,” the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan said in a statement.
In what way did the USD/JPY pair react to this event? well, actually… in no way. A safe harbor should remain calm no matter what.
In general, the dynamics of the pair fully followed the forecast given the previous week. Most analysts expected the pair to rise, break through the upper border of the 113.40-114.40 channel and try to update multi-year highs. This is exactly what happened: the pair was noted at a height of 114.96 on November 17. However, then the strength of the bulls dried up, and the pair returned to the mid-term trading range, putting the last chord in its central part, at the level of 114.00.
Given the ultra-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. And that USD/JPY will not only reach the 115.00-116.00 range, but will also consolidate there, updating the 2017 highs. Of course, the decisions of the US Federal Reserve regarding interest rates as well as the yield of American treasuries will also affect the dynamics.
As a result of the backward movement that the pair demonstrated last week, the oscillators on D1 are completely confused: 20% of them point north, 40% – south and 40% – east. There is no unity among trend indicators either: 60% look up, 40% – on the contrary, down.
The picture is similar among analysts. 40% of them expect the growth of the pair, the same amount expect its fall, and the remaining 20% just shrug their shoulders. The resistance levels are 114.40, 114.70, 115.00 and 115.50, the long-term target of the bulls is the December 2016 high of 118.65. The nearest support level is 113.40, then 112.70, 112.00 and 111.65.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Where Will Bitcoin Fall and Rise II
Bitcoin updated its all-time high, reaching $68,917 on Wednesday, November 10. Ethereum also set a record, rising to $4,856. The total capitalization of the crypto market at the maximum reached $2.972 trillion. At the same time, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index rose to 84, being in the Extreme Greed zone, which indicated that the main cryptocurrency was strongly overbought and the need for a correction that was not long in coming.
We cited the opinion of specialists from the Kraken crypto exchange in the previous review, according to which if the current growth of bitcoin stops at strong resistance around $70,000, a correction of up to 20% can be expected. That is, the BTC/USD pair may fall to $55,000.
The cryptocurrency analyst Altcoin Sherpa called the same figure. Another well-known journalist and expert, Willy Woo, cited a wider range from $50,000 to $60,000 as a reliable support.
In addition, Willie Woo argues that bitcoin is not ready for impulse growth and renewal of all-time highs at the moment. Woo identified three factors that hinder the rise in price of the main cryptocurrency.
The first factor is bitcoin’s high speculative activity. Woo argues that while long-term investors continue to accumulate cryptocurrency, a large number of positions are being opened for short-term speculative purposes.
Another factor that can hold bitcoin back is the launch of the first US exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on bitcoin futures. According to Woo, most institutional investors prefer to buy fund stocks and futures at the moment instead of buying the coin itself.
Recall that the first US exchange-traded fund based on bitcoin futures began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 19. Its assets exceeded $1 billion two days after the start of trading. Thus, the fund broke the record growth rate to $1 billion, which was held for 18 years.
The third factor is the overly optimistic sentiment of investors who are confident in the further growth of bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency market. “Whenever most investors are bullish, it is very difficult for the price to go up because there are a lot of speculative longs in the markets,” Woo explains.
Analyst Nicholas Merten is also skeptical about the near future of the flagship cryptocurrency. “We won’t get $100,000 or $150,000 in this Q4 or next Q1,” he says. “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to say that. I think that many experts are mistaken. Bitcoin is aiming for growth, but we will only see around $100,000 or $150,000 by the fall of next year.”
At the time of writing the review, the BTC/USD pair is around $58,000, the local minimum was recorded on November 19 at $55,638. The total capitalization of the crypto market fell to $2.590 trillion. At the same time, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index fell by as much as 50 points, to 34, being in the zone of Fear.
The news background is neutral. More precisely, it is ambiguous. On the one hand, for example, the Bitcoin Taproot network was updated on November 14 – the first major change in functionality since 2017. The main cryptocurrency needs to become more efficient, scalable and confidential. On the other hand, US President Joe Biden signed a bill to upgrade the infrastructure. Depending on the interpretation of this document, it may turn out that miners, wallet developers, liquidity providers in DeFi-protocols and other players in the digital market may be required to report to the tax office. The crypto community is also concerned about another amendment to the infrastructure plan, which will oblige recipients of digital assets worth more than $10,000 to verify the sender’s personal information.
A very good reason is needed for bitcoin to rise sharply again. And if it does not appear, the BTC/USD pair has many chances to stay stuck for a long time in the zone $50,000 to $60,000, sagging from the maximum by 15-30%. However, the current drawdown does not prevent many crypto enthusiasts from maintaining remarkable optimism.
Thus, Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital investment company, is confident that bitcoin will “easily” reach the price of $500,000. He gave such a forecast, referring to the limited emission of the first cryptocurrency and the potential number of wealthy investors. He noted that according to JPMorgan, there are at least 49 million dollar millionaires, but the supply of digital gold is limited to 21 million coins. “You don’t have enough bitcoins for every millionaire in our society to have at least one coin,” Scaramucci said.
In his opinion, the current price level is still an early opportunity to enter the asset, and the price of the first cryptocurrency will reach the specified $500,000 mark by the end of 2024 or mid-2025. However, this requires that Ark Invest’s forecast come true, according to which the number of bitcoin wallets should reach 1 billion by this time.