Tue, Mar 21, 2023 @ 07:47 GMT
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EUR/USD at 3-Week Low after Strong US Data

The euro is down for a third straight day and fell earlier to 1.0629, its lowest level since Jan. 23. In the European session, EUR/USD is trading at 1.0639, down 0.30%.

US dollar flexing muscles

The US dollar is showing some strength this week against the majors, as US data continues to shine. Retail sales impressed with a 3% gain earlier this week, and PPI and unemployment claims were both better than expected. Is the disinflation process stalled?

The markets didn’t expect such good numbers, but the economy has proved to be surprisingly resilient to rising interest rates. The Fed has been preaching ‘higher for longer’ for some time, but the markets stuck to their dovish stance, expecting that the Fed would have to pivot and even cut rates later in the year. The host of strong US numbers has forced investors to recalibrate, and the markets have revised upwards their peak rate forecast to above 5%.

The US dollar has been the big winner of the shift in market thinking, and US Treasury yields are at their highest level this year. Fed member Mester said she saw a strong case for raising rates by 50 basis points at the last Fed meeting, a sign that the Fed could move away from the moderate 25-bp hikes if inflation isn’t falling quickly enough. Mester said that she didn’t see inflation falling to 2% until 2025, which points to a long disinflation process.

The ECB raised rates by 50 basis points in February and has signalled that it will do the same at the Mar. 16 meeting. The main financing rate is currently at 3%, well below the Fed (4.5%) and other major central banks. It’s not clear what the Bank has planned after the first quarter, but with inflation running at 8.5%, the risk for further rate hikes is skewed to the upside. The ECB has made it clear that rates will remain high until there is evidence that inflation is falling toward the target, which means that the current rate-tightening cycle isn’t anywhere near its end.

EUR/USD Technical

  • EUR/USD is testing support at 1.0629. Below, there is support at 1.0581
  • 1.0762 and 1.0847 are the next resistance lines

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