EUR/USD posted slight gains last week. The key events in the upcoming week are the ECB rate decision and Services PMIs. Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for EUR/USD.
German retail sales were unexpectedly strong, with a gain of 3.3%. Eurozone CPI Flash Estimate came in 1.5%, as inflation levels remain well below the ECB target of 2.0%. The manufacturing sector is struggling, as eurozone and German manufacturing PMIs came in below the 50-level, pointing to contraction.
In the U.S., Advance GDP, which was released a month late due to the government slowdown, showed a gain of 2.6% in Q4. Although this was weaker than the 3.4% gain in Q3, it was well above the estimate of 2.2%. The better than expected reading can be credited to strong consumer spending and business investment. The U.S. economy continues to perform well, with a strong expansion of 3.1% in 2018. Even with the strong GDP release, however, it’s unlikely that the Federal Reserve will veer from its dovish stance.
EUR/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- Spanish Unemployment Change: Monday, 8:00. The fourth-largest economy still suffers from a high level of unemployment. The January score was particularly weak, with a reading of 83.5 thousand. The indicator is expected to drop sharply to 5.0 thousand in February.
- Sentix Investor Confidence: Monday, 9:30. This broad survey of 2,800 investors and analysts is pointing to persistent pessimism, with three straight declines. Another decline is expected in March, with an estimate of -3.1 points.
- Services PMI’s: Wednesday, 8:15 for Spain, 8:45 for Italy, final French figure at 8:50, final German one at 8:55, and final euro-zone number at 9:00. Germany and the eurozone PMIs are pointing to expansion, with February scores above 50. However, there are concerns over Italian and French data, as the PMIs were in contraction territory.
- Eurozone Retail Sales: Wednesday, 10:00. Retail sales were soft in December, with a decline of 1.6%. This marked a 4-month low. Will w see a rebound in the January release?
- Eurozone GDP: Friday, 10:00. GDP for Q4 posted a small gain of 0.2% in the second estimate, and the forecast for the third estimate remains at 0.2%. The slowdown in Germany and the eurozone shows no signs of abating, so GDP numbers are likely to remain weak.
- ECB rate decision: Thursday: decision at 12:45, press conference at 13:30. The European Central Bank is expected to maintain rates at a flat 0.00%, where rates have been pegged since January 2016. Investors will be looking for clues regarding future rate policy.
EUR/USD Technical Analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
1.1712 was a low point in November 2017. The next line is 1.1669.
1.1620 has held in resistance since the start of October.
1.1570 is next.
1.1515 was a high point at the end of January. 1.1435 was a low point at the beginning of February.
1.1390 was a stepping stone on the way up in late January and capped EUR/USD earlier. 1.1345 was a swing low in mid-January.
1.1290 was a low point around the same period of time. 1.1270 was a double-bottom in December 2018 and the 2018 low of 1.1215 is next. This is followed by 1.1119.
1.1046 is the final support level for now.
I remain neutral on EUR/USD
With the global trade war weighing on the eurozone and Germany, economic indicators remain lukewarm. The ECB is likely to maintain current monetary policy, with no rate hikes on the horizon. With the Fed unlikely to raise interest rates in the first half of the year, investors are not feeling committed to the U.S dollar, especially as risk appetite has improved lately.
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