EUR/USD posted slight gains last week. The upcoming week will be busy, with 10 events. Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for EUR/USD.
Eurozone inflation is expected to climb to 1.7% in April, marking a 5-month high. The stronger reading is a reflection of higher oil prices, which has pushed prices higher. Inflation is moving closer to the ECB target of close to 2 percent, and if the upward trend continues, ECB rate-setters will have to give some thought to raising interest rate levels. The bank recently announced that no rate hikes were planned before the spring of 2020, and this dovish stance has made the euro less attractive to investors.
In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has led his Socialist party to victory, but he will have to share the spoils in order to form a new government. The Socialists won 123 seats of the 350 seats in Congress, and should be able to form a stable coalition in the next few weeks. The far-right VOX party made gains and will enter parliament, but investors seem pleased with the results, which should ensure stability for the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.
In the U.S, the Federal Reserve stayed on the sidelines, maintaining the benchmark rate. The rate statement noted that inflation pressures are muted and that the FOMC would remain patient regarding future rate movements. Fed Chair Jerome Powell reinforced this stance at a follow-up press conference, saying “we don’t see a strong case for moving in either direction”. The Fed is already on record as saying it does not expect to raise rates before 2020, and with inflation levels persistently below the Fed’s target of 2.0%, the Fed can afford to continue its wait-and-see stance.
The U.S. ended the week with mixed employment numbers. Wage growth edged up to 0.2%, shy of the estimate of 0.3%. However, nonfarm payrolls sparkled, climbing to 263 thousand, up from 196 thousand a month earlier. The reading easily beat the forecast of 181 thousand.
EUR/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- Spanish Unemployment Change: Monday, 7:00. Unemployment rolls dropped by 34.0 thousand in March, better than the forecast of 28.5 thousand. The April reading is expected to sparkle, with an estimate of -85.0 thousand.
- Services PMI’s: Monday, 7:15 for Spain, 7:45 for Italy, final French figure at 7:50, final German one at 7:55, and final euro-zone number at 8:00. Services sector numbers have generally been better than those in the manufacturing one. Spain posted a score of 56.8 in March, but this is expected to drop to 54.9 in April. The Italian release is forecast to rise to 54.4, up from 53.3. In France, the PMI contracted in March, at 49.1, and is expected to improve to 50.5. Germany’s PMI is expected to tick up to 55.6, while the eurozone PMI is forecast to drop to 52.5, down from 53.3.
- Sentix Investor Confidence: Monday, 8:30. After a streak of five straight declines, the markets are expecting a positive reading of 1.1 in May.
- Eurozone Retail Sales: Monday, 9:00. Retail sales gained 0.4% in February, above the estimate of 0.2%. The markets are braced for a decline of 0.1% in March.
- German Factory Orders: Tuesday, 6:00. With the manufacturing sector hit hard by the global trade war, factory orders has recorded four straight declines. The February drop of 4.2% was the sharpest decline in over two years. The markets are expecting a strong rebound in March, with an estimate of 1.6%.
- French Trade Balance: Tuesday, 6:45. France suffers from a chronic trade deficit. The February trade deficit of EUR 4.0 billion was higher than the estimate of EUR 4.7 billion. The trade deficit for March stands at EUR 4.5 billion.
- German Industrial Production: Wednesday, 6:00. After three successive declines, industrial production improved in February, with a gain of 0.7%, edging above the estimate of 0.6%. Another decline is forecast for March, with an estimate of -0.5%.
- ECB Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 11:30. The European Central Bank releases its monetary policy accounts four weeks after the rate decision. At the April meeting, the ECB stayed on the sidelines and maintained rates at 0.00%.
- German Trade Balance: Friday, 6:00. Germany continues to post trade surpluses. In February, the surplus improved to EUR 18.7 billion, shy of the estimate of EUR 19.0 billion. The March estimate stands at EUR 19.4 billion.
- French Industrial Production: Friday, 6:45. The indicator slowed to 0.4% in February, above the estimate of -0.5%. The markets are braced for a contraction in March, with an estimate of -0.4%.
* All times are GMT
EUR/USD Technical analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
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. This is followed by 1.1345.
1.1290 is the next resistance line. Close by, 1.1270 was a double-bottom in December 2018.
1.1025 was a cap back in May 2017.
1.0950 is the next support level.
1.0870 was a swing high in December 2017.
1.0820 is the final support line for now.
I am neutral on EUR/USD
This week’s key events are eurozone services PMIs, which have been solid and are expected to indicate expansion. In the U.S., the latest GDP and employment reports have been sharp, but a wait-and-see Fed is likely to keep enthusiasm for the dollar in check.
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